NFL Wild Card, Divisional playoff schedule announced

The NFL announced tonight the schedule of sites, dates and times for the National Football League Wild Card Playoffs on January 4-5 and Divisional Playoffs on January 11-12.

NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS

Saturday, January 4

AFC:    4:35 PM (ET)  Buffalo at Houston (ESPN, with simulcast on ABC)

AFC:    8:15 PM (ET)  Tennessee at New England (CBS)

Sunday, January 5

NFC:    1:05 PM (ET)  Minnesota at New Orleans (FOX)

NFC:    4:40 PM (ET)  Seattle at Philadelphia (NBC)

NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

Saturday, January 11

NFC:    4:35 PM (ET)  Philadelphia/Seattle/Minnesota at San Francisco (NBC)

AFC:    8:15 PM (ET)  Houston/Buffalo/Tennessee at Baltimore (CBS)

Sunday, January 12

AFC:    3:05 PM (ET)  New England/Houston/Buffalo at Kansas City (CBS)

NFC:    6:40 PM (ET)  New Orleans/Philadelphia/Seattle at Green Bay (FOX)

In the Divisional Playoffs, the division champion with the best record in each conference will host the lowest-seeded Wild Card survivor. Once teams are seeded for the playoffs, positions do not change:

American Football Conference

National Football Conference

1.

Baltimore (14-2), AFC North champion

1.

San Francisco (13-3), NFC West champion

2.

Kansas City (12-4), AFC West champion

2.

Green Bay (13-3), NFC North champion

3.

New England (12-4), AFC East champion

3.

New Orleans (13-3), NFC South champion

4.

Houston (10-6), AFC South champion

4.

Philadelphia (9-7), NFC East champion

5.

Buffalo (10-6)

5.

Seattle (11-5)

6.

Tennessee (9-7)

6.

Minnesota (10-6)

The AFC (CBS, 3:05 PM ET) and NFC (FOX, 6:40 PM ET) Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 19.

The 2020 Pro Bowl (ESPN, with simulcast on ABC, 3:00 PM ET) will be played on Sunday, January 26, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, and Super Bowl LIV will take place on Sunday, February 2 (FOX, 6:30 PM ET), at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

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NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 17

We have played 16 weeks of football, and it all comes down this. 

In the NFC, five out of the six playoff teams have clinched, but two divisions are up for grabs. In the NFC East, if the Eagles defeat the Giants, they win the NFC East; however, if they lose and the Cowboys beat the Redskins, Dallas wins the division. And in the NFC West, Seattle and San Francisco battle it out on Sunday Night Football. The winner grabs the NFC West, and the loser gets the first wild card spot.

In the AFC, five out of the six playoff teams have also clinched, but the sixth and final spot involves three teams(Raiders, Titans, Steelers) with the Titans controlling their own destiny. 

Here are all the playoff scenarios for Week 17:

AFC

CLINCHED:

Baltimore Ravens – AFC North division and homefield advantage throughout AFC playoffs

Houston Texans – AFC South division

Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division

New England Patriots – AFC East division

Buffalo Bills – playoff berth

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-4) (vs. L.A. Chargers (5-10), 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Kansas City clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. KC win + NE loss

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-3) (vs. Miami (4-11); 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. NE win or tie OR

  2. KC loss or tie

OAKLAND RAIDERS (7-8) (at Denver (6-9); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Oakland clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. OAK win + PIT loss + TEN loss + IND win + OAK clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over PIT*

 *OAK clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over PIT if ONE of the following teams win or tie:

CHI, DET, LAC OR NE

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-7) (at Baltimore (13-2); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. PIT win + TEN loss or tie OR

  2. PIT tie + TEN loss OR

  3. TEN loss + IND win + OAK loss or tie OR

  4. TEN loss + IND win + PIT ties OAK in strength-of-victory tiebreaker*

*PIT ties OAK in strength-of-victory tiebreaker if ALL of the following teams win:

MIN, GB, KC AND MIA

TENNESSEE TITANS (8-7) (at Houston (10-5); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. TEN win OR

  2. TEN tie + PIT loss or tie OR

  3. PIT loss + IND loss or tie

NFC

CLINCHED:

Green Bay – NFC North division

New Orleans – NFC South division

Minnesota — playoff berth

San Francisco — playoff berth

Seattle — playoff berth

DALLAS COWBOYS (7-8) (vs. Washington (3-12); 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Dallas clinches NFC East division with:

  1. DAL win + PHI loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-3) (at Detroit (3-11-1); 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Green Bay clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. GB win OR

  2. NO loss OR

  3. GB tie + SF loss OR

  4. GB tie + NO tie

Green Bay clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. GB win + SF loss or tie OR

