Archives for posts with tag: Green Bay Packers

 

 

It’s time to get ‘Back to Football’ and NFL Network remains the go-to destination to do so, with seven live games and re-airs of every Week 1 preseason game.

NFL Network’s Week 1 preseason live schedule begins tonight when Carolina hosts Houston at 7:30 p.m. Editions of NFL Total Access air at 7 p.m., during halftime of Texans-Panthers and postgame, with host Dan Hellie, David Carr and Heath Evans.

On Thursday, August 10, NFL Network’s Week 1 preseason live schedule continues with the Denver Broncos traveling to face the Chicago Bears at 8 p.m. Editions of NFL Total Access air at 7 p.m., during halftime of Broncos-Bears and postgame, with Hellie, Reggie Wayne and Willie McGinest.

On Friday, August 11, NFL Network provides a doubleheader of live preseason games, starting at 7 p.m. with the New York Giants hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers. At 10 p.m., the Kansas City Chiefs host the San Francisco 49ers (joined live in progress). Editions of NFL Total Access on air at 6:30 p.m. during halftime of Steelers-Giants and 49ers-Chiefs and following the conclusion of 49ers-Chiefs with Wayne, Kurt Warner and Cole Wright.

NFL Network’s Week 1 live schedule continues Saturday, August 12 when Dallas travels to face the Los Angeles Rams at 9 p.m. Editions of NFL Total Access air at 7:30 p.m., during halftime of Cowboys-Rams and postgame with Wright, Evans, Warner and Terrell Davis.

NFL Network’s Week 1 live schedule concludes Sunday, August 13 with two games, starting at 1:30 p.m. with Indianapolis hosting Detroit. At 8 p.m., NFL Network carries the Los Angeles Chargers hosting Seattle live in the Chargers’ first game back in Los Angeles. Editions of NFL Total Access air at 1 p.m., during halftime of Lions-Colts and postgame, at 7:30 p.m., during halftime of Seahawks-Chargers and postgame, with Hellie, Wright, Evans and Davis

Additionally, NFL Network provides complete game re-airs of every Week 1 preseason game.

All NFL Network programming – including 16 LIVE preseason games and re-airs of all 64 preseason games – can also be streamed on the NFL Mobile from Verizon app (NFL.com/mobile) and via Watch NFL Network on tablet (NFL Mobile and Watch NFL Network apps), PC (NFL.com/watch), Xbox One and Xbox 360 (NFL on Xbox app) and other connected TV devices (NFL app on Apple TV, Playstation 4, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV). Access through Watch NFL Network is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers.

NFL Game Pass provides fans in the United States with another opportunity to watch live out-of-market preseason games, as well as other exclusive content, for $99.99 for the 2017 season. For complete information regarding NFL Game Pass, visit  http://www.NFL.com/GamePass.

***Please note that all live games on NFL Network are subject to local blackouts***

Below is NFL Network’s Week 1 broadcast schedule.

NFL NETWORK 2017 WEEK 1 PRESEASON GAMES SCHEDULE

(ALL TIMES EASTERN AND ALL GAMES IN HIGH DEFINITION)

Wednesday, August 9
Houston vs. Carolina, 7:30 p.m. (LIVE)
Arizona vs. Dallas, 11 p.m.
Houston vs. Carolina, 2 a.m.
Arizona vs. Dallas, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 10
Houston vs. Carolina, 10 a.m.
Arizona vs. Dallas, 1 p.m.
Houston vs. Carolina, 4 p.m.
Denver vs. Chicago, 8 p.m. (LIVE)
Jacksonville vs. New England, Midnight
Minnesota vs. Buffalo, 4 a.m.

Friday, August 11
New Orleans vs. Cleveland, 10 a.m.
Jacksonville vs. New England, 1 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. Green Bay, 4 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. New York Giants, 7 p.m. (LIVE)
San Francisco vs. Kansas City, 10 p.m. (LIVE)
Tampa Bay vs. Cincinnati, 1 a.m.
Pittsburgh vs. New York Giants, 4 a.m.

Saturday, August 12
Washington vs. Baltimore, 7 a.m.
ATLANTA vs. Miami, 9:30 a.m.
Denver vs. Chicago, Noon
San Francisco vs. Kansas City, 2:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. New York Giants, 5 p.m.
Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams, 9 p.m. (LIVE)
Oakland vs. Arizona, 1 a.m.
Philadelphia vs. Green Bay, 4 a.m.

Sunday, August 13
Tennessee vs. New York Jets, 7 a.m.
Jacksonville vs. New England, 10 a.m.
Detroit vs. Indianapolis, 1:30 p.m. (LIVE)
Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams, 5 p.m.
Seattle vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 8 p.m. (LIVE)
San Francisco vs. Kansas City, 11:30 p.m.
Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams, 2 a.m.
ATLANTA vs. Miami, 4:30 p.m.

Monday, August 14
Washington vs. Baltimore, 10 a.m.
New Orleans vs. Cleveland, 1 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. Green Bay, 4 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. New York Giants, 8 p.m.
Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams, Midnight
San Francisco vs. Kansas City, 4 a.m.

Tuesday, August 15
Tennessee vs. New York Jets, 10 a.m..
Tampa Bay vs. Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Jacksonville vs. New England, 4 p.m.
Denver vs. Chicago, 8 p.m.
Oakland vs. Arizona, Midnight
Detroit vs. Indianapolis, 4 a.m.

Wednesday, August 16
Minnesota vs. Buffalo, 10 a.m.
ATLANTA vs. Miami, 1 p.m.
Houston vs. Carolina, 4 p.m.
Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams, 8 p.m.
Seattle vs. Los Angeles Chargers, Midnight
New Orleans vs. Cleveland, 4 a.m.

Thursday, August 17
Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams, 10 a.m.
Denver vs. Chicago, 1 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. New York Giants, 4 p.m.

(Please note that all live games on NFL Network are subject to local blackouts)

The following broadcast teams will be calling each Week 1 matchup on NFL Network:

Game  – Play-by-Play, Analyst (Sideline)
Texans vs. Panthers – Mick Mixon, Mike Rucker (Kevin Donnalley)
Vikings vs. Bills – Rob Stone, Steve Tasker (Mike Catalana)
Falcons vs. Dolphins – Dick Stockton, Bob Griese, Nat Moore (Kim Bokamper)
Redskins vs. Ravens – Gerry Sandusky, Brian Billick (Evan Washburn)
Jaguars vs. Patriots – Dan Roche, Christian Fauria (Matt Chatham & Steve Burton)
Broncos vs. Bears – Sam Rosen, Jim Miller (Lou Canellis)
Saints vs. Browns – Mike Patrick, Solomon Wilcots (Andy Baskin)
Eagles vs. Packers – Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon (Lance Allen)
Steelers vs. Giants Bob Papa Carl Banks Howard Cross & Bruce Beck
Buccaneers vs. Bengals Brad Johansen Anthony Munoz Mike Valpredo
49ers vs. Chiefs Carter Blackburn Trent Green BJ Kissel
Titans vs. Jets Ian Eagle Greg Buttle Otis Livingston
Cowboys vs. Rams Andrew Siciliano Marshall Faulk Jill Arrington & Dani Klupenger
Raiders vs. Cardinals Dave Pasch Ron Wolfley Paul Gerke
Lions vs. Colts Don Fischer Rick Venturi Caroline Cann
Seahawks vs. Chargers  Spero Dedes Dan Fouts Alex Flanagan

ABOUT NFL MEDIA

NFL Media is comprised of NFL Network, NFL Films, NFL.com, NFL Now, NFL Mobile from Verizon and NFL RedZone.

Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, fans turn to NFL Network to receive information and insight straight from the field, team headquarters, league offices and everywhere the NFL is making news. Launched in 2003, NFL Network gives fans unprecedented year-round inside access to all NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Playoffs, regular season, preseason, Pro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, NFL Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, Senior Bowl, league meetings, minicamps and training camps.

For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming can also be streamed live on smartphones through NFL Mobile from Verizon, as well as other digital platforms such as TuneIn.com and through Watch NFL Network on tablet (NFL Mobile, Watch NFL Network and NFL on Windows 10 apps), PC (NFL.com/watch), Xbox One and Xbox 360 (NFL on Xbox app) and other connected TV devices (NFL app on Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV). Watch NFL Network access is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers. For more information, go to NFL.com/nflnetwork.

Back to work!

Back to sweating in the summer heat, learning playbooks that are so big they make “War and Peace” look like a comic book.

Back to rookies fighting for their first NFL jobs, free agents fighting to stay on an NFL roster, fighting with teammates on the field as things get heated, along with the weather.

Back to sleeping in dorms for the first time since they were in college.

It’s back to work for all 32 NFL teams. For New England, it’s the hunter now becoming the hunted, as the defending Super Bowl champs. For the other 31 teams, it’s their chance to replace them as the NFL’s king of the mountain, so to speak.

NFL clubs will begin their on-field preparations for Kickoff 2017 this week, starting Wednesday, July 19 as rookies for the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints are scheduled to report.

The Arizona Cardinals, who will take on the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game (Thursday, August 3 on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern), will be the first team with a full squad in camp when their rookies and veterans report on Friday, July 21. By Saturday, July 29, every NFL team will be in camp.

This year, more than half the league (21 of 32, 66 percent) will be “staying home” for training camp. Teams considered to be “staying home” hold training camp at their respective practice facility, home stadium or at a site within 10 miles of their team headquarters. In 2000, only 10 of 31 (32 percent) teams stayed close to home.

“Our entire organization is excited to be returning to hold training camp at our facility in Metairie in 2017,” Saints owner Tom Benson told the Mobile Register and WKRG-TV. “This will be a great opportunity for our passionate fans from throughout the Gulf South to be able to experience the fun, excitement and interaction of Saints training camp as our team prepares for what we expect to be a very exciting season.”

The numbers may prove that training at home is a popular league-wide trend but there are still teams employing the “old-time” philosophy of holding camp away from their facilities.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the teams that “come together” away from home, holding camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for the 52nd consecutive year.

“There’s some intrinsic value to being here, some things that you can’t measure,” says Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on holding training camp at St. Vincent College. Tomlin told KDKA-TV, “Those are things that I think about when I think about training camp and those are the things that make me really excited about bringing a team to an environment like this.”

The NFL training camp longevity king? The Green Bay Packers, who return for their 60th consecutive summer at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.

Here’s a look at the number of NFL teams that stayed home for training camp since 2000:

YEAR – NFL TEAMS WITH HOME TRAINING CAMPS (PCT.)

2000 – 10 of 31 (32%)
2001 –  9 of 31 (29%)
2002 – 10 of 32 (31%)
2003 – 14 of 32 (44%)
2004 – 15 of 32 (47%)
2005 – 17 of 32 (53%)
2006 – 15 of 32 (47%)
2007 – 16 of 32 (50%)
2008 – 15 of 32 (47%)
2009 – 17 of 32 (53%)
2010 – 17 of 32 (53%)
2011 – 19 of 32 (59%)
2012 – 19 of 32 (59%)
2013 – 20 of 32 (63%)
2014 – 20 of 32 (63%)
2015 – 21 of 32 (66%)
2016 – 20 of 32 (63%)
2017 – 21 of 32 (66%)
Overall – 295 of 574 (52%)

*Teams considered to be “staying home” hold training camp at their practice facility, home stadium or at a site within 10 miles of their team headquarters.

The longest active NFL training camp tenures:

TEAM – TRAINING CAMP, CITY (YEARS)
Green Bay Packers – Saint Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin (60)
Minnesota Vikings – Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, Minnesota (52)
Pittsburgh Steelers – Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania (52)

Veterans will be looking to keep their jobs, while rookies and free agents fight for that coveted roster spot. That spot means a paycheck. It’s going to be hot. They’ll be sleeping in dorms for the first time since college, they’ll fight heat, humidity, bugs and in some cases each other.

The playbooks will be bigger than the textbooks they used in college, making “War and Peace” look like a comic book. Meetings with coaches in their positions, pre-season games that will determine their futures will take place and in the end, they’ll either be on a roster or they’ll get that knock on the door from a coach or support staff member and the dreaded words “Coach wants to see you and bring your playbook.” That usually means you’re getting cut.

Some camps will have their rookies come in first to get used to being in camp, while others will have everyone come in at one time. For some, it will be like riding a bike. For others, it’s sort of like learning to walk again. It’s not easy. Most teams will play four pre-season contests (Dallas and Arizona will play five because they are playing in the Hall of Fame Game). Some say the pre-season is too long and needs to be cut back to one or two games, like our CFL neighbors to the north.

Below is the training camp list of sites and rookie and veteran reporting dates. Check with your team for dates and if practices will be open to the public. Hydrate, stock up on that bug spray (the mosquitoes in the South have been known to carry off small children) and mind your manners and watch out for your cousin Connie. She’s been known to wipe out a Super Bowl party.

AFC
Baltimore – Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Maryland (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Buffalo – St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Cincinnati – Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati (Rookies report 7/25, Veterans report 7/27)
Cleveland – Cleveland Browns Training Complex, Berea, Ohio (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
Denver – University of Colorado Health Training Center in Englewood, Colorado, (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
Houston – The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/25)
Indianapolis – Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center in Indianapolis, Indiana (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/29)
Jacksonville – Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields in Jacksonville, Florida (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Kansas City – Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/27)
Los Angeles Chargers – Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa, California (Rookies and Veterans report 7/29)
Miami – Baptist Health Training Facility in Davie, Florida (Rookies report 7/20, Veterans report 7/26)
New England – Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/26)
New York Jets – Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey (Rookies and Veterans report 7/28)
Oakland – Napa Valley Marriott in Napa, California (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/28)
Pittsburgh – Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Tennessee – Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tennessee (Rookies and Veterans report 7/28)

NFC
Arizona – University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (Rookies and Veterans report 7/21)
Atlanta – Atlanta Falcons Training Facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Carolina – Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina (Rookies and Veterans report 7/25)
Chicago – Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Dallas – Marriott Residence Inn in Oxnard, California (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/22)
Detroit – Detroit Lions Training Facility in Allen Park, Michigan (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/29)
Green Bay – St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Los Angeles Rams – University of California at Irvine (Rookies report 7/26, Veterans report 7/28)
Minnesota – Minnesota State University at Mankato (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
New Orleans – New Orleans Saints Training Facility in Metairie, Louisiana (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
New York Giants – Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Philadelphia – NovaCare Training Complex in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
San Francisco – SAP Performance Facility in Santa Clara, California (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Seattle – Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington (Rookies and Veterans report 7/29)
Tampa Bay – One Buccaneer Place on Tampa, Florida (Rookies report 7/25, Veterans report 7/27)
Washington – Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Virginia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)

Note: The first official practice of training camp for each club at the site designated above is generally held the day after the veteran reporting date.

Soon it will be time to go to camp.

There’s no eating s’mores. There’s some swimming, no one’s singing “Kumba Ya.”

It’s almost time for football.

Soon, all 32 NFL teams will be on a practice field somewhere in America. One will be looking to defend their title. The other 31 teams will be looking to knock them off the top of the mountain.

