As he did last year, NFL Hall of Famer and New York Jets legend Joe Namath will join Yahoo! Sports and the Shutdown Corner Blog for commentary and analysis. Make sure you like the Official Joe Namath page on Facebook . And with playoff news always breaking like injuries and weather, please make sure to check the Broadway Joe site for updates and even more playoff insight from the legend himself! What makes the playoff such a great thing is that you are seeing the best playing the best with everything on the line. But what happens when these teams have played each other before? A lot of things come into play when two teams face each other in the playoffs having just played each other a few weeks before. There is a familiarity component as one team knows what to do in this situation, against this opponent, to get a win. But the team they beat earlier this season knows the blueprint they’ll use so they’re not going into this thing blind either. It’s hard to tell, really, because the two teams have this familiarity but I don’t know if either team has an advantage in this case just because one team won or one team lost in the regular season. Some teams just happen to match up favoring one side and it plays out that way, no matter what. Three of the four games this weekend involve rematches from the regular season. In Week 1, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Packers 30-22 in a game where the 49ers had 186 rushing yards – but how much can you tell from a game that long ago? And of course, the Houston Texans are looking to atone in a major, major way for their Week 14 blowout loss on the road to the New England Patriots. I can tell you that the Texans are using that 42-14 score line as motivation this week. Two years ago, the Patriots had a similar scenario, beating the New York Jets in a Monday night blowout. The Jets went up there in the playoffs and came out with a win. New England looked exceptional a few weeks ago, in fact they were tremendous offensively. The Texans didn’t run the ball well that game and they’ll have to this time around. The Baltimore Ravens certainly have some motivation too, with a Week 15 loss to the Denver Broncos, a 34-17 defeat where they rushed for just 56 yards. Don’t think that the Ravens travel to Denver looking to better that number and that young Ray Rice kid – boy, I like him a lot – will be running with something to prove. A young team like the Seattle Seahawks might benefit from being under the radar all year and the Atlanta Falcons surely have heard about this team. But h the two teams not having played since 2011 might be a benefit the Seahawks. Who has the advantage this time around when you’re in a playoff game and you played your opponent in the regular season? Is it the team that won the previous matchup because they have confidence but they also went out there and executed better? Or is the team that lost? After all, they have something to prove and lessons learned from that last game. You want to know the key for the Texans or the Ravens or the Packers will be this time around to turn a regular season loss into a playoff win? Play better! I’m not trying to be a wise guy, but let’s keep this simple: Be who you are. Create turnovers and limit mistakes. It’s that simple. When you’re coming off a bad loss against a team you’re facing this weekend, you need to play perfect football. I can’t give you a more sophisticated answer on this one — sorry, folks! Each team that won their prior regular season matchup ahead of this weekend is playing at home as well this go-round, a huge advantage here. So don’t be looking for the losing team in these three matchups to suddenly make a huge stride and win. I just don’t see it happening this week. Joe’s Picks:
Joe Namath’s Divisional Round Playoff Picks: Matchup winners have the advantage (Shutdown Corner)
The Cleveland Browns hired Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski to be the 14th head coach in franchise history and he vowed Friday to bring his favorite boyhood team a winner.
NFL roundup: Browns introduce Chudzinkski as new coach (The SportsXchange)
DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Broncos want fans to have the best experience at Saturday’s playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens and they offered some recommendations. The game is obviously a sellout and more than 76,000 fans heading to the game is going to cause traffic congestion and delays likely. Fans should plan extra time getting to the stadium and arriving at gates no later than 60 minutes before kickoff. There will be security checkpoints at all the gates. Parking lots open at 9 a.m., Mountain Village opens at 10:30 a.m., United Club and suites open at 11 a.m., and all gates open at noon. With temperatures in the low 20s expected for the game, fans are urged to dress in appropriate attire to keep warm. Small bags (12” x 12” x 12” or smaller) to store extra layers and small blankets will be allowed. Hand warmers are permitted and will also be available for purchase at all merchandise kiosks. Hot cocoa and coffee will also be sold at all permanent concession stands. Heated jackets, thermoses or other hard-sided containers are not permitted. Parking on neighborhood streets is prohibited and violators will be ticketed and towed. RTD BroncosRide provides fans with direct bus service from local Park-n-Rides to the stadium. Buses depart Park-n-Rides and other locations 2½ to 1 hour prior to kickoff. Buses drop fans off and pick them up after the game in Lot A, located directly behind the main scoreboard at the stadium. Special C Line light rail service to the stadium will be available at least two hours before the game. It’s recommended to buy a round trip ticket to avoid delays after the game.
Broncos Offer Tips To Fans Going To The Game
NFL players weigh in on possibility that kickoffs will be phased out of the game.
