Steelers-Ravens * Saturday, January 3 * Heinz Field
AFC Wild Card Round
Gates open at 6:15 pm * Kickoff at 8:15 pm
BALTIMORE RAVENS (10-6) AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-5)
Saturday, January 3, 8:15 p.m.
SERIES LEADER:Pittsburgh 21-17
STREAKS:Steelers have won three of the last five
HARBAUGH VS. PITTSBURGH:7-9
TOMLIN VS. BALTIMORE:10-8
LAST GAME:11/2/14: Ravens 23 at Steelers 43. Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger throws for 340 yards, franchise-record 6 TDs and 0 INTs for 136.3 rating.
TEAMS MEET for 4th time in postseason play & 1st time in Wild Card round. In last playoff meeting, Steelers defeated Ravens 31-24 in Divisional on 1/15/11. Clubs split season series; Pit. leads all-time regular-season (21-17) & postseason (3-0) series.
STEELERS: Have 33-21 (.611) all-time postseason record, tied with Dallas for most total playoff wins & 3rd all-time in win pct. Won 1st AFC North title since 2010, when Pit. advanced to SB XLVI. Since realignment in 2002, Steelers have won most AFC North championships of any team in division (6)…QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER tied for 1st in NFL with franchise-record 4,952 pass yards and 32 TD passes, which matched his own single-season club record (2007). Has 10-4 career postseason record. In Week 9 meeting, passed for 340 yards with 6 TDs & 0 INTs for 136.3 rating, becoming 1st player in NFL history with 6 TD passes in back-to-back games (6 vs. Ind. in Week 8). Has 2-0 playoff record vs. Ravens, passing for 481 yards with 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 93.2 rating…RB LE' VEON BELLled AFC & ranked 2nd in NFL with single-season club record 2,215 scrimmage yards (1,361 rushing; 854 receiving). Bell & HOFerMARSHALL FAULK(1999) are only players in NFL history with 1,350 rush & 850 receiving yards in same season. His 854 receiving yards are most ever by Steelers RB in season. In 11 career games vs. AFC North, averages 121.6 scrimmage yards per game (1,338 total; 868 rushing, 470 receiving) with 8 total TDs (6 rush, 2 rec.)…WR ANTONIO BROWN led NFL in catches (129) & receiving yards (1,698), 2nd-most rec. in single season in NFL annals (MARVIN HARRISON, 143 in 2002). 1 of 4 players in NFL history with 110 catches in consecutive seasons (HOFersJERRY RICE &CRIS CARTER& *WES WELKER). Brown's 13 TD catches surpassedHINES WARD(12 in 2002),LOUIS LIPPS(12 in 1985) &BUDDY DIAL(12 in 1961) for single-season club record.WR MARTAVIS BRYANTled AFC rookies with 8 TD rec. in 2014 & became 1st player in NFL history with 7 TD rec. in 1st 7 career games.TE HEATH MILLERhas 40 catches for 497 yards & 4 TDs in postseason, including TD catch in last playoff vs. Ravens…In 13 career playoff games,LB JAMES HARRISON *has 6.5 sacks & 100-yard INT-TD (SB XLIII vs. Az.), tied for 2nd-longest in playoff history.S TROY POLAMALU has 3 career postseason INTs, including a 40-yard INT-TD vs. Bal. in AFC Championship on 1/18/09. Club had 5 players selected to 2015 Pro Bowl (QB Roethlisberger, RB Bell, WR Brown,C MAURKICE POUNCEY,LB LAWRENCE TIMMONS**).
