SATURDAY WILD CARD GAMES
Arizona Cardinals (11-5) at Carolina Panthers (7-8-1)LEADER: Cardinals lead 8-4.
STREAKS: Panthers have won the past two.
COACHES VS. OPP.: Arians: 1-0; Rivera: 0-2.
COACHES PLAYOFF RECORD: Arians: 0-0; Rivera: 0-1
VS. COMMON OPP.: Ari.: 2-3 (Atl. 0-1; Det. 1-0; Phi. 1-0; Sea. 0-2; Car.: 2-3 (Atl. 1-1; Det. 1-0; Phi. 0-1; Sea. 0-1).
PLAYOFF RECORD: Cardinals 6-7; Panthers 6-5.
LAST WEEK: Cardinals lost 20-17 at 49ers; Panthers won 34-3 at Falcons.
LAST GAME: 10/6/13: Panthers 6 at Cardinals 22. Arizona QB Carson Palmer completes 19 of 28 passes for 175 yards and TD. Cardinals defense has 3 INTs and DE Calais Campbell records safety.
LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/19/10: Panthers 19, Cardinals 12. Carolina QB Jimmy Clausen throws for 141 yards and TD, and RB Jonathan Stewart adds 137 rushing yards. Panthers K John Kasay converts four FGs (28, 29, 24, 43).
LAST PLAYOFF: 1/10/09: Cardinals 33 at Panthers 13. Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald has eight receptions for 166 yards and TD. Cardinals RB Edgerrin James adds 57 rushing yards and TD.
BROADCAST: ESPN (4:35 PM ET): Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter). Westwood One: Dave Sims, Mark Malone, Steve Tasker (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 93 (Ari.), 85 (Car.). XM: 88 (WW1), 225 (Ari.), 85 (Car.).
|PASSING||Lindley: 45-93-562-2-4-56.8||Newton: 262-448-18-12-82.1|
|RUSHING||K. Williams: 53-246-4.6-0||Stewart: 175-809-4.6-3|
|RECEIVING||Fitzgerald: 63-784-12.4-2||Olsen (TE): 84-1008-12.0-6|
|SACKS||Okafor: 8||Johnson: 8.5|
|INTs||Johnson: 4||Harper: 4|
|PR||Ginn: 10.7||Brown: 9.6|
|KR||Ginn: 19.0||Brown: 22.8|
|PUNTING||D. Butler: 42.1||Nortman: 44.9|
|KICKING||Catanzaro (R): 114 (27/27 PAT; 29/33 FG)||Gano: 121 (34/34 PAT; 29/35 FG)|
CARDINALS: Won 11 games, tied for most in franchise history. Under head coach BRUCE 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) and CB Patrick Peterson (4th)…QB Drew Stanton is 5-3 as starter (.625) in 2014 and has won 7 of past 10 starts. QB Ryan Lindley passed for career-high 316 yards and threw 1st 2 career TD passes last week…In 3 games with 10+ att., RB Kerwynn Williams had 242 rush yards (80.7 per game). RB Stepfan Taylor had career-high 4 TDs (3 rec., 1 rush)…WR LARRY FITZGERALD has 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) and 9 TDs. Holds NFL records for most catches (30), rec. yards (546) and rec. TDs (7) in single postseason. Had 8 catches for 166 yards and TD in 2008 Div. game at Car. WR Michael Floyd had 8 catches for 153 yards and 2 TDs last week. Led team with 841 rec. yards, 17.9 avg. and 6 rec. TDs. Rookie WR John Brown had 4 come-from-behind GW TDs, incl. 3 in 4th Q…Cardinals led NFC in red zone defense (43.9 TD pct.) and tied for NFL lead allowing 18 red-zone TDs. Team’s +8 turnover differential ranked 3rd in NFC…DE Campbell had 2 sacks, safety and FF in last meeting. Had 7 sacks, his 6th consecutive season with 6+ sacks. LB Alex Okafor led team with career-high 8 sacks. Team had 18 INTs and 4 players with 3+ INTs: S Rashad Johnson (4), CB Antonio Cromartie (3), CB Peterson (3) and CB Jerraud Powers (3). Johnson had 2 INT-TDs, tied for most in NFC and tied for 2nd most in NFL. Since 2011, Peterson is only player in NFL with 15+ INTs (15) and 5+ return TDs (5). In 2 games vs. Car., has 89-yard PR-TD and 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) and 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) and 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) and TE Greg Olsen (1st)…QB Cam Newton had 3,127 pass yards and 539 rush yards. Is only player in NFL history to start career with 4 consecutive seasons with 3,000+ pass yards and 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) and 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) and 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 and 9 rec. TDs. WR Jerricho Cotchery was 3rd on club in catches (48) and 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) and 13+ FFs (13). S Roman Harper led team with career-high 4 INTs and had 31-yard INT-TD in Week 17. Since 2006, is only DB in NFL with 15+ sacks (18), 15+ FFs (15) and 10+ INTs (11). Panthers had 3 players with 10+ PD: Kuechly (11), CB Josh Norman (11) and 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 and TD. Rookie DE Kony Ealy has sack in 3 consecutive games…K Graham Gano led NFC with 61 kickoff touchbacks and leads NFL with 124 kickoff touchbacks in past 2 seasons.
Baltimore Ravens (10-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
SERIES LEADER: Steelers 21-17.
STREAKS: Steelers won 3 of past 5.
COACHES VS. OPP.: Harbaugh: 7-9; Tomlin: 10-8
COACHES PLAYOFF RECORD: Harbaugh 9-4; Tomlin 5-3.
VS. COMMON OPP.: Baltimore: 8-4 (Atl. 1-0; Car. 1-0; Cin. 0-2; Cle. 2-0; Hou. 0-1; Ind. 0-1; Jax. 1-0; NO 1-0; TB 1-0; Ten. 1-0); Pittsburgh: 9-3 (Atl. 1-0; Car. 1-0; Cin. 2-0; Cle. 1-1; Hou. 1-0; Ind. 1-0; Jax. 1-0; NO 0-1; TB 0-1; Ten. 1-0).
PLAYOFF RECORD: Baltimore 14-7; Pittsburgh 33-21.
LAST WEEK: Baltimore won 20-10 vs. Browns; Pittsburgh won 27-17 vs. Bengals.
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.
LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/2/14.
LAST PLAYOFF: 1/15/11: Ravens 24 at Steelers 31. Pittsburgh RB Rashard Mendenhall rushes for 2 TDs. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger throws for 226 yards & 2 TDs.
BROADCAST: NBC (8:15 PM ET): Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, Hub Arkush (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 93 (Bal.), 85 (Pit.). XM: 88 (WW1), 225 (Bal.), 85 (Pit.).
|PASSING||Flacco: 344-555-3986-27-12-90.9||Roethlisberger: 408-608-4952 (T1L)-32-9-103.3 (1C)|
|RUSHING||Forsett: 235-1266 (2C)-5.4-8 (T3C)||Bell: 290-1361 (1C)-4.7-8 (T3C)|
|RECEIVING||S. Smith: 79-1065-13.5-6||A. Brown: 129 (1L)-1698 (1L)-13.2-13 (1C)|
|SACKS||Dumervil: 17 (3L)||Heyward, Worilds: 7.5|
|INTs||Mosley (R), Ngata: 2||Gay, McCain: 3|
|PR||J. Jones: 9.2||A. Brown: 10.6|
|KR||J. Jones: 30.6 (2L)||Wheaton: 24.7|
|PUNTING||Koch: 47.4 (3L)||Wing: 43.7|
|KICKING||Tucker: 129 (42/42 PAT; 29/34 FG)||Suisham: 132 (45/45 PAT; 29/32 FG)|
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 and 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 and 8 TDs on 235 att., leading NFL RBs in rushing average (5.4). Ranked 2nd in AFC and 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+ (HOFers Jerry Rice and JAMES LOFTON and 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 Suggs has 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) and 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).
STEELERS: Have 33-21 (.611) all-time postseason record, tied with Dallas for most total playoff wins and 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 and 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 BELL led AFC and ranked 2nd in NFL with single-season club record 2,215 scrimmage yards (1,361 rushing; 854 receiving). Bell and HOFer Marshall FAULK (1999) are only players in NFL history with 1,350+ rush and 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) and 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 (HOFers JERRY Rice and Cris Carter and Wes Welker). Brown’s 13 TD catches surpassed HINES WARD (12 in 2002), LOUIS LIPPS (12 in 1985) and BUDDY DIAL (12 in 1961) for single-season club record. WR Martavis Bryant led AFC rookies with 8 TD rec. in 2014 and became 1st player in NFL history with 7 TD rec. in 1st 7 career games. TE Heath Miller has 40 catches for 497 yards and 4 TDs in postseason, including TD catch in last playoff vs. Ravens…In 13 career playoff games, LB James Harrison has 6.5 sacks and 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).