NFL announces schedule for Divisional Playoffs

The NFL announced Sunday night the schedule of sites, dates, and times for the Divisional Playoffs on January 22-23.

Saturday, January 22:

AFC:    4:30 PM (ET)              Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (CBS, Paramount+)

NFC:    8:15 PM (ET)              San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (FOX, FOX Deportes)

Sunday, January 23:

NFC:    3:00 PM (ET) Arizona Cardinals or Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(NBC, Peacock, Universo)

AFC:    6:30 PM (ET)              Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (CBS, Paramount+)

Who will get in? Playoff scenarios for Week 18 in NFL

We have reached the end of the regular season, and 11 of the 14 possible playoff teams have clinched, and now there are three more teams who will attempt to do the same in Week 18.

The Green Bay Packers have clinched the number one seed in the NFC, while in the AFC, the Bengals, Chiefs, Titans, and Patriots have a shot at the number one seed. However, if Tennessee defeats Jacksonville, they would be the number one seed and get a first-round bye.

Below are the playoff scenarios for Week 18:

AFC

CLINCHED (5 of 7):

  • Cincinnati Bengals – AFC North division title

  • Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division title

  • Tennessee Titans – AFC South division title

  • Buffalo Bills – playoff berth

  • New England Patriots – playoff berth

BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-8) (vs. Pittsburgh (8-7-1), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Baltimore clinches playoff berth with:

  1. BAL win + LAC loss + IND loss + MIA loss or tie

BUFFALO BILLS (10-6) (vs. New York Jets (4-12), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Buffalo clinches AFC East division title with:

  1. BUF win OR

  2. NE loss OR

  3. BUF tie + NE tie

CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-6) (at Cleveland (7-9), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Cincinnati clinches AFC’s No. 1 seed, only first-round bye and homefield advantage with:

  1. CIN win + TEN loss + KC loss + NE loss or tie OR

  2. CIN win + TEN loss + KC loss + BUF win

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-7) (at Jacksonville (2-14), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Indianapolis clinches playoff berth with:

  1. IND win or tie OR

  2. LAC loss + BAL-PIT tie OR

  3. LAC loss + PIT loss + MIA win

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-5) (at Denver (7-9), Saturday, 4:30 PM ET, ESPN/ABC)

Kansas City clinches AFC’s No. 1 seed, only first-round bye and homefield advantage with:

  1. KC win + TEN loss or tie OR

  2. KC tie + TEN loss

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (9-7) (vs. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Las Vegas clinches playoff berth with:

  1. LV win OR

  2. LV tie + IND loss OR

  3. IND loss + PIT loss or tie

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (9-7) (at Las Vegas (9-7), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Los Angeles Rams clinch playoff berth with:

  1. LAC win or tie

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-6) (at Miami (8-8), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

New England clinches AFC’s No. 1 seed, only first-round bye and homefield advantage with:

  1. NE win + BUF loss or tie + KC loss + TEN loss

New England clinches AFC East division title with:

  1. NE win + BUF loss or tie OR

  2. NE tie + BUF loss

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-7-1) (at Baltimore (8-8), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Pittsburgh clinches playoff berth with:

  1. PIT win + IND loss + LV-LAC game does not end in a tie

TENNESSEE TITANS (11-5) (at Houston (4-12), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Tennessee clinches AFC’s No. 1 seed, only first-round bye and homefield advantage with:

  1. TEN win OR

  2. TEN tie + KC loss or tie OR

  3. KC loss + CIN loss or tie + NE loss or tie OR

  4. KC loss + CIN loss or tie + BUF win

NFC

CLINCHED (6 of 7):

  • Green Bay Packers – NFC North division title, No. 1 seed, only first-round bye and homefield advantage

  • Dallas Cowboys – NFC East division title

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers – NFC South division title

  • Arizona Cardinals – playoff berth

  • Los Angeles Rams – playoff berth

  • Philadelphia Eagles – playoff berth

ARIZONA CARDINALS (11-5) (vs. Seattle (6-10), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Arizona clinches NFC West division title with:

  1. ARI win + LAR loss

LOS ANGELES RAMS (12-4) (vs. San Francisco (9-7), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Los Angeles Rams clinch NFC West division title with:

  1. LAR win or tie OR

  2. ARI loss or tie

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (8-8) (at Atlanta (7-9), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

New Orleans clinches playoff berth with:

  1. NO win + SF loss

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (9-7) (at Los Angeles Rams (12-4), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX

)San Francisco clinches playoff berth with:

  1. SF win or tie OR

  2. NO loss or tie

Week 17 Playoff scenarios in NFL

With two weeks left in the NFL season, six of the fourteen possible playoff teams have clinched. The Kansas City Chiefs clinched the AFC West division, while in the NFC, the Cowboys(NFC East division title), Packers(NFC North division title), Buccaneers (NFC South division title),  Cardinals(playoff berth), and Rams(playoff berth) are all in the dance.

There are eight spots left, and in the AFC, the Bills, Bengals, Colts, Patriots, and Titans can punch their tickets for the playoffs this week. 

In the NFC, Philadelphia and San Francisco can clinch as well.

Read below the playoff scenarios for Week 17:

AFC

CLINCHED:

  • Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division title

BUFFALO BILLS (9-6) (vs. Atlanta (7-8), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Buffalo clinches playoff berth with:

  1. BUF win + BAL loss or tie OR

  2. BUF win + LAC loss or tie + LV loss or tie OR

  3. BUF tie + MIA loss or tie + LAC loss + LV loss OR

  4. BUF tie + MIA loss or tie + LAC loss or tie + BAL loss + PIT loss or tie OR

  5. BUF tie + MIA loss or tie + LV loss or tie + BAL loss + PIT loss or tie OR

  6. BUF tie + NE loss or tie + LAC Loss + LV loss OR

  7. BUF tie + NE loss or tie + LAC loss or tie + BAL loss + PIT loss or tie OR

  8. BUF tie + NE loss or tie + LV loss or tie + BAL loss + PIT loss or tie OR

  9. BUF tie + LAC loss + LV loss + BAL loss + PIT loss or tie

CINCINNATI BENGALS (9-6) (vs. Kansas City (11-4), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Cincinnati clinches AFC North division title with:

  1. CIN win OR

  2. CIN tie + BAL loss or tie OR

  3. BAL loss + CLE-PIT tie

Cincinnati clinches playoff berth with:

  1. CIN tie + LAC loss + LV loss + MIA loss or tie OR

  2. CIN tie + LAC loss + LV loss + NE loss OR

  3. CIN tie + LAC loss + LV tie + MIA loss or tie + NE win OR

  4. CIN tie + LAC loss + LV tie + NE tie + MIA tie + BUF win or tie OR

  5. CIN tie + LAC loss + LV tie + NE loss + MIA win + BUF win or tie

NOTE: There are other clinching scenarios for Cincinnati that involve multiple tie games.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-6) (vs. Las Vegas (8-7), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Indianapolis clinches playoff berth with:

  1. IND win OR

  2. IND tie + BAL loss + NE loss or tie OR

  3. IND tie + BAL loss + MIA loss or tie

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-4) (at Cincinnati (9-6), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Kansas City clinches AFC’s No. 1 seed, only first-round bye and homefield advantage with:

  1. KC win + TEN loss or tie OR

  2. KC tie + TEN loss

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (9-6) (vs. Jacksonville (2-13), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

New England clinches playoff berth with:

  1. NE win + MIA loss or tie OR

  2. NE win + LV loss or tie OR

  3. NE tie + MIA loss + LV loss + LAC loss or tie OR

  4. NE tie + MIA loss + BAL loss or tie OR

  5. NE tie + LV loss + LAC loss + BAL loss + PIT loss or tie OR

  6. NE tie + LV loss + LAC loss or tie + BAL loss or tie + MIA win + BUF win

NOTE: There are other clinching scenarios for New England that involve multiple tie games.

TENNESSEE TITANS (10-5) (vs. Miami (8-7), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title with:

  1. TEN win OR

  2. IND loss OR

  3. TEN tie + IND tie

Tennessee clinches playoff berth with:

  1. TEN tie OR

  2. LAC loss or tie + BAL loss or tie OR

  3. LAC loss or tie + NE loss or tie OR

  4. BAL loss or tie + NE loss or tie

NFC

CLINCHED:

  • Dallas Cowboys – NFC East division title

  • Green Bay Packers – NFC North division title

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers – NFC South division title

  • Arizona Cardinals – playoff berth

  • Los Angeles Rams – playoff berth

GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-3) (vs. Minnesota (7-8), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Green Bay clinches NFC’s No. 1 seed, only first-round bye and homefield advantage with:

  1. GB win + DAL loss or tie OR

  2. GB tie + DAL loss + LAR loss + TB loss or tie OR

  3. GB tie + DAL loss + LAR tie + TB loss

LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-4) (at Baltimore (8-7), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Los Angeles Rams clinch NFC West division title with:

  1. LAR win + ARI loss or tie OR

  2. LAR tie + ARI loss

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-7) (at Washington (6-9), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Philadelphia clinches playoff berth with:

  1. PHI win + MIN loss or tie + NO loss or tie OR

  2. PHI win + MIN loss or tie + SF win or tie OR

  3. PHI tie + MIN loss + NO loss + ATL loss or tie OR

  4. PHI tie + MIN loss + NO tie + ATL loss or tie + SF win or tie

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (8-7) (vs. Houston (4-11), Sunday, 4:05 PM ET, CBS)

San Francisco clinches playoff berth with:

  1. SF win + NO loss or tie OR

  2. SF tie + MIN loss or tie + NO loss + ATL loss or tie

Bucs’ Brady: ‘I have a lot of confidence in our team’

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the cancellation of the NFL preseason in 2020, Buccaneers QB Tom Brady did not have an opportunity to go live with the new offense in Tampa Bay until the regular season.

However, as the year progressed, Brady learned the offense, and ultimately, the Buccaneers were able to win Super Bowl LV.

This season, the 44-year-old Brady will have a full preseason and is expected to play when the Buccaneers host the Bengals in their preseason opener on Saturday night.

“It’s been seven months or so since we’ve gone up against a team – not that everybody is game-planning, but everybody has different techniques and styles that everyone is working on,” Brady said this week. “Things that they’ve done in the offseason maybe that they’re trying to implement. You do it against your own team for a while, and then you go up against another team. You kind of have the stuff you have been doing and see how it works against a new opponent.

“It’s a good opportunity for us and really a good opportunity for a lot of guys to play. Last year, you kind of have the same group that plays most of the whole season. Now you have a new group of guys in here – a lot of guys are going to get different opportunities, and you’ve got to see what they can make of it.”

Brady, who had knee surgery in the offseason, feels very comfortable with the offense and feels good physically.

“A year ago, three weeks into camp, I was still trying to figure out formations,” he said. “What does ‘Tampa right’ mean, you know? I don’t even know what that means. Now, it just kind of rattles off your tongue. You get used to similar ideas and concepts, but they’re all named differently. It would kind of be like English and Spanish. You have to literally learn a different language and then really kind of learn what you’re doing. Then, you have to learn if your players can do it, and then you have to study how the defense is doing things. So, there are a lot of different challenges that you face. I think for me this year, mentally, it’s been much better and much easier to kind of assimilate my way into camp.

“Physically, I feel great – the best I’ve felt really in a long time. I feel like I’m in a good place, and I’m just going to keep working really hard. We’ve got about three and a half weeks or so before the first game [and] we started three and a half weeks ago, so we’re about midway through camp. Going to really keep working at pressing that communication, but we’re definitely making improvements. We’re going to have to keep making improvements to be where we want to be by the opener against Dallas.”

As he enters his 22nd season in the NFL, Brady has a lot of confidence in his team and believes they can have another successful season.

“Right now, you have 32 teams that all think they’re going to be the team that wins it,” he said. “You want to put yourself in a position to play well in training camp so you can be ready for the opener. You want to play well in September so you can be ready for October. This is all just a part of the process of getting ready. I have a lot of confidence in our team. I’ve played with our guys for a year now, and I know what it’s like in the huddle with them. I know how we can work throughout the week, how we can put together a plan, and that will give a great opportunity to to go out there and be successful.”

It’s hard to repeat in the NFL, and the last team to do it was Brady’s 2004 Patriots, so if he did before, maybe he can do it again.

Bengals’ Dalton: ‘To not have won a game at this point, the standard is higher than that’

What happened to the Cincinnati Bengals against the Jaguars on Sunday epitomized what 2019 has been like for this team. Going into the fourth quarter, Cincinnati was up 10-9, but QB Andy Dalton would throw three interceptions, one that was returned for a touchdown, as the Bengals would lose at home to the Jaguars 27-17. 

Dalton finished the game completing 22 of his 43 passes for 276 yards with one passing touchdown, and one rushing TD, and 3 INTs.

“They’re just tough plays. The turnovers … they hurt us,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said after the game. “We were driving there, and we had a fumble on the first drive of the second half that hurt us, (too). We had some guys go the wrong way in the run game — (that) hurt us, at about every position. So, you know, it was not the way we anticipated playing that game, and, really, it’s everybody. Every single player on that field, particularly on offense, has got to step up and do a better job.”

In reality, at 0-7. the 2019 season is essentially over for the Bengals.

“It’s very tough to be in the position we’re in right now,” Dalton said. “To not have won a game at this point, the standard is higher than that. All we can do is put our head down and go to work.”

In nine seasons, Dalton has done a lot of winning in the regular season, which led to four straight playoff appearances(2011-2014). But, he has struggled this season, and when asked if 2019 has been the worst stretch of his career, emotionally. Dalton had this to say. 

“It definitely has. This is what pulls at you,” he said. “When things aren’t going how you had them envisioned, it shows the true character of me and the guys on this team. It’s been good to see everybody sticking together. In tough times, your true character is going to show.”

While many did not expect the Bengals to be a formidable team in 2019, it is surprising that they have not won a game after seven weeks. At this point, all the Bengals can do is play out the season and let the chips fall where they may. 

 

Bengals-Chiefs Week 7 matchup flexed to Sunday Night Football

The NFL announced today a scheduling change for Week 7 on Sunday, October 21.

The Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs game will move from 1:00 PM ET to 8:20 PM ET on NBC.

The Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers game originally scheduled at 8:20 PM ET will move to 4:25 PM ET on CBS.

The following is the final Week 7 NFL schedule (all times ET):

Thursday, October 18

Denver at Arizona 8:20 PM FOX/NFLN/Amazon

 

Sunday, October 21

Tennessee at Los Angeles Chargers (London) 9:30 AM CBS
New England at Chicago 1:00 PM CBS
Buffalo at Indianapolis 1:00 PM CBS
Houston at Jacksonville 1:00 PM CBS
Detroit at Miami 1:00 PM FOX
Minnesota at New York Jets 1:00 PM FOX
Carolina at Philadelphia 1:00 PM FOX
Cleveland at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM FOX
New Orleans at Baltimore 4:05 PM FOX
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 4:25 PM CBS
Dallas at Washington 4:25 PM CBS
Cincinnati at Kansas City 8:20 PM NBC
     

Monday, October 22

New York Giants at Atlanta 8:15 PM ESPN

Stephen A. Smith is not a believer in the Bengals(VIDEO)

On Sunday, the Bengals went into Atlanta and beat the Falcons 37-36, and after the first quarter of the NFL season, the Cincinnati Bengals are 3-1, which puts them tied with the Ravens atop of the AFC North. (Bengals hold the tie-breaker after beating Baltimore in Week 2).

Cincy is playing some really good football right now, but some don’t believe in this team, including ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who had this to say about the Bengals on Monday.

Listen below:

At this point, Marvin Lewis has this team playing well, and they’re getting quality play from QB Andy Dalton, who has thrown 11 touchdowns after four weeks.  Smith is correct about the team’s failures in the playoffs under Lewis(0-7 in playoffs), but if Dalton continues to play at this level, Cincy can get to the playoffs, and maybe, just maybe they will break through this time around.

Bills celebrate after making the playoffs(video)

It’s been a long time since the Buffalo Bills have made the playoffs. The Bills have not been in the playoffs since 1999.

After beating the Dolphins on Sunday, the Bills needed some help.

Well, help was on the way in the form of the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bills needed the Bengals to beat the Ravens, and they did.

Here is how it looked in the Bills’ locker room after the Bengals beat the Ravens:

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Iloka and Smith-Schuster suspended one game by NFL


JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER
 of the Pittsburgh Steelers and GEORGE ILOKA of the Cincinnati Bengals have been suspended without pay for one game each for violations of safety-related playing rules in Monday’s game.

NFL Vice President of Football Operations JON RUNYAN issued the suspensions.

In his letter to Smith-Schuster notifying him of the suspension, Runyan noted that Smith-Schuster violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7 which prohibits unnecessary contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture and Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 which prohibits unsportsmanlike conduct.

Runyan wrote:

“You are suspended for the dangerous and unsportsmanlike acts you committed during the fourth quarter of last night’s game.  Specifically, with 7:10 remaining, on a passing play to a running back, you lined up a defender and delivered a violent and unnecessary blindside shot to his head and neck area.  You then “celebrated” the play by standing over him and taunting him.   The contact you made with your opponent placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury and could have been avoided.  Your conduct following the hit fell far below the high standards of sportsmanship expected of an NFL player.”

In his letter to Iloka notifying him of the suspension, Runyan stated that Iloka violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7 which prohibits forcibly hitting a defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm or shoulder.

Runyan wrote:

On a play which began with 3:55 left in the game, you violently struck a defenseless receiver in the head and neck area.  The Competition Committee has clearly expressed its goal of ‘eliminating flagrant hits that have no place in our game’ and has encouraged the League office to suspend offenders for egregious violations such as the one you committed last night.”    

Both Smith-Schuster and Iloka will be eligible to return to their team’s active rosters on Monday, December 11 following the Baltimore-Pittsburgh and Chicago-Cincinnati games on December 10.

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspensions may be appealed within three business days. Appeals are heard and decided by either DERRICK BROOKS or JAMES THRASH, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.

Week 7 of NFL: Bengals-Steelers moved to 4:25

The NFL announced today a scheduling change for Week 7 on Sunday, October 22.

The Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers game will move from 1 PM ET to 4:25 PM ET on CBS.

The Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears game at 1 PM ET will be cross-flexed to CBS.

The following is the final Week 7 NFL schedule (all times ET):

Thursday, October 19

KANSAS CITY AT OAKLAND

8:25 PM

CBS/NFLN/AMAZON

Sunday, October 22

TAMPA BAY AT BUFFALO

1:00 PM

FOX

CAROLINA AT CHICAGO

1:00 PM

CBS

TENNESSEE AT CLEVELAND

1:00 PM

CBS

NEW ORLEANS AT GREEN BAY

1:00 PM

FOX

JACKSONVILLE AT INDIANAPOLIS

1:00 PM

CBS

ARIZONA AT LA RAMS (LONDON)

1:00 PM

FOX

NY JETS AT MIAMI

1:00 PM

FOX

BALTIMORE AT MINNESOTA

1:00 PM

CBS

DALLAS AT SAN FRANCISCO

4:05 PM

FOX

CINCINNATI AT PITTSBURGH

4:25 PM

CBS

DENVER AT LA CHARGERS

4:25 PM

CBS

SEATTLE AT NY GIANTS

4:25 PM

CBS

ATLANTA AT NEW ENGLAND

8:30 PM

NBC

Monday, October 23

WASHINGTON AT PHILADELPHIA

8:30 PM

ESPN