One side of the NFL playoffs followed form, the other side defied form.
The San Francisco 49ers were nothing other than clinical in sending the Minnesota Vikings into the offseason with a 27 – 10 result in a game that was never interesting.
It started off well enough to show some promise of an entertaining game, but that promise was gone midway through the first quarter.
San Francisco were heavy favourites, while Minnesota were hoping to reprise the mini-miracle from a week earlier, when they got past the higher ranked (No. 1 in NFC) New Orleans Saints.
Playing tourists against the top two teams in the NFC is a nice Cinderella story, but the Vikings could not get their feet into a glass slipper when it came time to back their New Orleans shock with another in San Francisco.
The 49ers now have the extra day to wait to learn if their opponent in the NFC Championship game will be the Seattle Seahawks or the Green Bay Packers.
As we are the sort who enjoy the boilover, the AFC produced a roiler.
The No. 6 seeded Tennessee Titans went to AFC No. 1 Baltimore Ravens and made the Ravens shed crocodile tears.
Tennessee are peaking at the ideal time and they dismantled the touted Baltimore offense, making probable NFL MVP Lamar Jackson look more like a Least Valuable Player.
Tennessee ball carrier Derrick Henry simply shredded the vaunted Baltimore defense, running for almost 200 yards and in the same bargain, keeping Baltimore’s offense on the sidelines.
If it were possible to say so, the final score of 28 -12 in favour of the Titans was not so close as the score would indicate.
For comparison, imagine if the Gold Coast Suns went into MCG to play Richmond Tigers, with the score being the same as the 2019 AFL Grand Final, with the exception of substituting Richmond for GWS.
The Titans await the winner of the game between the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs, a game that will finalise the second round of the NFL playoffs and determine the AFC Conference Championship participants.