Archives for category: NFL Playoffs

Championship Broadcast Information (All times Eastern)

AFC Championship: Tennessee at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m. on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter), Jay Feely (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Tony Boselli, Laura Okmin (field reporter); SIRIUS: 82 (Tennessee), 83 (Kansas City); XM: 226 (Tennessee), 225 (Kansas City)

NFC Championship: Green Bay at San Francisco, 6:40 p.m. on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter), Chris Myers (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Kurt Warner, Ross Tucker (field reporter); SIRIUS: 82 (Green Bay), 83 (San Francisco); XM: 226 (Green Bay), 225 (San Francisco)

Officials
Tennessee at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m.: Tony Corrente
Green Bay at San Francisco, 6:40 p.m.: John Hussey

Odds (Home teams in Caps)
KANSAS CITY – 7 1/2 vs. Tennessee (52)
SAN FRANCISCO – 7 vs. Green Bay (45)

Injury Report

Tennessee at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m.

Tennessee
QUESTIONABLE: LB Jayon Brown (shoulder), T Jack Conklin (shoulder), LB Rashaan Evans (foot), WR Cody Hollister (ankle), WR Adam Humphries (ankle), CB Adoree’ Jackson (foot), LB David Long (knee)

Kansas City
QUESTIONABLE: DT Chris Jones (calf), RB LeSean McCoy (illness), QB Matt Moore (illness)

Green Bay at San Francisco, 6:40 p.m.

Green Bay
QUESTIONABLE: RB Dan Vitale (knee)

San Francisco: San Francisco reports no injuries

Sunday Weather
Tennessee at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m.: Sunny and 18 degrees
Green Bay at San Francisco: 6:40 p.m.: Cloudy and 53 degrees

Broadcast Information, officials and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel

And there were four.

The NFL’s answer to the NCAA’s Final Four is here. When the 2019 playoffs got underway, there were 12 teams in the group.

The group has now been narrowed to four and when play concludes Sunday night, two teams will be fighting for the right to win a Lombardi Trophy.

As we’ve said before, we’ll say again.

You win, you move on.

You lose, your next game is next September.

The two winners? They’ll get a week off to prepare and have microphones in their faces, answering the same questions over and over and over again. It’s the nature of the beast and for the other teams that aren’t in the post-season party, they will look at their seasons and wonder what they could have done to be in that spot.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND

NEW FACES ON CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND: The NFL will have a new Super Bowl Champion for a 15th consecutive season as four teams vie to secure their place in Super Bowl LIV. In the AFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax, Tennessee (11-7) takes on Kansas City (13-4), while Green Bay (14-3) travels west to Levi’s Stadium to take on San Francisco (14-3) in the NFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax.

Of the teams appearing on Championship Sunday, three teams – Green Bay, San Francisco and Tennessee – missed the postseason in 2018, marking the sixth time that at least three teams have advanced to the Championship games after failing to make the postseason the previous year since the NFL instituted the 12-team playoff format in 1990 and the second time in the past three seasons.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: With a 28-12 victory over the number 1 seed Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, Tennessee (11-7) became the sixth number 6 seed to advance to a Conference Championship since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990 and first since the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets in 2010.

With a win over Kansas City on Sunday, Tennessee would join the 2010 GREEN BAY PACKERS and the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers as the only number 6 seeds to appear in the Super Bowl since 1990 when the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format. Both the Packers and Steelers would go on to win the Super Bowl in those seasons.

The No. 6 seeds to reach the Super Bowl since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990:

SEASON – TEAM (CONFERENCE; ADVANCED TO)
2010 – Green Bay (NFC; Won Super Bowl XLV)
2005 – Pittsburgh (AFC; Won Super Bowl XL)
2019 – Tennessee (AFC; ??)

Additionally, Tennessee could also join the 2010 Green Bay Packers and 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers as the only teams to defeat each of the top three seeds in their conference in a single postseason since 1990.

KING HENRY CONTINUES HIS REIGN: Tennessee running back Derrick Henry rushed for a postseason franchise-record 195 yards in the Titans’ Divisional Playoff win last week. After rushing for 182 yards and a touchdown on Wild Card Weekend against New England, Henry became the first player with at least 180 rushing yards in consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

With at least 150 rushing yards on Sunday, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Davis (1998-99) as the only players with at least 150 rushing yards in three consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

With at least 123 rushing yards on Sunday against Kansas City, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famers John Riggins (610 rushing yards in 1982) and Terrell Davis (581 in 1997) as the only players with at least 500 rushing yards in a single postseason in NFL history.

The players with the most rushing yards in a single postseason in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS)
John Riggins, Washington (1982 – 610)(HOF)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1997 – 581)(HOF)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1998 – 468)(HOF)
Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders (1983 – 466)(HOF)
Eddie George, Tennessee (1999 – 449)
Derrick Henry, Tennessee (2019 – 377)*
*Entering Sunday

Henry has 561 rushing yards in four career postseason games. With at least 112 rushing yards on Sunday, he would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Davis (672 yards) for the most rushing yards through a player’s first five career postseason games in NFL history.

Henry led the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards in the regular season in 2019. With a win on Sunday, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Terrell Davis (1998) and Emmitt Smith (1992-93, 1995), as well as Shaun Alexander (2005) as the only single-season rushing leaders to reach the Super Bowl in the same season.

The single-season rushing leaders to reach the Super Bowl in the same season:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS; SUPER BOWL)
Shaun Alexander, Seattle (2005 – 1,880; XL)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1998 – 2,008; XXXIII)(HOF)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1995 – 1,773; XXX)(HOF)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1993 – 1,486; XXVIII)(HOF)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1992 – 1,713; XXVII)(HOF)

AFC GOES THROUGH CHIEFS KINGDOM: Kansas City advanced to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game for the first time in franchise history with a 51-31 win over Houston in the Divisional Playoffs. In the victory, Kansas City became the first team to win a game by at least 20 points after trailing by at least 20 points in the same game in NFL history.

Kansas City’s comeback in the Divisional Playoffs marked the second comeback of at least 16 points in the postseason this year after Houston erased a 16-point deficit in an overtime win over Buffalo on Wild Card Weekend. This marks the second time in which there have been two comebacks of at least 16 points in a single postseason in NFL history (2002).

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the comeback with 321 passing yards and five touchdowns without an interception for a 134.6 passer rating and added 53 yards on the ground, becoming the first player with at least 300 passing yards, five touchdown passes, and 50 rushing yards in a single postseason game in NFL history.

If Mahomes, who has eight touchdown passes in three career postseason games, has at least three touchdown passes on Sunday against Tennessee, he would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (11) for the most touchdown passes through a player’s first four career postseason games in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes in their first four postseason games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAMS (TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (11)(HOF)
Dan Marino, Miami (10)(HOF)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (10)
Alex Smith, San Francisco and Kansas City (10)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (8)*
*In three games

Additionally, with at least four touchdown passes, Mahomes would become the first player with at least four touchdown passes in consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce recorded postseason career-highs in receptions (10), receiving yards (134) and receiving touchdowns (three) last week, becoming the third tight end with at least three touchdown receptions in a single postseason game in the Super Bowl era.

If Kelce, who has three career postseason games with at least 100 receiving yards, has at least 100 receiving yards against Tennessee, he would tie for the most such career postseason games by a tight end in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most career postseason games with at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAMS (GAMES WITH 100+ RECEIVING YARDS)
Vernon Davis, San Francisco (4)
Rob Gronkowski, New England (4)
Keith Jackson, Philadelphia, Miami and Green Bay (4)
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis (3)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City (3)*
Greg Olsen, Chicago and Carolina (3)

HUNTING MORE TITLES IN TITLETOWN: Green Bay advanced to their first Conference Championship since 2016 with a 28-23 victory over Seattle in the Divisional Playoffs. With the victory, Green Bay tied Dallas (35 wins) for the third-most postseason victories in NFL history.

With a win against the 49ers, who rank fifth on the all-time list with 31 postseason wins, on Sunday (6:40 PM ET, FOX), the Packers would tie Pittsburgh (36 wins) for the second-most postseason victories in NFL history.

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

TEAM (WINS, SUPER BOWL WINS
New England (37, 6)
Pittsburgh (36, 6)
Dallas (35, 5)
Green Bay (35, 4)
San Francisco (31, 5)

Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur became the first head coach to reach a Conference Championship in his first season since JIM HARBAUGH led San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game in 2011.

With a win on Sunday, LaFleur would become the sixth rookie head coach to appear in the Super Bowl.

The rookie head coaches to appear in the Super Bowl:

HEAD COACH, TEAM (SEASON – RESULT)
Don McCafferty, Baltimore Colts (1970 – W 16-13, Super Bowl V)
Red Miller, Denver (1977 – L 27-10, Super Bowl XII)
George Seifert, San Francisco (1989 – W 55-10, Super Bowl XXIV)
Bill Callahan, Oakland (2002 – L 48-21, Super Bowl XXXVII)
Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis (2009 – L 31-17, Super Bowl XLIV)
Matt LaFleur, Green Bay (2019 – ??)

With LaFleur (40 years, 66 days old) and San Francisco head coach KYLE SHANAHAN (40 years, 36 days old), Sunday’s NFC Championship Game will be the first Conference Championship Game featuring two head coaches under the age of 41 since 1970.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns without an interception for a 113.7 passer rating last week, marking Rodgers’ sixth consecutive postseason game with at least two touchdown passes.

With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday, Rodgers would tie Pro Football Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw (seven games) and Joe Montana (seven), as well as Drew Brees (seven), for the second-longest streak of postseason games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history. Only Joe Flacco (eight games) had a longer such streak in league history. Additionally, with two touchdown passes, Rodgers would tie Peyton Manning (40) for the fourth-most career postseason touchdown passes in NFL history.

The players with the most career postseason touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Tom Brady, New England (73)
Joe Montana, San Francisco and Kansas City (45)(HOF)
Brett Favre, Green Bay and Minnesota (44)(HOF)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis and Denver (40)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (38)*
*Entering Sunday

(HOF) Hall of Fame

Rodgers, who has 4,700 passing yards in 17 career postseason starts, needs at least 300 passing yards on Sunday to become the sixth player with at least 5,000 career postseason passing yards in NFL history, joining Tom Brady (11,388), Peyton Manning (7,339), Pro Football Hall of Famers Brett Favre (5,855) and Joe Montana (5,772) and Ben Roethlisberger (5,256).

NEW GOLDEN ERA: With a 27-10 win over Minnesota in the Divisional Playoffs, San Francisco became the fifth team since 1990 to advance to a Championship Game after winning four-or-fewer games the previous season, and the second team in three years, joining Jacksonville in 2017.

With a victory on Sunday against Green Bay, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan, whose father – Mike Shanahan – won Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII as head coach of the Denver Broncos, would become the first father-son duo to each appear in a Super Bowl as a head coach in NFL history. In their Divisional Playoff victory, the 49ers defense tallied six team sacks, tied for the second-most in a single postseason game in franchise history.

