Archive for December, 2013

AFC & NFC Wild Card Weekend Capsules

For AFC Wild Card Weekend Capsules, click here

For NFC Wild Card Weekend Capsules, click here

Wild Card Weekend Preview

IT’S PLAYOFF TIME!

After an exciting finish to the regular season, the NFL’s second season has arrived.

“We advanced to the postseason and it’s great,” says New England quarterback TOM BRADY, whose team won the AFC East and earned a first-round bye. “We put together a great season but it doesn’t mean much now. We’ve now got to go out there and play great football.”

Week 17 came right down to the wire as 13 of the 16 games played on the final day of the regular season had playoff implications. Sunday’s excitement was due in part to having 16 divisional games played on the season’s final day, a tradition instituted in 2010. And the regular-season’s final game – game No. 256 of 256 – determined the NFC East division champion as Philadelphia defeated Dallas in a win-and-in matchup.

“It feels good,” says Seattle Pro Bowl safety EARL THOMAS about the team winning the NFC West and clinching the No. 1 seed in the conference. “But we still have some work to do.”

The final 12 teams are now set. It doesn’t matter how you got here. All that matters is that you’re here.

“Everybody’s 0-0 now,” says Denver cornerback CHAMP BAILEY, whose team won the AFC West and secured home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. “There are 12 total teams in this thing. We’re one of them. We’ve just got to make sure that we’re the one that comes out on top in the end.”

For the complete release, click here

 

AFC & NFC Players of the Week — Week 17

For Week 17 AFC Players of the Week, click here

For Week 17 NFC Players of the Week, click here

2013 Season In Review

RECORD-BREAKING 2013 SEASON HAD IT ALL!

Scoring at an all-time high…new teams making the playoffs and winning divisions…consistent teams excelling once again…records falling…young players making their mark…and so much more!

The 2013 season really did have it all, including a fantastic finish.

Week 17 came right down to the wire as 13 of the 16 games scheduled for the final day of the regular season had playoff implications. Sunday’s excitement was due in part to having 16 divisional games played on the season’s final day, a tradition instituted in 2010.

Each of the 12 teams still in Super Bowl XLVIII contention can look back at the wild ride that was the 2013 regular season and appreciate how challenging the road to the playoffs was.

Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs that were not in the postseason the year before. Five teams – Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia and San Diego – accomplished the feat this year.

“It’s great to be in the playoffs,” says Kansas City’s ANDY REID, who became the 21st NFL head coach to reach 150 career wins (151). “We also understand that’s not where it stops. We’ve got to finish this season the right way.”

For the second consecutive year, a team that won two games the previous season rebounded to win 11 games. The Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) tied the 2008 Miami Dolphins and 2012 Indianapolis Colts for the most wins by a team that won two or fewer games the previous season.

The 2013 season also proved that consistency is difficult, but not impossible, to maintain in the NFL. The Patriots became the second team in NFL history to win at least 10 games in 11 consecutive seasons, joining the 1983-98 San Francisco 49ers (16 consecutive seasons) as the only teams to accomplish the feat. BILL BELICHICK (217 wins) also surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer CHUCK NOLL (209) for fifth place on the all-time wins list among head coaches (including postseason).

Two of the winningest quarterbacks in league history – PEYTON MANNING of Denver (13-3) and TOM BRADY of New England (12-4) – led their teams to the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the AFC. Brady became the first starting QB in NFL history to win 11 division championships. Manning captured his 10th division title, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE MONTANA for second place all-time.

And two of the NFL’s most significant single-season records fell in 2013. Manning set the NFL’s single-season passing-yard record with 5,477 yards, surpassing DREW BREES’ mark of 5,476 yards in 2011, and finished the regular season with 55 touchdown passes, also the most in a season in NFL history.

Manning is the first player to set both the single-season passing yardage and touchdown records in the same season since Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO in 1984.

For the complete release, click here

2014 Opponents Determined

The opponents for all 2014 regular-season games have been determined and a complete list of each team’s home and away matchups was issued today by the NFL.

The scheduling formula implemented in 2002 with realignment guarantees that all teams play each other on a regular, rotating basis.

Under the formula, every team plays 16 games as follows:

  • Home and away against its three division opponents (6 games).
  • The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (4 games).
  • The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (4 games).
  • Two intraconference games based on the prior year’s standings (2 games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.

Beginning in 2010, a change was made to how teams are paired in the schedule rotation to ensure that teams playing the AFC and NFC West divisions would not be required to make two west coast trips (e.g. at San Francisco and at Seattle), while other teams in their division had none (e.g. at St. Louis and at Arizona).

The official 2014 schedule, with playing dates and times, will be announced in the spring.

NFL Kickoff 2014 Weekend will begin on Thursday night, September 4, and the regular season will conclude on December 28.

Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona will be played on Sunday, February 1, 2015.

For the complete release, click here

Houston Texans Hold First Pick in 2014 NFL Draft

The Houston Texans own the No. 1 pick of the 2014 National Football League Draft, which will be held on May 8-10.

The tentative order of the first round was announced today by the NFL.

The NFL Draft will kick off in primetime for the fifth consecutive year. The first round will be held on Thursday, May 8. The second and third rounds are set for Friday, May 9. Rounds four through seven will be held on Saturday, May 10.

Below is the tentative order of the first round of the 2014 Draft, subject to the results of the playoffs. The draft order is determined by the following procedures:

(A)       The winner of the Super Bowl will select last and the other Super Bowl participant next-to-last, regardless of their regular-season record.

(B)       The Championship Game participants not advancing to the Super Bowl will select 29th and 30th, according to the reverse order of their standing.

(C)       The Divisional Playoff participants not advancing to the Championship Games will select 25th through 28th, according to the reverse order of their standing.

(D)       The Wild Card participants not advancing to the Divisional Playoffs will select 21st through 24th, according to the reverse order of their standing.

(E)       Non-playoff clubs will select first through 20th, according to the reverse order of their standing.

For the tentative 2014 First Round Draft Order, click here

Week 17 What To Look For – A Look Back

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NFL Wild Card & Divisional Playoff Schedule Announced

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Seven From Sunday – Week 17

A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 29, the 17th week of the 2013 season.

For the complete release, click here.

2014 Pro Bowl Players Announced

PRO BOWL KICKS OFF SUPER BOWL WEEK IN PRIMETIME ON NBC ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 26

The 2014 Pro Bowl, featuring a significantly revised format, will be played on Sunday, January 26, 2014 and televised live on NBC at 7:00 PM ET from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.

For the first time, the Pro Bowl will be “unconferenced.” Gone is the familiar AFC vs. NFC match-up that has existed since 1971. Instead, players were selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players.

The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers placed a league-best eight players each in the Pro Bowl, which will be held prior to the Super Bowl for the fifth consecutive year and serve as the signature kickoff event of Super Bowl week.

The Pro Bowl players were determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counted one-third toward determining the 86 Pro Bowl selections announced today. Two additional “need” players will be chosen by each head coach and must be long snappers. The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its all-star teams. In 1995, the NFL became the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting.

As part of the new format, players will be assigned to teams through the Pro Bowl Draft, which will air on Wednesday, January 22 on NFL Network (8:00 PM ET). Pro Football Hall of Famers JERRY RICE and DEION SANDERS will serve as alumni team captains for their Pro Bowl squads – Team Rice and Team Sanders – and have final say over draft decisions. The NFL legends will each be assisted by two active player captains and one NFL.com fantasy football champion in the draft process.

For the complete release, click here