The surprise team of the NFC this year emerged as Champions behind a surprise performance by an unexpected hero. San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert gashed the Green Bay Packers defense for huge chunks of yards and there was nothing they could do about it. And it had very little to do with respect for the Niners passing game, which only had to throw it 8 times. Mostert ended the afternoon with 220 yards on 29 carries; the 2nd most rushing yards in a playoff game ever behind legendary Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson. To go with that, four TDs in which he becomes on the the third player to have that many in a playoff game (Ricky Watters with 5 and LeGarrette Blount with 4). Mostert's rise to get to this point is equally as amazing. Having played for 5 teams in 2 years, the undrafted Purdue alumnus almost quit the game before the 49ers found a spot for him. In a three-headed 2019 Niners backfield along with Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida, it was Mostert who caught fire when San Francisco needed it. And now he'll live every football player's dream. Playing in a Super Bowl. Mostert is a worthy Sportsman of the Week!
In one of the most thrilling and historic (in terms of comeback) games in NFL history, the Kansas City Chiefs roared back from a 24 point 2nd quarter deficit to easily win their AFC Division Round Playoff game by 20 points. During the key 2nd quarter surge, it was Travis Kelce who put the team on his back (along with quarterback Patrick Mahomes II) to lead the charge. Kelce hauled in 10 passes for 134 yards and 3 TD, all in the pivotal second quarter to set the Chiefs up for their first Super Bowl berth in 50 years. Moreover, they will be hosting the title game at Arrowhead Stadium as the top remaining seed in the AFC. Kelce was a matchup problem all day for the Texans, even shaking off an injury to continue to torment the Texans who had no answer. With his size and speed and hands, he's a matchup problem for anyone, and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Happy New Year, as our Blog enters the ninth year of Sportsman of the Week, we have a winner who was only 13 when all of this started. The Seattle Seahawks are a team recently counted out. For several years not much home field advantage. Rebuilt defense, too young and too old talent on offense. But it was their youngest playmaker that carried them to the Division Round of the NFL Playoffs. Rookie Wide Receiver D.K. Metcalf put his team on his back and carried them to victory at the Philadelphia Eagles. Metcalf made critical catch after critical catch for an NFL Playoff rookie record 160 yards on 7 catches and a TD. His 53-yeard TD catch in the 3rd quarter seemed to build the hill so high the backup QB-led Eagles didn't have much of a chance. Metcalf is a beast that should end up as an elite receiver in the league, but was the story of the Wildcard weekend and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!