With at least six sacks on Sunday against Green Bay, the 2019 San Francisco 49ers would join the 1984 San Francisco 49ers as the only teams with at least six sacks in two consecutive postseason games in the Super Bowl era. 49ers rookie defensive lineman Nick Bosa recorded two sacks in his postseason debut last week. With at least two sacks on Sunday, Bosa would join Lamarr Woodley as the only players with at least two sacks in each of their first two postseason games since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. Bosa would also become the first rookie to accomplish the feat since 1982.

As is the case for the playoffs and the Super Bowl, this weekend’s games are “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

Championship Sunday begins with the AFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax, between Tennessee (11-7) and Kansas City (13-4), followed by the NFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax, featuring Green Bay (14-3) and San Francisco (14-3). For the 15th consecutive season, there will be a new Super Bowl champion.

Three of the four remaining teams – Green Bay, San Francisco and Tennessee – are making a Championship game appearance after missing the playoffs last season. This marks the sixth time that at least three teams have advanced to the Championship games after failing to make the postseason the previous year since the NFL instituted the 12-team playoff format in 1990 and the second time in the past three seasons. Additionally, San Francisco is the fifth team since 1990 to advance to a Championship Game after winning four-or-fewer games the previous season and the second in three years, joining Jacksonville in 2017.

In the NFC, this marks the third consecutive year in which the Championship Game features the conference’s top-two seeds. The AFC, meanwhile, sees the number six seed Titans traveling to the two-seeded Chiefs. The Titans are the first six seed to reach the Conference Championship since the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers in 2010. The Chiefs join New England (2011-12, 2016-17) as the only teams to host the AFC Championship in consecutive seasons since 2000.

Each game features a quarterback making his first career appearance in a Conference Championship, as both Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill and San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo take center stage for the first time on Sunday. Tannehill led the NFL with a 117.5 passer rating in 2019, the fourth-highest single-season mark in NFL history among qualified passers. Garoppolo has compiled a 22-5 record, including postseason, as a starting quarterback in his career.

Both Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers are making a return to Championship Sunday as starting quarterbacks. After leading the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game last season, Mahomes will become the eighth quarterback to start two Championship games in his first three seasons since 1970. Rodgers, meanwhile, makes his fourth Championship Game appearance, the third-most among active quarterbacks.

Each contest is a rematch of a memorable 2019 regular-season game. In Week 10, Tennessee defeated Kansas City in Nashville, 35-32, as the two teams combined for over 900 yards of total offense. The game featured five lead changes and the Titans overcame a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Chiefs, thanks to Tannehill’s touchdown pass in the final minute and a blocked potential game-tying Kansas City field goal as time expired. In their Week 12 meeting at Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco defeated Green Bay, 37-8, on Sunday Night Football, as the 49ers’ defense held the Packers to their lowest point total of the season. For the winners in the first meeting, it’s a chance to prove that it was not a fluke or luck; for the losers, it’s revenge.

Last week was a pretty good week, going 3-1 and for the season 146-118. With that, here are this weekend’s championship picks.

AFC Championship: Tennessee (9-7, 2nd Wild Card, 6th seed) at Kansas City (12-4, AFC West champion, 2nd seed), 3:05 p.m. on CBS. They met in week 10 in the Music City. They meet again in the Show-Me State and this time, a trip to Miami’s on the line. Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes hosts Tennesee and Ryan Tannehill for the AFC Championship.

Tennessee first shocked the football world by beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Foxboro in the AFC Wild Card round, then proceeded to shock the football world again by taking Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens to task last Saturday evening in Charm City, taking a 28-12 AFC Divisional Round win at M&T Bank Stadium.

Holding the number-one seeded Ravens to a pair of Jeff Tucker field goals in the first half, Tennessee took a 14-6 lead with them to the break, proceeding to score 14 third-quarter points unchallenged to seal the Ravens’ fate before Jackson would finally get his team into the end zone, connecting with TE Hayden Hurst on a 15-yard TD toss early in the fourth quarter.

In the contest that featured five Heisman winners, Tennessee’s Derrek Henry and Jackson were in Heisman form, as Henry rushed for 195 yards and had a TD pass, while Jackson tallied 143 in the Saturday night contest; Tennesee would out-rush Baltmore 217-185 and Jackson threw for 365 yards with the fourth quarter TD (Jackson was sacked four time and picked off twice), while Tannehill threw for 88 and a pair of TDs. The Titans were 7 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:54, while the Ravens actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 32:06, going 11 of 18 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In a comeback that would have made Lazarus jealous, Kansas City rallied from 24 points down in the first half, then proceeded to score 41 points unchallenged to take the 51-31 win over Houston in the AFC Divisional Round game at Arrowhead. The Chiefs trailed 24-0 with 9:55 left before the half before the Chiefs went to work, denting the scoreboard when Mahomes and RB Damien Willams hooked up on a 17-yard TD toss. Mahomes and TE Travis Kelce would then connect on three TD passes in the half (a pair of 5-yard tosses and one from 6 yards) to take the lead for keeps. Williams would then add a pair of rushing TDs in the third quarter to all but ice the contest away, with a Mahomes to TE Blake Bell and a Harrison Butker field goal to close the scoring out.

Kansas City out-rushed Houston (the fourth seed in the AFC playoffs) 118-95 and Mahomes threw for 321 yards with the five TDs without a sack, while Houston’s DeSean Watson threw for 388 yards with four TDs (connecting with TE Darren Fells on one of the tosses) and was sacked four times (neither Mahomes or Watson threw an interception). Kansas City was 2 of 8 on third down tries at Arrowhead, keeping the ball for 25:25, while the Texans were rulers of the clock, keeping the pigskin for 34:35, while going 5 of 15 on third down, 1 for 5 on fourth down.

The two clubs meet in Nashville in week 10 and the Titans held off a late Chiefs rally in that contest to come away 35-32 winners at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee and Kansas City went into the intermission tied at 13-13 before the Chiefs took a 32-27 lead when Butker connected on a 39-yard field goal with 3:14 left in the contest.

Tennessee did not waste a lot of time on their drive to reclaim the lead, getting the ball back with 81 seconds after a Chiefs’ field goal try failed, using 4 plays, 61 yards and 58 seconds to reclaim the lead when WR Adam Humphries and Tannehill connected on a 23-yard TD toss. Tannehill then took matters into his own feet when he scored on the two-point conversion.

The Chiefs were not going away and got the ball back with 23 seconds left in the contest and made their way down the field, getting as close as Tennessee’s 34-yard and stayed there after Mahomes threw an incompletion, setting the Chiefs up for what they hoped would be the score that would have sent the contest into overtime.

Kansas City fans would get their hearts broken as Kalu broke through the line, blocked the kick and ended the Chiefs threat. Henry led all rushers with 188 yards and a pair of TDs as the Titans out-rushed Kansas City 225-97 and Mahomes threw for 446 and three TDs (connecting with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce on two of the passes), while Tannehill threw for 181 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) to go with his two-point try (neither threw an interception; Mahomes was sacked twice, while Tannehill was sacked four times). Kansas City was 7 of 14 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:51, including the final 23 seconds of the game, while the Titans, keeping the ball for 22:09, went 2 of 8 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In the week 10 contest in the Music City, the Chiefs were favored by 3 1/2 and the Titans would win by 2. The two clubs did manage to cover the 48 1/2 over/under by tallying 67 points. This time, the Chiefs are favored again, this time by 7 1/2 with a 52 over/under. They’ve met only three times in the post-season and the Chiefs have prevailed in two of the contests, winning 28-20 in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers in the AFC Wild Card Round. Tennessee’s lone win in the series came in 2017 at Arrowhead by a final of 22-21 in the AFC wild Card round.

The winner will be going to Miami in two weeks. The loser will be second-guessed from the end of the game until the start of the 2020 season. Titans fans, it was fun while it lasted. The carriage is about to turn back into a pumpkin and the horsemen go back to being white mice. Tennessee makes it closer than 7 1/2 but the Chiefs prevail and return to the Super Bowl as AFC champs.

NFC Championship: Green Bay (13-3, NFC North champion, 2nd seed) at San Francisco (13-3, NFC West champion, 1st seed), 6:40 p.m. on FOX. Championshsip weekend concludes in wine country as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers make their way to Santa Clara to square off against Jimmy Garroppolo and the San Francisco 49ers at Levis Stadium Sunday afternoon. Both teams were winners at home to advance to the championship round.

Green Bay held off a late Seattle rally at Lambeau Field last Sunday afternoon as the Packers prevailed 28-23. The Packers led 21-3 at the intermission in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst before Seattle rallied in the second half, outscoring Green Bay 20-7 in the final 30 minutes of play, pulling to within 5 with 9:33 left in the contest when Marshawn Lynch scored from a yard out.

Seattle out-rushed Green Bay 110-109 and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson leading all rushers with 64 yards, while Packers RB Aaron Jones tallied 62 yards with a pair of rushing TDs (Lynch had a pair of rushing TDs for Seattle). Rodgers threw for 243 yards, connecting with WR DeVonte Adams (eight catches for 160 yards) twice, while Wilson threw for 277 yards and a TD to WR Tyler Lockett (Rodgers was sacked twice, Wilson was sacked five times and neither threw an interception). Green Bay was 9 of 14 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 29:29, while Seattle ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:31, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

San Francisco erased a 7-7 tie at the end of the first quarter against Minnesota last Saturday afternoon at Levis Stadium, coming away 27-10 Divisional Round winners. 49ers RB Tevin Coleman gave his team the lead for keeps with 7:10 left before the intermission before Vikings K Dan Bailey pulled Minnesota to within 4 with 39 seconds left, booting a 39-yard field goal. Coleman would add a second rushing TD in the third quarter and 49ers K Robbie Gould would add to the home team’s scoring as they tallied their final 13 points of the game unchallenged to take control of the contest.

Coleman rushed for 105 yards on 22 carries as San Francisco out-rushed Minnesota 186-21 and Garoppolo threw for 131 yards and a TD to WR Kendrick Bourne, while Kirk Cousins threw for 172 yards and a TD toss to Stefon Diggs (Cousins was sacked six times, Garoppolo was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). San Francisco went 5 of 12 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 38:27, while the Vikings, who kept the ball for 21:33, went 2 of 12 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in Santa Clara in week 12 and the 49ers prevailed 38-7 at Levis’ Stadium. San Francisco scored 23 first-half points unchallenged to lead 23-0 at the break. The Packers would score their only points in the contest when Rodgers and DeVante Adams connected on a 2-yard TD pass and a two-point conversion late in the third quarter before San Francisco floored the gas in the half, using a 61-yard TD pass from Garoppolo to TE George Kittle and a 15-yard run by Mostert to seal the win.

While Green Bay out-rushed San Francisco 117-112, Garoppolo threw for 253 yards with a pair of TDs, with Rodgers throwing for 104 yards and a TD (Rodgers was sacked five times, Garoppolo sacked three times, neither threw an interception). Green Bay was a dismal 1 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, as kept the ball for 35:16, while the 49ers held on to the pigskin for 24:44, going 3 of 9 on third down tries.

