Archive - January 5, 2015

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Ravens and Colts Move On in NFL Postseason
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Cowboys and Panthers to Advance to Divisional Round

Ravens and Colts Move On in NFL Postseason

flaccoIn two of the most intriguing matchups of the 2015 postseason, the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens were both victorious in Wild Card Weekend behind stellar play from their respective quarterbacks. The Colts defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 26-10 in Indianapolis and the Ravens took down the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers 30-17 at Heinz Field.

Steelers versus Ravens has quickly emerged as the elite rivalry game in the NFL. Both teams are prided by their hard-hitting defenses, who are not afraid to lay the lumber against a divisional opposing offense. However, in 2014 the Steelers have been carried by their offense, which ranked first in the AFC in yards per game. Pittsburgh’s defense would have their work cut out for them in this game, as they faced one of the league’s best postseason quarterbacks in Joe Flacco. In an underwhelming first half, Ravens held a 10-9 lead behind a Bernard Pierce touchdown run and Justin Tucker field goal. Despite having such a high tempo offense, Pittsburgh would only find the end zone one time in this contest, as Ben Roethlisberger found Martavis Bryant for a six-yard strike in the third. Behind a turnover-free game from their quarterback, Baltimore upset Pittsburgh with a double-digit win in on the road. The Ravens will face the New England Patriots next weekend in Foxborough for a shot at the AFC Championship Game.

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Behind head coach Marvin Lewis and quarterback Andy Dalton, the Bengals have seen a tremendous amount of regular season success in Cincinnati. However, with their Pro Bowl quarterback under center, Cincy has yet to win to win a game in the NFL postseason. The Bengals would hit the road to Indianapolis where they would face the Colts and their elite young quarterback Andrew Luck. Unfortunately for Bengals fans it would be more of the same from their head coach and quarterback. Indianapolis came out of the gates firing with an opening drive touchdown and a pair of field goals from future Hall of Famer Adam Vinatieri. Rookie running back Jeremy Hill would be the only Bengal to find the end zone on Sunday afternoon, as the Colts shut down Cincinnati’s offense in the second half with 13 unanswered points scored and none allowed. Luck added to his impressive on-field resume with 376 passing yards and no interceptions thrown. Indy will travel to Denver next week where they will take on their former fan favorite Peyton Manning and his Broncos squad.

The AFC postseason is about to get even more interesting as the Ravens and the Colts look to take on two of the best teams in the NFL respectively. The Patriots and the Broncos are both tough teams to beat in general, but with a trip to Super Bowl XLIX at stake, Baltimore and Indianapolis have a difficult task ahead of them. Football fans better gear up for a thrilling divisional round, because the road to Glendale is about to get very interesting.

Cowboys and Panthers to Advance to Divisional Round

newtonsuperman In two incredibly strange games this weekend, the Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers have each moved on past Wild Card Weekend to play for a shot to make the NFC Championship Game in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. While Carolina defeated Arizona in one of the sloppiest playoff games in recent memory, Dallas’ defeat of the Detroit Lions has sparked controversy over a questionable call by officials.

The 7-8-1 Carolina Panthers became only the second team in NFL history to make the playoffs with a losing record. They hosted the NFC Wild Card winning Arizona Cardinals who made the playoffs with an 11-5 record. From the get go, this matchup was filled with punts and turnovers galore. However, despite sloppy play and even sloppier weather, the Carolina Panthers defense was absolutely stifling. Arizona held a one point lead at the half but would go on to be shut out for the rest of the game, recording only 12 yards of total offense in the third and fourth quarters combined. Defensive captain Luke Kuechly would serve as the hero for the Carolina Panthers, recording 10 total tackles, two pass deflections, and an interception en route to the best team defensive effort in NFL playoff history and the Panthers first playoff victory since 2005. Carolina will face the number one seed Seattle Seahawks at Century Link Field next weekend.

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Sunday in Jerry World, the Dallas Cowboys hosted the Detroit Lions in a playoff game that will be questioned for quite some time. From the first whistle, Detroit looked in control and on pace for an upset of the NFC East champs. Matt Stafford entered the contest winless against teams with winning records on the road, but with a 10-point lead and momentum entering the second half in Dallas, the ex-Georgia Bulldog looked certain to correct that record. DeMarco Murray and Terrance Williams found the end zone and Dan Bailey nailed a field goal to result in a 20-17 Lions lead late in the fourth quarter. On a crucial third down towards the end of the game, a flag thrown on an evident defensive pass interference call against the Cowboys was picked up by a referee after the call. This picked up flag forced Detroit to punt, which led to a Tony Romo game-winning touchdown pass to Terrance Williams. With the win, Dallas advances to the Frozen Tundra where they will face the Green Bay Packers.

As the NFC postseason heads into the divisional round, football fans everywhere are gearing up for even more thrilling NFL action an the suspense of which two teams will compete at the Conference Championship. With Super Bowl XLIX getting even closer, the competition is fiercer than ever, which will provide for even more great match-ups with teams fighting to the very end so don’t miss am minute of the action coming next weekend.

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