The hunter is NOW the hunted.

Veterans will be looking to keep their jobs, while rookies and free agents fight for that coveted roster spot. That spot means a paycheck. It’s going to be hot. They’ll be sleeping in dorms for the first time since college, they’ll fight heat, humidity, bugs and in some cases each other.

The playbooks will be bigger than the textbooks they used in college, making “War and Peace” look like a comic book. Meetings with coaches in their positions, pre-season games that will determine their futures will take place and in the end, they’ll either be on a roster or they’ll get that knock on the door from a coach or support staff member and the dreaded words “Coach wants to see you and bring your playbook.” That usually means you’re getting cut.

Some camps will have their rookies come in first to get used to being in camp, while others will have everyone come in at one time. For some, it will be like riding a bike. For others, it’s sort of like learning to walk again. It’s not easy. Most teams will play four pre-season contests (Dallas and Arizona will play five because they are playing in the Hall of Fame Game). Some say the pre-season is too long and needs to be cut back to one or two games, like our CFL neighbours to the north.

Fans will get to see their teams up close and personal and make their own evaluations of their team. Some see their teams getting better from their 2016 finish and make the postseason, while other want to see if last year was a fluke.

Heat. Humidity. Bugs, Sweat. Fights with teammates. Come the Thursday after Labor Day when it gets underway in Foxboro as New England and Kansas City meet, if they make the cut, it’s worth it.

Below is the training camp list of sites and rookie and veteran reporting dates. Check with your team for dates and if practices will be open to the public. Hydrate and mind your manners and watch out for your cousin Connie. She’s been known to wipe out a Super Bowl party.

AFC
Baltimore – Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Maryland (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Buffalo – St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Cincinnati – Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati (Rookies report 7/25, Veterans report 7/27)
Cleveland – Cleveland Browns Training Complex, Berea, Ohio (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
Denver – University of Colorado Health Training Center in Englewood, Colorado, (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
Houston – The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/25)
Indianapolis – Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center in Indianapolis, Indiana (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/29)
Jacksonville – Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields in Jacksonville, Florida (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Kansas City – Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/27)
Los Angeles Chargers – Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa, California (Rookies and Veterans report 7/29)
Miami – Baptist Health Training Facility in Davie, Florida (Rookies report 7/20, Veterans report 7/26)
New England – Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/26)
New York Jets – Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey (Rookies and Veterans report 7/28)
Oakland – Napa Valley Marriott in Napa, California (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/28)
Pittsburgh – Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Tennessee – Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tennessee (Rookies and Veterans report 7/28)

NFC
Arizona – University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (Rookies and Veterans report 7/21)
Atlanta – Atlanta Falcons Training Facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Carolina – Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina (Rookies and Veterans report 7/25)
Chicago – Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Dallas – Marriott Residence Inn in Oxnard, California (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/22)
Detroit – Detroit Lions Training Facility in Allen Park, Michigan (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/29)
Green Bay – St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Los Angeles Rams – University of California at Irvine (Rookies report 7/26, Veterans report 7/28)
Minnesota – Minnesota State University at Mankato (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
New Orleans – New Orleans Saints Training Facility in Metairie, Louisiana (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
New York Giants – Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Philadelphia – NovaCare Training Complex in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
San Francisco – SAP Performance Facility in Santa Clara, California (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Seattle – Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington (Rookies and Veterans report 7/29)
Tampa Bay – One Buccaneer Place on Tampa, Florida (Rookies report 7/25, Veterans report 7/27)
Washington – Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Virginia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)

Note: The first official practice of training camp for each club at the site designated above is generally held the day after the veteran reporting date.

Championship Sunday Broadcast Information (All Times Eastern)

NFC Championship – Green Bay at ATLANTA, 3:05 p.m. on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers (Field reporters). Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, Tony Boselli (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Green Bay), 82 (Atlanta). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (Green Bay), 82 (Atlanta).

AFC Championship – Pittsburgh at New England, 6:40 p.m. on CBS: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely (Field reporters). Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Dan Fouts, Ross Tucker (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Pittsburgh), 82 (New England). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (Pittsburgh), 82 (New England).

Sunday Officials
NFC Championship: Green Bay at ATLANTA, 3:05 p.m. – Bill Vinovich
AFC Championship: Pittsburgh at New England, 6:40 p.m. – Terry McAulay

Sunday Odds
Favorite                Spread    Underdog              O/U
ATLANTA                 –  4      Green Bay             61
NEW ENGLAND             –  6      Pittsburgh            51

Sunday Injury Report

Green Bay at ATLANTA, 3:05 p.m.

Green Bay
OUT: RB James Starks (Concussion), C Joseph Tretter (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Davante Adams (Ankle), WR Geronimo Allison (Hamstring), WR Jordy Nelson (Ribs), S Morgan Burnett (Quad), CB Quinten Rollins (Neck)

ATLANTA – Atlanta reported no injuries

Pittsburgh at New England, 6:40 p.m.

Pittsburgh
QUESTIONABLE: LB James Harrison (Shoulder), RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (Concussion), TE Ladarius Green (Concussion)

New England
QUESTIONABLE: WR Danny Amendola (Ankle), TE Martellus Bennett (Knee), RB Brandon Bolden (Knee), LB Qualin Hightower (Knee), WR Chris Hogan (Thigh), WR Malcom Mitchell (Knee), DE Jabaal Sheard (Knee)

Sunday Weather
NFC: Green Bay at ATLANTA, 3:05 p.m. on FOX (Game indoors)
AFC: Pittsburgh at New England, 6:40 p.m. on CBS (Cloudy and 42 degrees)

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

Four teams left standing. Two of them will be heading to Houston in two weeks, while the other two teams will be clearing out their lockers and preparing for the 2017 draft.

As was the case last week, this week’s contest are rematches. It’s made-for-television football. Hollywood could not write a better script. For the teams that won the first meeting, it’s a chance to prove that the first time was no fluke. For the teams that lost that first meeting, the revenge factor will come up on numerous occasions during the broadcasts.

We can’t stress this enough. This time of year is NOT like the regular season. In the regular season, you lose, your play next week. This time of year, you lose, your next game is in September.

The playoffs are sort of like the kids’ party game “Musical Chairs.” As long as there are chairs available and the music is playing, you have a chance. It’s when the music stops is when the chaos starts.

Win.

Trip to Houston.

Lose.

Kickoff is next September.

It’s not fair but it is what it is. That’s the beauty of playoff football.

SUPER CHAMPIONSHIP: In 2016, New England won their eighth AFC East title in a row, the most consecutive division titles in NFL history, and have advanced to the AFC Championship Game for the sixth season in a row – also the longest streak all-time. The Patriots are 8-5 (.615) in AFC Championship Games all-time.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have advanced to the AFC Championship Game for the 16th time in franchise history and are 8-7 (.533).

The winner of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game will set an NFL record for the most Super Bowl berths in NFL history.

The teams with the most Super Bowl appearances:

TEAM – SUPER BOWL APPEARANCES
Dallas – 8
Denver – 8
New England – 8*
Pittsburgh – 8*
San Francisco – 6
*Play in AFC Championship Game Sunday

Pittsburgh, New England and Green Bay have three of the four highest postseason win totals in NFL history and are all in action on Championship Sunday.

The Steelers, who defeated Miami in the Wild Card round and Kansas City in the Divisional Playoffs, have 36 postseason wins, the most in NFL history. The Packers (34) and Patriots (30) rank tied for second and tied for fourth, respectively, in all-time postseason victories.