In the week 12 contest in Santa Clara, the 49ers easily covered the 3-point spread, winning by 31 but Green Bay and San Francisco barely missed the 46 over/under, tallying 45 points. They’ve met seven times in post-season play and Green Bay has won four of the meetings, outscoring San Francisco 188-154. San Francisco has won the last two meetings in the post-season, including a 23-20 win in 2013 at Lambeau in the NFC Wild Card Round; Green Bay’s last playoff win also came at Lambeau in 2001 in the NFC Championship by a final of 25-15. In this meeting in wine country, the 49ers are favored by 7 with the over/under at 45. Both numbers make sense. San Francisco is looking to go back to the Super Bowl, while the Packers are hoping for a return to the big game and perhaps a meeting with Kansas City in a rematch of the very first Super Bowl. GO PACK GO! San Francisco keeps it close but Green Bay prevails in wine country and takes the win.

Black Monday has come and gone. Teams not in the post-season have made changes in the front office and coaching staffs and are preparing for the 2020 NFL Draft. 20 teams are at home, clearing out lockers, getting ready for next season, their dreams of holding the Lombardi Trophy shattered because of injuries, bad decisions on and sometime off the field damaging those hopes. 256 games in the regular season have been played. The regular season is over and in the books and the second season begins this Saturday.

For the 12 teams that are left standing, either as champions of their divisions or winners of that coveted Wild Card spot, it’s their second season. It’s a chance to hit the reset button and extend their season, even if it means by one game. There’s a SMALL plot twist in all of this.

You win this week, you’re playing next week.

You lose…. you’re clearing out your locker and your next game is September of 2020.

The NFL’s 100th season has reached the playoffs and the playoff field is as strong as it’s ever been. Six playoff teams – Baltimore (14-2), Kansas City (12-4) and New England (12-4) from the AFC and San Francisco (13-3), Green Bay (13-3) and New Orleans (13-3) from the NFC – won at least 12 regular-season games, tied for the most such teams in a single postseason in NFL history.

The seasons with the most playoff teams that won 12-or-more regular-season games:

SEASON – TEAMS
2019 – 6
2011 – 6
2003 – 6
Many – 5

The combined winning percentage (.708, 136-56) of this season’s field is the highest in 14 years, since it was .719 (138-54) in 2005.

The playoffs continue with the Divisional round on January 11-12, the Conference Championship Games on January 19 and Super Bowl LIV on February 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on FOX at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

It’s football’s version of the children’s game of “Musicial Chairs.” As long as there’s a chair and the music is playing, everyone has a chance. It’s when the music stops and everyone scrambles for a chair that there’s chaos. One by one you take a chair out and start over until there’s a winner. It’s finality but it makes the NFL worth watching, even if your team is not in the mix.

New teams making the playoffs, terrific turnarounds, consistent teams excelling again, records falling and young players making their mark. The 2019 season had it all.

Youth and success at the quarterback position highlighted the 2019 regular season as 208 games featured at least one starting quarterback under the age of 27, the most in a single season in NFL history. In total, quarterbacks under the age of 27 started 287 games and recorded 144 wins in those starts this season, both the highest single-season totals since 1970. Three quarterbacks under the age of 25 – Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson (2018 NFL Draft), Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (2017 NFL Draft) and Houston’s DeShaun Watson (2017 NFL Draft) – have led their respective teams to division titles in each of the past two seasons.

Competitiveness was a constant theme throughout the regular season as 68 percent of games (174 of 256) were within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter, tied for the fifth-most such games in a single season in NFL history, while 52.3 percent of games (134 of 256) were decided by eight-or-fewer points, also tied for the fifth-most such games in single season in league annals. Additionally, 57 games saw a team come back to win or tie after trailing in the fourth quarter.

Week 17 came down to the wire, as two playoff spots and two divisions titles – the NFC East and NFC West – were decided on the final day of the season. Sunday’s excitement was due in part to having 16 divisional games played on the season’s final day, a tradition instituted in 2010.

Five of the 12 playoff teams are new to the postseason in 2019: Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco and Tennessee and since 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. Both Green Bay (NFC North) and San Francisco (NFC West) won their division after missing the postseason in 2018 and at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 16 of the past 17 years.

Teams to win their division a season after missing the postseason since 2003:

SEASON – NEW DIVISION WINNERS AFTER MISSING POSTSEASON THE PREVIOUS SEASON
2019 – Green Bay, San Francisco
2018 – Baltimore, Chicago*, Dallas, Houston*
2017 – Jacksonville*, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, Minnesota, Philadelphia*
2016 – ATLANTA, Dallas*
2015 – Houston, Minnesota, Washington*
2014 – Dallas, Pittsburgh
2013 – Carolina*, Philadelphia*
2012 – Washington*
2011 – Denver*, Houston*, New York Giants, San Francisco
2010 – ATLANTA, Chicago, Kansas City*, Pittsburgh, Seattle
2009 – Cincinnati, Dallas, New England, New Orleans*
2008 – Arizona, Carolina, Miami*, Minnesota
2007 – Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay*
2006 – Baltimore*, New Orleans*, Philadelphia*, San Diego
2005 – Chicago*, Cincinnati, New York Giants, Tampa Bay*
2004 – ATLANTA*, Pittsburgh, San Diego*
2003 – Baltimore, Carolina*, Kansas City*, New England, St. Louis Rams
*Worst to first

OFFENSIVE TRENDS: The 2019 season will go down as one of the most prolific offensive seasons in league history.

Teams combined to score 1,332 total touchdowns, the third-most in a single season in NFL history, while the 11,680 total points were tied for the third-most in league annals.

MOST TOUCHDOWNS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOUCHDOWNS
2018 – 1,371
2013 – 1,338
2019 – 1,332
2015 – 1,318

MOST TOTAL POINTS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOTAL POINTS
2013 – 11,985
2018 – 11,952
2019 – 11,680
2015 – 11,680

With five teams – Baltimore (33.2 points per game), San Francisco (29.9), New Orleans (28.6), Tampa Bay (28.6) and Kansas City (28.2) – averaging at least 28 points per game, the 2019 season joined 2014 (six teams) as the only seasons with at least five teams averaging at least 28 points per game since 1970.

The Ravens, who scored at least 40 points in five different games this season, led the NFL with 3,296 rushing yards and surpassed the 1978 New England Patriots (3,165) for the most rushing yards by a team in a single season in NFL history.

PROLIFIC PASSERS: In 2019, league-wide passing numbers continued to trend at a historic pace, as the marks for passer rating (90.4 – second), completion percentage (63.5 percent – second), total completions (11,331 – fourth) and touchdown passes (797 – fifth) were all ranked in the top five for highest in a single season in NFL history.

SEASON – RATING
2018 – 92.9
2019 – 90.4
2015 – 90.2
2016 – 89.3
2014 – 88.9

SEASON – COMPLETION PCT.
2018 – 64.9
2019 – 63.5
2016 – 63.0
2015 – 63.0
2014 – 62.6

SEASON – COMPLETIONS
2015 – 11,527
2016 – 11,526
2018 – 11,462
2019 – 11,331
2014 – 11,200

SEASON – TD PASSES
2018 – 847
2015 – 842
2014 – 807
2013 – 804
2019 – 797

Eleven quarterbacks passed for at least 4,000 yards in 2019, including four with at least 4,500 passing yards: Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston (5,109), Dallas’ Dak Prescott (4,902), the Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff (4,638) and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers (4,615).

Twelve quarterbacks threw at least 25 touchdown passes this season, including four with at least 30 touchdown passes: Baltimore’s LAMAR JACKSON (36), Winston (33), Seattle’s Russell Wilson (31) and Prescott (30).

Three rookie quarterbacks – New York Giants’ Daniel Jones, Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew and Arizona’s Kyler Murray – each passed for at least 20 touchdowns this season, marking the second season in league annals in which at least three rookie quarterbacks each passed for at least 20 touchdowns (2012 – Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson).

Nine quarterbacks had a passer rating of 100 or higher in 2019, including three with a passer rating of at least 110: Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill (117.5), New Orleans’ Drew Brees (116.3) and Jackson (113.3). The nine quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher were tied with the 2018 season for the most in a single season in NFL history.

The seasons with the most quarterbacks having a passer rating of 100 or higher in NFL history:

SEASON – QUARTERBACKS WITH 100+ PASSER RATING
2019 – 9
2018 – 9
2013 – 7

ALL-PURPOSE BACKS: Sixteen players rushed for at least 1,000 yards, including four players with at least 1,300 rushing yards, this season: Tennessee’s Derrick Henry (1,540), Cleveland’s Nick Chubb (1,494), Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey (1,387) and Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott (1,357).

Seven players recorded at least 10 rushing touchdowns in 2019: Henry (16), Green Bay’s Aaron Jones (16), McCaffrey (15), Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook (13), Elliott (12), the Los Angeles Rams’ Todd Gurley (12) and Baltimore’s Mark Ingram (10).

Twenty-six running backs totaled at least 1,000 scrimmage yards, including eight with at least 1,500 scrimmage yards, this season: McCaffrey (2,392), Elliott (1,777), Chubb (1,772), Henry (1,746), Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette (1,674), Cook (1,654), Jones (1,558) and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Austin Ekeler (1,550).

Three running backs – Jones (19 scrimmage touchdowns), McCaffrey (19) and Henry (18) – each recorded at least 18 scrimmage touchdowns this season.

2019 was the third season in NFL history with three players totaling at least 18 scrimmage touchdowns each, joining 2005 (Shaun Alexander, Larry Johnson and Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson) and 1962 (Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Jim Taylor and Abner Haynes).

RIDICULOUS RECEIVERS: Twenty-nine players had at least 1,000 receiving yards, including five with at least 1,200 receiving yards this season: New Orleans’ Michael Thomas (1,725), Atlanta’s Julio Jones (1,394), Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin (1,333), Kansas City’s Travis Kelce (1,229) and Miami’s Devante Parker (1,202).

Five players had at least 100 receptions in 2019: Thomas (single-season NFL record 149), Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey (116), the Los Angeles Chargers’ Keenan Allen (104), Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins (104) and New England’s Julian Edleman (100).

Three players had at least 10 touchdown catches this season: Detroit’s Kenny Golladay (11), Baltimore’s Mark Andrews (10) and the Los Angeles Rams’ Cooper Kupp (10).

Five rookies recorded at least seven touchdown receptions in 2019: Tennessee’s A.J. Brown (eight), the New York Giants’ Darius Slayton (eight), Baltimore’s Marquise Brown (seven), Washington’s Terry McLaurin (seven) and Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf (seven). In total, rookies combined for 110 touchdown receptions in 2019 and surpassed 2014 (109 touchdown catches) for the most combined touchdown receptions by rookies in a single season since 1970.