  2. GB tie + SF loss + NO loss or tie

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-3) (at Carolina (5-10); 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. NO win + GB loss or tie OR

  2. NO win + SF loss or tie OR

  3. NO tie + GB loss OR

  4. NO tie + SF loss OR

  5. SF loss + GB win or tie

New Orleans clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. NO win + GB loss or tie + SF loss or tie OR

  2. NO tie + GB loss + SF loss

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-7) (at N.Y. Giants (4-11); 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Philadelphia clinches NFC East division with:

  1. PHI win or tie OR

  2. DAL loss or tie

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (12-3) (at Seattle (11-4); 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

San Francisco clinches NFC West division title with:

  1. SF win or tie

San Francisco clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. SF win OR

  2. SF tie + GB loss or tie OR

  3. SF tie + NO loss or tie

San Francisco clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. SF win OR

  2. SF tie + GB loss or tie + NO loss or tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (11-4) (vs. San Francisco (12-3); 8:20 ET, NBC)

Seattle clinches NFC West division with:

  1. SEA win

Seattle clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. SEA win + GB loss

Seattle clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. SEA win + GB loss + NO loss

Ravens, Chiefs, Patriots, Bills, Seahawks, 49ers can clinch playoff spots in Week 14

It’s that time of the year when teams begin to fight it out for the 12 playoff spots in the NFL, and at this point, the New Orleans Saints are the only team in the NFL that has clinched a playoff berth.

As we enter Week 14, six teams can clinch playoff spots.

Here are the playoff scenarios for Week 14 in the NFL:

AFC

CLINCHED: None

BALTIMORE RAVENS (10-2) (at Buffalo (9-3), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Baltimore clinches AFC North division title with:

  1. BAL win + PIT loss or tie OR

  2. BAL tie + PIT loss

Baltimore clinches playoff berth with:

  1. BAL win OR

  2. BAL tie + HOU loss or tie OR

  3. BAL tie + TEN loss or tie OR

  4. HOU loss + IND loss or tie + OAK-TEN tie

BUFFALO BILLS (9-3) (vs. Baltimore (10-2), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Buffalo clinches playoff berth with:

  1. BUF win + OAK loss or tie + HOU loss + IND loss or tie

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-4) (at New England (10-2), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:

  1. KC win + OAK loss

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-2) (vs. Kansas City (8-4), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

New England clinches playoff berth with:

  1. NE win OR

  2. NE tie + PIT loss OR

  3. NE tie + HOU loss or tie OR

  4. NE tie + TEN loss or tie OR

  5. HOU loss + IND loss or tie + OAK-TEN tie

NFC

CLINCHED: New Orleans Saints – NFC South Division

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (10-2) (at New Orleans (10-2), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

San Francisco clinches playoff berth with:

  1. SF win + LAR loss or tie OR

  2. SF tie + LAR loss

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (10-2) (at L.A. Rams (7-5), Sunday, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Seattle clinches playoff berth with:​

  1. SEA win or tie

Mahomes: ‘I tried to get the ball out of my hands, and guys were making plays’

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes picked up where he left off in 2018. Mahomes threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns as the Chiefs went on the road to beat the Jaguars 40-26 on Sunday.

For good portion of the game, Mahomes was hampered by a left ankle injury, which he injured in the second quarter, and while the injury slowed Mahomes, he was still able to be effective.

“The adrenaline helped out, of course,” Mahomes said after the game. “I was going out there and just playing football. I mean, obviously, I wasn’t as mobile as I usually am. But the team helped me out step-by-step as I tried to get the ball out of my hands, and guys were making plays.”

While Mahomes was able to play on despite the injury, Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill could be out for an extended time after he suffered a collarbone injury in the second quarter. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the injury will not require surgery but will cause him to “miss a few weeks.” However, without Hill, who recently signed a reported three-year, $54 million extension, the Chiefs were still able to have success on offense.

“I mean, obviously whenever someone with Tyreek’s ability goes out, you wonder what’s going to happen,” Mahomes said. “But, the best thing about this team – and you’ve seen it the last few years now – is whenever someone gets their opportunity, they step up and play. And we really pick each other up. So, I was glad the guys stepped up, made plays; and that was running backs, receivers, tight ends, and whatever it was. I mean, that’s just how we roll. Whoever is given the opportunity to make the play, they make it.”

The Chiefs will get their first taste of life without Hill next week as they travel to Oakland to face the Raiders. It should be fascinating to see how the Chiefs prolific offense will look without Hill.