RAVENS:Have reached playoffs in 6 of past 7 seasons…Ravens are 9-5 all-time on road in postseason…QB JOE FLACCO will be 1st QB to start postseason game in 6 of 1st 7 NFL seasons in Super Bowl era. Passed for 11 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 117.2 rating en route to SB XLVII title. 1 of 2 NFL players with 11 TD passes & 0 INTs in single postseason (HOFer JOE MONTANA). Has 9-4 postseason record.*Had career-best 3,986 passing yards in 2014, 2nd-most in season by Raven. In past 4 vs. Pit., has completed 99 of 143 (69.2 pct.) for 935 yards with 6 TDs vs. 1 INT for 98.1 rating…RB JUSTIN FORSETT rushed for career-high 1,266 yards & 8 TDs on 235 att., leading NFL RBs in rushing average (5.4). Ranked 2nd in AFC & tied for 3rd in NFL with 5 100-yard rushing games in 2014…In 1st season with Ravens,WR STEVE SMITH, SR. led team with 1,065 receiving yards on 79 catches with 6 TDs. 1 of 4 players in NFL history with at least 3 TD catches of 50 yards in season at age 35 (HOFersJERRY RICE& *JAMES LOFTON& JOEY GALLOWAY). Has 10 career postseason TDs (8 receiving, 1 rush, 1 PR), most among active players…WR*TORREY SMITH* led team with 11 TD catches in 2014, which ranks 2nd on Ravens' all-time single-season list (MICHAEL JACKSON, 14 in 1996). Averages 21.6 yards per catch in postseason career (15 rec., 324 yards, 3 TDs), 1st among active NFL WRs (min. 15 catches). Had 35-yard TD catch in last meeting. TE OWEN DANIELS has 3 TD catches in 4 career meetings, including 2 in Week 2 victory…LB TERRELL SUGGShas 12 career playoff sacks, tied with HOFer REGGIE WHITE for 3rd all-time (WILLIE MC GINEST, 16; BRUCE SMITH 14.5). Suggs is Ravens' all-time sack leader (106.5) & is 1 of 7 active players with 100 career sacks. 1 of 3 players to have 10 sacks in 4 of past 5 seasons (JARED ALLEN, DE MARCUS WARE). LB C.J. MOSLEY (129) joins RAY LEWIS as only rookies in Ravens history to lead team in tackles. LB ELVIS DUMERVIL led team with single-season club record 17 sacks this season…K JUSTIN TUCKER has 89.8 career FG pct. (97 of 108), highest of any player in NFL history (min. 100 att.)…Club had 3 players selected to 2015 Pro Bowl (LB Dumervil, LB Mosley, G MARSHAL YANDA).
CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-5-1) AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (11-5)
SERIES LEADER:Indianapolis leads 17-10
STREAKS:Bengals have won two of the last three.
LEWIS VS. INDIANAPOLIS:2-5
PAGANO VS. CINCINNATI:1-1
LAST GAME:10/19/14: Bengals 0 at Colts 27. Indianapolis defense records 4 sacks and holds Cincinnati offense to 135 total net yards. Colts QB Andrew Luck throws for 344 yards & 2 TDs.
TEAMS MEET for 2nd time in postseason. Colts defeated Bengals 17-0 in Divisional playoff on 12/26/70. Indy leads all-time regular-season series 17-10 & won Week 7 matchup (27-0).
BENGALS: Club has reached postseason for 6th time under head coachMARVIN LEWIS(2005, 2009, 2011-2014) & makes franchise-record 4th consecutive playoff appearance. Bengals aim for 1st postseason win since 1/6/91 against Houston Oilers (Wild Card)…QB ANDY DALTONhas 40-23-1 (.633) record, highest win pct. of any Bengals QB (min. 20 starts). In 3 career meetings, Dalton has passed for 665 yards with 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 94.3 rating. Tied career-high with 4 TD runs in 2014 (4 in 2012)…RB JEREMY HILL led NFL rookies in rushing yards (1,124) & rushing TDs (9). 3rd rookie in NFL history with 4 140 yard rush games, joining HOFersERIC DICKERSON(5 in 1983) &CURTIS MARTIN(4 in 1995). In past 9, averages 103.2 rushing yards per game with 6 TDs. Aims for 4th in row with 100 rushing yards. In only postseason game (1/5/14 WC vs. SD),RB GIOVANI BERNARDhad 118 scrimmage yards (45 rush, 73 receiving)…Since entering NFL in 2011,WR A.J. GREENhas 4,874 receiving yards, 4th-most of any player in 1st 4 seasons (RANDY MOSS, 5,396;TORRY HOLT, 5,088;JERRY RICE, 4,881). Led team with 1,041 receiving yards & joinedCHAD JOHNSON(6, 2002-07) as only Bengals with at least 4 consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons.WR MOHAMED SANUhad career-highs in catches (56), receiving yards (790) & TD catches (5) in 2014.TE JERMAINE GRESHAMhas 5 TD catches in past 6 & aims for 4th in row with TD reception…LB VINCENT REYled team with 121 tackles in 2014. Since 2011,DT GENO ATKINSleads NFL DTs with 29 sacks. In 2 career playoff games, has 1 sack.DE CARLOS DUNLAPled team with 8 sacks in 2014, including 1/2 sack with FF & FR in Week 7 meeting.S REGGIE NELSONled Bengals with 4 INTs & aims for 3rd in row with INT…Club had 2 players selected to 2015 Pro Bowl (WR Green,P KEVIN HUBER**).
