NFL Playoffs – Wildcard Round

Saturday 03 January 2015, 21:30 GMT

There are four playoff games this weekend: Ravens @ Steelers and Bengals @ Colts in the AFC, and Cardinals @ Panthers and Lions @ Cowboys in the NFC. Can any road teams snatch a win?

Will^ (21:18:12 GMT)

Evening. I've picked all the home teams to win this WC Weekend

Noelinho (21:31:09 GMT)

Hi Will. I've picked the home teams too.

Noelinho (21:31:28 GMT)

I'm on NowTV today, so I'm likely to be a couple of minutes behind.

Noelinho (21:38:59 GMT)

The only road team I'm giving a chance to this week is the Ravens. The other games, I don't think the road team has a very good chance at all.

Will^ (21:47:00 GMT)

Ravens, and perhaps the Bengals (if Dalts overcomes his playoffaphobia and can harass Luck then they have a shot)

Noelinho (21:47:16 GMT)

AJ Green is out though.

Noelinho (21:47:51 GMT)

Plus, like I said in my preview, only really good teams go to Indianapolis and win. The Colts take care of business at home.

Will^ (21:49:08 GMT)

Ahh, yes. That puts the Colts back on top. Luck gets it done in the tough spots, regardless of how big a head start he's given the opposition

Noelinho (21:51:09 GMT)

Arizona have punted twice and barely made 50 yards.

Will^ (21:51:51 GMT)

Lindley FTL

Noelinho (21:52:12 GMT)

Punter FTL more like!

Will^ (21:53:12 GMT)

Ohh, 50 yards punting?! Is a kicker doing it or something

Noelinho (21:53:39 GMT)

I don't think so.

Noelinho (21:54:05 GMT)

The first one went for 20 yards. The second for about 30.

Will^ (21:54:37 GMT)

It's a performance you'd expect from a kicker, or really bad weather

Noelinho (21:55:05 GMT)

Weather doesn't look bad, and the kickoffs have been normal.

Noelinho (21:56:07 GMT)

Punter isn't listed as inactive either. Guess he's just having a bad day.

Noelinho (21:57:30 GMT)

Arizona timeout. Looks like they had a man or two missing.

Will^ (21:59:29 GMT)

TD Carolina Kitty Cats

Noelinho (21:59:45 GMT)

Touchdown Panthers. Should have been tackled for a loss, but the DE just wouldn't commit.

Noelinho (22:01:06 GMT)

He didn't even get close to laying a finger on Stewart.

Noelinho (22:03:41 GMT)

Lindley's looking spooked.

Noelinho (22:04:35 GMT)

And as I say that, he steps up and gets a first down.

Noelinho (22:06:59 GMT)

Arizona with another awful punt, but get a first down.

Noelinho (22:07:55 GMT)

He saw the ball bounce forward and didn't like it. I don't know what he was thinking - he moved towards the ball to try and stop it.

Noelinho (22:09:26 GMT)

Cardinals are playing too safe. Panthers leaving gaps deep on purpose, and the Cardinals aren't throwing to them. They're throwing around the line of scrimmage, which is packed.

Will^ (22:13:03 GMT)

Finally sat down in front of a screen, but for how long I dunno

Noelinho (22:13:08 GMT)

Fitzgerald did well to catch that ball. It was behind him as he turned around to catch it.

Will^ (22:13:55 GMT)

Riverboat Ron is cooking up some evil defensive looks / plays to scare Lindley

Noelinho (22:16:08 GMT)

TD Cardinals. That was a nice fake, although I'm not sure there was anyone to buy it.

Will^ (22:17:35 GMT)

So the Cards' best offensive play so far was that punt that Carolina made a mistake on

Will^ (22:19:55 GMT)

Ohhh Cam, you had to hit him when he's that open

Noelinho (22:20:18 GMT)

Heh, are you slightly behind me for once?

Will^ (22:20:30 GMT)

Lindley is the first QB to throw a TD in 2015 :O

Will^ (22:20:52 GMT)

I was typing that after watching the 3rd or 4th replay

Noelinho (22:21:13 GMT)

I'm at 14:40 now.

Will^ (22:21:31 GMT)

As I was reading that, 14:15

Noelinho (22:21:57 GMT)

So what are you now, with the clock rolling?

Will^ (22:22:24 GMT)


Will^ (22:22:48 GMT)

No, wait, the flag was thrown as the clock was about to tick down

Noelinho (22:23:01 GMT)

OK, so you're about 30 seconds ahead.