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

TEAM, WINS-LOSSES, PCT (SUPER BOWL WINS)
Pittsburgh 36-23, .610 (6)*
Green Bay 34-21, .618 (4)*
Dallas 34-27, .557 (5)
New England 30-19, .612 (4)*
San Francisco 30-20, .600 (5)
*Play this weekend

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: This weekend’s Championship Games will feature three quarterbacks who have combined for seven Super Bowl titles: New England’s TOM BRADY (four), Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (two) and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (one).

The starting quarterbacks for this weekend’s Championship Games with Super Bowl titles:

PLAYER, TEAM (SUPER BOWL TITLES)
Tom Brady, New England Patriots (4 – XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX)
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (2 – XL, XLIII)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (1 – XLV)

The seven combined Super Bowl victories by Brady, Roethlisberger and Rodgers are the most by the four starting quarterbacks playing in a season’s Conference Championship Games.

The most combined Super Bowl wins by the four starting quarterbacks in a season’s Championship Games:

YEAR – PLAYERS (NUMBER OF SUPER BOWL WINS), COMBINED SUPER BOWL TITLES
2016 – Tom Brady* (4), Ben Roethlisberger* (2), Aaron Rodgers* (1) = 7
2015 – Tom Brady (4), Peyton Manning (1) = 5
2014 – Tom Brady (3), Aaron Rodgers (1), Russell Wilson (1) = 5
1993 – Joe Montana (4), Troy Aikman (1) = 5

*Play this weekend

PROLIFIC PASSERS: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan led the NFL with a 117.1 passer rating in 2016, the fifth-highest single-season rating in NFL history. New England’s Tom Brady (112.2) and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (104.2) ranked second and fourth respectively.

The four quarterbacks projected to start the AFC and NFC Championship Games on Sunday combined for a 107.0 passer rating this season, the highest combined regular-season passer rating by the four starting quarterbacks in a season’s Championship Games.

The four starting quarterbacks with the highest combined regular-season passer rating in a season’s Championship Games:

YEAR – PLAYERS (PASSER RATING); COMBINED PASSER RATING
2016 – Matt Ryan (117.1), Tom Brady (112.2), Aaron Rodgers (104.2), Ben Roethlisberger (95.4); 107.0
1998 – Randall Cunningham (106.0), Vinny Testaverde (101.6), Chris Chandler (100.9), John Elway (93.0); 100.7

STREAKING STARS: Several of the NFL’s best and brightest have the opportunity to make their mark in the postseason record book on Championship Sunday.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 355 yards and two touchdowns in the Packers’ 34-31 victory at Dallas in the Divisional Playoffs. Rodgers, who has passed for at least 350 yards and two touchdowns in both postseason games this season, can tie Drew Brees (three) for the most consecutive playoff games with at least 350 passing yards and two touchdown passes in NFL postseason history.

The most consecutive postseason games with at least 350 passing yards and two touchdown passes:

PLAYER – TEAM, SEASON(S); STREAK
Drew Brees – New Orleans, 2010-11; 3
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay, 2016; 2*
Kurt Warner – Arizona, 2008-09; 2
Kurt Warner – St. Louis Rams, 1999-2000; 2
*Active streak

Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell rushed for 170 yards in the Steelers 18-16 win at Kansas City in the Divisional Playoffs and is the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 150 yards in each of his first two career postseason games. Bell, who had 167 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the Wild Card win against Miami, has the two highest single-game rushing performances in franchise postseason history.

With 113 rushing yards at New England on Sunday, Bell would become the fifth player in NFL history with at least 450 rushing yards in a single postseason.

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

PLAYER, TEAM; SEASON – RUSH YARDS
John Riggins, Washington; 1982 – 610
Terrell Davis, Denver; 1997 – 581
Terrell Davis, Denver; 1998 – 468
Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders; 1983 – 466
Eddie George, Tennessee; 1999 – 449
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh; 2016 – 337*
*Through two games

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 338 yards with three touchdowns for a 125.7 rating in the Falcons’ 36-20 win over Seattle in the Divisional Playoffs.

With three touchdown passes against Green Bay on Sunday, Ryan, who has thrown for three touchdowns in each of his past three playoff games, would become the first quarterback in NFL history with at least three touchdown passes in four consecutive postseason games.

The most consecutive postseason games with at least three touchdown passes:

PLAYER – SEASON(S); TEAM, CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 3+ TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Matt Ryan – 2012, 2016; Atlanta – 3*
Tom Brady – 2014; New England – 3
Joe Flacco – 2012; Baltimore Ravens – 3
Aaron Rodgers – 2009-10; Green Bay – 3
Kurt Warner – 2008-09; Arizona – 3
Bernie Kosar – 1987, 1989; Cleveland – 3
*Active streak

SUPER COMBINATION: New England head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have made six Super Bowl appearances together, the most appearances by any head coach-quarterback combination in NFL history.

With a win Sunday against the Steelers, the Patriots can extend their NFL record for the most such Super Bowl appearances.

The head coach-quarterback combinations with the most Super Bowl appearances in NFL history:

QUARTERBACK/HEAD COACH, TEAM – SUPER BOWL APPEARANCES
Tom Brady/Bill Belichick, New England – 6*
Roger Staubach/Tom Landry, Dallas – 4
Jim Kelly/Marv Levy, Buffalo – 4
Terry Bradshaw/Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh – 4
*Active

With a win, Belichick (six) would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer DON SHULA (six) and become the only coach to lead his team(s) to seven Super Bowls.

The head coaches to reach the most Super Bowls:

HEAD COACH – SUPER BOWL BERTHS
Bill Belichick – 6*
Don Shula – 6
Tom Landry – 5
Five tied with 4

*Active Sunday

AFC TROPHY PRESENTATION: The Lamar Hunt Trophy will be presented to the winner of the AFC Championship Game.

The late Hunt, founder of the Kansas City Chiefs and American Football League, helped professional football attain its stature as America’s No. 1 sport. In the 10-year history of the AFL, his team posted the most wins (87) and earned berths in two of the first four Super Bowls, including a victory in Super Bowl IV.

In 1972, Hunt became the first person from the AFL to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

NFC TROPHY PRESENTATION: The winner of the NFC Championship Game will be presented with the George Halas Trophy.

Halas, the late owner of the Chicago Bears and a founder of the NFL, is the second-winningest coach in history (324-151-31) behind Don Shula (347-173-6). He won six NFL championships with the Bears and is a charter enshrinee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1963).
RECORDS VS. COMMON OPPONENTS (INCLUDING PLAYOFFS)
Green Bay: 2-0 (Philadelphia 1-0; Seattle 1-0)
Atlanta: 1-2 (Philadelphia. 0-1; Seattle 1-1)
Pittsburgh.: 8-2 (Miami 1-1; Buffalo 1-0; Cleveland 2-0; Cincinnati 2-0; New York Jets 1-0; Baltimore 1-1)
New England: 8-1 (Miami 2-0; Buffalo 1-1; Cleveland 1-0; Cincinnati 1-0; New York Jets 2-0; Baltimore 1-0)

Playoff Records
Pittsburgh: 36-23
New England: 30-19
Green Bay: 34-21
Atlanta: 8-12

As far as the NFC goes… The Packers have won 13 NFL championships, most all-time and the team’s.618 postseason winning pct. (34-21) is best in NFL history among teams with 50+ games played. This is Green Bay’s 32nd playoff appearance, tied for most in NFL history. Mike McCarthy has led team to playoffs in 9 of his 11 seasons as head coach and is 10-7 in the postseason.

Atlanta won the NFC South and advanced to postseason for 1st time since 2012 and are 5-3 at home in playoffs in franchise history. Ranked 1st in NFL in total points (540) & 2nd in total offense (415.8 yards per game). Falcons head coach Dan Quinn won 1st career playoff game last week.