COLTS:Club has reached postseason for 3rd straight season under head coach CHUCK PAGANO & 12 of past 13 seasons overall…Clinched AFC South title for 9th time since 2003…QB ANDREW LUCKled NFL with 40 TDs & became 8th player with 40 TDs in season. Since entering NFL in 2012, has 12,957 yards, most of any NFL player in 1st 3 seasons, & 86 TD passes, 2nd-most in player's 1st 3 years (HOFer DAN MARINO, 98).*1 of 2 Super Bowl era starting QBs to win at least 10 games in each of 1st 3 NFL seasons (RUSSELL WILSON). Will make 4th career postseason start (2nd at home). In only home playoff start (WC vs. KC on 1/4/14), helped Colts overcome 28-point deficit to win 45-44 (2nd-largest comeback victory in NFL playoff history)…In 4 career meetings, RB TRENT RICHARDSONaverages 101.3 scrimmage yards per game (405 total; 243 rush, 162 receiving) with 2 total TDs (1 rush, 1 receiving)…In past 12,WR T.Y. HILTONhas 66 rec. for 1,159 yards with 7 TDs, incl. 6 100-yard games. Led team with career-high 1,345 receiving yards, joiningMARVIN HARRISON& *REGGIE WAYNEas only players in club history with 1,300 yard receiving season. WR Reggie Wayne* ranks 2nd all-time with 92 career postseason catches (HOFerJERRY RICE, 151). Has 1,242 career receiving yards in playoffs needs 74 yards to surpassCLIFF BRANCH(1,289) & HOFerMICHAEL IRVIN(1,315) for 2nd all-time.TEs DWAYNE ALLEN(8) &COBY FLEENER(8) are 1st TEs in club history with 8 TD catches each in same season. Allen had 32-yard TD reception in last meeting…LB D'QWELL JACKSON led AFC with 140 tackles. RookieLB JONATHAN NEWSOMEtied career-high with 2 sacks with FF last week. Led AFC rookies with 6.5 sacks in 2014. RookieLB ANDREW JACKSONposted 1st career sack vs. Ten.S MIKE ADAMSled team with career-high 5 INTs this season.CB VONTAE DAVIStied career-high with 4 INTs (2009, 2011)…K ADAM VINATIERIis NFL's all-time playoff leader in career points (213) & made FGs (51)…Club had 5 players selected to 2015 Pro Bowl (QB Luck, WR Hilton, CB Davis, K Vinatieri,P PAT MC AFEE*).
ARIZONA CARDINALS (11-5) AT CAROLINA PANTHERS (7-8-1)
SATURDAY, JANUARY 3, 2015
SERIES LEADER: Carolina 8-4
STREAKS:Arizona has won the last two
ARIANS VS. CAROLINA:1-0
RIVERA VS. ARIZONA:0-2
LAST GAME:10/6/13: Panthers 6 at Cardinals 22. Arizona QB Carson Palmer completes 19 of 28 passes for 175 yards & TD. Cardinals defense has 3 INTs and DE Calais Campbell records safety.
TEAMS MEET for 2nd time in postseason. AZ won only playoff meeting, 33-13 in 2008 Divisional. Car. leads all-time series, including postseason, 8-5. AZ has won past 2 meetings.
