Eagles’ Sirianni on Hurts: ‘He is like a point guard’

The week’s talk in Philadelphia was about the health of Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts(shoulder). Would the Eagles be able to run their full offense with Hurts in the lineup? Well, on Saturday night against the New York Giants in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, he answered the question, and it was a resounding, Yes!

Hurts was 16/24 for 154 yards, two touchdowns, and he also rushed for 34 yards and a touchdown, and the Eagles scored touchdowns on four of their five first-half drives as Philadelphia routed the Giants 38-7 at Lincoln Financial Field to advance to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 2017.

The Eagles defeated the Giants three times this season and outscored them 108-45 in those three games.

With Hurts in the lineup, the running game was potent as they rushed for 268 yards, which is second-most in team playoff history. Kenneth Gainwell ran for 112 yards and a touchdown; Miles Sanders had 90 yards, and Boston Scott added a rushing touchdown.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni says Hurts distributes like a point guard.

“Jalen [Hurts] is always going to help the running game big time because of what he can do and the threat he poses on the backside,” Sirianni said. “Even if he is not carrying it or even if he is not having runs to him, he is still going to affect the game. That’s what he did. He affected the game because he demands attention on the backside. Not only that, but he runs the show out there. He is like a point guard. He is getting us to good checks. We have checks on. That’s a good defense. They pose a lot of problems.”

According to Sirianni, Hurts’ impact is Jordan-like.

“To have him out there is like — I know this is high praise, but to have him out there is like having — I shouldn’t even go there — it’s like having Michael Jordan out there,” he said. “He’s your leader. He’s your guy.

“Hopefully that’s the biggest respect I can pay to him comparing his ability to being on the field to a Michael Jordan type. This guy leads. He brings this calmness to the entire team. He plays great football. He’s as tough as they come.

“Yeah, I mean, to me, nobody has played any better football than him this year.”

Sanders said Hurts looked like himself against the Giants.

“Seemed like the old Jalen to me,” he said. “I’m not going to lie. Just proud of him. He asks everybody for their best, and we’re going to do that just for him because he gives us our best.”

Hurts knows that opportunities to get to the Super Bowl don’t always come, and the Eagles must seize the moment.

“You work really hard for these opportunities,” he said. “They’re not a dime a dozen. You work really hard for them, and I’m just very eager to continue to grow. I’m eager to go through anything and everything with this group. It’s a special thing, it’s a special feeling, and it’s a special type of togetherness that we have, and I don’t think it’s something that I’ve experienced quite like this for sure on the NFL level. We just want to continue to grow together, hold each other accountable, and believe in one another. I think we just came out hungry.”

The Eagles had more talent and were better than the Giants, so this result is not unexpected. However, the next round will be challenging, and they must keep that hunger.

‘Bucs’ Brady: ‘It’s not really who is favored or not favored’

The 2023 NFL playoffs could be Tom Brady’s last ride, and of course, he wants to go out on top, but according to Vegas, the Buccaneers’ season will end Monday night in Tampa Bay against the Cowboys(12-5) in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

The Buccaneers(8-9) are home underdogs(Cowboys 2.5 point favorites), but according to Brady, none of that matters.

“It’s not really who is favored or not favored; it’s who plays the best,” Brady said Friday. “I’ve never really paid attention to those things. I just try to go play the best I can.”

During the 2020 Super Bowl run, the Buccaneers wore white jerseys, pewter pants, and helmets. In addition, Tampa Bay defeated the Cowboys 19-3 in the season-opener, but Brady knows that the jerseys and the previous matchups don’t matter. 

“Yeah, they’ve got a great team,” he said. “I’ve played them quite a bit over the years, and I have a lot of respect for the organization, their history, a lot of great players. But all of its about three hours on Sunday – Monday night – and everything’s going to come down to what we do those three hours. Nothing in the past, nothing about the color jerseys we’re wearing. It’s who’s playing, what we’re doing, how we’re executing, how we’re executing under pressure. That’s what it’s going to come down to.”

For the Buccaneers, it’s win or go home, and Brady, who won seven Super Bowls titles and has the most playoff wins in NFL history, knows this all so well.

