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NFL News: Player News and Updates for 1/12/14

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

January 12, 2014

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Half the weekend’s NFL playoff games are officially in the books--with the Seahawks and Patriots advancing--and we’ve already seen some amazing things on the football field. We’re sure to see even more as the action continues today, so with that in mind let’s take a quick overall look at each matchup and try to figure out the big things we should be looking for.

49ers-Panthers What to Watch: The 49ers and Panthers will be getting things started in the early game today, and this one should cause fans of stout defense to salivate. These two teams met way back on November 10, and the result of that was a 10-9 road win for Carolina.
San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick aims to get some revenge for that tough loss--he was ineffective in the teams’ first meeting, passing for a season-low 91 yards and an interception. He’s coming into this one with some momentum, however, after a close road win against the Packers in brutal Green Bay conditions. Kaepernick tossed for 227 yards and racked up 98 more on the ground in that one, but he may be forced to utilize his arm a little more today. The Panthers’ goal will be containment, and their league-leading pass rush (60 sacks) won’t make it easy to escape their grasp. Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis will be crucial to the Niners’ success.
On the other side, the Panthers have to escape the deer-in-headlights feeling of their first playoff appearance in five seasons. All eyes will be on QB Cam Newton here, as he’ll need to improve upon his recent performances (17 or fewer points in two of the last four games) and focus on putting points--any points--on the board. The health of go-to WR Steve Smith will play a heavy part in that.
That said, the general consensus is that this will be another low-scoring affair. 17 points just might do it.

NFL News: Player News and Updates for 1/12/14

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers-Broncos What to Watch: Wrapping things up in the late game today will be the Chargers and Broncos butting heads in Denver. San Diego enters this one as heavy underdogs, despite beating the Broncos 27-20 in their last meeting (and only losing by eight in their first matchup this season). These divisional foes know each other very well, so literally anything could happen throughout the course of the game.
The Chargers are coming off a big (and unexpected) victory over the surprisingly limp Bengals in the first round, and aren’t lacking confidence as they head to Denver. The Broncos scored fewer than 30 points just three times this season, and two of those came against the Chargers. They’ll have to have all cylinders firing if they want to get another victory, from the RB tandem of Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead to the air strike of Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen.
Denver QB Peyton Manning, meanwhile, is likely elated to have his go-to receiver back in Wes Welker, who is coming off a concussion suffered on Dec. 8. Welker was second in the league in red zone receptions with 18 (one behind Woodhead’s 19). With him healthy and requiring extra defensive attention, we’ll likely see the ball spread around depending on the situation, so literally anyone could come up with a big game.
In counterpoint to the early game, this one should be an offense-heavy, high-scoring game that will be a lot of fun to watch.

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:

New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (FOX)
FINAL SCORE: Seahawks 23, Saints 15

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (CBS)
FINAL SCORE: Patriots 43, Colts 22

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 3:00 PM ET (CBS)
Patriots at Broncos or Chargers at Patriots

NFC Championship 6:30 PM ET (FOX)
Panthers or 49ers at Seahawks

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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