Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NFL playoffs, division round previews: Packers-Cowboys, Steelers-Chiefs

Today: Division round

NFC: Packers (11-6) at Cowboys (13-3), 4:40

TV/radio: Fox; 102.5-FM

Line/OU: Cowboys by 5½; 52

Eighth meeting in playoffs, with Cowboys leading 4-3. Packers won last playoff matchup two years ago 26-21 in game famous for Dallas WR Dez Bryant's catch that wasn't. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was backup QB when Dallas won three straight playoff games vs. Green Bay in 1990s. Cowboys won two Super Bowls in that stretch. Packers, Cowboys tied with Giants for most playoff appearances (32). Green Bay averaging 30.4 points per game on road in playoffs since 2006, most in NFL in that span. Coach Mike McCarthy has nine playoff wins, tied with Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren for most in club history. Aaron Rodgers has four TD passes in each of past three games, 19 with no interceptions during seven-game winning streak. He's one of four QBs with career postseason passer rating of at least 100. WR Jordy Nelson led NFL with 14 TD catches but is out with rib injury. Packers RB Ty Montgomery, former wideout, has 206 rushing yards, two TDs in past two on road. LB Clay Matthews has 11 career postseason sacks, tied for fifth most since 1982. Cowboys, with four straight losses in division round, seeking first NFC title game appearance since 1995 season. Dallas 11-3 in home division games but lost last one to Giants in 2007. Dak Prescott is first rookie QB to start playoff game for Cowboys. Won 13 games, tied with Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger (2004) for most by rookie in NFL history. Ezekiel Elliott led league with 1,631 yards rushing, third best ever for a rookie. Prescott and Elliott are third rookie QB-RB starting tandem in playoffs in Super Bowl era. Both previous were in 2012 season, with Colts (Andrew Luck/Vick Ballard) and Redskins (Robert Griffin III/Alfred Morris). Both lost. Bryant has 67 career TD catches, second in franchise history. Since 2012, he leads NFL with 52 TDs receiving. DLs DeMarcus Lawrence, Terrell McClain, Tyrone Crawford, Cedric Thornton should be available after sitting out regular-season finale, mostly as precaution.

AFC: Steelers (12-5) at Chiefs (12-4), 8:20

TV/radio: NBC; 102.5-FM

Line/OU: Chiefs by 1½; 44½

The game was scheduled to kickoff at 1:05 but changed to a night game because of an expected ice storm. Second postseason meeting after Chiefs (Joe Montana at QB) beat Steelers 27-24 in wild-card round in 1993 season. Chiefs have not won home playoff game since. Steelers and Chiefs have combined to lose once since Nov. 20. Steelers scored franchise record 22 first-quarter points in win over Chiefs in October. Le'Veon Bell set Pittsburgh playoff record with 167 yards rushing in win over Miami last week. Bell ran for 144 yards vs. KC in October in first game after three-game suspension. Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley was Chiefs head coach last time Kansas City hosted playoff game in 2010 season. QB Ben Roethlisberger will tie Mel Blount and Terry Bradshaw (19) for most playoff games in Steelers history. Roethlisberger threw five TD passes to four different targets against Chiefs in October. Chiefs have lost four straight home playoff games, three in division round. Coach Andy Reid has 11 playoff wins, second to Patriots' Bill Belichick (23) among active coaches. Chiefs All-Pro CB Marcus Peters had six interceptions, one behind Chargers' Casey Hayward for NFL lead. Chiefs' Travis Kelce led all TEs with 1,125 yards receiving this season. Alex Smith averaged 262 yards passing in five playoff games, three with Kansas City. He has thrown 11 TD passes against one INT. Rookie WR Tyreek Hill has 10 TDs since Week 10, most in league over that span, and made All-Pro team as punt returner.

Times wires

NFL playoffs, division round previews: Packers-Cowboys, Steelers-Chiefs 01/14/17 [Last modified: Saturday, January 14, 2017 10:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Crosstown rivals Bloomingdale-Newsome kick off season

    Footballpreps

    LITHIA — In a week filled with area football rivalries, there is a game on the east side of Hillsborough County — Bloomingdale vs. Newsome — that has matured into a classic crosstown battle, complete with classic cliches.

    Bloomingdale wide receiver Ed Amos charges through a drill a few days before the big rivalry game against Newsome on Friday night.
  2. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Several key players still sidelined

    Bucs

    Greg Auman gives an injury update, with several key players still sidelined from practice three days before the Bucs play the Cleveland Browns in Tampa, and a full recap of your favorite scenes from Tuesday …

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans was held out of practice Wednesday at One Buc Place. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  3. Playoff ambitions evident in opener for Zephyrhills, Wiregrass Ranch

    Footballpreps

    WESLEY CHAPEL — A new football season in Pasco County begins Friday night, but this one promises to be like none before it — with more math than ever. A new playoff system emphasizes schedule strength, making non-district tilts particularly important.

    Wiregrass Ranch wide receiver Jordan Miner catches a pass in spring practice at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel on Monday, May 1, 2017.
  4. Dirk Koetter says Bucs used team meeting to discuss social issues

    Bucs

    Four days before their preseason home opener against the Cleveland Browns, which had 12 players not stand for the national anthem prior to their last game, the Bucs used their team meeting to discuss social issues that might have led to that demonstration, coach Dirk Koetter said.

    "The main thing is we have to respect everybody's opinion," Dirk Koetter said, "because everybody is not going to agree." [AP photo]
  5. Rookie tight end Antony Auclair making case to stick with Bucs

    Bucs

    Don't let his modest preseason stats fool you: Antony Auclair, the undrafted rookie tight end from Canada is making a strong case to stick around on the Bucs' 53-man roster this season.

    Bucs tight end Antony Auclair (82) collides with a defender following a catch during training camp. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]