“Yeah, I feel there’s a lot urgency naturally this week,” Brady said. “Everyone knows what we’re playing for – you’re playing for a chance to move on. There’s no, ‘Oh, we were close,’ or, ‘It was almost there. Two more plays.’ Look at two seasons ago – we ended up winning it all [and] there was a lot of really close plays. Last year, it comes down to plays at the end of the game that they made, and we didn’t. You’re going to have make the plays at the end. It’s tough because there’s good teams, and there’s little margin of error. All these teams are well-coached, they’ve got good offenses, good defenses, they’ve got a lot of good playmakers. These are the best teams that are playing right now, and you’ve got to play [well] if you want to advance.”

Before losing to the Falcons in a meaningless game in their regular-season finale, Tampa Bay had won two straight, and in the NFL, as we’ve seen in the past, it’s not the best team that always wins, but it’s the teams that are playing the best, which Brady discussed on Friday.

“It’s not the best team that wins; it’s the team that plays the best [that] wins,” he said. “I was part of a team that won every game until the Super Bowl, and we didn’t play the best that day, and we lost, and you don’t end up reaching your goal. I’ve been on the other end of it where I was a big underdog, my first year starting against the Rams, and we played better than they did that day. But that’s all that matters. That’s what single elimination is all about. You’ve got to be at your best in that moment.”

By record and on paper, the Cowboys are the better team, but as we’ve seen throughout his 23-year career, Brady can still make things happen but at age 45, and with the talent on the Buccaneers, that might be a tall order.

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

NFL playoff scenarios for Week 15

It’s that time of the year when teams start to fight it out for the seven playoff spots in each conference. Patriots and Titans can clinch spots in the AFC, while the Buccaneers, Cardinals, Cowboys, Packers, and Rams can punch their tickets for the playoffs in the NFC.

Here are playoff scenarios for Week 15 in the NFL:

AFC

CLINCHED: None

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (9-4) (vs. Indianapolis (7-6), Saturday night, 8:15 PM ET, NFLN)

New England clinches playoff berth with:

  1. NE win + MIA loss or tie + CLE loss + BAL loss + CIN loss + KC loss OR

  2. NE win + MIA loss or tie + CLE loss + BAL loss + DEN loss + LAC loss OR

  3. NE win + MIA loss or tie + CLE loss + PIT loss or tie + DEN loss or tie + LAC loss OR

  4. NE win + MIA loss or tie + CLE loss + BAL loss + PIT loss or tie + CIN loss OR

  5. NE win + MIA loss or tie + CLE loss + BAL loss + CIN loss + LAC loss OR

  6. NE win + MIA loss or tie + BAL loss + LAC loss + LV loss + CIN-DEN tie

NOTE: There are other complex scenarios for New England that involve multiple ties and strength-of-victory permutations.

TENNESSEE TITANS (9-4) (at Pittsburgh (6-6-1), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title with:

  1. TEN win + IND loss

NFC

CLINCHED: None

ARIZONA CARDINALS (10-3) (at Detroit (1-11-1), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Arizona clinches playoff berth with:

  1. ARI win or tie OR

  2. NO loss or tie + MIN loss or tie OR

  3. NO loss or tie + PHI-WAS tie OR

  4. NO loss or tie + PHI loss + ATL loss or tie + GB win or tie OR

  5. NO loss or tie + SF tie + LAR loss OR

  6. MIN loss or tie + PHI-WAS tie OR

  7. MIN loss or tie + SF loss OR

  8. SF loss + PHI-WAS tie OR

  9. SF tie + LAR loss + PHI-WAS tie

DALLAS COWBOYS (9-4) (at N.Y. Giants (4-9), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Dallas clinches NFC East division title with:

  1. DAL win + WAS-PHI tie OR

  2. DAL win + WAS loss + DAL clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over PHI

Dallas clinches playoff berth with:

  1. DAL win + NO loss or tie OR

  2. DAL win + SF loss OR

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

  4. MIN loss + ATL loss + NO loss + PHI-WAS tie OR

  5. MIN loss + ATL loss + NO loss + DAL clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over PHI

GREEN BAY PACKERS (10-3) (at Baltimore (8-5), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Green Bay clinches NFC North division title with:

  1. GB win or tie OR

  2. MIN loss or tie

Green Bay clinches playoff berth with:

  1. NO loss or tie + SF loss OR

  2. NO loss or tie + PHI-WAS tie OR

  3. NO loss or tie + LAR loss + SF tie OR

  4. SF loss + PHI-WAS tie OR

  5. LAR loss + SF tie + PHI-WAS tie

LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-4) (vs. Seattle (5-8), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