DOMINANT DEFENDERS: Eighteen players recorded at least 10 sacks, including five with at least 14 sacks, in 2019: Tampa Bay’s Shaquil Barrett (19.5), Arizona’s Chandler Jones (19), New Orleans’ Cameron Jordan (15.5), Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter (14.5) and Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt (14.5).

Five players registered at least five forced fumbles this season: Jones (eight), Watt (eight), Barrett (six), Washington’s Ryan Anderson (five) and Chicago’s Khalil Mack (five). 2019 was the first season since 2002 (Dwight Freeeney and Leonard Little) that two players had at least eight forced fumbles in the same season.

Ten players recorded at least five interceptions, including three with six interceptions, this season: New England’s Stephon Gilmore (six), Minnesota’s Anthony Harris (six) and Buffalo’s Tre’Davious White (six).

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 17: Five of the 12 teams to qualify for the playoffs are new to the postseason in 2019, having missed the playoffs a year ago: Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco and Tennessee.

Since 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

Baltimore won the AFC North and finished as the AFC’s number 1 seed and the Ravens will have home-field advantage through the AFC playoffs. Kansas City won the AFC West, are the number 2 seed and the Chiefs clinched a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs. New England won the AFC East. The Patriots are the number 3 seed and will host number 6 seed Tennessee in the Wild Card round. The Titans clinched a playoff berth for the second time in the past three seasons. Houston won the AFC South, are the number 4 seed and the Texans will host number 5 seed Buffalo in the Wild Card round. The Bills clinched a playoff berth for the second time in the past three seasons.

San Francisco defeated Seattle and became the number 1 seed and have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Green Bay won the NFC North and clinched the numbere 2 seed and a bye in the first round of the NFC playoffs. New Orleans won the NFC South and became the number 3 seed in the post-season tournament. They will face number 6 seed Minnesota in New Orleans. Philadelphia won the NFC East for the second time in the past three seasons, are the number 4 seed and the Eagles will host either Seattle in the NFC Wild Card round.

Three rookie quarterbacks – New York Giants’ Daniel Jones, Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew and Arizona’s Kyler Murray – each passed for at least 20 touchdowns this season, marking the second season in league annals in which at least three rookie quarterbacks each passed for at least 20 touchdowns (2012 – Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson).

Jones led all rookie quarterbacks with 24 touchdown passes in 2019, the fourth-most by a rookie quarterback in a single season in NFL history. Only Baker Mayfield (27 in 2018), Peyton Manning (26 in 1998) and Russell Wilson (26 in 2012) had more.

Murray passed for 3,722 yards and rushed for 544 yards this season and joined Cam Newton (2011) as the only rookies with at least 3,500 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in NFL history.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 253 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 123.3 rating in the Saints’ 42-10 win at Carolina. Brees has 93 career games with at least three touchdown passes, tied with Peyton Manning (93) for the most in NFL history. Brees recorded his fourth consecutive game with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions and joined Russell Wilson (five games in 2015), Tom Brady (four in 2007) and Aaron Rodgers (four in 2014) as the only players with at least four consecutive games of at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in a single season in league annals.

In 2019, Brees recorded a 74.3 completion percentage (281 of 378), the second-highest single-season completion percentage in NFL history, trailing only the mark he set in 2018 (74.4 percent).

Carolina running back Christian McCAaffery recorded seven receptions and 98 scrimmage yards (72 receiving, 26 rushing) with a rushing touchdown on Sunday. McCaffrey led the NFL with 2,392 scrimmage yards this season, the third-most scrimmage yards in a single season in NFL history, trailing only Chris Johnson (2,509 in 2009) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (2,429 in 1999).

McCaffrey totaled 1,387 rushing yards and 1,005 receiving yards in 2019 and joined Roger Craig (1985) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (1999) as the only players with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season in league annals. McCaffrey has 303 receptions since entering the NFL in 2017 and joined Michael Thomas (321 receptions) as the only players with at least 300 receptions in their first three seasons in NFL history.

Tennessee rookie wide receiver A.J. Brown had a 51-yard touchdown reception in the Titans’ Week 17 win. Brown has four touchdown catches of at least 50 yards in 2019 and joined Isaac Curtis (five in 1973), Willie Gault (four in 1983) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (five in 1998) as rookies with at least four touchdown receptions of 50-or-more yards since 1970.

Kansas City rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman recorded a 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Chiefs’ Week 17 win. Hardman, who also had an 83-yard touchdown reception in 2019, is the fourth player and first rookie in NFL history with a kick return touchdown of at least 100 yards and touchdown reception of at least 80 yards in the same season in NFL history.

Detroit rookie quarterback David Blough, New England linebacker Elandon Roberts and Atlanta tackle Ty Sambrailo each recorded touchdown receptions in Week 17. Blough, who caught a 19-yard touchdown pass against Green Bay, joined Marcus Mariota (December 13, 2015) as the only rookie quarterbacks to register a touchdown reception since 1970.

Roberts caught a 38-yard touchdown pass against Miami, the longest touchdown reception by a linebacker since 1970.

Sambrailo recorded a 35-yard touchdown reception against Tampa Bay, the longest touchdown reception by an offensive lineman since 1970.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Batlimore led the NFL with 3,296 rushing yards in 2019 and surpassed the 1978 New England Patriots (3,165) for the most rushing yards by a team in a single season in NFL history.

New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for two touchdowns with one interception in Week 17 against Miami. Brady has 541 career touchdown passes and surpassed Peyton Manning (539) for the second-most touchdown passes in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (547) has more.

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards in 2019 and became the eighth different quarterback to throw for at least 5,000 yards in a single season in league annals.

Denver running back Phillip Lindsay had 1,011 rushing yards in 2019 and became the first undrafted player to rush for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons since 1967.

Atlanta linebacker Deion Jones registered a game-winning 27-yard interception return for a touchdown on the first play of overtime in the Falcons’ 28-22 win at Tampa Bay. Jones is the seventh player with a game-winning interception return for a touchdown in overtime since 2002 and the first since Robert Alford (October 11, 2015).

Buccaneers rookie linebacker Devin White recorded a 91-yard fumble return for a touchdown in Week 17. White, who also had a 14-yard fumble return for a touchdown in Week 13, is the first rookie to return two opponent fumble recoveries for a touchdown in a single season since 1970.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WILD CARD WEEKEND

NEW YEAR, NEW TEAMS: This season, five teams qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2018 – Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco and Tennessee – three of which will be active on Wild Card Weekend (Buffalo at Houston, Saturday at 4:35 p.m. on ESPN/ABC; Tennessee at New England, Saturday at 8:15 p.m. on CBS and Minnesota at New Orleans, Sunday at 1:05 p.m. on FOX).

Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

POSTSEASON DEBUTS: Three quarterbacks – Buffalo’s JOSH ALLEN, Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz and Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill – are expected to make their first-career postseason starts on Wild Card Weekend.

The players with the most passing yards in their first-career postseason start:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – ROUND, PASSING YARDS)
Kelly Holcomb, Cleveland (2002 – AFC Wild Card, 429)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (2009 – NFC Wild Card, 423)
Randall Cunningham, Philadelphia (1988 – NFC Divisional, 407)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (1999 – NFC Divisional, 391) (HOF)
Neil Lomax, St. Louis Cardinals (1982 – NFC Wild Card – 385)

YOUNG QUARTERBACKS KICK OFF WILD CARD WEEKEND: Saturday afternoon’s game featuring Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen (23 years, 228 days old) and Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson (24 years, 112 days old) marks the sixth postseason matchup between two quarterbacks under the age of 25 in the Super Bowl era.

In four of the five such matchups in the Super Bowl era, the quarterback of the home team has won.

Postseason matchups between starting quarterbacks under the age of 25 in the Super Bowl era:

SEASON – ROUND (HOME TEAM, QUARTERBACK; VISITOR, QUARTERBACK)(RESULT)
1985 – AFC Divisional (Miami, Dan Marino; Cleveland, Bernie Kozar)(Miami 24, Cleveland 21)(HOF)
2000 – NFC Wild Card (Philadelphia, Donovan McNabb; Tampa Bay, Shaun King)(Philadelphia 21, Tampa Bay 3)
2000 – NFC Divisional (Minnesota, Daunte Culpepper; New Orleans, Aaron Brooks)(Minnesota 34, New Orleans 16)
2011 – AFC Wild Card (Houston, T.J. Yates; Cincinnati, Andy Dalton)(Houston 31, Cincinnati 10)
2012 – NFC Wild Card (Washington, Robert Griffin III; Seattle, Russell Wilson)(Seattle 24, Washington 14)

CLASH OF THE TITANS: Saturday night’s matchup between Tennessee (9-7) and AFC East Champion New England (12-4) pairs the league’s top-rated quarterback Ryan Tannehill (117.5 passer rating) and the league’s leading rusher Derrick Henry (1,540 rushing yards), against a Patriots defense that led the NFL in total defense (275.9 yards per game) and scoring defense (14.1 points against per game) in 2019.

Tennessee is the fourth team since 1970 to have the league’s top-rated quarterback and league-leading rusher in the same season.

New England is the first team to allow an average of 15 or fewer points per game since the 2013 Seattle Seahawks (14.4). Seattle would go on to win Super Bowl XLVIII. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who has led New England to 11 consecutive division titles and six overall Super Bowl championships, is the postseason’s all-time leader in games played (40), passing yards (11,179) and touchdown passes (73).

New England running back Sony Michel led the NFL with six rushing touchdowns in the 2018 postseason – tied for the second-most in a single postseason in league history. If Michel, who had at least one rushing touchdown in each of his first three career postseason games, has a rushing touchdown against Tennessee, he would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Terrell Davis and Curtis Martin, as well as Arian Foster, as the only players with a rushing touchdown in each of their first four career postseason games in NFL history.

New England wide receiver Julian Edelman has 115 receptions for 1,412 receiving yards in 18 career postseason games – both the second-most in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (151 receptions, 2,245 receiving yards) has more.
In Super Bowl LIII, Edelman had 10 receptions for 141 receiving yards and was named the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player, marking his sixth-career postseason game with at least 100 receiving yards.

With at least 100 receiving yards against Tennessee, Edelman would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin (six games) for the second-most career postseason games with at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history.

The players with the most career postseason games with at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (8) (HOF)
Julian Edelman, New England (6)
Michael Irvin, Dallas (6) (HOF)

EASY BREESY: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees will make his 16th career postseason start on Sunday against Minnesota. Brees currently ranks in the top five in both postseason completion percentage and passer rating (minimum of 150 attempts) in league history.

