NFL News: Player News and Updates for 1/4/14
NFL Updates: What to Watch Today, Complete Playoffs Schedule and More
January 4, 2014
It seems a little strange to be having NFL football on a Saturday, but that’s the playoffs for you. We’ll be getting things kicked off this weekend, and by the time we’re finished up tomorrow we’ll know who’s advancing to the divisional rounds. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the noteworthy players and storylines developing out there right now. Here’s the latest.
Chiefs-Colts What to Watch: Let’s start things out today by taking a look at the first playoff matchup of the weekend. The Kansas City Chiefs will be heading to Indianapolis to take on the Colts this afternoon, and it should be a pretty interesting game. Both teams finished 11-3, but Indy gets to host the game by virtue of (easily) winning their division. Meanwhile, Kansas City had a great season, but was relegated to a Wild Card role by simply having the misfortune of sharing a division with the Broncos.
Here’s an interesting stat: Both the Chiefs’ Alex Smith and the Colts’ Andrew Luck finished the year with 23 passing touchdowns. Smith, however, posted his in 62 fewer attempts (508 to 570). Having the dynamic Jamaal Charles (who caught a team-high seven of those TD passes) in the backfield helps out a lot, though.
Speaking of Charles, the Colts will certainly have their hands full with him today. He’ll be the focal point of KC’s offensive attack, and Indy will have to try and bottle him up to make Smith find other options with his arm.
On the other side, Luck will likely be carrying a heavy load here, as his rushing attack (Donald Brown and Trent Richardson) has shown some major deficiencies at times this season. Still, that’s easier said than done against a very tough Chiefs defense.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Saints-Eagles What to Watch: After the Colts and Chiefs finish up, you won’t even have to change the channel to catch the Saints and Eagles game. This is another matchup that could be difficult to predict, so it should make for some interesting viewing.
The talk this week surrounding the Saints hasn’t been favorable. They supposedly have difficulties playing away from home and in cold weather (and the stats from this year would seem to back that up). The bad news for them is that this one is in Philadelphia, and the game-time temperature should be somewhere in the 20s.
That would give the edge to the Eagles, who are miles better with their running game (160.4 YPG compared to New Orleans’ 92.1). LeSean McCoy will hear his number called often this evening; He’s had the hot hand this season and will play a huge part in Philly’s plans.
Meanwhile, the Saints have been living by the pass (307.4 YPG through the air) this season, and as long as it’s not abnormally windy we don’t expect to see much of a change in their style here. That said, QB Drew Brees will have to buck his current trend if they want to be successful. In his last three road games, he has a total of just three TD passes and four interceptions.
NFL Playoffs Schedule: It’s almost playoff time, and the anticipation is running high. Here’s a look at the complete schedule of games for each round of the playoffs, along with the start times and TV networks carrying each matchup.
Saturday, January 4, 2014:
4:35 PM ET:
Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts (NBC)
8:10 PM ET:
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (NBC)
Sunday, January 5, 2014:
1:05 PM ET:
San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)
4:40 PM ET:
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (FOX)
Saturday, January 11, 2014:
4:35 PM ET:
Lowest NFC Seed at Seattle Seahawks (FOX)
8:15 PM ET:
Highest AFC Seed at New England Patriots (CBS)
Sunday, January 12, 2014:
1:05 PM ET:
Higest NFC Seed at Carolina Panthers (FOX)
4:40 PM ET:
Lowest AFC Seed at Denver Broncos (CBS)
Other Notable Dates:
AFC Championship: January 19, 2014 (CBS)
NFC Championship: January 19, 2014 (FOX)
Super Bowl XLVIII: February 2, 2014 (FOX)
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