On the AFC side of the docket… The Steelers have 36-23 all-time postseason record, most playoff wins all-time and rank 4th all-time in postseason win pct. (.610), while winning 7 division titles since 2002.

New England has appeared in 6 consecutive Conference Championship Games, most all-time and the Pats have won 8 consecutive division titles, longest streak in NFL history. Since 2001, New England has won 4 Super Bowl titles, most in NFL and the Pats are 30-19 (.612) all-time postseason record, 3rd highest winning pct. in playoff history. Head coach Bill Belichick has 24 career postseason wins, most all-time. Belichick won 4 Super Bowl titles (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX), tied with Chuck Noll for most in NFL history.

The two championship games have late kickoffs in the afternoon and early evening, which means after church on Sunday, you can go grocery shopping. Also, we’re making both games “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 kindergarten 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 57 last June and dates a 42-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?”

For the week, 3-1. For the season, 181-81. When things come to an end on Sunday night in Foxboro, one team will have the Halas Trophy for winning the NFC Title, while the other will possess the Hunt Trophy for being the winner in the AFC. They’ll have two weeks to prepare for the Super Bowl in Houston. The two losers? Their fan base will be second-guessing themselves all the way to the draft, OTA’s and training camp. Two will survive and have a chance to take the Lombardi Trophy home from NRG Stadium in Houston.

“The most important fight you have is the one you’re in,” Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Georgia State University Signal, WSB-TV, WXIA-TV, WAGA-TV and WGCL-TV. This time of year, it is a fight. A fight to the finish, if you will.

The final four teams are set and this Sunday will determine the two teams heading to Houston for Super Bowl LI.

Championship Sunday begins with the NFC title game between the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons in the final NFL game at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated Seattle 36-20 in the Divisional round and the Packers knocked off the top-seeded Cowboys 34-31. The teams met in Week 8 (October 30, 2016) with the Falcons notching a 33-32 victory.

The AFC Championship Game will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots, the fifth postseason meeting between the clubs and the third in a row that will occur in the AFC Championship Game. In the Divisional Playoffs, the Steelers knocked off the Chiefs 18-16 and the Patriots defeated the Texans 34-16.

Green Bay (10-6, NFC North champion, 4th seed) at ATLANTA (11-5, NFC South champion, 2nd seed), 3:05 p.m. on FOX. Aaron Rodgers. Matt Ryan. They meet again in the Big Peach. This time, it for the NFC Championship and the right to go on to Houston for Super Bowl LI. While the Falcons advanced with some ease last Saturday, the Packers needed luck and the strong leg of Mason Crosby to advance to the final round.

The Packers used two Mason Crosby field goals in the final minute of play to come away 34-31 winners over number one seed Dallas last Sunday in Arlington at JerryWorld. Green Bay led 21-13 at the half at AT&T Stadium and took its largest lead of the contest when Rodgers and TE Jared Cook connected on a 3-yard TD pass with 11:25 left in the third quarter. Dallas would eventually chip away at the Packer lead and then tie things up with 4:08 left in regulation when Dak Prescott (302 yards, 2 TDs, interception) and WR Dez Bryant connected on their second TD pass of the afternoon, a 7-yard pass to make it a 2-point contest. Prescott then tied the contest up when he scored on the two-point conversion. Then the kickers took over, as Crosby connected on his first field goal of the fourth quarter, making a 56-yarder with 1:33 left. Dallas would not be outdone as Dan Bailey would tie things back up for the Cowboys, connecting on a 52-yarder with 35 seconds left. Green Bay would not be outdone as the Packers marched their way down the field as Crosby had first kicked a 51-yard try with five seconds left but Dallas called a time out in an attempt to ice Crosby. Crosby was having none of it, as he connected on his second field goal in the fourth quarter, a 51-yarder as the clock struck :00. Dallas outrushed Green Bay 138-87, with Cowboys rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott doing most of the damage with 125 yards, while Rodgers threw for 356 yards and a pair of TDs. Both teams went 6 of 11 on third down conversions, while Dallas held the pigskin for 30:14 to Green Bay’s 29:46.

Atlanta led the NFL with 540 points scored during the regular season, the first time in franchise history the Falcons have ranked No. 1 in that category. Including last week’s Divisional Playoff game, Atlanta has scored a touchdown on its first possession in each of the past seven games. Atlanta advanced to the championship game last Saturday, taking Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks to task in the Georgia Dome, coming away 36-20. Atlanta erased a 10-9 second quarter deficit, taking the lead for keeps as Matt Bryant nailed a 35-yard field goal with 6:06 left before the intermission. Atlanta then floored the gas and took a 19-10 lead with them to the locker room when RB Tevin Coleman and Ryan connected on a 14-yard TD pass with 53 seconds left. After RB DeVonta Freeman scored from a yard out halfway through the third quarter, Seattle managed to pull to within two scores when Steven Hauschka kicked a 26-yard field goal to make it a 26-13 game. Bryant’s second field goal, a 31-yarder with 14:57 left to play and a Mohamed Sanu 3-yard TD pass Ryan ended the scoring for Atlanta and allowed them to put the contest away. While Seattle outrushed Atlanta 101-99, Ryan outpaced Russell Wilson (two TDs, two interceptions, three sacks) 338-225 in passing yardage. Atlanta was 50 percent on third down conversions, going 6 of 12 and kept the ball for 33:19, while the Seahawks were 5 of 11 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 26:41.

In post-season play, the Packers lead the series 2-1 and have outscored Atlanta 92-68. Atlanta’s only post-season win over Green Bay came in 2002 when they came into Lambeau and came away 27-7 winners in the NFC Wild Card round, while Green Bay’s last win over Atlanta in post-season action came in the Big Peach in 2010 by a final of 48-21 in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

They met in the Big Peach in week eight and the Falcons managed to come away 33-32 winners over Rodgers and the Packers. Green Bay led 24-19 at the half and the Packers were leading by 4 with 31 seconds left when Ryan and WR Mohamed Sanu connected on an 11-yard TD pass to take the lead for keeps. Atlanta then held off the Packers and Ryan as they had one last chance to take the lead back. Green Bay outrushed Atlanta 108-90, while Ryan threw for 288 yards and three TDs, including the game-winner. Rodgers threw for 246 yards and four TDs in the late-afternoon contest at the Georgia Dome. Green Bay went 6 of 10 on third down tries, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 31:17, while the Falcons, who went 4 of 9 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, kept the pigskin for 28:43.

In the week eight contest in the Big Peach, Atlanta was favored by 3 and won by a single point, missing the spread. Both teams achieved the 52 1/2 over/under by scoring 65 points. The Falcons are favored again, this time by 4 and the over/under’s 61. Both offenses are capable of making that number happen and both teams have QBs that will all but be in Canton when they hang up their cleats. Green Bay’s looking for revenge, while Atlanta looks to close out the final game in the Georgia Dome with a win under their wings. The Halas trophy’s going to love their Southern home as Atlanta will take this one but expect Green Bay to make it a lot closer than the 4.

Pittsburgh (11-5, AFC North Champion, 3rd seed) at New England (14-2, AFC East Champion, 1st seed), 6:40 p.m. on CBS. Roethlisberger. Brady. They meet again and the setting’s not in western Pennsylvania. It’s in Foxboro and it’s for the AFC Championship. Ben Roethilsberger and Tom Brady meet for the right to be the AFC representative in Houston in two weeks.