The quarterbacks with the highest career postseason passer rating (min. 150 attempts):

QUARTERBACK (COMPLETIONS/ATTEMPTS – YARDS; TD/INTERCEPTIONS, RATING)
Bart Starr (130/213 – 1,753; 15/3, 104.8)(HOF)
Kurt Warner (307/462 – 3,952; 31/14, 102.8)(HOF)
Matt Ryan (237/351 – 2,672; 20/7, 100.8)
Drew Brees (408/615 – 4,759; 33/11, 100.0)*
Aaron Rodgers (378/595 – 4,457; 36/10, 99.4)*
*Active in 2019 playoffs

The quarterbacks with the highest career postseason completion percentage (min. 150 attempts):

QUARTERBACK (COMPLETIONS/ATTEMPTS, PCT.)
Nick Foles (143/210, 68.1)
Matt Ryan (237/351, 67.5)
Kurt Warner (307/462, 66.5)(HOF)
Drew Brees (408/615, 66.3)*
Ken Anderson (110/166, 66.3)

*Active in 2019 playoffs

Additionally, Brees has 4,759 career postseason passing yards. With at least 241 passing yards on Sunday, he would become the sixth player in NFL history with at least 5,000 career postseason passing yards, joining Tom Brady (11,179), Peyton Manning (7,339), Pro Football Hall of Famers Brett Farve (5,855) and Joe Montana (5,772), as well as Ben Roethlisberger (5,256).

BATTLE OF THE BIRDS: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 4,110 passing yards this season and joined Peyton Manning and Cam Newton as the only players with at least 3,000 passing yards in each of their first eight seasons in NFL history. Wilson also became the first quarterback in league history to finish with a winning record in each of his first eight seasons.

Wilson has 94 career wins (including postseason) since entering the NFL in 2012, the second-most in a player’s first eight seasons in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most career wins, including postseason, in their first eight seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS; WINS)
Tom Brady, New England (2000-07; 100)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2012-19; 94)*
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (2004-11; 90)
*In eighth season

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch has recorded at least 100 rushing yards in six of his 11 career postseason appearances. With at least 100 rushing yards against Philadelphia, Lynch would tie Pro Football Hall of Famers Terrell Davis (seven games) and Emmitt Smith (seven games) for the most career postseason games with at least 100 rushing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most career postseason games with at least 100 rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – GAMES WITH 100+ RUSHING YARDS
Terrell Davis – 7 (HOF)
Emmitt Smith – 7 (HOF)
Marshawn Lynch – 6*
John Riggins – 6 (HOF)
Thurman Thomas – 6 (HOF)
(HOF)- Hall of Fame
*Entering postseason

Since this is the post-season, we’re going to make every post-season contest (including the Super Bowl) “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

As good as things were in week 16 (12-4), we kinda slipped in week 17, going 7-9 and for the season, 141-115. Wild Card weekend gets underway in the Lone Star State as Houston welcomes the return of DL J.J. Watt as they host the Buffalo Bills and concludes in the City of Brotherly Love as Philadelphia and Seattle meet in a week 12 rematch at Lincoln Financial Field. Here are the Saturday and Sunday picks for Wild Card Weekend.

Buffalo (10-6, 1st Wild Card) at Houston (10-6, AFC South champion), 4:35 p.m. Saturday on ESPN, with simulcast on ABC. The AFC gets center stage all to themselves as a pair of 10-6 teams meet in the Lone Star State Saturday afternoon. Houston, winners of the AFC South, host the Buffalo Bills, who circled their wagons and won the 1st AFC Wild Card spot, meet at NRG Stadium. Both clubs enter the contest with home losses under their belts last Sunday.

The Bills, seeking their first playoff win since 1995, watched Sam Darnold and the New York Jets erase a 3-3 tie at the end of the third quarter in Orchard Park, taking a 13-6 loss to their AFC East rival in upstate New York. Buffalo trailed 3-0 at the intermission as Jets K Steve Ficken opened the scoring in the contest with a 30-yard field goal (the two clubs played a scoreless first quarter). The Bills’ Stephen Hauschka would even things up in the third quarter, connecting on a 28-yard field goal with 89 seconds left in the third. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would reclaim the lead for keeps early in the fourth quarter as Darnold and WR Jamison Crowder connected on a 1-yard TD toss. Ficken would boost GangGreen’s lead to 10 with 2:05 left before Hauscka connected on a 29-yard field goal with 47 seconds left in the contest. Buffalo then went for the onside kick, which the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would recover and the vistors would run the clock out to take the win.

Neither club would breach the 100-yard barrier in upstate New York but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would out-rush Buffalo 86-73 with LeVeon Bell leading the way with 41 yards in the contest. Darnold threw for 199 yards with the TD in the third quarter (he was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Josh Allen threw for 5 yards before backup QB Matt Barkley took over, throwing for 232 yards with a sack and a pair of interceptions. Buffalo went 4 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 28:39, while GangGreen ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:21, while going 5 of 14 on third down.

Houston found themselves on the short end of a 35-14 loss against Tennessee in the Lone Star State. The Titans, needing to win to get into the post-season party, broke a 7-7 after the first quarter and proceeded take a 14-7 lead into the intermission on a 1-yard TD toss from Ryan Tannehill to TE MyCole Pruitt with 9:42 left in the half. Titans RB Derrick Henry would give Tennesee a 2-TD lead early in the third on the first of his three TDs in the contest before Texans backup QB A.J. McCarron (taking over over DeShaun Watson) scored from a yard out with 69 seconds left in the quarter to narrow the gap to seven. Henry was not finished, as he would score on a 1-yard run early in the final 15 minutes of play, then put a dagger in the hearts of Texans fans, as he would run 53 yards untouched for his final TD of the afternoon.

Henry led all rushers with 211 yards and the three TDs as Tennessee out-rushed Houston 245-109 with Tannehill throwing for 198 yards with a pair of TDs, no sacks or interceptions, while McCarron threw for 225 yards with four sacks and an interception. Tennessee went 5 of 10 on third down tries and they held the ball for 28:21, while the Texans actually were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39, while going 3 of 12 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

This is the first playoff meeting between the two teams in the history of the franchises and for the Bills, it’s their second trip in the last three seasons, while the Texans will be making their fourth consecutive trip to the post-season party. Houston is favored by 3 with a 42 1/2 over/under. For the Bills, they would like to at least move on to the next round; for the Texans, they have the same goal. The winner advances… the loser is done. Texans cover the 3 at home in the Lone Star State and advance to the Divisional Round.

Tennessee (9-7, 2nd Wild Card) at New England (12-4, AFC East champion), 8:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS. Saturday Wild Card action concludes in Foxboro as Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champions host the Tenneseee Titans at Gillette Stadium. The Titans look to knock off the champs in their building, while the Patriots look to right their ship from last week against Miami.

Breaking a 7-7 tie at the end of the first quarter, Tennesse floored the gas in Houston and came away 35-14 winners in the Lone Star State. The Titans, needing to win to get into the post-season party, broke a 7-7 after the first quarter and proceeded take a 14-7 lead into the intermission on a 1-yard TD toss from Ryan Tannehill to TE MyCole Pruitt with 9:42 left in the half. Titans RB Derrick Henry would give Tennesee a 2-TD lead early in the third on the first of his three TDs in the contest before Texans backup QB A.J. McCarron (taking over over DeShaun Watson) scored from a yard out with 69 seconds left in the quarter to narrow the gap to seven. Henry was not finished, as he would score on a 1-yard run early in the final 15 minutes of play, then put a dagger in the hearts of Texans fans, as he would run 53 yards untouched for his final TD of the afternoon.

Henry led all rushers with 211 yards and the three TDs as Tennessee out-rushed Houston 245-109 with Tannehill throwing for 198 yards with a pair of TDs, no sacks or interceptions, while McCarron threw for 225 yards with four sacks and an interception. Tennessee went 5 of 10 on third down tries and they held the ball for 28:21, while the Texans actually were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39, while going 3 of 12 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

New England lost their chance to have a first-round bye as AFC East rival left Foxboro and Gillette Stadium 27-24 winners in the season finale. The Patriots trailed 17-10 at the intermission before tying things up with 4:26 left in the third when Brady and LB Elandon Roberts connected on a 38-yard TD pass. Miami reclaimed the lead with 8:29 left in the contest on a 32-yard field goal by Jason Sanders to lead by 3 before New England took the lead back, as Brady and RB James White connected on a 13-yard TD pass with 3:53 left in regulation. Miami would respond and reclaim the lead on a 5-yard TD pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to WR Mike Gesicki with 24 seconds left. New England got the ball on their 25-yard line with the 24 seconds left and got as close as their 37-yard line with 2 seconds left when they tried several lateral passes in hope of either scoring a TD or getting a defensive penalty. Neither of those two things came to pass as Miami would hold off their efforts.

New England did manage to out-rush Miami 135-63 with Patriots RB Sony Michel leading the way with 74 yards and a TD; Brady threw for 221 yards and the two TDs (Brady was picked off once and sacked once), while Fitzpatrick threw for 320 yards with a rushing TD of his own in addition to the Gesicki TD (he was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). New England was 3 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:09, while Miami was 5 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:51.

The Titans/Patriots game is the sixth playoff meeting in the history of the NFL where an opposing coach has played for another coach (Titans coach Mike Vrabel played for Bellicheck from 2001 to 2008). They’ve met in the post-season three times and the Patriots lead the series 2-1 and including games that were played in Houston and at Fenway Park, the Patriots have outscored Tennessee 66-59. Their last post-season meeting took place in 2017 in Foxboro and the Patriots came away with the 35-14 win in the Divisonal round, while Tennessee’s lone win in post-season came in 1978, when the team was known as the Oilers and they left Foxboro 31-14 (also in the Divisional round) winners. New England’s favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Tennessee would like nothing more than to knock off New England in their back yard. The Patriots? They have other plans and look to right their ship from the loss in the season finale at home. New England may not cover the 4 1/2 but the Pats get their ducks in a row and move on to the next round.

Minnesota (10-6, 2nd Wild Card) at New Orleans (13-3, NFC South champion), 1:05 p.m. Sunday on FOX. It’s the NFC’s turn to have the stage as Minnesota and New Orleans meet in the NFC’s Wild Card round in the Big Easy. The Saints, the number 3 seed in the post-season, take on the 6th-seeded Vikings, with Minnesota coming off a loss at home to Chicago, while the Saints manhandled Carolina in the Tar Heel State in their regular-season finales.

The Vikings dropped a 21-1 decision to NFC North rival Chicago at US Bank Stadium last Sunday. Minnesota trailed 11-6 at the intermission, then took a 19-18 lead with 4:53 left in the contest on a 34-yard field goal by Dan Bailey before Chicago reclaimed the lead for good with 10 seconds left on a 22-yard field goal by Eddie Pinerio.

