NFL News: Player News and Updates for 1/5/14
NFL Updates: What to Watch Today, Complete Playoffs Schedule and More
January 5, 2014
Now that the playoffs have officially begun, it really feels like we’re coming down to the wire in the NFL. We’ve got two more games to look forward to today, then we can spend another five days talking about the upcoming matchups (we already know the Colts and Saints will be moving on). That said, let’s take a closer look at some of the noteworthy happenings and storylines out there while we’re waiting on kickoffs. Here’s the latest.
Chargers-Bengals What to Watch: Today’s NFL action will be getting started comparatively early as opposed to yesterday’s. We’ll get back to the 1:05 ET start time with the San Diego Chargers heading to Cincinnati to face the Bengals. San Diego made a late charge and eked out a Wild Card berth (though it technically should have gone to the Steelers), and the Bengals were able to win the AFC North over some mediocre-to-bad competition this season.
Offensively, both teams are fairly similar. Philip Rivers posted 4478 yards and 32 passing touchdowns this season; Andy Dalton had 4293 and 33 passing scores. The Bengals seem to have the edge with receivers--think A.J. Green’s 1426 yards and 11 touchdowns and Marvin Jones’ 712 yards and 10 scores--but San Diego has had some success with the Ryan Mathews-Danny Woodhead tandem.
Each team prefers a balanced attack between run and pass, which might not pan out so well if we get the rainy conditions in Cincinnati today. If the weather comes into play we could see a heavy reliance on Mathews-Woodhead and the Bengals’ timeshare of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
49ers-Packers What to Watch: All the talk surrounding the 49ers-Packers game this week has been centered around the anticipated sub-zero temperatures at game time. Lambeau Field will be a frozen tundra by the time the teams kick off, and the cold is sure to have an effect on their performances.
It could be near impossible to do much in the way of passing (or kicking), so we could be seeing a lot of San Francisco’s Frank Gore and Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy. Both have been statistically similar this season: Gore logged 1128 rush yards and nine touchdowns; Lacy posted 1178 and 11 rushing scores.
The Packers’ preference for the pass (268.8 YPG) might take a backseat, which would negate the lift caused by Aaron Rodgers’ return in his second week after recovering from a broken collarbone. He’ll face a substantially more difficult task moving the ball against the 49ers defense. They’re allowing just 17 points per game.
NFL Playoffs Schedule: It’s 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)
FINAL SCORE: Colts 45, Chiefs 44
8:10 PM ET:
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (NBC)
FINAL SCORE: Saints 26, Eagles 24
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:
New Orleans Saints 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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