Will^ (22:23:34 GMT)

The Panthers are advancing pretty efficiently on Cam's voice alone

Will^ (22:24:30 GMT)

Eat your heart out OBJ ;)

Will^ (22:25:29 GMT)

KBenj is great at putting himself in the right place, but not at actually catching the football

Will^ (22:25:48 GMT)

The FG is...

Noelinho (22:26:07 GMT)

I was going to say that was a good stop for Arizona, but with the missed field goal, it's even better!

Will^ (22:29:34 GMT)

Ohh Ryan...

Noelinho (22:30:44 GMT)

Finally the punter does his job well.

Will^ (22:33:36 GMT)

Nice play design to get the 1st

Will^ (22:36:39 GMT)

The Ted Ginn revenge game

Noelinho (22:37:21 GMT)

Good kick, that.

Will^ (22:37:32 GMT)

...punt to the 2 - good work!

Will^ (22:39:14 GMT)

My money is on a safety from here

Will^ (22:40:23 GMT)

Got close to that line!

Will^ (22:41:47 GMT)

31 yard punt - but then he was rather restricted by the back of his own endzone

Noelinho (22:41:51 GMT)

Abysmal punt.

Will^ (22:43:51 GMT)

Well at least Cam got 1 thing right on that play!

Noelinho (22:44:19 GMT)

Yeah, I was just thinking the same!

Noelinho (22:44:34 GMT)

That was a busted play.

Will^ (22:45:15 GMT)

Cam was expecting something different from one of his targets

Will^ (22:45:51 GMT)

Rookie Logan Thomas in the game

Will^ (22:46:21 GMT)

Ryan Lindley back in the game

Will^ (22:47:35 GMT)

Goalline fumble - will be reviewed of course

Noelinho (22:47:36 GMT)

Comms jumping the gun calling a Panther recovery, as they'd signalled no such thing at that point.

Will^ (22:47:42 GMT)

TD from that angle

Noelinho (22:48:00 GMT)

Looked like a TD on the first replay.

Noelinho (22:48:13 GMT)

Second angle looks like a TD too.

Will^ (22:48:55 GMT)

Full control, not down, ball crosses the plane, the fumbled. TD

Noelinho (22:51:36 GMT)

…and Arizona lead.

Will^ (22:51:59 GMT)

Arians with a masterclass on how to win without a QB

Noelinho (22:52:17 GMT)

Arizona have 7 points on an interception, and 7 points on a punt.

Will^ (22:52:46 GMT)

Winning with everything but offense

Noelinho (22:54:24 GMT)

Oh yeah, I see how that interception happened now. I see why Newton was annoyed.

Will^ (22:55:25 GMT)

WR lost the ball / forgot where the ball was supposed to arrive and didn't attack it

Noelinho (22:57:42 GMT)

Didn't Arizona have the Super Bowl only a few seasons ago?

Noelinho (23:02:56 GMT)

Indeed they did, in 2008.

Will^ (23:04:45 GMT)

Cards bring the heat!

Noelinho (23:06:46 GMT)

Decent game so far.

Will^ (23:08:34 GMT)

Hail Mary alert

Will^ (23:09:37 GMT)

Lindley never had the arm to make that

Will^ (23:09:51 GMT)

Very even so far :)

Noelinho (23:25:28 GMT)

Substitutions seems to be an ongoing issue today.

Will^ (23:27:29 GMT)

Panthers forcing the issue again?

Will^ (23:31:16 GMT)

Not sure Cam should be taking shots to the back

Noelinho (23:34:50 GMT)

9/16, 45, TD is not a great first-half stat.

Will^ (23:37:14 GMT)

Is that Lindley?

Noelinho (23:37:51 GMT)


Noelinho (23:38:10 GMT)


Noelinho (23:38:31 GMT)

Turns out commenting from my phone is annoying.

Noelinho (23:41:34 GMT)

Well, I said 20 points would do it.

Noelinho (23:42:08 GMT)

Nice YAC, but half the defense had a shot and missed.

Will^ (23:44:42 GMT)


Noelinho (23:44:58 GMT)

Well, this game is close to done now, you'd think.

Noelinho (23:47:47 GMT)

BS flag, that.

Noelinho (23:48:15 GMT)

Carolina double their score in the space of two minutes.

Will^ (23:50:11 GMT)

They have the momentum, regardless. Theirs to lose

Noelinho (00:01:31 GMT)

Should've been a pick 6, that.

Noelinho (00:03:10 GMT)

What's the point of challenging this? Arizona didn't bother to recover the football.

Noelinho (00:04:32 GMT)

Ed Hochuli is thorough.

Noelinho (00:11:12 GMT)

Unless the Cardinals improve, they'll be the worst offense in playoff history, out of 1008 teams.