The Steelers prepare for their Wild Card playoff against the Baltimore Ravens.
CARDINALS:Won 11 games, tied for most in franchise history. Under head coachBRUCE ARIANS, team won 21 games, tied for most in any 2-year span in club history. Arians' 21 wins are most by Cardinals head coach in 1st 2 seasons…Team has won 4 of past 6 postseason games, incl. 2008 Div. win (33-13) at Car. (1/10/09)…Cardinals had 3 players selected to Pro Bowl:ST JUSTIN BETHEL(2nd),DE CALAIS CAMPBELL(1st) &CB PATRICK PETERSON(4th)…QB DREW STANTONis 5-3 as starter (.625) in 2014 & has won 7 of past 10 starts.QB RYAN LINDLEYpassed for career-high 316 yards & threw 1st 2 career TD passes last week…In 3 games with 10 att.,RB KERWYNN WILLIAMShad 242 rush yards (80.7 per game).RB STEPFAN TAYLORhad career-high 4 TDs (3 rec., 1 rush)…WR LARRY FITZGERALDhas catch in 169 consecutive games, incl. playoffs. Since entering NFL in 2004, has 98 rec. TDs (incl. playoffs), tied for most in NFL. In 6 career postseason games, has 42 catches for 705 yards (117.5 per game) & 9 TDs. Holds NFL records for most catches (30), rec. yards (546) & rec. TDs (7) in single postseason. Had 8 catches for 166 yards & TD in 2008 Div. game at Car.WR MICHAEL FLOYDhad 8 catches for 153 yards & 2 TDs last week. Led team with 841 rec. yards, 17.9 avg. & 6 rec. TDs. RookieWR JOHN BROWNhad 4 come-from-behind GW TDs, incl. 3 in 4th Q…Cardinals led NFC in red zone defense (43.9 TD pct.) & tied for NFL lead allowing 18 red-zone TDs. Team's 8 turnover differential ranked 3rd in NFC…DE Campbellhad 2 sacks, safety & FF in last meeting. Had 7 sacks, his 6th consecutive season with 6 sacks.LB ALEX OKAFORled team with career-high 8 sacks. Team had 18 INTs & 4 players with 3 INTs:S RASHAD JOHNSON(4),CB ANTONIO CROMARTIE(3),CB Peterson(3) &CB JERRAUD**POWERS (3). Johnson had 2 INT-TDs, tied for most in NFC & tied for 2nd most in NFL. Since 2011, Peterson is only player in NFL with 15 INTs (15) & 5 return TDs (5). In 2 games vs. Car., has 89-yard PR-TD & 43-yard INT. DT FROSTEE RUCKER had career-high 5 sacks. Team had 4 players with 75 tackles: Johnson (90), LB LARRY FOOTE (84), rookie S DEONE BUCANNON (76) & S TONY JEFFERSON(75)…Cardinals outscored opp. 102-64 in 4th Q. Team's 64 points allowed in 4th Q were fewest in NFC…K CHANDLER CATANZARO scored 114 points, most by rookie in club history.