The Steelers survived a late Kansas City rally at Arrowhead last Sunday night (the game was scheduled to be an afternoon contest but the NFL moved the kick time to evening because of weather), coming away 18-16 winners over the Chiefs. Pittsburgh erased a 7-6 first quarter deficit at Arrowhead last Sunday, took a 12-7 lead into the break and then held off what the Chiefs hoped would be the tying TD when Kansas City’s Spencer Ware scored from a yard out with 2:43 left in the contest.
Kansas City then went for two, in hopes of tying the contest up and perhaps sending it into overtime when Alex Smith (172 yards, TD, interception) and TE Demetrius Harris connected on what they thought was a successful try. There was one small problem… there was a yellow piece of fabric on the ground, as OT Eric Fisher was called for holding. The ball got moved back 10 yards, the Chiefs tried again, only to fail and the Steelers, who got all of their scoring from six Chris Boswell field goals, ran out the clock and took the win. Pittsburgh outrushed Kansas City 171-61, with RB LeVeon Bell leading all rushers with 170 of those yards, while Roethlisberger threw for 224 yards. Neither club did anything for their fan bases to celebrate about on third down, as the Steelers were 7 of 15, while the Chiefs were 2 of 9 (Kansas City did strike pay dirt on fourth down, going 2 of 2) and Pittsburgh ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 34:13 to Kansas City’s 25:47.

New England led Houston from start to finish, beating the Texans 34-16 in the AFC Divisional contest in Foxboro. Although the Texans made the contest close at halftime, Brady and the Pats led 17-13 at the intermission, then pulled away from Houston to advance to the championship round, outscoring Houston 17-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. Houston did manage to outrush New England 104-98 but Brady threw for 287 yards and a pair of TDs along with two interceptions, while Houston’s Brock Osweiler threw for 198 yards, a TD and three interceptions (Osweiler was sacked three times, while Brady was sacked twice). New England was 5 of 14 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 27:30, while Houston, who was 3 of 16 on third down tries, ruled the clock, holding the pigskin for 32:30.

They met this year at Heinz Field and New England were 27-16 winners in week seven. New England led 14-17 at the half over a Roethlisberger-less Steelers club and outscored Pittsburgh 13-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. LeGarrett Blount ran for 127 yards and a pair of TDs (New England outrushed Pittsburgh 140-94), while Brady (222  yards) threw a pair of TDs, including a 36-yard strike to Gronkowski. Pittsburgh’s Landry Jones, taking over for Roethilsberger, threw for 281 yards and one TD to WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, while throwing an interception. New England, who turned the ball over twice, kept the ball for 27:31, going 7 of 12 on third down, while Pittsburgh ruled the clock and held the ball for 32:29 and went 5 of 16 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

In post-season play, the Patriots hold a 3-1 lead in the series and have outscored the Steelers 99-54. New England’s last post-season win came in 2004 in the Steel City by a final of 41-27 in the AFC Championship, while Pittsburgh’s lone win over the Pats in post-season action came in 1997 at old Three Rivers Stadium by a final of 7-6.

New England covered the 7-point spread in week seven, winning by 11 at Heinz Field. The 45 1/2 over/under was safe, as both teams could only muster 43 points. The Pats are the favored ones again, this time by 6 and the over/under’s 51. The winner gets to hold the Lamar Hunt trophy and be the AFC’s representative in Houston, while the loser gets lovely parting gifts, including clearing out their lockers. New England can pack their bags and head to Houston. Pats win but this could get closer than the 6.

Saturday and Sunday Broadcast Information (All times Eastern)

Seattle at Atlanta, 4:35 p.m. Saturday on FOX: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver, Peter Schrager (Field reporters). WW1: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, Derek Rackley (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Seattle), 82 (Atlanta). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (Seattle), 82 (Atlanta).

Houston at New England, 8:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely (Field reporters). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Houston), 82 (New England). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (Houston), 82 (New England).

Green Bay at Dallas, 4:40 p.m. Sunday on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers (Field reporters). WW1: Tom McCarthy, Tony Boselli, Scott Kaplan (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Green Bay), 82 (Dallas). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (Green Bay), 82 (Green Bay).

Pittsburgh at Kansas City, 8;30 p.m. Sunday on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya, Heather Cox (Field reporters). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Pittsburgh), 82 (Kansas City). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (Pittsburgh), 82 (Kansas City).

Saturday and Sunday Officials
Seattle at ATLANTA, 4:35 p.m. Saturday – Gene Steratore
Houston at New England, 8:15 p.m. Saturday – Pete Morelli
Green Bay at Dallas, 4:40 p.m. Sunday – Tony Corrente
Pittsburgh at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. Sunday – Carl Cheffers

Saturday and Sunday Odds (Home team in CAPS)

Saturday’s Games
Favorite             Spread      Underdog             O/U
ATLANTA              –  4 1/2    Seattle              51
NEW ENGLAND          – 16        Houston              44 1/2

Sunday’s Games
Favorite             Spread      Underdog             O/U
DALLAS               –  4 1/2    Green Bay            52
KANSAS CITY          –  2        Pittsburgh           45

Saturday and Sunday Injury Report

Seattle at ATLANTA, 4:35 p.m. Saturday

Seattle
QUESTIONABLE: RB C.J. Prosise (Shoulder)

Atlanta – Atlanta reported no injuries

Houston at New England, 8:15 p.m. Saturday

Houston
QUESTIONABLE: S Quintin Demps (Hamstring), LB John Simon (Chest)

New England
QUESTIONABLE: WR Malcolm Mitchell (Knee)

Green Bay at Dallas, 4:35 p.m. Sunday

Green Bay
OUT: WR Jordy Nelson (Ribs), RB James Starks (Concussion), C Joseph Tretter (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Jayrone Elliott (Hand), WR Jeff Janis (Quadricep), CB Quinten Rollins (Neck)

Dallas
QUESTIONABLE: CB Morris Claiborne (Groin), DT Tyrone Crawford (Shoulder), LB Justin Durant (Elbow), DE Demarcus Lawrence (Back), DT Terrell McClain (Ankle), T Tyron Smith (Knee), DT Cedric Thornton (Ankle)

Pittsburgh at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. Sunday

Pittsburgh
OUT: LB Anthony Chickillo (Ankle)
DOUBTFUL: TE Ladarius Green (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Ricardo Mathews (Ankle), RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (Concussion)

Kansas City – Kansas City reported no injuries
Saturday and Sunday Weather
Seattle at ATLANTA, 4:35 p.m. Saturday (Game indoors)
Houston at New England, 8:15 p.m. Saturday (Mostly cloudy and 26 degrees)
Green Bay at Dallas, 4:35 p.m. Sunday (Game indoors)
Pittsburgh at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. Sunday (Cloudy and 34 degrees)

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

And then there were eight.

The tournament continues. Football’s answer to “Musical Chairs” continues. As long as the music plays, there’s still the chance that someone’s going to get to sit down. It’s when the music stops that the chaos begins and in the end, someone’s not going to get to sit down and suffice it to say, they’re out.

The NFL heads into the Divisional Playoffs and all four games are rematches from the regular season, the first time that has happened since the 2010 season. Each of the remaining eight teams won its division, the first time all eight teams in the Divisional round were division winners since 2011. Four more teams will be clearing their lockers on Monday and four more will advance a little closer to the Lombardi Trophy (more about him in a later post).

On Saturday, Atlanta (11-5), the NFC South champions, will host NFC West-champion Seattle (11-5-1) at the Georgia Dome to kick off the weekend on FOX at 4:35 p.m. That night in primetime on CBS at 8:15 p.m., New England (14-2), who won the AFC East and secured the No. 1 seed in the AFC, will host AFC South-champion Houston (10-7) at Gillette Stadium.