Minnesota out-rushed Da Bears 174-158 with Viking RB Mike Boone leading all rushers with 148 yards, while Chicago was led by David Montgomery with 113 yards (both men had a rushing TD in the contest). Sean Mannion, taking over for Kirk Cousins (rest) threw for 126 yards with a pair of interceptions, while Mitchell Trubisky threw for 207 yards and was sacked four times (neither threw a TD pass). Minnesota went 4 of 9 on third down tries in the Twin Cities and held on to the ball for 22:20, while Da Bears kept the pigskin in hibernation for 37:40, going 7 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Saints gave Carolina their eighth loss in a row in Charlotte, coming out of the Tar Heel State 42-10 winners at Bank of America Stadium. Saints running back Alvin Kamara (39 rushing yards) opened the scoring with a pair of first-quarter TDs as the Saints would go on to lead 35-3 at the break. New Orleans out-rushed Carolina 115-41 as Drew Brees threw for 253 yards and three TDs without a sack or interception (he would be replaced by Teddy Bridgewater), while Kyle Allen threw for 295 yards with a sack and an interception. The Saints were 4 of 11 on third down and held on to the pigskin for 35:40, while the Panthers, keeping the pigskin for 24:20, went 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

In post-season play, the Vikings lead the series 3-1 and Minnesota has outscored the Saints 135-81. New Orleans’ lone win in the post-season series came in the Big Easy in 2009 as the Saints needed overtime to win 31-28 in the Superdome. It was their last meeting in the Twin Cities in 2017 that was a classic as the Vikings rallied to win 29-24 in the NFC Divisional playoff.

In that meeting, Minnesota and New Orleans played in a manner that not even Hollywood could have expected, with the plot line turning Minnesota’s way as the Vikings rallied to take the win over Drew Brees and the Saints at US Bank Stadium. The Vikings led 17-0 at the intermission against New Orleans before the Saints’ Michael Thomas ended Minnesota’s bid for a shutout when he and Drew Brees connected on a 14-yard TD pass with 1:18 left in the third quarter. Brees and Thomas would connect again with 13:09 left in the contest when they connected on a 3-yard toss.

After Kyle Horbath gave the Vikings a 20-14 lead with 10:12 left to play, New Orleans took the lead for the first time in the game when rookie RB Alvin Kamara caught a 14 yard TD pass from Brees with 3:01 left to. That lead would not last long, as once again it was Horbath putting the Vikings back on top with a 52-yard field goal with 89 seconds left.

New Orleans was not about to be outdone as they would use an 11-play, 50-yard drive that used 64 seconds of clock and took the lead back when K Wil Lutz connected on a 43-yard field goal with 25 seconds left. Minnesota, without time outs, engineered a drive that almost didn’t see the light of day as Case Keenum and Stefon Diggs opened with a 19-yard pass to their 39-yard line. After two Keenum passes were incomplete, the Vikings needed and got a miracle when Diggs caught Keenum’s desparation pass and took it into the end zone for a 61-yard TD pass as time expired for a walk-off TD to send Minnesota fans home happy and the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game.

Minnesota out-rushed New Orleans 95-80 and Keenum threw for 318 yards, while Brees threw for 294 (both men were sacked twice, Keenum threw an interception, while Brees threw two) and Diggs led all recievers with 137 yards on six catches, including the game-winner. Minnesota on third down was 10 of 17 and held the ball for 33:17, including the game-winning drive, while the Saints held the pigskin for 26:43, going 2 of 9 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Minnesota in the 2017 Divisional was favored by 3 1/2 and the Vikings covered with their 5-point last-second win and the 44 1/2 over/under was taken care of, as the two clubs combined for 53 points. The Saints are favored by 8 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 48. The winner gets to go to Green Bay next week and the Saints would like to make travel plans for next week, while the Vikings could get another shot at their NFC North rival with a win. Minnesota pulls off the upset in the Big Easy and could cover the 8.

Seattle (11-5, 1st Wild Card) at Philadelphia (9-7, NFC East champion), 4:40 p.m. Sunday on NBC. They met in the regular season. They meet again. Starbucks vs. Cheesesteak. Carson Wentz and the Eagles host Russell Wilson and Seattle in the late afternoon Wild Card game in the City of Brotherly Love.

A Seattle rally in the final seconds in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks fell short as San Francisco held off the Seahawks 26-21 at Century Link Field last Sunday night, in a contest that gave the 49ers the NFC West title and revenge for their week 10 overtime loss in Santa Clara.

Seattle, 5-0 against Philadelphia since 2010 when Pete Carroll took over, trailed 13-0 at the break as the 49ers scored their first half points unchallenged before the home team would break San Francsico’s bid for a shutout when Wilson and WR Tyler Lockett connected on a 14-yard TD toss late in the third quarter.
San Francisco made it a 19-7 contest when RB Raheem Mostert scored from 2 yards away but the 49ers would miss the two-point conversion with 3:25 left in the quarter. Newly re-accquired RB Marshawn Lynch then pulled his team to within five with 9:55 left in the contest when he scored on a 1-yard run. Mostert pushed the 49ers lead back up to 12 with 5:51 left when he scored on a 13-yard run before Seattle stormed back again, trailing by only 5 with 3:36 left when Wilson and WR DK Metcalf connected on a 14-yard scoring pass.

Seattle would get the ball back with 2:27 left after a 49ers punt and made their way downfield, getting as close as San Francsico’s 1-yard line when Wilson tried to spike the ball to stop the clock. The Seahawks, out of time outs, were then flaggled for a delay of game penalty and passes to Lockett and Josh Hollister fell incomplete. With 12 seconds left, Wilson and Hollister would connect on a 4-yard pass but Hollister did not cross the goal line, as 49ers LB Dre Greenlaw tackled Hollister at the one-foot line. Replay would confirm that Hollister did not break the plane, which meant that Seattle did not score. San Francisco would then run out the clock and take the win in the Pacific Northwest.

San Francisco out-rushed Seattle 128-125 and Mostert led all rushers with 57 yards and the two TDs, while Seattle was led by RB Travis Homer with 62 yards (Lynch had 34 yards on 12 carries with the TD). Wilson threw for 233 yards with a pair of TDs and a sack, while Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 285 yards with a pair of sacks (neither qb threw an interception). Seattle was 8 of 14 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 32:56, while the 49ers held on to the pigskin for 27:04, going 4 of 8 on third down.

The Eagles, in a need-to-win situation in the Meadowlands last Sunday, erased a 17-17 tie at the end of the third quarter, scoring 14 fourth-quarter points unchallenged to win the East against the New York Giants by a final of 34-17 at Met Life Stadium. Philadelphia led 10-3 at the half after taking that lead when Wentz and TE Josh Perkins connected on a 24-yard TD toss with 1:52 left in the half. New York would tie the contest halfway through the third quarter when WR Golden Tate and QB Daniel Jones connected on a 20-yard TD toss. Philadelphia then took the lead back on a 7-yard run with 2:21 left in the quarter but the Giants re-tied the contest on a 68-yard run by RB Sequan Barkley with 2:05 left in the quarter. Perkins would then chip in with a 50-yard run and Scott would add a pair of 2-yard runs to seal New York’s fate and take the NFC East title.

Big Blue BARELY out-rushed the Eagles 122-121 with Barkley leading all rushers with 92 yards and Scott tallying 54 for the Eagles with the three TDs. Wentz threw for 289 yards and the Perkins TD (Wentz was sacked once but did not throw an interception), while Jones tallied 301 yards with the Tate TD pass (Jones was sacked four times and threw an interception). The Eagles were 4 of 15 on third down conversions at Met Life Stadium and ruled the clock, as they held the ball for 31:25, while the Giants kept the pigskin for 28:35 (both clubs were at the 50 percent mark on fourth down; Philadelphia was 1 of 2, the Giants were 2 of 4).

While this is their first meeting in post-season play, they did meet in the City of Brotherly Love in week 12 and the Seahawks would prevail, leaving Lincoln Financial Field 17-9 winners. Seattle erased a 3-0 lead with a Wilson TD pass to WR Malik Turner, then took a 10-3 at the half on a Justin Myers field goal late in the second quarter. Seattle RB Rashaad Penny then gave his team a 10-point lead with 11:56 left in the contest on a 58-yard run before the Eagles would rally, pulling themselves to within 8 with 20 seconds left when Wentz and TE Zach Ertz connected on a TD toss. The Eagles then went for two in hopes of knocking the deficit down to six but the try failed. Philadelphia then tried an onside kick, which Seattle promptly recovered. Seattle then ran out the clock and took the win on the East Coast in the late afternoon affair.

Penny led all rushers with 129 yards and the TD as Seattle out-rushed the Eagles 174-106 (Miles Sanders led the Eagles with 63 yards) and Wilson threw for 200 yards with the Turner TD toss (he was sacked six times and threw an interception), while Wentz was good for 256 yards with the Ertz TD toss (Wentz was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions). Seattle was 5 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 28:07, while the Eagles actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:53, while going 4 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 12 contest, Philadelphia was favored by 2 1/2 in the late afternoon contest in the Keystone State and Seattle would cover, winning by 8. The 49 over/under? It went untouched, as the two clubs combined for only 26 points. In the rematch, the Seahawks are a 1 1/2-point favorite in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under’s 46. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams can score points if need to and this one could be a repeat of their last meeting. The only difference will be the result. The winner gets to play next weekend, while the loser gets to go home. Fly, Eagles, Fly! Like a cheesesteak with peppers, Philadelphia covers the 1 1/2 and wins in the City of Brotherly Love.

Sunday Broadcast Information (All times Eastern)

NFC – Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans, 3:05 p.m. on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter), Chris Myers (Field reporter); WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Ed Werder; SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 83 (Los Angeles Rams), 82 (New Orleans); XM: 88 (WW1), 83 (Los Angeles Rams), 82 (New Orleans)

AFC – New England at Kansas City, 6:40 p.m. on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely, Gene Steratore; WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Kugler, Tony Boselli, Ross Tucker; SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 82 (New England ), 83 (Kansas City); XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (New England ), 225 (Kansas City)

Sunday Officials
NFC – Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans, 3:05 p.m.: Bill Vinovich
AFC – New England at Kansas City, 6:40 p.m.: Clete Blakeman

Sunday’s Odds (Home teams listed in CAPS)

Sunday’s Games
Favorite         Spread   Underdog                 O/U
NEW ORLEANS      – 3 1/2  Los Angeles Rams         57 1/2
KANSAS CITY      – 3      New England              56
Sunday’s Injury Report

NFC – Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans, 3:05 p.m.

Los Angeles Rams – Los Angeles Rams report no injuries

New Orleans
OUT: WR Keith Kirkwood (Calf)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Ben Watson (Illness)

AFC – New England at Kansas City, 6:40 p.m.

New England – New England reports no injuries
OUT: LB Dorian O’Daniel (Ankle)

Sunday Weather
NFC – Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans, 3:05 p.m.: Game indoors
AFC – New England at Kansas City, 6:40 p.m.: Cloudy and 26 degrees

Broadcast Information and Injury Report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel. (Note: Weather information is based on kickoff local time)

And then there were four.

It’s the NFL’s Final Four. The last four teams standing before Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta in two weeks. These are the survivors and at the end of the day, there will be two teams making their way toward the Big Peach, while the other two teams will be clearing out their lockers come Monday. While the other 28 teams are getting ready for the Senior Bowl, the 2019 NFL draft and OTA’s, the remaining four teams are playing a meaningful football game and these games are important.

The formula stays pretty much the same and it’s so easy, even a five-year old gets it.

You win… you get to go to Atlanta.