PANTHERS: Won division for 5th time (1996, 2003, 2008, 2013) & are repeat champions for 1st time. Head coach RON RIVERA has won division in 2 of 4 seasons with Car. Have won 4 games in row, outscoring opp. 111-43…Panthers had 2 players selected to Pro Bowl: LB LUKE KUECHLY (2nd) & TE GREG OLSEN (1st)…QB CAM NEWTON had 3,127 pass yards & 539 rush yards. Is only player in NFL history to start career with 4 consecutive seasons with 3,000 pass yards & 500 rush yards…Offense was 2nd in NFL in Dec. averaging 199.3 rush yards per game…RB JONATHAN STEWART rushed for 401 yards in Dec. (100.3 per game), 2nd most in NFC. Scored TD in 2008 Div. vs. AZ. RB DE ANGELO WILLIAMS is franchise leader in rush att. (1,432), yards (6,846) & TDs (46). Has 3 career 100-yard rush games vs. Az…TE Olsen had 6 rec. TDs. Is only TE in NFL with 5 rec. TDs in every season since 2008. Had 1st career 1,000-yard season (1,008) & ranked 2nd among TEs. Was 3rd among TEs with career-high 84 catches. Had career-best 3 TDs vs. Az. (11/8/09 with Chi.). Among rookies, WR KELVIN BENJAMIN was 3rd with 73 catches, 1,008 rec. yards & 9 rec. TDs. WR JERRICHO COTCHERY was 3rd on club in catches (48) & rec. yards (580). Had 2 TDs in 9/28/08 game vs. Az. (with NYJ)…Team ranked 2nd in NFL allowing 10.8 points per game in Dec. Defense was 3rd in NFL (2nd in NFC) in Dec. allowing 278.3 yards per game. LB Kuechly led NFL with 153 tackles. Since entering NFL in 2012, leads league with 473 tackles. LB THOMAS DAVIS was 2nd on club with 100 tackles. DE CHARLES JOHNSON led team with 8.5 sacks, his 5th consecutive season with 8 sacks. Since 2010, is only NFC player with 50 sacks (52.5) & 13 FFs (13). S ROMAN HARPER led team with career-high 4 INTs & had 31-yard INT-TD in Week 17. Since 2006, is only DB in NFL with 15 sacks (18), 15 FFs (15) & 10 INTs (11). Panthers had 3 players with 10 PD: Kuechly (11), CB JOSH NORMAN (11) & Harper (10). DE MARIO ADDISON was 2nd on team with career-high 6.5 sacks. Rookie S TRE BOSTON had 84-yard INT-TD last week, his 1st career INT & TD. Rookie DE KONY EALY has sack in 3 consecutive games…K GRAHAM GANO led NFC with 61 kickoff touchbacks & leads NFL with 124 kickoff touchbacks in past 2 seasons.
DETROIT LIONS (11-5) AT DALLAS COWBOYS (12-4)SUNDAY, JANUARY 4, 2015
SERIES LEADER:Dallas 12-11
STREAKS:Detroit has won the last two.
CALDWELL VS. DALLAS:0-1
GARRETT VS. Detroit:1-2
LAST GAME:10/27/13: Cowboys 30 at Lions 31. Detroit WR Calvin Johnson catches 14 passes for 329 yards & TD. Lions RB Reggie Bush has 92 rushing yards & TD & adds 8 receptions for 30 yards.
TEAMS MEET for 3rd time in postseason. Clubs split 1st 2 playoff meetings: 1970 Div. (Dal. 5, Det. 0) & 1991 Div. (Det. 38, Dal. 6). Dal. leads all-time series, including postseason, 13-12. Det. has won past 2 meetings.
LIONS: Won 11 games, tied for 2nd most in season in team history & most by Lions since 1991 (12)…JIM CALDWELLtiedPOTSY CLARK(11, 1931) for most wins by Lions head coach in 1st season with club. Caldwell is 3rd head coach in team history to lead team to playoffs in 1st season…Lions had 3 players selected to Pro Bowl:WR CALVIN JOHNSON(5th),S GLOVER QUIN(1st) &DT NDAMUKONG SUH(4th)…QB MATTHEW STAFFORDpassed for 4,257 yards, his 4th consecutive 4,000-yard season. Owns 4 of top 5 passing seasons in team history. Has 18,912 pass yards since 2011, 2nd most in NFL. Is 2-0 in career vs. Dal. & had 488 pass yards in last meeting. Had 380 pass yards & 3 TDs in only postseason start…RB REGGIE BUSHhas 5 career postseason TDs (2 rush, 2 rec., 1 PR).RB JOIQUE BELLled team with 860 rush yards & 7 rush