Baltimore Ravens (11-6) at New England Patriots (12-4)
LEADER: Patriots lead 7-1.
STREAKS: Patriots won 7 of last 8.
COACHES VS. OPP.: Harbaugh: 3-4; Belichick: 6-3.
COACHES PLAYOFF RECORD: Harbaugh: 10-4; Belichick 19-9.
VS. COMMON OPP.: Bal.: 1-4 (Cin. 0-2; Ind. 0-1; Mia. 1-0; SD 0-1; NE: 4-1 (Cin. 1-0; Ind. 1-0; Mia. 1-1; SD 1-0)
PLAYOFF RECORD: Ravens 15-7; Patroits 25-18.
LAST WEEK: Ravens: W 30-17 at Steelers; Patriots: Bye.
LAST GAME: 12/22/13: Patriots 41 at Ravens 7. New England RB LeGarrette Blount rushes for 76 yards & 2 TDs. Patriots’ defense records 3 INTs & 4 sacks.
LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/17/10: Patriots 23, Ravens 20 (OT). New England WR Deion Branch has 9 catches for 98 yards & TD. Patriots QB Tom Brady passes for 292 yards & TD.
LAST PLAYOFF: 1/20/13: Ravens 28 at Patriots 13. Baltimore QB Joe Flacco throws for 240 yards & 3 TDs. Ravens WR Anquan Boldin has 5 catches for 60 yards & 2 TDs.
BROADCAST: : NBC (4:35 PM ET): Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Boomer Esiason, Tony Boselli (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 93 (Bal.), 85 (NE). XM: 88 (WW1), 225 (Bal.), 85 (NE).
|PASSING||Flacco: 344-555-3986-27-12-90.9||Brady: 373-582-4109-33 (3C)-9-97.4 (3C)|
|RUSHING||Forsett: 235-1266 (2C)-5.4-8 (T3C)||Gray: 89-412-4.6-5|
|RECEIVING||S. Smith: 79-1065-13.5-6||Edelman: 92-972-10.6-4|
|SACKS||Dumervil: 17 (3L)||Ninkovich: 8|
|INTs||Mosley (R), Ngata: 2||4 tied: 2|
|PR||J. Jones: 9.2||Edelman: 12.0 (1C)|
|KR||J. Jones: 30.6 (2L)||Amendola: 24.1|
|PUNTING||Koch: 47.4 (3L)||Allen: 46.4|
|KICKING||Tucker: 129 (42/42 PAT; 29/34 FG)||Gostkowski: 156 (1L) (51/51 PAT; 35/37 FG)|
RAVENS: Have reached playoffs in 6 of past 7 seasons…Ravens are 10-5 all-time on road in postseason…QB JOE FLACCO is 1st QB to start postseason game in 6 of 1st 7 NFL seasons in Super Bowl era. Has started 14 playoff games, tied with TOM BRADY for most ever by QB in 1st 7 seasons. Has not thrown INT in 166 consecutive pass attempts in playoffs, 4th-longest streak in NFL postseason history & trailing only HOFers STEVE YOUNG (173) & JOE MONTANA (179) & Drew Brees (226). Passed for 259 yards with 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 114.0 rating last week vs. Pit. Aims for 6th consecutive playoff game with 100+ rating. Has 10-4 postseason record. Had career-best 3,986 passing yards in 2014, 2nd-most in season by Raven…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+ (HOFers Jerry Rice & James Lofton & Joey Galloway). Has 10 career postseason TDs (8 receiving, 1 rush, 1 PR), most among active players. Led team with 101 receiving yards vs. Pit. & needs 43 to reach 1,000 career postseason yards (957)…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 20.7 yards per catch in postseason career (17 rec., 352 yards, 3 TDs), 1st among active NFL WRs (min. 15 catches). In 4 career meetings (incl. playoffs), has 16 catches for 347 yards (21.7 avg.) with 3 TDs. In only career playoff meeting (1/13/13 Div. playoff with Hou.), TE Owen Daniels had 9 catches for 81 yards…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) & 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).
PATRIOTS: 1st team in NFL history to win 11 division titles in 12 seasons. With win, Patriots will advance to 4th straight AFC Championship Game…Club is 15-4 (.789) at home in postseason, tied for 2nd-best all-time (min. 10 games)… Patriots are 10-6 (.625) in Divisional Playoffs…Posted 7-1 record at home in 2014 & have won 16 of past 17 at home (incl. playoffs)…Head coach BILL BELICHICK & QB TOM BRADY (18) have most postseason wins by QB-head coach duo…Belichick has 19 career playoff wins, tied with HOFer DON SHULA for 2nd-most all-time & trailing only HOFer TOM LANDRY (20)…Brady’s 18 postseason wins are most playoff wins by QB in NFL history. Brady has most completions (590), attempts (950) in NFL playoff history & ranks 2nd in passing yards (6,424). Brady (43) needs 3 TD passes to surpass BRETT FAVRE (44) & HOFer JOE MONTANA (45) for most postseason TD passes all-time. Has 18-8 (.692) playoff record, 4th-best postseason record as starting QB in NFL history (min. 15 starts). Brady is 12-3 (.800) as starter at home in postseason. Has 12 division titles, most by starting QB in NFL history. Brady has 6-3 (.667) record vs. Bal. (incl. playoffs) with 9 TD passes…RB Shane Vereen had TD catch in last meeting. In only career playoff start, had 93 scrimmage yards (34 rush, 59 receiving). In only career Divisional playoff game (1/11/14 vs. Ind.), RB LE GARRETTE BLOUNT rushed for 166 yards on 24 att. (6.9 avg.) & tied NFL playoff record with 4 rush TDs…TE Rob Gronkowski led team with 12 TD catches in 2014, tied for most among NFL TEs. 1 of 2 TEs in NFL history with 4 career 10-TD seasons (ANTONIO GATES). In 4 career home playoff games, has 19 catches for 297 yards & 3 TDs. WR Julian Edelman led team with 92 catches in 2014 & joined Troy Brown & WES WELKER as only Patriots with consecutive 90-catch seasons…LB Jamie Collins led team with career-high 115 tackles. 1 of 3 NFL players with 4+ sacks (4) & 2+ INTs (2) in 2014. In only career home playoff game (1/11/14 vs. Ind. in Div.), had 6 tackles, sack & INT. LB Rob Ninkovich led team with 8 sacks in 2014, 3rd consecutive season with 8 sacks…Club had 5 players selected to 2015 Pro Bowl (QB Brady, TE Gronkowski, CB DARRELLE REVIS, K Stephen Gostkowski, ST MATTHEW SLATER).
Carolina Panthers (8-8-1) at Seattle Seahawks (12-4)LEADER: Seahawks lead 5-2.
STREAKS: Seahawks won past 4.
COACHES VS. OPP.: Rivera: 0-3; Carroll: 4-0.
COACHES PLAYOFF RECORD: Rivera: 1-1; Carroll: 6-4.
VS. COMMON OPP.: Car.: 0-2 (GB 0-1; Phi. 0-1);
Sea.: 2-0 (GB 1-0; Phi. 1-0).
PLAYOFF RECORD: Panthers: 7-5; Seahawks: 12-12.
LAST WEEK: Panthers: W 27-16 vs. Cardinals; Seahawks: Bye.
LAST GAME: 10/26/14: Seahawks 13 at Panthers 9: Seattle QB Russell Wilson passes for 199 yards & throws game-winning 23-yard TD to TE Luke Willson with 0:47 remaining.
LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/5/10: Seahawks 31, Panthers 14. Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch rushes for 83 yards & 3 TDs. Seahawks LB Lofa Tatupu records 26-yard INT-TD.
LAST PLAYOFF: 1/22/06: Panthers 14 at Seahawks 34. Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck passes for 219 yards & 2 TDs. Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander adds 132 rushing yards & 2 TDs.
BROADCAST: FOX (5:15 PM PT): Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, Scott Kaplan (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 93 (Car.), 85 (Sea.). XM: 88 (WW1), 225 (Car.), 85 (Sea.).
|PASSING||Newton: 262-448-18-12-82.1||Wilson: 285-452-3475-20-7-95.0|
|RUSHING||Stewart: 175-809-4.6-3||Lynch: 280-1306 (3C)-4.7-13 (T1L)|
|RECEIVING||Olsen (TE): 84-1008-12.0-6||Baldwin: 66-825-12.5-3|
|SACKS||Johnson: 8.5||Bennett: 7|
|INTs||Harper: 4||Sherman: 4|
|PR||Brown: 9.6||Walters: 7.7|
|KR||Brown: 22.8||Richardson (R): 23.5|
|PUNTING||Nortman: 44.9||Ryan: 44.1|
|KICKING||Gano: 121 (34/34 PAT; 29/35 FG)||Hauschka: 134 (T2C) (41/41 PAT; 31/37 FG)|
PANTHERS: Incl. WC, have won 5 games in row, outscoring opp. 138-59. Set NFL postseason record allowing 78 total net yards last week. 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…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. Recorded 1st career playoff win last week…Offense was 2nd in NFL in Dec. averaging 199.3 rush yards per game. Rushed for 188 yards in WC…RB Jonathan Stewart has rushed for 524 yards (104.8 per game) since Dec. 1 (incl. playoffs), most in NFL. Rushed for 123 yards & TD last week. RB Fozzy Whittaker had 39-yard rec. TD last week. RB DE ANGELO WILLIAMS is franchise leader in rush att. (1,432), yards (6,846) & TDs (46). FB Mike Tolbert had TD catch last week…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. 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)…Since Dec. 1 (incl. playoffs), team is 2nd in NFL allowing 11.8 points per game & 238.2 yards per game. LB Kuechly led NFL with 153 tackles. Since entering NFL in 2012, leads league with 473 tackles. In WC, had team-high 10 tackles & INT. Has 27 tackles & INT in 3 career games vs. Sea. 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). Had 2 sacks last week. Has 2 sacks, FF & FR in past 4 games vs. Sea. 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). Norman had INT in Week 8 meeting. DE Mario Addison was 2nd on team with career-high 6.5 sacks. Rookie S Tre Boston has INT in each of past 2, incl. playoffs. Had 84-yard INT-TD in Week 17 & INT last week. DT Kawann Short had sack in WC & has 3.5 sacks in past 5 (incl. playoffs)…K Graham Gano led NFC with 61 kickoff touchbacks & leads NFL with 124 kickoff touchbacks in past 2 seasons.
SEAHAWKS: Are No. 1 seed for 2nd consecutive season & 3rd time (2005, 2013) since current 12-team format started in 1990. Over past 3 seasons, are 24-2 (.923) at home, incl. playoffs. Have won past 7 postseason home games. Have won past 6, outscoring opp. 134-39, 1st team since 1976 Pit. to win final 6 games of season & allow fewer than 40 total points. Last year, Pete Carroll became 3rd oldest head coach to win SB…Seahawks had 5 players selected to Pro Bowl: S Kam Chancellor (3rd), RB MARSHAWN LYNCH (5th), CB Richard Sherman (2nd), S Earl Thomas (4th) & LB Bobby Wagner (1st)…QB RUSSELL WILSON has 36 wins & 22 home wins in reg. season, both are most in SB era. Is 4-1 in postseason & has 102 rating. In career, is 24-2 (.923) at home (incl. playoffs) with 100.1 rating. Is only player in NFL history with 2 games with 300+ pass & 85+ rush yards. Is 3-0 vs. Car…Seahawks led NFL in rush off. (172.6). RB Lynch rushed for 1,306 yards & 13 TDs, his 4th consecutive season with 1,200+ yards & 10+ TDs. Is only NFL player to rush for 1,000+ yards & 10+ TDs in each of past 4 seasons. Led NFL with 17 total TDs & tied for 1st with 13 rush TDs. Since 2011 (incl. playoffs), leads NFL with 5,823 rush yards & 54 rush TDs. Has 6 rush TDs in past 5 postseason games & aims for 6th playoff game in row with TD. In 3 home playoff games, has rushed for 380 yards (126.7 per game) & 4 TDs…WR Doug Baldwin led team with career-high 66 catches & 825 yards. Aims for 3rd playoff game in row with 100+ yards or TD. WR Jermaine Kearse aims for 3rd postseason game in row with TD catch. Had 43-yard TD in 2013 game vs. Car. (9/8/13)…Seattle led NFL in points allowed (15.9), total defense (267.1) & pass defense (185.6). Ranked 3rd in rush defense (81.5). Seahawks have led NFL in points allowed in 3 consecutive seasons. CB Sherman leads NFL with 24 INTs since entering in 2011. S Thomas is only player in NFL with 400+ tackles (420), 16+ INTs (16) & 8+ FF (8) since 2010, his 1st season. LB Wagner had 104 tackles in 11 games, 2nd most on team. Has 100+ tackles in all 3 seasons. Was named NFC Defensive Player of Month for Dec. LB K.J. Wright led team with 106 tackles. S Chancellor aims for 3rd playoff game in row with INT. Has 34 tackles in past 3 postseason games. LB Malcolm Smith was named Super Bowl XLVIII MVP. Had 69-yard INT-TD & FR. Has INT in each of past 2 playoff games. DE Cliff Avril has 0.5+ sack or safety in all 4 postseason games. DE Michael Bennett has 1.5 sacks, 2 FFs & FRs in 3 playoff games. LB Bruce Irvin has 4 sacks in 2 meetings & aims for 3rd in row with 2+ sacks.