On Sunday, Kansas City (12-4), Dallas (13-3), who won the NFC East and secured the No. 1 seed in the NFC, will host Green Bay (11-6) at AT&T Stadium at 4:40 p.m. on FOX. Kansas City, the AFC West champions, will welcome AFC North-champion Pittsburgh (12-5) to Arrowhead Stadium on NBC at 8:30 p.m. because of weather in Kansas City (the original time was 1:05 p.m.).

“It is a whole new season now,” Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott told the Dallas Morning News. “Everything you do from this point on is really how you get looked at the end of the year. So that is important to us, looking forward and playing a long time in this postseason.”

Four games last week to start the playoffs and four wins. Can’t do any better than that. For the season, we’re 178-80.

This is week 18, for those of you keeping score. As was the case last week and in week 17, we’re going to make all the games “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 kindergarten 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 57 last June and dates a 42-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?”

Four more games. Four teams (Oakland, Detroit, Miami and the New York Giants) are sitting at home and have already cleared out their lockers by the time these games get underway and four more teams will follow suit this weekend. It’s not fair but it’s football and this time of year, it’s not like regular season where if you lose, you play next week.

The rules are different this time. It’s all for the Lombardi.

Win.

Advance to the next round.

Lose.

Kickoff is next September.

It’s so simple even a five-year old gets it.

With that, here are this weekend’s Divisional Playoff games.

Seattle (10-5-1, 3rd seed) at Atlanta (11-5, 2nd seed), 4:35 p.m. Saturday on FOX. Divisional week gets underway in the Big Peach as Atlanta and Matt Ryan host Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in a Saturday afternoon contest in the Georgia Dome. Seattle advanced to the playoffs for 5th consecutive season and have won 10+ games in each of past 5 seasons. Seattle aims for 3rd Super Bowl appearance in past 4 seasons, winning 7 of past 9 postseason games and have playoff wins in each of past 5 postseasons and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is 9-4 (.692) in playoffs with Seattle.

Atlanta won the NFC South and advanced to postseason for 1st time since 2012. The Falcons are 4-3 at home in playoffs in franchise history and are ranked 1st in NFL in total points (540) and 2nd in total offense (415.8 yards per game). Head coach Dan Quinn makes postseason debut in 2nd season in the Big Peach and spent four season with Seattle in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks (2009-10, 2013-14) and was team’s defensive coordinator in 2013-14.

Seattle enters the second round of the playoffs after they came away 26-6 winners over Detroit last Saturday night in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. The Seahawks held a slim 10-3 lead over Matthew Stafford and the Lions at the half, then scored their final 16 points of the contest in the fourth quarter unchallenged. Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls ran for 161 yards in the contest, as Seattle outrushed the Lions 177-49, while Wilson threw for 224 yards and a pair of TDs, with Stafford throwing for 205 yards with three sacks.

Atlanta comes off the bye week after their 38-32 win over New Orleans to close out the regular season and secure the number two seed in the NFC. The Falcons led from start to finish in their win over their NFC South rivals, taking a 35-13 lead into the halftime, then holding on for dear life in the final regular season game at the Georgia Dome. Atlanta outrushed New Orleans 142-132 (the Saints’ Mark Ingram led all rushers with 103 yards and a TD), while Ryan threw for 331 yards and four TDs, connecting with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu on two of those tosses. Atlanta was 6 of 11 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 29:45, while the Saints ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:15 and went 7 of 16 and 3 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

The Seahawks came away 26-24 winners in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in week 6. Atlanta, who trailed 17-3 at the half, let a 24-17 lead after three quarters of play get away from them as the Seahawks took the lead back for good with 1:57 left when Stephen Hauschka kicked a 44-yard field goal. Atlanta then got the ball back and threw four incomplete passes to seal their fate. Seattle outrushed Atlanta 72-52, while Ryan threw for 335 yards and three TDs, connecting with WR  Jones and Sanu on two of those strikes, while Wilson threw for 270 yards in the contest in the Pacific Northwest. Atlanta was 3 of 11 on third down tries, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:51, while the Seahawks, who held the pigskin for 30:09, went 5 of 14 on third down tries.

RECORD VS. COMMON OPPONENTS

Atlanta: 9-2 (Arizona 1-0; Carolina 2-0; Green Bay 1-0; Los Angeles 1-0; New Orleans 2-0; Philadelphia 0-1; San Francisco 1-0; Tampa Bay 1-1)

Sea: 5-5-1 (Arizona 0-1-1; Carolina 1-0; Green Bay 0-1; Los Angeles 1-1, New Orleans 0-1; Philadelphia 1-0; San Francisco 2-0; Tampa Bay 0-1)

Seattle was favored by 6 1/2 and although they won, they didn’t cover the spread, winning by only 2. Both teams did manage to cover the 46 over/under by combining for 50 points. Atlanta and Seattle have met only once in the post-season and that meeting took place in the Big Peach in 2012, with the Falcons taking a 30-28 win. Atlanta’s favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 51. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Seattle’s looking to prove to the Falcons that the first meeting was not a fluke. The Falcons are looking for revenge from their loss in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. It’ll be closer than the 4 1/2 but revenge prevails. Falcons win at home in the Big Peach.

Houston (9-7, 4th seed) at New England (14-2, 1st seed), 8:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS. Divisional Saturday concludes in Foxboro as New England hosts the Houston Texans in a week three rematch at Gillette Stadium.

Houston took care of Oakland last Saturday at NRG Stadium by a 27-14 final. The Texans led 20-7 at the half and never looked back, holding the Silver and Black to 64 yards, while rushing for 123 yards of their own. Brock Osweiler threw for 168 yards and a TD to DeAndre Hopkins, while the Raiders’ Connor Cook threw for 161 yards and a TD with three sacks and three interceptions. As far as third downs tries… the contest in the Lone Star State was not much to write home about, as the Texans were 4 of 15, while Oakland was 2 of 16, 1 of 2 on fourth down conversions. Houston in the win ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:29, while the Raiders held the pigskin for 26:31.

New England enjoyed their time off after they were 35-14 winners against Miami two weeks ago in the Sunshine State. Brady burned Miami for three TD passes as the Pats took a 20-7 lead at the break and never looked back. New England outrushed Miami 120-75 and Brady threw for 276 yards and the three TDs, while Miami’s Matt Moore threw for 205. Both clubs were 7 of 12 on third down conversions in the Sunshine State, while the Pats kept the ball for 31:22 to Miami’s 28:38.

New England and a Brady-less Patriots shut out Texans 27-0 in week three on a Thursday night. New England jumped out to a 10-0 lead at the break  in the contest that saw Watt get injured (back) and the Pats then added 17 second half points unchallenged. Jacoby Brissett, in for the suspended Brady, threw for 103 yards, while LeGarrett Blount ran for 105 yards and a pair of TDs (New England outrushed Houston 185-109). Osweiler threw for 196 yards and a TD but was sacked twice. Neither club was spectacular on third down (New England was 4 of 14, while the Texans were 6 of 15, 0 of 3 on fourth down). Houston did rule the clock, keeping the ball for 31:22, while the Brady-less Pats kept it for 28:38.

Houston won consecutive AFC South titles for 2nd time in franchise history (2011-12). Meanwhile, New England has won 8 consecutive division titles, longest streak in NFL history. Since 2001, have won 4 Super Bowl titles, the most in NFL. New England is 29-19 (.604) all-time postseason record, 3rd highest winning pct. in playoff history, while head coach BILL Belichick has 23 career postseason wins, most all-time. The Pats have won 4 Super Bowl titles (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX), tied with Chuck Noll for most in NFL history.

