NFL Wildcard Postmortem (NFC): Underdogs Rule Opening Round of 2014 NFL Playoffs – New Orleans Saints Gains Upset Win; San Francisco 49ers Gets Victory But Loses ATS

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By James Patrick Quizon | January 6, 2014 2:06 PM EST

Wildcard weekend was all about the underdogs in the opening round of the 2014 NFL Playoffs going 4-0 against the spread (ATS) and 3-1 straight-up versus the favourites.

Saturday featured the Kansas City Chiefs fall to the Indianapolis Colts, 45-44, and the New Orleans Saints upset of the Philadelphia Eagles, 26-24, while Sunday had the San Diego Chargers upset the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-10, and the Green Bay Packers losing a close one against the San Francisco 49ers, 23-20.

Reuters
NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

READ ALSO: NFL Wildcard Postmortem (AFC): Underdogs Rule Opening Round of 2014 NFL Playoffs – San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts Pull Off Upsets

Here are the summaries of the NFC wildcard games:

Packers (+3.5) vs. 49ers (SF wins straight-up, GB win ATS)
The Packers were in the game for most of the game and lost via 33-yard field by SF kicker Phil Dawson as the time expired. The game-winning kick was set-up by the best player of the game—and of this series-- Colin Kaepernick, who had 227 passing yards and 98 rushing yards.

The third-year QB now ranks fifth in NFL postseason history for most rushing yards by a quarterback—and most of which came against Green Bay, with 279 rush yards against the Packers in the last two meetings between these two rivals. The Packers were pegged as underdogs by field goal and a half. They did enough to cover the spread but came up short in getting the W.

The 49ers take on the Carolina Panthers in the next round.

Saints (+5) vs. Eagles (NO wins straight-up, NO win ATS)
With roughly five minutes to go in the game and trailing the Eagles, 23-to-24, the Saints faced the possibility of a sixth straight postseason road loss. 10 plays and 35 yards later, they gained the lead, 26-24, and were on their way to facing the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

The Eagles’ offense, which 9th in passing yards per game (256.9), was contained to just 176 passing yards by the Saints’ defense. On offense, New Orleans was not on track but did enough in setting-up 13-year veteran kicker Garret Hartley, who had a total of four field goals including the game-winner.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles
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