Noelinho (00:16:13 GMT)

How is that ruled a live ball?

Noelinho (00:16:33 GMT)

Oh, that was a good spot.

Will^ (17:51:39 GMT)

Evening. The Bengals will be without Green and Gresham. Who accounted for 1500 yards and 11 TDs this season.

Noelinho (18:09:47 GMT)

Hi Will. Looking forward to the second game particularly tonight.

Will^ (18:14:20 GMT)

TD Colts

Will^ (18:15:16 GMT)

This game is about avoiding mistakes, the next one should be a show of power

Noelinho (18:22:33 GMT)

I don't think the Lions should be underestimated. They're better than they're given credit for.

Will^ (18:26:28 GMT)

Esp with Tate playing WR2 like a WR1b

Noelinho (18:26:50 GMT)

Isn't Reggie Bush fit now too?

Will^ (18:26:58 GMT)

The Colts score on the opening drive was their first of the season

Will^ (18:27:41 GMT)

I think bush might be back yeah, with Bell also healthy and playing hard again

Will^ (18:34:12 GMT)

It the Colts can shut down the Bengals run game and force Dalton to take shots, then that should be a recipe for success

Noelinho (18:35:29 GMT)

Hill had it a bit easy there.

Will^ (18:36:21 GMT)

All square at 7

Noelinho (18:38:43 GMT)

Colts with a spectacular balls-up on the kickoff return.

Will^ (18:43:36 GMT)

Rookies! Tut

Will^ (18:43:57 GMT)

Luck managed to salvage the situation though.

Noelinho (18:45:52 GMT)

Oh wow, that was the end of the first quarter? Flew by.

Noelinho (18:47:53 GMT)

They mention Hilton's lack of catches in the first quarter and bang-bang, he's got two in a row for a lot of yards.

Will^ (18:50:34 GMT)

TY is beast, when he and Luck are clicking

Noelinho (18:57:54 GMT)

Both offences have started well.

Will^ (19:05:00 GMT)

Cinci brought the house on that one

Noelinho (19:20:20 GMT)

Heavy sack, that.

Will^ (19:23:03 GMT)


Will^ (19:32:28 GMT)

Pinball FG is good. New career long

Will^ (19:43:05 GMT)

Cin 10 - 13 Ind at the half

Noelinho (19:57:03 GMT)

Did I miss much at the start of the 3rd quarter?

Noelinho (20:01:20 GMT)

Looks like my network adapter had a fit again.

Will^ (20:08:24 GMT)

Andy Luck magic = TD!

Will^ (20:08:51 GMT)

IND 20-10

Noelinho (20:11:36 GMT)

Colts not running away with it, but looking comfortable at the moment.

Will^ (20:27:55 GMT)

Bengals doing there best not to get themselves back in this

Noelinho (20:39:48 GMT)

It amazes me how fast quarterbacks can read defences.

Noelinho (20:40:10 GMT)

It amazes me even more how quickly the analysts can tell you what every player was doing on the last play.

Will^ (20:46:43 GMT)

They do have guys/spotters telling them who made the tackle etc, so they are not doing everything, but they damn quick about it regardless.

Noelinho (20:49:09 GMT)

Yeah, they must have a big team, but they don't get fed the information about who he beat, how he did it, how the block set up the tight end, or whatever. I see it on the replays, but they're damn quick to see it all first time.

Will^ (21:01:25 GMT)

Yeah - that is some good, speedy analysis

Will^ (21:02:31 GMT)

With that Dalton fumble next weekend we will be seeing a battle of the horses: Colts@Broncos

Will^ (21:05:14 GMT)

The comma I'm listening to just told us that in recent years wild card teams hae won the sb more times than number 1 seeds... To which I want to point out that there are twice as many wildcards as number 1s - not comparing like with like.

Noelinho (21:06:17 GMT)

I got halfway through your comment and thought, "but there's twice as many"!

Will^ (21:11:14 GMT)

Good man!

Will^ (21:12:14 GMT)

That one might not be completely on Dalton... Who was he throwing to?

Noelinho (21:13:00 GMT)

Well, that was expected. Next game might be more interesting.

Will^ (21:13:20 GMT)

But then that separates him from a QB who can raise levels of ability in their weapons.

Noelinho (21:20:17 GMT)

My comment was just a general comment about the game. Anyway, Dalton's a good QB, just not a great one.

Noelinho (21:45:44 GMT)

Beast of a hit from Spillman.

Noelinho (21:48:25 GMT)

Explosive start to the game!

Will^ (22:10:01 GMT)

This is weird, I'm just getting a classical music concert from NFL mobile coverage. I think the audio pass stuff is currently broken

Noelinho (22:12:35 GMT)

Switch from national radio to the home channel. That'll fix it.

Will^ (22:13:37 GMT)

Didn't know that was an option, cheers!

Noelinho (22:13:55 GMT)

Pretty sure you can get Spanish too.

Will^ (22:16:24 GMT)

Muy buena

Noelinho (22:53:28 GMT)

Hooray! Cowboys score!

Noelinho (22:53:58 GMT)

That was just what they needed before halftime, especially with their defense starting to impose themselves a bit more.

Will^ (23:00:17 GMT)

Right, finally sat down properly, and some pictures are just warming up.

Will^ (23:03:15 GMT)

Have just been helping Mrs^ finish an assignment that was due at 11:59 tonight.

Will^ (23:05:05 GMT)

Matt Prater has not been up to snuff this season - will he be able to hack it?!

Will^ (23:05:26 GMT)

Almost picked, tiwce

Will^ (23:06:54 GMT)

Stadium playing Darude-Sandstorm during that timeout - that is old, I feel old!

Noelinho (23:07:25 GMT)

Prater's been better than their other kickers.

Will^ (23:07:57 GMT)

That is saying something ;)

Will^ (23:08:35 GMT)

Or more likely not saying much :P

Will^ (23:10:03 GMT)

Lions 17-7 at halftime

Noelinho (23:23:21 GMT)


Will^ (23:23:22 GMT)

Lions gets the half of to a brilliant start...

Noelinho (23:26:18 GMT)

Bad miss.

Will^ (23:28:33 GMT)

I read that in a drunken David Mitchell voice

Will^ (23:34:27 GMT)

Prater is doing well today - another FG

Will^ (23:39:58 GMT)

Dallas need to get something from this drive

Noelinho (23:43:16 GMT)

We've seen at least 3 TDs scrubbed for holds in the Wildcard games.

Will^ (23:46:13 GMT)

Seems a bit harsh, ok in the regular sesaon, but it's all a bit more serious now

Noelinho (23:46:46 GMT)

Gotta go for it.

Noelinho (23:49:36 GMT)

OK, so the game's still on.

Will^ (23:50:15 GMT)

14-20. One stop and the Cowboys are in prime position

Noelinho (23:50:54 GMT)

I feel like it's nicely balanced.

Will^ (00:00:59 GMT)

That was a shot and a half!

Noelinho (00:01:39 GMT)

I missed it – just finished a new FantasyF1 feature :-)

Noelinho (00:02:21 GMT)

Oh yes, just saw it. Bad foul. And what's Romo doing? Playing musical chairs?

Will^ (00:02:55 GMT)

Helmet to helmet - big ouch - Beasley looked dazed

Will^ (00:03:24 GMT)

Tony Ohhno strikes again

Noelinho (00:04:43 GMT)

Terrible. At least the FG was good.

Noelinho (00:06:23 GMT)

Spillman's made some great special teams plays today.

Noelinho (00:21:34 GMT)

Big conversion, that!

Will^ (00:27:57 GMT)

So close to a delay on that one

Will^ (00:28:45 GMT)


Noelinho (00:28:49 GMT)

Blimey, they really made hard work of that!

Noelinho (00:29:38 GMT)

I said if the O-line gave Romo time, it would be a pivotal factor…

Noelinho (00:33:47 GMT)

Right, today's FantasyF1 feature has been polished, so I can concentrate on this game now.

Will^ (00:34:07 GMT)

What was this one?

Noelinho (00:35:11 GMT)

The profiles page has been refreshed. It now shows some information about each user, and the boxes look more like the ones on the homepage.

Noelinho (00:36:01 GMT)

Oooooh, Lawrence you wally.

Will^ (00:36:13 GMT)

Lion's ball!

Will^ (00:45:56 GMT)

Cowboys ball

Noelinho (00:46:20 GMT)

Cowboys win!

Will^ (00:47:52 GMT)

Detroit don't use their timeout - throw in the towel time

Noelinho (00:48:44 GMT)

That was a good game. Tough one next week though.

Will^ (00:49:09 GMT)

That was probably the best game of the weekend :) Enjoyed that

Noelinho (00:50:46 GMT)

Right, I need to sleep!

Will^ (00:50:53 GMT)

4 excellent games next weekend: Cowboys-Packers, Panthers-Seahawks, Ravens-Patriots, Colts-Broncos

Will^ (00:51:10 GMT)

Me too. Night, thanks for the commenting space :)

Noelinho (00:51:27 GMT)

No problem. Back next week!

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