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NFL News: Player News and Updates for 1/11/14

NFL Updates: What to Watch Today, Complete Playoffs Schedule and More

January 11, 2014

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Today’s the day (finally). The NFL playoffs will be getting back to it in the coming hours, so the waiting and anticipation have finally come to an end. We’ve got a couple of pretty good-looking matchups headed our way today, so with that in mind let’s take a quick look at each game and see what we should be expecting out there on the field.

Saints-Seahawks What to Watch: Let’s start things off today by checking out the early game, which is the New Orleans Saints at the Seattle Seahawks. Drew Brees and the Saints get the unenviable task of traveling to Seattle--one of the most difficult places in the NFL to play--and trying to steal a win. After a blowout loss earlier in the year, they’ve got their work cut out for them. Their last Seattle playoff matchup, in early 2011, produced a shocking Seahawks victory that bounced Drew Brees and company from the postseason.
The biggest thing the Saints have working for them right now is the fact that they’ve dropped the “can’t win on the road” mentality after emerging triumphant in Philadelphia last weekend. This Seahawks defense, however, is much different than the comparatively lax Eagles squad. Seattle boasts an NFL-best 273.6 yards per game, and they held the potent New Orleans offense to just 188 yards in their last meeting. The Saints simply have to find some holes here.
On the other side, the main point of contention will be the Seahawks’ rushing attack. Marshawn Lynch had just 45 yards in the teams’ earlier meeting, and hasn’t broken the century mark since November 10. He’ll need to get going quickly, and the presence of dynamic WR Percy Harvin--who will be returning from injury--will certainly help open things up.

NFL News: Player News and Updates for 1/11/14

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Colts-Patriots What to Watch: In the late game over on the AFC side, we’ve got a nice-looking matchup between two familiar opponents. The Indianapolis Colts will be heading to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots, and there are lots of potential storylines in this one.
We’ll start with the Colts: They’ve been flirting with disaster all season, but have been finding ways to dig themselves out of big holes. Case in point: last weekend’s mind-boggling 28-point comeback against the Chiefs. With Andrew Luck at the helm, the Colts are now 14-2 in games decided by a touchdown or less. Speaking of Luck, he’ll need to be on point in this one. The Patriots boast a very potent cornerback tandem in Aqib Talib and Logan Ryan.
As for the Patriots, they’ve got quite a bit to prove here. They’ve been stellar at home in recent years (undefeated this season), but have faltered come playoff time. Given the fact that Tom Brady is without go-to guy Rob Gronkowski, and the fact that he’ll be seeing a stout pass rush in the form of Robert Mathis, we’ll probably see a preference for the run here. Expect to see big games from the likes of Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount.

NFL Playoffs Schedule: It’s playoff time, and the anticipation is running high as we cruise through each week. Here’s a look at the scores and complete schedule of games for each round of the playoffs, along with the start times and TV networks carrying each matchup.

WILD CARD ROUND:

Saturday, January 4, 2014:

Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts (NBC)
FINAL SCORE: Colts 45, Chiefs 44

New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (NBC)
FINAL SCORE: Saints 26, Eagles 24

Sunday, January 5, 2014:

San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)
FINAL SCORE: Chargers 27, Bengals 10

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (FOX)
FINAL SCORE: 49ers 23, Packers 20

DIVISIONAL ROUND:

Saturday, January 11, 2014:

4:35 PM ET:
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (FOX)

8:15 PM ET:
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (CBS)

Sunday, January 12, 2014:

1:05 PM ET:
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (FOX)

4:40 PM ET:
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (CBS)

January 19, 2014:

AFC Championship (Teams TBA): 3:00 PM ET (CBS)

NFC Championship(Teams TBA): 6:30 PM ET (FOX)

Sunday, January 26, 2014:

Pro Bowl: 7:30 PM ET (NBC)

February 2, 2014:

Super Bowl XLVIII (Teams TBA): 6:30 PM ET (FOX)

For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.

 

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