32 things we learned heading into championship games of 2018 NFL playoffs

, USA TODAY

The 32 things we learned heading into the NFL’s conference championship games:

1. How crucial are postseason bye weeks? All four teams that had one this year prevailed in the divisional round.

1a. It’s the first time the league’s final four has been comprised of its top four seeds since 2015.

1b. This marks the sixth straight season that no team which played on wild-card weekend will reach Super Sunday. The 2012 Ravens were the last to do so.

1c. Defense wins championships, eh? For the first time in the 53-year Super Bowl era, the league’s top four scoring offenses all advanced to the championship round.

2. Kudos to Sarah Thomas, who became the first woman to officiate a playoff game Sunday. “She’s well respected in the industry,” said CBS analyst and former Cowboys QB Tony Romo.

3. The Eagles became the first team in this season’s playoffs to score first but ultimately lose. Philly gave up 20 unanswered points to the Saints after bolting to a 14-0 first-quarter lead.

4. The Saints are now 6-0 in playoff games at the Superdome with Drew Brees and Sean Payton, who both arrived in New Orleans in 2006.

More: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2019/01/13/32-things-we-learned-nfl-playoffs-divisional-championship-games/2565238002/