L.A. Rams clinch playoff berth with:

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

  2. LAR win + NO loss or tie + PHI-WAS tie OR

  3. LAR win + MIN loss or tie + PHI-WAS tie OR

  4. LAR tie + MIN loss + NO loss + ATL loss or tie

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (10-3) (vs. New Orleans (6-7), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Tampa Bay clinches NFC South division title with:

  1. TB win or tie

Tampa Bay clinches playoff berth with:

  1. MIN loss or tie + SF loss OR

  2. MIN loss or tie + PHI-WAS tie OR

  3. SF loss + PHI-WAS tie

Bucs’ Arians on beating Saints: ‘It was not a shock to us that we won – we went there expecting to win’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went into New Orleans with a lot working against them. First, they were swept by the Saints this season and were outscored 72-26 in those games. Next, they had lost five straight to New Orleans, and finally, the Saints were 7-2 at home, including the playoffs this season.

However, the playoffs are a different animal, and we saw a different Buccaneers team out there against the Saints. The Buccaneers, who committed six turnovers against the Saints in 2020, protected the ball and ended the game with no turnovers, and they forced four Saints’ turnovers, which led to 21 points. They were able to run the ball effectively and finished the game with 127 yards on the ground, which was more than they had in two games against New Orleans.

Based on what happened in the regular season, some might have been surprised by Sunday’s outcome. According to Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, he was not surprised and expected the Buccaneers to beat the Saints in the Divisional Round.

“It boosts the confidence for sure, but we went there expecting to win,” Arians said on Monday. “It was not a shock to us that we won – we went there expecting to win. We’re such a different team than when we played back in November. Same thing – Green Bay’s a different team than we played back then, so those games don’t really matter anymore.”

Buccaneers DT Ndamukong Suh was happy that the team got another shot at the Saints this season.

“I think it’s definitely having the mindset of understanding that you kind of control your own destiny from a standpoint of how we got into the playoffs and how we finished off into the playoffs being the fifth seed and controlling our mindset in that aspect,” Suh said. “Then, knowing we needed to get on the road and take care of business against Washington and then see where the chips fell. That had us going back to New Orleans, which I was happy about from a standpoint [that] as a team, we needed to go out, challenge and beat [the Saints], which we were fortunate enough to do in a good fashion from the defensive side of the ball [by] getting so many turnovers. 

“My intent is all about the keys for us continuing to play at a high level. I think for a young guy like [Devin White] to recognize that and see that as an important piece and knowing that we need to stay focused on that as well as executing, we should be in a good place going into this Packers game.”

The Buccaneers blew out the Packers 38-10 in Week 6. However, that game was in the regular season and played in Tampa Bay. The NFC Championship Game will be in Green Bay. Both of these teams are different now, and we’ll find out how different come Sunday.

Brady: ‘There’s only four teams left – we’re one of them’

Coming into Sunday’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans, the talk was about the quarterback battle between two all-time greats in Tom Brady and Drew Brees, but when it was over, the conversation was about the Buccaneers’ defense and running game. 

The Buccaneers’ defense came up with four takeaways, including three interceptions, that led to 21 points, as the Buccaneers defeated the Saints(13-5) on the road 30-20 in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. With the victory, Tampa Bay(13-5) advances to the NFC Championship Game and will travel to Green Bay to face the Packers next Sunday.

The Buccaneers were outscored 72-26 in their two losses to the Saints this season, including a 38-3 beatdown in November. However, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is not surprised by what happened on Sunday. He thought Tampa was a much better team than they were in November.

“It’s a different football team than that week,” Arians said. “I try to tell everybody that – nobody wants to believe me. This is what we’re capable of playing. Defensively, we’ve had some rough spots at times, but we’ve had some really, really good times. This was one of the best times.”

The running game was huge for Tampa Bay on Sunday. Leonard Fournette(107 total yards, one touchdown, including 63 yards on the ground) and Ronald Jones(63 yards rushing) combined for 126 yards rushing, which is more than they had in two games combined against the Saints in the regular season. Jones was bothered by quad and hand injuries all week, but according to Fournette, he encouraged Jones to fight through the pain.