Lose… your next game is next year.

32 teams started the year fighting for the Lombardi Trophy, fighting heat, bugs, sweat, sleeping in dorms for the first time since college, reading playbooks that make War and Peace look like the Sunday funnies. Four pre-seaason games, 16 regular season games and the postseason. All that comes to an end in two weeks. When Super Bowl LIII comes to an end in Atlanta, someone’s going to be holding the Lombardi Trophy and yelling into a camera “I’m going to Disney World!” The losers? They’re going to be second-guessed and picked apart like a turkey at Thanksgiving the entire off-season. Second meetings are all about revenge for the losers and a chance for the winners to make a statement.

What’s at stake, you ask? Trophies and cash, for openers, as well as a chance to go to Atlanta. The AFC winner will be the American Football Conference Championship and the Lamar Hunt Trophy, while the NFC winner will be the proud owners of the George Halas Trophy. Each player will be paid $54,000 (which breaks down to $13,500 a quarter) for their participation in the championship games.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

HIGH OCTANE OFFENSES: On Championship Sunday, the Super Bowl LIII participants will be decided. In the NFC, the Los Angeles Rams take on New Orleans at 3:05 p.m. on FOX, while New England travels to Arrowhead Stadium to face Kansas City at 6:40 p.m. on CBS in the AFC. The Conference Championships feature the four highest-scoring teams from the regular season for the first time in the Super Bowl era.

With victories by the Rams and Chiefs on Sunday, the Super Bowl would feature the two highest-scoring teams from the regular season for the fifth time since 1970 and the first time since 1997.

The Super Bowls featuring the two highest-scoring teams from the regular season since 1970:

SEASON: NO. 1 OFFENSE – NO. 2 OFFENSE (SUPER BOWL)
1997: Denver – Green Bay (XXXII)
1996: Green Bay – New England (XXXI)
1991: Washington – Buffalo (XXVI)
1984: Miami – San Francisco (XIX)

THE PATRIOT WAY: The New England Patriots have reached the Super Bowl in each of the past two seasons. With a win against Kansas City on Sunday, the Patriots would join the Buffalo Bills (1990-93) and Miami Dolphins (1971-73) as the only teams in the Super Bowl era to appear in three consecutive Super Bowls.

The teams to appear in at least three consecutive Super Bowls in the Super Bowl era:

TEAM (SEASONS / CONSECUTIVE SUPER BOWLS; SUPER BOWLS)
Buffalo (1990-93 / 4; XXV-XXVIII)
Miami (1971-73 / 3; VI-VIII)
New England (2016-17 / 2; LI-LII)*
*Active streak

HIGH SEED ADVANTAGE: With victories by top seeds Kansas City (AFC) and New Orleans (NFC) on Sunday, it would mark the 14th time since the NFL began seeding teams in 1975 that both top seeds faced off in the Super Bowl and the fifth time in the past six seasons (2013-15, 2017).

With wins on Sunday by both the Chiefs and Saints, it would mark the fifth time since 1975 that consecutive seasons have featured a Super Bowl matchup of the No. 1 seeds.

The Super Bowls featuring both No. 1 seeds in consecutive seasons since the NFL began seeding teams in 1975:

SEASONS: SUPER BOWLS
2013-15: XLVIII-50
1983-84: XVIII-XIX
1976-77: XI-XII​

With a win, the Chiefs can become the sixth consecutive number seed to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, surpassing five consecutive Super Bowls featuring the AFC’s number one seed (1987-1991) for the longest streak by the conference since 1975.

A victory by Kansas City would also mark the second time that either conference has had a streak of six consecutive seasons with a Super Bowl featuring their number one seed since 1975 (NFC – six consecutive seasons from 1981-86).

MAGICAL MAHOMES: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 278 yards in his postseason debut last weekend and ranked second in passing yards (5,097) during the regular season.

With a Chiefs victory against New England, Mahomes would become the fourth quarterback to pass for at least 5,000 yards and reach the Super Bowl in the same season.

The quarterbacks to pass for at least 5,000 yards and reach the Super Bowl in the same season:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON: PASSING YARDS – SUPER BOWL)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013: 5,477 – XLVIII)
Tom Brady, New England (2011: 5,235 – XLVI)
Dan Marino, Miami (1984: 5,084 – XIX)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

EASY BREESY: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 301 yards with two touchdowns in the Saints’ Divisional Playoffs win against Philadelphia.

With 300 passing yards on Sunday, Brees would tie Peyton Mannign (nine games) for the second-most playoff games with at least 300 passing yards.

The players with the most postseason games with at least 300 passing yards:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (POSTSEASON GAMES WITH 300+ PASS YARDS)
Tom Brady – New England (15)*
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (9)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (8)*
*Active in Conference Championships

GREAT GURLEY: Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ Divisional round victory against Dallas.

Gurley, who has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his first two postseason appearances, can join Arian Foster as the only players in postseason history to rush for at least 100 yards in each of their first three playoff games.

The players with at least 100 rushing yards in each of their first three postseason games:

PLAYER, TEAM (DATES)(GAMES)
Arian Foster, Houston (1/7/12-1/5/13)(3)
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (1/6/18-1/12/19)(2)*
*Active streak

CATCH & RUN: New England running back JAMES WHITE had 15 receptions in the Divisional Playoffs, tied with Darren Sproles  (January 14, 2012 with New Orleans) for the most receptions by a player in a single postseason game in the Super Bowl era.

With at least 10 receptions on Sunday at Kansas City, White would become the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to record consecutive postseason games with at least 10 catches.

The players with consecutive postseason games with at least 10 receptions in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM (DATES)(CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
Tony Nathan, Miami (1/20/85-1/4/86)(2)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1/29/95-1/6-96)(2)^
Steve Smith, Sr., Carolina (1/8/06-1/15/06 (2)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Patriots running back Sony Michel rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s Divisional Playoffs victory. With one rushing touchdown on Sunday, Michel can tie the postseason record for the most rushing touchdowns by a rookie.

The rookies with the most rushing touchdowns in a single postseason:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RUSH TDS)
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville (2017 – 4)
Jamal Lewis, Baltimore (2000 – 4)
William Floyd, San Francisco (1994 – 4)
Tony Dorsett, Dallas (1997 – 4)^
Norm Standlee, Chicago (1941 – 4)
Sony Michel, New England (2018 – 3)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

As was the case for the entire playoffs and the Super Bowl, everything is going to be “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

We struggled in the Wild Card round, going 1-3 but bounced back in the Divisional round, going 3-1, which for the year makes us 149-111. Both games are rematches from the 2018 regular season schedule (New England and Kansas City met in Foxboro in week six, the Rams and Saints met in New Orleans in week nine), which means that there are no secrets. One seeds playing at home against two seeds. Playoff football at its finest. Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script.

Two games left in the post-season. We can’t say it enough but it bears repeating.

Win… you go to Atlanta in two weeks.

Lose… your next game is next year.

With that, here are the Sunday championship picks.

NFC – Los Angeles Rams (13-3, 2nd seed) at New Orleans (13-3, 1st seed), 3:05 p.m. on FOX. Championship Sunday gets underway in the Big Easy as the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints meet in a week nine rematch to decide who will be the NFC’s representative to Super Bowl LIII. Both teams were at home last week after their first round byes and both clubs had close wins at home.

The Rams, winners of the NFC West, held off a late Dallas rally last Saturday night in Los Angeles as they came away with the 30-22 win at the Coliseum in the NFC Divisional Game. Los Angeles erased a 7-3 deficit at the end of the first 15 minutes of play, took a 20-7 lead with them to the intermission and held off a late Cowboys rally in the second half that saw Dallas outscore the Rams 15-10 in the final 30 minutes of action. The Rams outrushed Dallas 273-50 and Rams’ running backs Todd Gurley (115 yards, TD) and C.J. Anderson (123 yards, 2 TDS) each tallied 100 yards for their team, while Jared Goff threw for 186 yards with no sacks (Dallas’ Dak Prescott threw for 266 yards with a TD to Amari Cooper with a sack; neither Goff or Presscott threw an interception). The Rams were 5 of 11 on third down (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:13, while the Cowboys held on to the ball for 23:47, going 1 for 10 on third down, 3 for 4 on fourth down.

New Orleans trailed Philadelphia 14-0 early in their contest at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, then rallied to take a 20-14 win over the Eagles to advance to the championship round. The Saints proceeded to chip away at Philadelphia’s lead and trailed 14-10 at the half before scoring their final 10 points of the contest unchallenged, taking the lead for keeps with 1:40 left in the third when Drew Brees and WR Michael Thomas connected on a 2-yard TD pass, part of an 18-play, 92-yard drive that took 11:29 of playing time (17 minutes of actual time). Saints K Wil Lutz would add a 39-yard field goal early in the final 15 minutes of play to make the contest a 6-point affair. Philadelphia would later get the ball back in the final minutes of the game and got as close as the Saints’ 27-yard line when Nick Foles’ pass intended for Alshon Jeffery deflected off Jeffery’s hands and was intercepted by Marshawn Lattimore, The Saints then proceeded to run out the clock and take the win in front of the home folks. New Orleans outrushed Philadelphia 137-49, with Saints RB Alvin Kamara leading all rushers with 71 yards and Brees throwing for 301 yards with a pair of TDs to go with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Foles threw for 201 yards with a TD and two sacks. New Orleans went 8 for 15 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down (including a fake punt run by backup QB Taysom Hill) and kept the ball for 37:50, while the Eagles were 2 of 7 on third downs, holding on to the ball for 22:10.

In the week nine contest in the Big Easy, New Orleans broke a 35-35 fourth quarter tie in the Big Easy and took a 45-35 decision against the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday afternoon to end the Rams’ 8-game win streak. New Orleans led 35-14 going into the intermission before the Rams would pull themselves to within 11 as K Greg Zuerlein connected on a 56-yard field goal as time expired. Los Angeles then scored 10 third quarter points without a challenge, then opened the fourth quarter, tying things up at 35-35 thanks to a pair of TD passes from Jared Goff (one to RB Malcon Brown, the other to WR Cooper Kupp) and a Zuerlein field goal before New Orleans took control in the fourth quarter to take the lead back and for keeps. New Orleans outrushed the Rams 141-92 and Goff threw for 391 yards with three TDs an an interception, while Brees threw for 346 yards and four TDs, including a TD that drew the ire of the game officials when WR Michael Thomas pulled out a cell phone from underneath the goal post padding, paying homage to former Saints player Joe Horn (neither man was sacked, Goff threw the only interception in the contest). The Rams were 3 for 8 on third down conversions (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:19, while the Saints ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 33:41, going 7 of 12 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week nine contest in the Big Easy, the Saints were a 1-point favorite and they covered, winning by 10 and both teams took care of the 60 1/2 over/under, as both teams combined for 80 points. This time, the Saints are favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 56. There’s a good chance the over/under could be reached by halftime. The Saints want to prove that the first meeting was not a fluke while the Rams are seeking revenge. Revenge wins out here. Hooray for Hollywood! Rams pull the upset in the Big Easy and covers the 3 1/2.