Players Want Kickoffs To Stay
DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is so confident in the Broncos that he’s made a friendly wager with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The mayor of the losing team will send the other food that is unique to his or her city. If the Broncos lose, Hancock will send Rawlings-Blake a box of dry aged “cowboy cut” rib eye steaks from Lombardi Brothers Meats. Additionally, Hancock agreed to perform the famous Ray Lewis pre-game dance. “Denver is looking forward to an exciting game with the Ravens, and I expect an Orange Wave to come out on top at the end of the fourth quarter,” Mayor Hancock said. “Behind the high powered offense led by Peyton Manning and shut down defense led by Champ Bailey, Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller, the Broncos are playing at the top of their game. The road to the Super Bowl runs right through Denver, and I can’t think of a better city to host Ray Lewis’ last game of his acclaimed career.” Mayor Rawlings-Blake agreed to send a platter of broiled crab cakes from J. W. Faidley Seafood in Baltimore’s historic Lexington Market. She will also order Baltimore’s historic Washington Monument to be bathed in blue and orange light. “For five consecutive years, our Ravens have made the playoffs with an increasingly potent offense and historically dominant defense, led by All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis. I am excited to watch them win another game on the road to the Super Bowl,” Rawlings-Blake said. “This is, of course, Ray Lewis’ final post-season as a Raven. He and his teammates are playing with a renewed sense of camaraderie and urgency which the Denver Broncos will be unable to match.” Hancock said he looks forward to dining on the crab cakes, which have been noted in the New York Times as “the single best crab cake in Baltimore, if not the Western Hemisphere.”
The rest is here:
Mayor Hancock Looks Forward To Eating Crab Cakes From Baltimore
Jan 11 (Reuters) – Results and schedule for NationalFootball League postseason: Jan. 5 AFC wild-card game Houston Texans defeated Cincinnati Bengals 19-13. — NFC wild-card game Green Bay Packers defeated Minnesota Vikings 24-10. — Jan. 6 AFC wild-card game Baltimore Ravens defeated Indianapolis Colts 24-9. — NFC wild-card game Seattle Seahawks defeated Washington Redskins 24-14. — Saturday AFC divisional game Baltimore Ravens (11-6) at Denver Broncos (13-3), 2130GMT/4:30 PM ET — NFC divisional game Green Bay Packers (12-5) at San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1). …
See the article here:
NFL-Playoff results and schedule for NFL postseason (Reuters)
Playing in freezing weather is bad enough for any football player, but when you’ve spent your entire 13-year career playing half your games in a dome, well … it’s a bit of an adjustment. And Peyton Manning is a bit late in his career for adjustments, right? Maybe not. Maybe the ol’ Bronco is learning a new trick. But he’d better hurry. To start: Manning has never been known as a clutch cold-weather quarterback; according to ESPN stats, he’s started three playoff games when the temperature was below 40 degrees, and he’s lost all three: twice in New England and once against the Jets. Saturday’s temperature in Denver for the Broncos’ divisional matchup against the Ravens is forecast at 18 degrees at the 2:30 Mountain Time kickoff. That wouldn’t seem to bode well for Manning, except for the fact that he’s had time to get adjusted to the crisp Denver air. And he’s done so with the help of a throwing-hand glove, a piece of equipment he’s never used before. [Related: Broncos enjoy having experienced Peyton Manning at QB heading into playoff opener ] Call the glove a happy accident. Manning began wearing it not just because of the cold, but because of his neck injury, which has made it more difficult to grip the ball with his throwing hand. And since below-freezing weather turns the pigskin into a slick, leathery brick, the glove helps Manning keep a secure grip on the ball. “I certainly don’t think I would have had to wear the glove had I not been injured last year,” Manning said this week . “It’s part of my injury, some things that I’ve had to adjust.” The glove has helped, or at least not hurt: two weeks ago, Manning threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns against Kansas City. The gametime temperature then was below 30 degrees. The Ravens, on the other hand, have a bit of familiarity with cold-weather temperatures; they don’t get a trip to San Diego every year. Under head coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens are 10-7 when the temperature is below 40 degrees at kickoff. Cold weather or not, oddsmakers are favoring Peyton and the Broncos. The line on this game favors Denver by about 9.5 points, regardless of weather. -Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee .- Outside the Game from Yahoo! Sports: Other popular content on the Yahoo! network: • Washington D.C. radio station changes call letters to ‘WRG3′ • Katherine Webb, AJ McCarron’s girlfriend, may pose for SI swimsuit issue • Qatar Masters doesn’t think Tiger Woods worth his $3M appearance fee • Y! Finance: Paying off $26,500 in debt in less than two years
Peyton Manning and his glove are ready for the Colorado playoff chill (Shutdown Corner)
Here’s a fun fact: In the last 20 divisional round games dating back to the 2007 postseason, we’ve seen as many underdogs as favorites move on to the divisional round. Yes, 10 favorites have fallen hard in these last five postseasons.
The rest is here:
Divisional round handicapping column (Pro Football Weekly)
So, I went 1-1 in last week’s wild-card games. Guess I shouldn’t have been such an AFC North homer. Let’s see how I fare in Saturday’s AFC divisional …
Friday Forecast: Divisional predictions
Ravens running back Ray Rice went on Mike and Mike In the Morning to discuss his role in Baltimore’s offense under Jim Caldwell, preparing for the Bro…
Podcast: Ray Rice on the Broncos