Atlanta Falcons 36, Seattle Seahawks 20
The hosting Falcons reminded why they earned the No. 2 seed by steamrolling a banged-up Seattle defense. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan passed for 338 yards and three scores without a turnover. Star receiver Julio Jones posted a 6-67-1 line, while both wideout Taylor Gabriel (4-71-0) and running back Devonta Freeman (4-80-0) outpaced him in yardage.
Extra points: Freeman pitched in a ground score, and his backfield mate, Tevin Coleman, found the end zone on a 14-yard catch. On the losing side, Seattle’s Russell Wilson threw for a pair of touchdowns and two interceptions. He finished with 225 passing yards and a team-best 49 rushing yards. Wide receivers Paul Richardson (4-83-0) and Doug Baldwin led the Seahawks in receiving; veteran tight end Jimmy Graham scored once on three grabs.
New England Patriots 34, Houston Texans 16
Following an sluggish first half by Tom Brady and most of the Patriots, for that matter, the AFC’s No. 1 seed calmed down. The king of second-half adjustments, Bill Belichick, ratcheted up the pressure and coverage schemes to force Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler into three turnovers in the final two quarters. Stats-wise, this one didn’t offer much for gamers. Julian Edelman led the way with a game-high eight catches for 137 yards. Patriots running back Dion Lewis scored twice on 15 touches, amassing 64 offensive yards.
Extra points: Houston’s offense provided little impact. WR DeAndre Hopkins posted a 6-65-0 line, and running back Lamar Miller mustered 73 rushing yards on 19 attempts. He added 16 yards on four catches. Running back James White scored on a 19-yard snare for New England. Pats WR Chris Hogan racked up 95 yards on his four catches.
Green Bay Packers 34, Dallas Cowboys 31
It definitely was the most dramatic of this year’s playoff contests, coming down to the final play on Mason Crosby’s second field goal of 50-plus yards in the final 98 seconds. Enough about a kicker … Aaron Rodgers was what we all have come to expect, providing fantasy gamers a 356-yard, two-TD effort. Dallas’ rookie counterpart was up for the task. Dak Prescott completed 302 yards worth of throws — three of which passes went for touchdowns.
Extra points: Ezekiel Elliott was effective (22-125-0), and Dez Bryant was nothing short of beastly. The star receiver corralled nine passes for 132 yards and a pair of scores. Without Jordy Nelson, Green Bay’s leading receiver was tight end Jared Cook (6-104-1). Wideouts Davante Adams (5-76-0) and Randall Cobb (7-62-0) were effective for PPR scoring formats. Running back Ty Montgomery finished with 81 offensive yards and a pair of early scores.
Pittsburgh Steelers 18, Kansas City Chiefs 16
Le’Veon Bell was a monster again, accounting for 170 rushing yards. All-World receiver Antonio Brown logged 108 yards on six catches, including the game-icing grab. Ben Roethlisberger failed to throw a touchdown pass after tossing five in the Week 4 meeting.
Extra points: All of KC’s fantasy components were missing in action this week. WR Tyreek Hill had just four catches for 27 yards and 18 rushing yards. Travis Kelce led the Chiefs with a 5-77-0 line, and running back Spencer Ware scored once on his eight carries for 35 yards. Steelers tight end Jesse James chipped in five catches for 83 yards as a safety valve for Big Ben.