Wildcard Weekend Recap: Injuries, injuries, and more injuries

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wildcardrecapOne way to sum up NFL Wildcard Weekend for 2015? Injuries. Third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley couldn’t provide any spark to an already Andre Ellington-less Cardinals offense. The Pittsburgh Steelers offense severely lacked any rushing attack with the absence of Le’Veon Bell. The Bengals lost two starting offensive weapons in A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham. It shouldn’t be a surprise that each of these teams lost. Additionally, those three teams’ offenses combined for a total 43 points, meanwhile, the Panthers, Ravens and Colts combined for 83 total points.

The Detroit-Dallas game didn’t feature any injuries to key players and thus turned out to be a shootout with the Cowboys winning 24-20.

The Cowboys will face off against  the Green Bay Packers next SUNDAY at 1:05pm EST on FOX.

The rest of the divisional round is

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots – SATURDAY 4:35pm EST on NBC

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks – SATURDAY 8:15 pm EST on FOX

Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos 4:40pm – SUNDAY EST on CBS

Is anyone giving the Arizona Cardinals a chance to beat the Carolina Panthers on Wildcard Weekend? Bruce Arians is.

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TEMPE, Ariz. — All things being equal, a team would rather enter the postseason riding a winning streak.

It’s called “peaking at the right time,” and generally leads to confidence that a team could make a deep playoff run.

The Arizona Cardinals, having lost their last two games and four of their last six, seem to be trending in the opposite direction.

Cause for concern?

“I would think you’d say that, but I don’t think there’s any concern because we’re in the playoffs and it don’t matter, We’re all 0-0” coach Bruce Arians said Monday.

Read more on ArizonaSports.com

NFL playoff picks and analysis for Wild Card Weekend via the Washington Post

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NFC: No. 6 Lions at No. 3 Cowboys (Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET)

The Cowboys went only 4-4 at home this season, compared to 8-0 on the road. The Lions certainly have the offensive capabilities to give the Dallas defense trouble. But it feels like the Lions had their chance Sunday in Green Bay to set themselves up for greater postseason success, when Rodgers exited the game for the NFC North title before returning later, and squandered it.

Pick: Cowboys

NFC: No. 5 Cardinals at No. 4 Panthers (Saturday, 4:35 p.m.)

The chances of Drew Stanton returning for the playoffs probably were eliminated when he was forced to undergo arthroscopic surgery for an infection in his injured knee. So while the Cardinals are a solid all-around team with a superb coach, it’s difficult to rely on a quarterback with two career touchdown passes and 11 interceptions — Lindley’s regular season totals — to win a playoff game.

Pick: Panthers

AFC: No. 6 Ravens at No. 3 Steelers (Saturday, 8:15 p.m.)

The key could be Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. The former Super Bowl MVP struggled mightily in the first three quarters against the Browns on the heels of a miserable outing a week earlier at Houston. But he threw two touchdown passes and had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in the fourth quarter Sunday against Cleveland.

Pick: Ravens

AFC: No. 5 Bengals at No. 4 Colts (Sunday, 1:05 p.m.)

Quarterback Andy Dalton makes his fourth playoff appearance for the Bengals and seek his first postseason triumph. His top wide receiver, A.J. Green, exited the game Sunday night in Pittsburgh and now is subject to the NFL’s concussion protocol, meaning that he must be cleared by an independent neurologist to practice and play.

Pick: Colts

Read the whole article at Washington Post

FoxSports takes a look at how the red-hot Carolina Panthers could beat the Arizona Cardinals and have a shot at the Superbowl

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As a result, the fourth-seeded Panthers (7-8-1) will host the fifth-seeded Arizona Cardinals on Wild Card Weekend (Saturday). And who knows, Carolina might even be favored to advance to Round 2 of the NFC playoffs.
Carolina enters the playoffs on a four-game winning streak, while Arizona has dropped two straight and four of its last six.
More importantly, though, is the state of their quarterback situation: Will the Cardinals ride third-stringer Ryan Lindley, fourth-stringer/rookie Logan Thomas or No. 2 QB Drew Stanton, who recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to fight an infection?
Odds are it won’t be Stanton … and Lindley just threw his first-ever touchdown pass on Sunday (against the 49ers).
Frankly, it might not matter to a surging Panthers defense that held a formidable Falcons offense to three points and 288 total yards. Oh, and the Carolina defense also tallied two pick-sixes off Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan — with Roman Harper (31 yards) and Tre Boston (84 yards) netting the return TDs.

To read the full story check out FoxSports

The Panthers are favorites to beat the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday

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Panthers QB Cam Newton and Oddsmakers in Las Vegas have one thing in common; they don’t care about records. Vegas is making this clear as they have listed the Panthers as five-point favorites over the Cardinals. Check out the odds below.

(Saturday 1:30pm) Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers -5
Over/Under 38 total points

Full NFL Wildcard weekend schedule with exact times, days and channels

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UPDATED:

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Saturday, Jan. 10

AFC Divisional Game 1
(1) New England Patriots vs. (6) Baltimore Ravens, 4:35 p.m. CBS

NFC Divisional Game 1
(1) Seattle Seahawks vs. (4) Carolina Panthers, 8:15 p.m. FOX

Sunday, Jan. 11

NFC Divisional Game 2
(2) Green Bay Packers vs. (3) Dallas Cowboys, 1:05 p.m. FOX

AFC Divisional Game 2
(2) Denver Broncos vs. (4) Indianapolis Colts, 4:40 p.m. NBC

Championship round

Sunday, January 18

NFC: FOX, 3:05 p.m.

AFC: CBS, 6:40 p.m.

Super Bowl XLIX

Sunday, February 1

NFC champion versus AFC champion (FOX, 4:30 p.m.)

NOTE: Above game times are Pacific(west coast), game times below are Eastern(east coast)

NFL Wild Card Weekend

Saturday, Jan. 3
NFC: 4:35 PM (ET) Arizona at Carolina (ESPN)

AFC: 8:15 PM (ET) Baltimore at Pittsburgh (NBC)

Sunday, Jan. 4
AFC: 1:05 PM (ET) Cincinnati at Indianapolis (CBS)

NFC: 4:40 PM (ET) Detroit at Dallas (FOX)