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What We Learned in the N.F.L.’s Divisional Round

The divisional round of the N.F.L. playoffs has come and gone, confirming some things we knew — the Patriots are devastatingly good at home, the Chiefs play football like it’s a video game, etc. — while revealing some new wrinkles for both the four losing teams and the victors headed to the conference championship games.

As we look ahead to next weekend, we can look back at what we learned from this week’s games.

  • Taysom Hill is more than a decoy. The Saints’ backup quarterback was called on primarily for short runs this season. On three plays in his team’s win over Philadelphia, the former Brigham Young star showed he is capable of far more than that. His 4-yard run on a fake punt set up the Saints’ first touchdown, and later in the game he very nearly caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees. And his arcing, 46-yard touchdown pass to Alvin Kamara in the third quarter may have been overturned because of a holding penalty, but the ease with which Hill hit Kamara in stride on the deep throw is something defensive coordinators surely will not forget.

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