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The Sunday games in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs didn't disappoint. The Detroit Lions are playing in a conference championship game for the first time in 32 years after beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game that went down to the final possession. San Francisco awaits Detroit in the NFC Championship Game. 

In the AFC, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen had another memorable playoff duel. The Kansas City Chiefs emerged victorious over the Buffalo Bills and will play the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game. 

What did we learn from the Sunday divisional round games? Let's take a look: 

Bills special teams are why they couldn't get over the hump

The Bills had the Chiefs right where they wanted them -- at home in the playoffs in front of their passionate fanbase. Instead of taking advantage of that, Buffalo bowed out in the divisional round at home for the second consecutive year. 

This wasn't any fault of Josh Allen, who completed 26 of 39 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown (86.1 rating) while also rushing for 72 yards and two touchdowns. Allen is the first player to ever have four passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns through two playoff games; he was the only reason why the Bills were in that game. 

Special teams are why the Bills aren't playing the Ravens in the AFC title game. Tyler Bass hit just 82.8% of field goals in the regular season, and then he missed a 27-yard field goal last week. The Bills also had one of his kicks blocked in that game. Of course, the 44-yard miss with 1:47 left will live in Bills haunted playoff lore

Damar Hamlin failed to get a first down on a fake punt attempt with the Bills trailing, 27-24, at their own 29-yard line early in the fourth quarter. Sam Martin had a bad hamstring, which led to bad punts throughout the game. 

The Bills made plenty of mistakes in the game and battled through injuries across the board on defense. At the end of the day, special teams was the culprit. 

Patrick Mahomes finds his best players to win games 

Patrick Mahomes
KC • QB • #15
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Mahomes had another standout playoff performance in his first road playoff game. He went 17 of 23 for 215 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 131.6 passer rating. Through two postseason games, Mahomes has completed 62.5% of his passes for 477 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 100.8 passer rating, but there's more to the story. 

When Mahomes targets Rashee Rice and Travis Kelce, he's completed 24 of 32 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns for a 137.9 passer rating. This held true Sunday, as Mahomes was 9 of 10 for 122 yards and two touchdowns -- both of which went to Kelce -- when targeting his two best playmakers (157.1 rating). 

Mahomes hasn't been bad targeting every other player, going 16 of 23 for 154 yards and no touchdowns. But the money players among the Chiefs receivers are Rice and Kelce. Mahomes is smart to go to them when the stakes are the highest.

Baker Mayfield should return as Buccaneers QB in 2024

Baker Mayfield
TB • QB • #6
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Mayfield certainly did enough to remain as Tampa Bay's quarterback, as his six passing touchdowns trailed only Tom Brady for most in a single postseason in franchise history. The Buccaneers were in Sunday's divisional round loss to the Lions because of Mayfield, who completed 26 of 41 passes for 349 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions (94.5 rating) in the loss. 

In the postseason, Mayfield completed 62.3% of his passes for 686 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions for a 106.3 rating. Mayfield completed 63.1% of his passes with 17 touchdowns to five interceptions for a 102.2 passer rating in his last eight games. The Buccaneers went 6-2 in those games.

Mayfield may command a high salary, but the Buccaneers have their quarterback. This Bucs team was a better one than the team Tom Brady led in his final year, mainly because of Mayfield. 

Dan Campbell, Brad Holmes have Lions as Super Bowl contenders for years to come 

Jared Goff
DET • QB • #16
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The Lions are going to a conference championship game for the first time since the 1991 season. They won two playoff games in a season for the first time since 1957. They have an opportunity to play for a championship for the first time since 1957. 

Since an 0-10-1 start to Campbell's career, the Lions are 24-16 in the regular season with two playoff victories. They are 20-7 in the regular season since a 1-6 start last season with two playoff wins. This is one of the best teams in the NFL thanks to Campbell changing the culture and Holmes running the front office. 

Penei Sewell, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Derrick Barnes, Alim McNeill, Ifeatu Melifonwu, Aidan Hutchinson, Jameson Williams, Kerby Joseph, James Houston, Jahmyr Gibbs, Jack Campbell, Sam LaPorta, and Brian Branch were all drafted by Holmes over the past three years. The Lions acquired Jared Goff, David Montgomery, Cam Sutton, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson via trade or free agency thanks to Holmes. 

The core of this team will only get better. The Lions are being rewarded for the fruits of their labor. 

Weird schedule quirk

The teams that played a playoff game on short rest (Packers, Buccaneers, Bills) went a combined 0-3 in the divisional round. The only road team to win in the divisional round was the Chiefs -- who had eight days rest.

The weather definitely had an impact on playoff scheduling, and the No. 1 seeds in the 14-team playoff format typically play Saturday. It's interesting how one game getting postponed to last Monday and a scheduled Monday night game impacted two teams in the playoffs. 

Hopefully, the NFL will avoid Monday playoff games after the Monday night wild-card game contract ends in two more years.