AFC – New England (11-5, 2nd seed) at Kansas City (12-4, 1st seed), 6:40 p.m. on CBS. Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes. They meet again, this time in central America. The Chiefs host the Patriots in a week six rematch at Arrownhead to become the AFC’s representative to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. Both teams were winners at home in last week’s action.

New England led the Los Angeles Chargers 35-7 at the break at Foxboro and came out on top 41-28 at Gillette Stadium. New England broke a 7-7 tie early in the first quarter as rookie RB Sony Michel would give the Patriots the lead back for keeps, scoring the first of his three rushing TDs late in the period (Michel would then add a second rushing score before halftime). New England outrushed the Bolts 155-19, with Michel leading the eay with 129 yards and Brady threw for 343 yards and a TD without being sacked or picked off, while Philip Rivers threw for 331 yards and three TDs (two of the passes coming late in the contest) and was scked twice and picked off once. While New England was 50 percent on third down tries (the Pats were 7 of 14), they were perfect on fourth down tries, going 1 for 1 and held the ball for 38:20, while the Chargers kept the pigskin for 21:40, going 5 of 13 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

The Chiefs opened Divisonal Weekend in chilly snowy Kansas City and took care of Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts 31-13 at Arrowhead Saturday afternoon. Kansas City led 17-0 early in the contest before the Colts got their first score thanks to a Chiefs’ special teams blunder when Zeke Pascal recoveed a blocked punt in the end zone to put themselves on the scoreboard. Mahomes then took matters into his own feet, scoring on a four-yard romp late in the second quarter to take a 24-7 lead with them to the intermission. Luck and T.Y. Hilton would pull the Colts to within 11 late in the fourth quarter before Kansas City would seal Indianapolis’ fate when RB Damien Williams, who opened the game’s scoring, closed it out with a six-yard run to take the win. Williams accounted for 129 yards to lead all rushers as the Chiefs outrushed the Colts 180-87 and Mahomes threw for 278 yards and despite being sacked four times, did not throw an interception, while Luck threw for 203 yards with three sacks and the lone TD toss to Hilton. While Kansas City floundered on third down tries at 4 of 14, they struck oil on fourth down, going 3 of 4 and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:49, while the Colts were a dismal 0 for 9 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 20:11.

The Patriots knocked Kansas City out of the ranks of the unbeatens in the week six Sunday night contest in Foxboro, coming away 43-40 last second winners over the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. Brady and New England led 24-13 at the intermission before the Chiefs would rally in the second half, outscoring New England 31-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Kansas City took a 33-30 lead with 8:38 left when Tyreek Hill and Mahomes (352 yards, four TDs, two interceptions) connected on a 1-yard TD pass. That lead would not last long as Brady took matters into his own hands and feet, scoring from 4 yards out and the Pats would add to that lead when Stephen Gostkowski booted a 52-yarder to lead 40-33. The Chiefs were not going away quietly as Hill and Mahomes hooked up again with 3:03 left to re-tie the contest. New England went into a surgeon-like mode in the final 3:03, using a 7-play, 65-yard drive that used all the available time left in regulation when Gostkowski booted a 28-yard field goal as time expired. Brady threw for 340 yards with a TD toss to Josh Edelman as New England outrushed Kansas City 173-94 (New England rookie RB Sony Michel led everyone with 106 yards on the ground with a pair of TDs). New England was 7 of 13 on third down (the Pats were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:09 (including the final drive), while the Chiefs were 4 of 10 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:51.

New England in the week six Sunday night contest was favored by 3 1/2 but won by 3. Both clubs manged to wipe the 60 over/under off the face of the Earth, combining to score 83 points in Foxboro. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Chiefs as a 3-point favorite with a 56 over/under. For the Pats, they look to go back to the Super Bowl and erase the memory of what happened to them in Minneapolis; for the Chiefs, it will be their first trip to the big game since Hank Stram wore that blazer as he and Len Dawson took Minnesota to task in New Orleans. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City and so are the Chiefs. Pats make this one close but Chiefs prevail at Arrowhead.

Saturday and Sunday Broadcast Information (All Times Eastern)

AFC – Indianapolis at Kansas City, 4:35 p.m. Saturday on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter); WESTWOOD ONE: Ryan Radtke, Trent Green, Laura Okmin; SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 82 (Indianapolis), 83 (Kansas City); XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Indianapolis), 225 (Kansas City)

NFC – Dallas at Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. Saturday on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers; WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Kugler, Kurt Warner, Scott Kaplan; SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 82 (Dallas), 83 (Los Angeles Rams); XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Dallas), 225 (Los Angeles Rams)

AFC – Los Angeles Chargers at New England, 1:05 p.m. Sunday on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely, Gene Steratore; WESTWOOD ONE: Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli, Hub Arkush; SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 82 (Los Angeles Chargers), 83 (New England) | XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Los Angeles Chargers), 225 (New England)

NFC – Philadelphia at New Orleans, 4:40 p.m. Sunday on FOX: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver, Peter Schrager; WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Harlan, James Lofton, Ross Tucker; SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 82 (Philadelphia), 83 (New Orleans); XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Philadelphia), 225 (New Orleans)

Saturday and Sunday Officials
AFC – Indianapolis at Kansas City, 4:35 p.m. Saturday: John Hussey
NFC – Dallas at Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. Saturday: John Parry
AFC – Los Angeles Chargers at New England, 1:05 p.m. Sunday: Ron Torbert
NFC – Philadelphia at New Orleans, 4:40 p.m. Sunday: Carl Cheffers

Saturday and Sunday Odds (Home Teams in CAPS)

Saturday’s Games
Favorite          Spread    Underdog           O/U
KANSAS CITY       –  6      Indianapolis       57
LA RAMS           –  7      Dallas             49 1/2

Sunday’s Games
Favorite          Spread    Underdog           O/U
NEW ENGLAND       –  4 1/2  LA Chaargers       48
NEW ORLEANS       –  9      Philadelphia       51 1/2

Saturday and Sunday Injury Report

AFC – Indianapolis at Kansas City, 4:35 p.m. Saturday

Indianapolis
DOUBTFUL: DE Tyquan Lewis (Knee)
OUT: WR Ryan Grant (Toe)
QUESTIONABLE: S Malik Hooker (Foot), DT Denico Autry (Shoulder)

Kansas City
DOUBTFUL: LB Dorian O’Daniel (Calf)
QUESTIONABLE: S James Berry (Heel), RB Spencer Ware (Hamstring), WR Sammy Watkins (Foot)

NFC – Dallas at Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. Saturday

Dallas
OUT: DE David Irving (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Cole Beasley (Ankle), TE Blake Jarwin (Anke), DT Maliek Collins (Illness), G Xavier Su’a-Filo (Ankle), S Darian Thompson (Groin)

Los Angeles Rams
QUESTIONABLE: DT Ethan Westbrooks (Thigh)

AFC – Los Angeles Chargers at New England, 1:05 p.m. Sunday

Los Angeles Chargers
QUESTIONABLE: CB Brandon Facyson (Concussion), TE Hunter Henry (Knee), RB Derek Watt (Shoulder), LB Kyle Wilson (Concussion)

New England
QUESTIONABLE: DE Deatrich Wise (Ankle)

NFC – Philadelphia at New Orleans, 4:40 p.m. Sunday
Sunday, January 13th

Philadelphia
OUT: QB Carson Wentz (Back)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Donell Alexander (Hamstring), CB Sidney Jones (Hamstring), DE Michael Bennett (Foot), WR Shelton Gibson (Hamstring), T Jason Peters (Quadricep), WR Mike Wallace (Ankle)

New Orleans
OUT: WR Simmie Cobbs (Knee)

Saturday and Sunday Weather
AFC – Indianapolis at Kansas City, 4:35 p.m. Saturday: Overcast with a 40 percent chance of snow and 31 degrees
NFC – Dallas at Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. Saturday: Partly cloudy and 58 degrees
AFC – Los Angeles Chargers at New England, 1:05 p.m. Sunday: Partly cloudy and 27 degrees
NFC – Philadelphia at New Orleans, 4:40 p.m. Sunday: Game indoors

Broadcast Information and Injury Report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel. (Note: Weather information is based on kickoff local time)

 

Wild Card Weekend Broadcast Information (All times Eastern)

AFC – Indianapolis at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday on ESPN/ABC: Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland, Adam Schefter, Lisa Salters; WESTWOOD ONE: Mike Tirico, Brian Griese, Hub Arkush; SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 82 (Indianapolis), 83 (Houston); XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Indianapolis), 225 (Houston)

NFC – Seattle at Dallas, 8:15 p.m. Saturday on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers; WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Kugler, Jason Taylor, Ed Werder; SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 82 (Seattle), 83 (Dallas); XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Seattle), 225 (Dallas)

AFC – Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore, 1:05 p.m. Sunday on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely, Gene Steratore; WESTWOOD ONE: Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli, Ben Leber; SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 82 (Los Angeles Chargers), 83 (Baltimore); XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Los Angeles Chargers), 225 (Baltimore)

NFC – Philadelphia at Chicago, 4:40 p.m. Sunday on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter); WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Harlan, James Lofton, Laura Okmin; SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 82 (Philadelphia), 83 (Chicago); XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Philadelphia), 225 (Chicago)

Wild Card Officals
AFC – Indianapolis at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday: Bill Vinovich
NFC – Seattle at Dallas, 8:15 p.m. Saturday: Walt Anderson
AFC – Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore, 1:05 p.m. Sunday: Clete Blakeman
NFC – Philadelphia at Chicago, 4:40 p.m. Sunday: Tony Corrente

Wild Card Odds (Home Teams in Caps)

Saturday’s Games
Favorite         Spread    Underdog             O/U
HOUSTON          –  2 1/2  Indianapolis         47 1/2
DALLAS           –  2 1/2  Seattle              43

Sunday’s Games
Favorite         Spread    Underdog             O/U
BALTIMORE        –  2      Los Angeles Chargers 41 1/2
CHICAGO          –  5 1/2  Philadelphia         41 1/2

Saturday and Sunday Injury Report
AFC – Indianapolis at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday: Indianapolis and Houston report no injuries

NFC – Seattle at Dallas, 8:15 p.m. Saturday: Seattle and Dallas report no injuries

AFC – Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore, 1:05 p.m. Sunday: Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore report no injuries

NFC – Philadelphia at Chicago, 4:40 p.m. Sunday: Philadelphia and Chicago report no injuries

Saturday and Sunday Weather
AFC – Indianapolis at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday: Roof Closed
NFC – Seattle at Dallas, 8:15 p.m. Saturday: Roof Closed
AFC – Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore, 1:05 p.m. Sunday: Sunny and 50 degrees
NFC – Philadelphia at Chicago, 4:40 p.m. Sunday: Overcast and 38 degrees

Broadcast Information and Injury Report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel. (Note: Weather information is based on kickoff local time)