“I’m telling Ro, excuse my language, but ‘[bleep] the injury,” Fournette said. “We need you, I’m not going to lie to you – we need you.’ I’ve been in these types of games. It’s funny – we have four good running backs – Ro came in fresh; I came in fresh. I said, ‘Man, understand this – you don’t get many chances to make it to the playoffs [and] to have the run that we’re on right now.’ I’m a living example. We (the Jacksonville Jaguars) went from the AFC Championship to the next two years not even making it to the playoffs. So big congrats to Ro for fighting through the injury – a hand and a quad.”

Brady, who went 18-of-33 for 199 yards and three total touchdowns on Sunday and recorded his 32nd postseason victory, which are the most playoff wins by any player in league history, is happy to be one of the final four teams.

“The defense was incredible all game,” Brady said. “The turnovers were huge. Last time we played them, we lost the turnover [margin], minus three. Today was plus four – you’re not going to lose many games when you’re plus four. Just a great effort – they came up huge. Offensively, made some plays when we needed to. The running game was great, the line protected great up front – just a great week of prep. Really proud of our team and everything we put in to get to this point. There’s only four teams left – we’re one of them. It’s tough to get to this point, so we need a big week [and] a great week of practice. We’ve got one of the best teams in the league, obviously, in Green Bay. [They are] the top seed, Aaron [Rodgers] is playing incredible [and] they’ve got a great defense, so it’s going to be a great matchup.”

Tampa Bay did what they needed to do on Sunday, and if they can put together one more big effort next Sunday against the Packers, Brady will have a chance to play for his seventh Super Bowl title, but defeating the Pack, who Tampa Bay beat in the regular season, will be a tougher challenge for this team. Let’s see if they are up for it!

Week 16 playoff scenarios in NFL

Two weeks left in the NFL, and at times with COVID-19 out there, many thought the NFL would not get to this point, but they have, and the playoffs are around the corner.

At this point, six out of the 14 playoff spots have been secured. In the AFC, Bills, Steelers, and Chiefs have clinched spots, while in the NFC, the Packers, Saints, and Seahawks have clinched spots. 

Who will join them?

See below the teams that can clinch playoff spots in Week 16:

AFC

CLINCHED:

Buffalo Bills – AFC East division title

Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division title

Pittsburgh Steelers – playoff berth

CLEVELAND BROWNS (10-4) (at New York Jets (1-13), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)​

Cleveland clinches playoff berth with:

  1. CLE win + BAL loss or tie OR

  2. CLE win + MIA loss or tie OR

  3. CLE win + IND loss OR

  4. CLE tie + BAL loss OR

  5. CLE tie + MIA loss

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (10-4(at Pittsburgh (11-3), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Indianapolis clinches playoff berth with:

  1. IND win + BAL loss or tie OR

  2. IND win + MIA loss or tie OR

  3. IND tie + BAL loss OR

  4. IND tie + MIA loss

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (13-1) (vs. Atlanta (4-10), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Kansas City clinches the first-round bye with:

  1. KC win or tie OR

  2. PIT loss or tie OR

  3. BUF loss or tie OR

  4. KC clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over PIT or BUF AND clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over the other club

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-3) (vs. Indianapolis (10-4), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:

  1. PIT win OR

  2. CLE loss OR

  3. PIT tie + CLE tie

TENNESSEE TITANS (10-4) (at Green Bay (11-3), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title with:

  1. TEN win + IND loss​

Tennessee clinches playoff berth with:

  1. TEN win OR

  2. MIA loss OR

  3. BAL loss OR

  4. TEN tie + BAL tie

NFC

CLINCHED:

Green Bay Packers – NFC North division title

New Orleans Saints – playoff berth

Seattle Seahawks – playoff berth

ARIZONA CARDINALS (8-6) (vs. San Francisco (5-9), Saturday, 4:30 PM ET, Amazon)

Arizona clinches playoff berth with:

  1. ARI win + CHI loss or tie OR

  2. ARI tie + CHI loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (11-3) (vs. Tennessee (10-4), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Green Bay clinches the first-round bye with:​

  1. GB win + SEA loss or tie OR

  2. GB tie + NO loss or tie + SEA loss or tie, as long as both NO and SEA don’t tie

LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-5) (at Seattle (10-4), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Los Angeles clinches playoff berth with:

  1. LAR win or tie OR

  2. CHI loss or tie OR

  3. ARI win or tie

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-4) (vs. Minnesota (6-8), Friday, 4:30 PM ET, FOX/NFLN/Amazon)

New Orleans clinches NFC South division title with:

  1. NO win OR

  2. TB loss OR

  3. NO tie + TB tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (10-4) (vs. Los Angeles Rams (9-5), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Seattle clinches NFC West division title with:

  1. SEA win

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (9-5) (at Detroit (5-9), Saturday, 1:00 PM ET, NFLN)​

Tampa Bay clinches playoff berth with:

  1. TB win or tie OR

  2. CHI loss or tie

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-8) (vs. Carolina (4-10), Sunday, 4:05 PM ET, CBS)

Washington clinches NFC East division title with:

  1. WAS win + NYG loss or tie OR

  2. WAS tie + NYG loss + PHI-DAL tie

Bucs’ Arians on home-field advantage in playoffs: ‘I don’t think it’s going to be an advantage this year’

If the season ended today, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers(7-5) would be one of the three wild card teams in the NFC and would have to travel to Los Angeles to battle the Rams. A team Tampa Bay lost to at home on Monday Night Football.

Coming into the season, the Buccaneers, like most teams, wanted to have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but 2020 is not like any other year. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, most teams are playing in front of little to no fans, which on some level, takes away some of the advantages of playing at home. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians discussed home-field advantage on Tuesday. According to Arians, whose Buccaneers host the Minnesota Vikings(6-6), home-field advantage won’t matter as much as it did in the past, so for him, it’s all about just making the playoffs.

“Just getting in the dance. We’ve been a one seed and won it [and] we’ve been a six seed and won it,” AriansThis year especially – with no fans – the home-field advantage is really going to be out the window. It’s just going to be lining up and playing in empty stadiums. What has been a big, big part of the playoffs in the past is home-field advantage [but] I don’t think it’s going to be an advantage this year. It’s just a matter of getting in.”

Arians may have a point. What made playing at home such an advantage is the fans. The fans help create the atmosphere in the stadium, and the players feed off the home crowd’s energy. Plus, with the increase of COVID cases in America, you wonder if the NFL will go to a bubble come playoff time, which minimizes home-field advantage even more. 

So, for Tampa Bay, it’s about making the playoffs, and hopefully, for them, they are playing their best football in the postseason.

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.

NFL announces Wild Card and Divisional Playoff Schedule

The NFL announced tonight the schedule of sites, dates and times for the National Football League Wild Card Playoffs on January 5-6 and Divisional Playoffs on January 12-13.

 

NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS

Saturday, January 5
AFC   4:35 PM (ET)  Tennessee-Indianapolis winner at Houston (ESPN, with simulcast on ABC)
NFC:    8:15 PM (ET)  Seattle at Dallas (FOX)

Sunday, January 6

AFC:    1:05 PM (ET)  Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore (CBS)
NFC:    4:40 PM (ET)  Philadelphia at Chicago (NBC)​

NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

Saturday, January 12

AFC   4:35 PM (ET) Baltimore/Los Angeles Chargers/Indianapolis or Tennessee at Kansas City (NBC)
NFC:    8:15 PM (ET) Chicago/Dallas/Seattle at Los Angeles Rams (FOX)

Sunday, January 13

AFC   1:05 PM (ET) Houston/Baltimore/Los Angeles Chargers at New England (CBS)
NFC:    4:40 PM (ET) Dallas/Seattle/Philadelphia at New Orleans (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. Kansas City (12-4), AFC West champion
  1. New Orleans (13-3), NFC South champion
  1. New England (11-5), AFC East champion
  1. Los Angeles Rams (13-3), NFC West champion
  1. Houston (11-5), AFC South champion
  1. Chicago (12-4), NFC North champion
  1. Baltimore (10-6), AFC North champion
  1. Dallas (10-6), NFC East champion
  1. Los Angeles Chargers (12-4)
  1. Seattle (10-6)
  1. Indianapolis/Tennessee (10-6)*
  1. Philadelphia (9-7)

The NFC (FOX, 3:05 PM ET) and AFC (CBS, 6:40 PM ET) Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 20.

The 2019 Pro Bowl (ESPN, with simulcast on ABC, 3:00 PM ET) will be played on Sunday, January 27 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida and Super Bowl LIII will take place on Sunday, February 3 (CBS, 6:30 PM ET), at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

*NOTE: Should the Indianapolis-Tennessee game end in a tie, Pittsburgh will be the AFC No. 6 seed and play at Houston in the Wild Card playoffs.