Foles: ‘I knew right when I hit the ground something was wrong’

For Nick Foles and the Jacksonville Jaguars, 2019 did not start the way they expected. Foles, who signed a four-year $88 million contract in the offseason, is out indefinitely after breaking his left clavicle on Sunday, and unfortunately for the Jaguars, they would lose to the Chiefs 40-26.

Foles is expected to have surgery on Monday. The injury happened after Foles’ 35-yard touchdown pass to DJ Chark in the first quarter. After the throw, Foles was walloped by Chiefs DT Chris Jones. The 30-year-old Foles injured the same clavicle in 2014 while he was with the Eagles.

After the game, Foles discussed the injury and what’s next for him.

(On the injury) “Yeah it’s not the way you want to start your time here. It’s unfortunate but at the same time I’m going to stay positive and trust the good Lord in this time. Sometimes things don’t happen like we expect them to but we just have to have faith that it’s for a reason. I’m still grateful I get to be a part of this team. I’ll have surgery tomorrow to get this thing rolling and trust the good Lord for healing and be ready to roll when I am.”

(On how this injury compares to injury suffered in 2014) “This one’s worse than 2014. At the same time, I’m optimistic that it will heal quicker. I look forward to getting back out there with the guys and Gardner [Minshew II] did a great job stepping up. That’s not easy being a rookie against a talented team like the Chiefs. He did a really nice job of moving the chains, throwing a couple of touchdowns and being really efficient so I was really proud of him for stepping up. I’m going to be here to help him in any way possible.”

(On what he was told about the healing time span) “We don’t have a time span. We’re going to take it one day at a time. Ultimately just get the surgery done and also praying for [Head Team Physician Kevin] Kaplan to be ready to roll. I’m going to do everything I can to get back as quickly as I can to where I’m ready to roll.”

(On at what point he realized something was wrong) “I knew right when I hit the ground something was wrong. I felt it. The whole play, they did a nice job covering that route and all I remember is seeing DJ [Chark Jr.]. We’ve never thrown that route, that’s the first time I’ve thrown that route to him. It’s usually the underneath route but they did a nice job with their coverage. They mix it up and my gut told me just to release it. That’s why I play with feel and instincts. All I saw was two red jerseys in my face and I remember hitting the ground on the left side and feeling a crack. Then getting up and going to the sidelines to get checked. I just saw the play right before I walked in here and it’s unfortunate but at the same time, I’m trusting the good Lord.”

(On if he felt that Chris Jones’ tackle was excessive) “I don’t know, everything happened so fast. Chris Jones was my teammate in K.C. and I know he’d never want to do that. It was probably just one of those things, it was just unfortunate it happened. I landed on it wrong and it happens in this sport. We’ll keep moving forward. Chris [Jones] is a tremendous player and I gave him a hug after the game because I was excited to see him. He’s a bright, young player.”

(On if he injured the same collarbone in 2014) “Same side. Different place on the collar bone. The one in 2014 didn’t need surgery. It was a hairline fracture so it was a different situation. This was a complete crack.”

Marrone on Chiefs’ offense: ‘I’d put them up there against anybody’

The Kansas City Chiefs offense was off the charts last season. Led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who threw for 5097 yards and 50 touchdowns, and became the second player in league history to throw for 5000 yards and 50 touchdowns,  the Chiefs scored 565 points, which is third-most in NFL history.

With those numbers, this offense has to go down as one of better offenses in NFL history, and this week, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone talked about the Chiefs’ offense.

“When you follow the game, especially the history of the game which I love, and you guys know that I think ‘The Greatest Show on Turf”(1999-2001 Rams) always comes up when people think of offense,” Marrone said on Thursday as his Jaguars prepare to battle the Chiefs on Sunday. “I think normally anyone that follows the game thinks of that Rams team and what they have. And I like to think that I was part of something when we were in New Orleans and really rolling, and they’re still rolling with Drew [Brees]. I think you look at what [Rams Head Coach] Sean [McVay] has done at the Rams, and you look at people around the league, there’s a lot of them, really good offenses that have been around.

“And I think what probably separates Kansas City and puts them up there, obviously a great coaching staff and they have such great players and guys that have developed so quickly. You look at someone that’s thrown 50-plus touchdowns, there’s only three quarterbacks that have really done that, and the other two are Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. So, I think that it starts with the quarterback position and their quarterback’s obviously the league MVP and is an outstanding player. He’s done a great job, and they have some great people around him, so it’s going to be a great challenge for us, and we have to put a lot of work in. It’s a lot of guys. You stop one and then you have another. They’ve got a lot of talent on that side of the football.”

While Marrone is a big fan of “The Greatest Show Turf,” he does believe this Chiefs’ offense is in the conversation as one of the greatest offenses of all-time.

