The NFL Playoffs on Saturday were not the most exciting and Sunday wasn’t the best games ever but did provide a little more excitement as two more teams advanced to the Divisional round. Houston and Green Bay moved on with wins on Saturday.
The Colts had a remarkable season all things considered. A rookie quarterback and a head coach that battled and beat cancer are no easy tasks. Baltimore’s defense in the playoffs however proved to be too much as the Ravens kept Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck and the Colts out of the end zone.
Indy had 25 first downs and were 9 0f 20 on third down to go along with a 37:32 to 22:28 time of possession advantage but couldn’t capitalize in the redzone.
Baltimore’s Anquan Boldin set a franchise record with his 145 yards receiving to go with a touchdown. It was also a special day for Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis who played his final game on the home field. Lewis is retiring after 17 NFL seasons at the conclusion of the playoffs. Lewis led the team in tackles with 13. Colts receiver Reggie Wayne had a solid day with 9 catches for 114 yards
Luck finished the game 28 of 54 for 288 yards to with an interception and was sacked three times. Counterpart Joe Flacco was 12 of 23 for 282 yards to go with a pair of touchdown passes.
Seattle overcame an early 14-0 deficit to come back and win on the road. A big reason is the story everyone is talking about in regards to this game and that is the injury to Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III.
RG3 had been dealing with an injured right knee and early in the first quarter aggravated the knee while rolling to the right out of the pocket. Griffin was not the same after that play as the Redskins offense came to a screeching halt.
The Redskins had 129 yards in the first quarter and just 74 the rest of the game. Griffin was 6 of 9 for 68 yards and two touchdowns after 15 minutes of play. After the opening quarter he was just 4 of 10 for 16 yards with an interception.
Credit Seattle however as fellow rookie quarterback Russell Wilson methodically brought his team back. Wilson was 15 of 26 for 187 yards and also fan for 67 yards. Speaking of running, Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch carried the ball 20 times for 132 yards to go along with the go-ahead touchdown.
Washington came into the game as the NFL’s top rushing team averaging 169.3 yards per game. Seattle’s young defense held them to 104 yards led by Alfred Morris’s 80 yards on 16 carries.
DIVISIONAL ROUND MATCHUPS
Baltimore @ Denver: The two teams met just last month as the Broncos won in Baltimore 34-17 on December 16. The Broncos defense provided the spark with a Christ Harris 98-yard interception return for a touchdown. It was Denver quarterback Peyton Manning’s ninth straight win over the Ravens, his first with the Broncos. Manning threw for 204 yards and a touchdown.
Baltimore was limited to just 56 yards rushing while converting on only 1 of 12 third downs and turned the ball over twice.
Kickoff is set for 3:30.
Green Bay @ San Francisco: These two teams met back in the opening week of the season in Lambeau Field where the 49ers won 30-22. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was 30 of 44 for 303 yards with two touchdowns and an interception while Alex Smith was 20 of 26 for 211 yards and two touchdowns for the 49ers. Frank Gore rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown for San Francisco as well.
Statistically it was a pretty even game. San Francisco had 22 first downs, 377 yards of offense and possessed the ball 33:00. Green Bay had 21 first downs, 324 yards of offense but only managed 45 yards on the ground and had the ball for 27:00.
Smith was sacked four times and Rodgers was sacked three times.
Kickoff is set for 7p.
Seattle @ Atlanta: The two teams have not met this season. The Falcons are the NFC’s top seed and had a bye this week. Seattle including the playoff win over the Redskins are on a six-game winning streak.
Kickoff is set for noon.
Houston @ New England: The two teams met back on Monday night December 10 and it was a game hyped as a possible AFC Championship match-up. The Patriots spanked the Texans 42-14 in a game New England quarterback Tom Brady threw 4 touchdown passes. Houston entered the game with the NFL’s best record overall at 11-1.
Houston quarterback Matt Schaub was 19 of 32 for 232 yards to go with no touchdowns and an interception while being sacked once.
Kickoff is set for 3:30.