Houston was favored by 2 1/2 in the week three contest (New England easily covered the spread with their 27-point win) and the 41 over/under was safe, as the Pats scored all 27 points. New England and Houston have played once in the post-season and the Pats were 41-28 winners in Foxboro in 2012. This time? The Pats are a huge favorite, thanks to the boys and girls in Vegas. How huge? 16 points, the largest in this year’s playoffs. The over/under’s 44 1/2. The 44 1/2 makes sense. The 16? What the hell, fellas? That’s a little on the high side. It’s going to be closer than that. Still, this one might be entertaining to watch. Pats win but expect Houston to make things closer than 16.

Green Bay (10-6, 3rd seed) at Dallas (13-3, 1st seed), 4:40 p.m. Sunday on FOX. Divisional Weekend continues in the Lone Star State as a pair of franchises with a playoff history meet in Arlington when Dallas hosts the Green Bay Packers in a late afternoon contest at AT&T Stadium.

The Packers have won 13 NFL championships, most all-time. Green Bay’s .611 postseason winning pct. (33-21) is best in NFL history among teams with 50+ games played. This is the team’s 32nd playoff appearance, tied for most in NFL history. Mike McCarthy has led the team to playoffs in 9 of his 11 seasons as head coach and is 9-7. Green Bay rallied in the first half against Eli and the Giants, coming out on top 38-13 at chilly Lambeau Field (game-time temperature? A chilly – by Wisconsin standards – 14 degrees with a 4 degree wind chill). Green Bay trailed 6-0 after the first 15 minutes of action before the Packers scored twice in the second quarter and took the lead for keeps as the clock struck :00 in the first half when Aaron Rodgers and WR Randall Cobb connected on a 42-yard “Hail Mary” strike. The Giants would pull to within one with 5:16 left in the third when Manning and WR Tavarress King connected on a 41-yard TD pass to make it 14-13 Packers. Green Bay then restored order at home and scored their last 24 points of the contest unchallenged. Rodgers threw for 362 yards and four TDs, despite being sacked five times, while Manning threw for 299 yards and the one TD with a pair of sacks. Green Bay, who outrushed the Giants 75-70, went 5 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 34:31, while the Giants kept it for 25:29, going 5 of 16 on third down (New York was 1 of 1 on fourth down, while the Packers were 1 of 2).

Dallas won the NFC East for 2nd time in past 3 seasons. This is team’s 32nd playoff appearance, tied for most in NFL history. The Cowboys have 34 postseason victories, 2nd most in NFL history, ranking them 1st in NFL in rush defense (83.5 yards per game). Head coach Jason Garrett is 1-1 (.500) as head coach in postseason. Dallas closed out their 2016 campaign on a less-than pleasant note against Philadelphia, falling to the Eagles 27-13 in the City of Brotherly Love.  Tied 10-10 at halftime time at Lincoln Financial Field, Dallas took a 13-10 lead on a 23-yard field goal by Dan Bailey with 9:18 left in the third before the Eagles took control of things in the last two quarters of the game, scoring their last 17 points unchallenged. Dallas did get a look at Tony Romo under center for the first time since he was injured against Carolina in the 2015 season, backing up Prescott with a TD pass to Terrance Williams in the contest. Romo threw for 29 yards and the lone TD, while Prescott threw for 37. Rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott was given the day off, as Dallas ran for 69 yards on the afternoon, while Philly tallied 114. Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz threw for 245 yards and a pair of TDs to TE Zach Ertz. Dallas was 5 of 12 on third down conversions, keeping the ball for 24:18 to Philly’s 35:42 (the Eagles were 6 of 14 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs).

Dallas and Green Bay met at Lambeau in week six and took a 30-16 win in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. The Cowboys led 17-6 at the half and never looked back, holding Green Bay to 78 yards on the ground, while Elliott ran for 157 of his team’s 191 yards. Prescott threw for 247 yards and three TDs, connecting with Chad Beasley on two of those tosses, while Rodgers threw for 294 yards and a TD pass to Cobb. Dallas was 3 of 11 on third down tries at Lambeau (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:50, while the Packers, who went 7 of 13 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down, ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:10.

This is the eighth meeting in the post-season between the teams and Dallas has a 4-3 lead in the series. Dallas’ last win in the playoffs over the Packers came in 1985 when they were 38-27 winners at old Texas Stadium, while Green Bay’s last win in the post-season came at Lambeau in 2014 by a final of 26-21. That contest was the Dez Bryant catch-no catch contest, which Dallas led 14-10 at the half. Green Bay then rallied to take the 26-21 lead with 9:10 when Aaron Rodgers and Richard Rodgers connected on a 13-yd TD pass. Dallas then had one last chance to reclaim the lead and would have set up the game-winning score when Bryant and Romo connected on what they thought was a 31-yard pass to the Packers’ 1 yard line with 4:42 left in the contest. Green Bay then challenged the ruling on the field and the Packers won the challenge and Dallas gave up the ball on downs. Green Bay went on to run the clock out and take the win in the contest that took place in 24-degree weather in upstate Wisconsin.

In the week six contest at Lambeau, Green Bay was favored by 4 1/2 and Dallas covered the spread, winning by 14. Both clubs barely missed the 47 1/2 over/under, combining for 46 points. This time, the Cowboys are a 4 1/2-point favorite and the over/under’s 52. Revenge is on the docket for the Packers, while the Cowboys want to make sure Green Bay got the message the first time. Going with the upset here in the Lone Star State. Packers cover the 4 1/2 and win in Arlington.

Pittsburgh (11-5, 3rd seed) at Kansas City (12-4, 2nd seed), 8:30 p.m. Sunday on NBC. Divisional weekend concludes in the Midwest and travels to the Show-Me State as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead in a week four rematch. Pittsburgh is 35-23 all-time postseason record, most playoff wins all-time, ranking them 5th all-time in postseason win pct. (.600). and have won 7 division titles since 2002. The Chiefs have won 10 of past 12 and since 2015, they have 23 wins, 2nd most in NFL. The contest was slated for a 1:05 p.m. Eastern kickoff but the league decided that because of the weather situation in Kansas City, they pushed the kickoff time back.

Pittsburgh manhandled Miami 30-12 at Heinz Field Sunday afternoon. Pittsburgh led 20-6 at the half and never were really threatened by the Dolphins, who were held to 52 yards rushing, while the Steelers’ LeVeon Bell ran for 167 yards and a pair of TDs (Pittsburgh tallied 179). Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger threw for 197 yards and a pair of TDs to Antonio Brown, while the Steelers’ defense sacked Matt Moore (289 yards, TD, interception) five times. Pittsburgh was 4 of 9 on third down conversions at Heinz Field and held on to the ball for 27:58, while the Dolphins kept the ball for 32:02, going 6 of 14 and 2 of 4 on third and fourth downs.

The Steelers beat Kansas City 43-14 in week four at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh led 29-0 at the half and never looked back. Roethlisberger threw for 300 yards and five TDs, while Bell ran for 144 yards (Pittsburgh outrushed Kansas City 149-87). Alex Smith threw for 287 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times and picked off once. The victorious Steelers were 6 of 11 on third down tries in the Sunday night contest in the Steel City and kept the ball for 29:24, while Kansas City was 8 of 17 on third down (2 of 3 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 30:36. This time, the Chiefs are a 2-point favorite in the Show-Me State and the over/under is 45. The home teams last week went 4-0 and we expect that trend to continue through the post-season party. Steelers make this one close but Chiefs keep things up to date in Kansas City and moves on to the championship round.