“I’d put them up there against anybody,” Marrone said about the Chiefs’ offense. “Yeah, I’d put them up there versus all those teams. I just don’t know which one is the team that you would think. Like I said, for me, I always think of the Rams offense, but in my mind, I love the history of the game, so there’s a lot of other great offenses that are even going on right now in the league and some in the past. But to answer your question, yes, they’re up there in that conversation and can easily be put up there with the best ones. That’s a credit to them and how they’ve performed.”

With the new rules that favor offenses, teams are going to put up a lot of points. This Chiefs’ offense put up a lot of points in 2018, and barring any injuries, will probably do the same in 2019.

Bills GM Beane on McCoy: ‘He’s probably a Hall of Fame player’

In a shocking move, the Buffalo Bills released RB LeSean McCoy on Saturday. The six-time Pro Bowler had spent the past four seasons with the Bills.

Now, according to reports, the 31-year-old McCoy will sign a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. With the move, McCoy reunites with his former coach in Philadelphia, Andy Reid.

On Sunday, Bills GM Brandon Beane, who made the decision to release McCoy, gave his thoughts on Shady to the Chiefs.

“I mean he’s probably a Hall of Fame player, right there at it and I think that’s a great fit for him,” Beane said. “Not knowing everything but knowing coach Reid and I know Brett Veach, the GM, and he had a past relationship. Wish him the best. He’s going into a team that, I know they have a lot of high expectations and I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to what they’re doing. We truly wish him the best unless we play him.”

McCoy to the Chiefs seems like a perfect fit for both parties. However, with running backs Damien Williams and Darwin Thompson in the mix, it should be interesting to see how McCoy will be utilized, and while McCoy did not put up big numbers(514 yards, which was a career-low) last season for the Bills, he will be running behind a better offensive line in Kansas City. Additionally, he will be surrounded by some big-time players in Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce.

Furthermore, McCoy will get an opportunity to win a ring, which was not going to happen in Buffalo this season. End of the day, getting released by the Bills was probably the best thing that happened to him.

Regarding McCoy as a Hall of Famer, he has over 10k yards rushing yards and 69 touchdowns on the ground at this point, and if he plays at a decent level, he will probably end his career with around 13-14k rushing yards and around 80-plus touchdowns, which would probably be enough to get him into the Hall.

Willie Roaf: Chiefs can build a dynasty with Mahomes

For the Kansas City Chiefs, the 2018 season did not end the way they expected. They had home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, they had the highest scoring offense in football, and they had the best player in 2018 in QB Patrick Mahomes, but their defense could not hold up, and Tom Brady and the Patriots would defeat the Chiefs 37-31 in OT in the AFC title game.

While losing this game hurts for Kansas City, the Chiefs can be excited about the future. Mahomes has proven that he has the goods, WR Tyreek Hill is explosive, and Travis Kelce is an elite tight end. All this talent has Hall of Famer Willie Roaf, who played for the Chiefs from 2002-05, very excited about the future.

“They got Mahomes, who is a different quarterback than anybody,” Roaf recently said on the Go4it podcast. “The offense has a bunch of guys and the best tight end in the league…

“I will tell you this; the Chiefs will be back, a lot coming up in the future. If they add pieces to their defense and get more running backs… Mostly draft defense. The Chiefs will be knocking on the door, and with that young quarterback, Mahomes, they will be building some type of dynasty. So, this is this kid’s first year starting, and he is just now figuring things out, so when you put more weapons around him, and Sammy Watkins was out most of the year. And then, they lost (Kareem)Hunt going into the playoffs, and he(Mahomes) was still able to go up and down the field.

“So, you give me some more weapons, and you keep that young group intact… They got a chance to win a couple of rings with that young boy in Kansas City.”

Last week, the Chiefs fired defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and hired former Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo to lead their defense. Spagnuolo was in charge of the Giants’ defense that beat Tom Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

Chiefs fans should be excited about the future, but in the NFL, they’re no guarantees, so we’ll see if the Chiefs can improve their defense, and continue to build a great offense in 2019.

Listen below as Roaf talks the future of the Chiefs at the 07:10 mark:

 

How Dee Ford reacted to going offsides against Patriots(VIDEO)

In the NFL, one play does not lose a game, but for Chiefs LB Dee Ford, there is one play he would love to have back. With the Chiefs leading New England 28-24 late in the fourth quarter, Kansas City’s Charvarius Ward picked off an errant Tom Brady pass that would have sent the Chiefs to Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta. Unfortunately, LB Dee Ford was offsides.

The Patriots would eventually score on that drive and would eventually win in OT 37-31 to advance to Super Bowl 53.

Here is how Ford reacted after the play: