Saturday, Jan. 10
Baltimore at New England, 4:35 p.m. EST (NBC). After beating Pittsburgh in the wild-card round, Joe Flacco and the Ravens advanced to face Tom Brady and the top-seeded Patriots. Baltimore is 2-1 against New England on the road in the playoffs, including a 28-13 triumph in January 2013 that preceded a 34-31 victory over San Francisco in the Super Bowl.
Carolina at Seattle, 8:15 p.m. EST (FOX). The Panthers turned over the ball three times against Arizona, but escaped with a 27-16 win in the wild-card round thanks to a defense that limited the Cardinals to 78 yards, the fewest in NFL postseason history. Next up for Carolina is the defending Super Bowl-champion Seahawks, who beat the Panthers in each of the past three seasons by a total of 13 points, including a 13-9 defeat on Oct. 26 in Charlotte.
– Andrew Luck, Colts, went 31 of 44 for 376 yards and a game-changing touchdown pass as he was headed to the turf in the Colts’ 26-10 victory over Cincinnati.
– Tony Romo, Cowboys, threw for 293 yards and two TDs to lead Dallas past Detroit 24-20 in its first playoff game in five years.
– Daniel Herron, Colts, rushed for 56 yards and a score, and also had 10 catches for 85 yards in Indianapolis’ 26-10 win over Cincinnati.
– DeMarco Murray, Cowboys, had 75 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries in Dallas’ 24-20 victory over Detroit.
– Terrence Williams, Cowboys, had two touchdown catches – the second taking a short pass 76 yards to the end zone for the lead late in the fourth quarter – and Dallas rallied for a 24-20 wild-card win over Detroit.
– T.Y. Hilton, Colts, caught six passes for 103 yards to help Indianapolis top Cincinnati 26-10.
– Jerrell Freeman, Colts, was in on 15 tackles, including seven solo, and had 1 1/2 sacks in Indianapolis’ 26-10 win over Cincinnati.
– DeMarcus Lawrence, Cowboys, sacked Detroit’s Matthew Stafford on fourth down near midfield in the final minute – making up for his fumble following Anthony Spencer’s sack a few minutes earlier – as Dallas won 24-20.
– Adam Vinatieri, Colts, made four field goals in Indianapolis’ 26-10 win over Cincinnati.
– Mike Nugent, Bengals, kicked a career-best and franchise-record 57-yard field goal in a losing cause as Cincinnati fell to Indianapolis 26-10.
Indianapolis’ Adam Vinatieri made a field goal in his 12th consecutive playoff game, matching his own previous mark for the second-longest streak in NFL history. Toni Fritsch did it in 13 straight games from 1972-79. … The Colts’ Andrew Luck joined Dan Fouts, Jim Kelly, Warren Moon and Drew Brees as the only NFL players with three straight 300-yard games in the postseason.
STATS AND STREAKS
Cincinnati became the first team in NFL history to lose four consecutive opening-round games. … The Bengals’ Andy Dalton tied Warren Moon for the most consecutive opening-round playoff losses by a quarterback, dropping to 0-4 all-time. … Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis tied Marty Schottenheimer, Jim Mora and Steven Owen for most consecutive playoff losses (six) by a coach. Lewis also tied Mora, the former Colts coach, for most consecutive playoff losses to start a career, and tied Owen for most consecutive playoff losses with one team.
BEEN A WHILE
Cincinnati and Detroit both dropped their wild-card playoff games, continuing long dubious streaks without playoff success. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since January 1991, while the Lions haven’t gotten one since the 1991 season.
Andrew Luck went 31 of 44 for 376 yards and a TD in Indianapolis’ 26-10 win over Cincinnati, and finished a playoff game without a turnover for the first time in four tries. He also joined Dan Fouts, Jim Kelly, Warren Moon and Drew Brees as the only NFL players with three straight 300-yard games in the postseason. Luck managed to keep his feet and his poise on the biggest play of the game, floating a perfect pass to the corner of the end zone as Carlos Dunlap started to take him to the turf – while rookie receiver Donte Moncrief sprinted across the field and cradled the ball for the score that gave Indy a 20-10 lead.
Dallas wiped out an early two-touchdown deficit to beat Detroit 24-20 on Sunday and earn a trip to Green Bay, the Cowboys’ first postseason visit there since a heartbreaking loss to the Packers in the Ice Bowl in 1967. Bart Starr’s 1-yard run helped the Packers advance to second Super Bowl in temperatures that got as cold as minus-13 degrees with a wind chill of minus-46.
Detroit was driving with a 20-17 lead against Dallas midway through the fourth quarter when referee Pete Morelli announced a pass interference penalty against Anthony Hitchens on a third-down pass to Brandon Pettigrew. But officials reversed the call without explanation, and Sam Martin had a 10-yard punt on fourth-and-1. Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he got an explanation, but didn’t like it. Tony Romo then took the Cowboys 59 yards in 11 plays, including a 21-yard pass to Jason Witten on fourth-and-6. The winner to Terrence Williams was an 8-yarder, leading Dallas to a 24-20 win.
Cincinnati played Indianapolis without star wide receiver A.J. Green or tight end Jermaine Gresham because of injuries. Green was ruled out Saturday with a concussion, while Gresham was out with a back injury. The two combined for 131 receptions, 1,501 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga hurt a hamstring early in the second quarter, and was carted off. The Bengals also lost cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick to an injured right ankle early in the third quarter. … Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain and Detroit Lions guard Travis Swanson didn’t return for the second half of the NFC wild-card game. McClain had an illness and dehydration, while Swanson left before halftime with a knee injury.
”I’m thrilled for him. He whispered in my ear that he’ll call me tonight, so I want to share how happy I am.” – Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Tony Romo, who helped lead Dallas to a 24-20 wild-card win over Detroit on Sunday in the franchise’s first playoff game in five years.
”The one magical play was when Andrew was at his finest. He’s a maestro. He’s unbelievable back there.” – Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano on quarterback Andrew Luck, who managed a game-changing TD toss as he was getting slammed to the turf to help lead the Colts to a 26-10 win over Cincinnati.
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