TDs. Reached 1,000 scrimmage yards (1,182) for 2nd consecutive year.RB THEO**RIDDICK had 4 rec. TDs, tied for most by NFC RB…WR Johnson had 1,077 rec. yards, his 5th consecutive 1,000-yard season. Since 2011, leads NFL with 6,214 rec. yards & 105.3 rec. yards per game. In last game vs. Dal., had 14 catches for franchise-record 329 yards & TD. Has 4 TDs in past 3 meetings. In only playoff game, had 12 catches for 211 yards & 2 TDs. WR GOLDEN TATE led team with career-high 99 catches & 1,331 yards, his 1st 1,000-yard season. Had 5 100-yard rec. games…Lions led NFL in rush defense (69.3) & was 2nd in league in total defense (300.9). Club held opp. to 100 rush yards or fewer in 14 of 16 games & 50 rush yards or fewer in 5 games. Detroit had 20 INTs, 2nd most in NFC. S Quin led NFL with career-high 7 INTs. Is 1st Lion to lead NFL in INTs since HOFer LEM BARNEY in 1967. Quin (7) &JAMES IHEDIGBO (4) combined for 11 INTs, most by S duo in NFL.LB DE ANDRE LEVY led team with 150 tackles, 2nd most in NFL. Has 7 INTs since 2013, most by NFL LB. DE EZEKIEL ANSAH had 7.5 sacks & has 15.5 sacks in 1st 2 NFL seasons. CB DARIUS SLAY led club with career-best 17 PD. LB TAHIR WHITEHEAD was 2nd on team with career-high 76 tackles. Had 2 INTs, 1st 2 INTs in career. 8 different Lions had INT, incl. 5 with 2 INTs. Club ranked 2nd in NFC & 3rd in NFL allowing 4.96 yards per play on 1st down. Lions outscored opp. 104-71 in 4th Q.
COWBOYS: Are 33-25 (.569) in postseason. Team's 33 playoff wins are tied for most in NFL history. Have played 58 postseason games, most in league history. This is Dallas' 31st time in postseason, tied for most in NFL history...Team's 12 wins tied for most in NFL. JASON GARRETT is 5th Cowboys head coach to win 12 games in season…Cowboys had 6 players selected to Pro Bowl: WR DEZ BRYANT (2nd), C TRAVIS FREDERICK (1st), rookie G ZACK MARTIN (1st), RB DE MARCO MURRAY (2nd), QB TONY ROMO (4th) & T TYRON SMITH (2nd). Team's 6 offensive selections are most in NFL…QB Romo led NFL with franchise-record 113.2 rating. Has 2 of 3 100 rating seasons in team history. In Dec., was 4-0 with 12 TDs, 1 INT & 133.7 rating. Has 102.3 rating in 4 career starts vs. Det…RB Murray led NFL with team-record 1,845 rush yards & 12 100-yard games. Murray passed HOFer EMMITT SMITH for most rush yards & most 100-yard rush games in season by Cowboy. Tied for NFL lead with 13 rush TDs. Cowboys were 2nd in NFL in rush offense (147.1)…WR Bryant led NFL with franchise-record 16 rec. TDs. Since 2012, leads NFL with 41 rec. TDs. Is only player in NFL with 12 rec. TDs in each of past 3 seasons. Had 88 catches for 1,320 yards & 16 TDs, his 3rd consecutive season with 85 catches, 1,200 yards & 12 TDs. Has 5 TDs in 3 meetings & has TD catch in all 3 games vs. Det. TE JASON WITTEN had 703 rec. yards & is 2nd TE in NFL history (TONY GONZALEZ) with 700 rec. yards in 11 consecutive seasons. WR TERRANCE WILLIAMS was 2nd on team with career-high 8 rec. TDs. WR COLE BEASLEY & TE GAVIN ESCOBAR each had 4 rec. TDs…Cowboys had 4 players with 70 tackles: S BARRY CHURCH (93), LB ROLANDO MC CLAIN (81), rookie LB ANTHONY HITCHENS (73) & S J.J. WILCOX (70). CBs STERLING MOORE (13) & ORLANDO SCANDRICK (9) had most PD on club. LB BRUCE CARTER had career-high 5 INTs & led NFL LBs. Had 2 INTs in Week 17. DE JEREMY MINCEY led team with 6 sacks & has 5 sacks in past 7 games. DT HENRY MELTON had 5 sacks, his 3rd 5-sack season in past 4 years…K DAN BAILEY has made 89.8 pct. of FGs in career (114 of 127), highest mark in NFL history (min. 100 FGs). Scored 131 points, his 4th consecutive 100-point season.