Monday, January 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Saturday NFL playoff previews: Seahawks-Falcons; Texans-Patriots

NFC: Seahawks (11-5-1) at Falcons (11-5), 4:35

TV/radio: Fox; 102.5-FM

Line/OU: Falcons by 4; 51½

Former Buc Matt Bryant's 49-yard FG with eight seconds left gave Falcons 30-28 division playoff win over Seahawks on Jan. 13, 2013. Seattle RB Thomas Rawls, who missed 26-24 regular-season win over Falcons on Oct. 16 with leg injury, rushed for franchise postseason-record 161 yards with TD against Lions last week. Without Rawls, Seahawks had only 72 rushing against Falcons. Seattle has only one postseason win with less than 100 yards rushing under coach Pete Carroll. Russell Wilson's 64 wins, including postseason, are most for starting QB in first five seasons in NFL history. Wilson's 8-3 in 11 postseason starts. Doug Baldwin has team-record 50 postseason catches, including 11 for 104 yards with TD last week. TE Jimmy Graham has eight TD catches in past 10 games against Falcons. A loss ends Falcons' 25-year stay in Georgia Dome. New Mercedes-Benz Stadium to open next season. Atlanta's Dan Quinn, former Seattle defensive coordinator, makes postseason debut as coach in second season with team. Atlanta has lost five of past six playoff games. Matt Ryan's 117.1 passer rating led NFL and was fifth best in league history, but he's 1-4 in playoffs. Julio Jones second in NFL with 1,409 yards receiving despite missing two games with toe injury. Second-year LB Vic Beasley led league with 15½ sacks. LB Deion Jones (106) and former Gator S Keanu Neal (105) led NFL rookies in tackles. Atlanta held four of past six opponents under 20 points. Atlanta WR Taylor Gabriel's seven TDs, including one rushing, were one more than All-Pro Jones. Gabriel had five TD catches in past six games.

AFC: Texans (10-7) at Patriots (14-2), 8:15

TV/radio: CBS; 102.5-FM

Line/OU: Patriots by 15½; 44

Patriots are 4-0 at home against Texans. New England has won past five games between teams. Houston's defense allowing 301.3 total yards and 17 first downs per game, fewest in NFL in both. DE Jadeveon Clowney had INT in his first career playoff game last week. Including playoffs, he has four tackles for loss, three sacks, INT and forced fumble in past four games. LB Whitney Mercilus had two sacks and three tackles for loss in last week's win over Raiders. He has five sacks and six tackles for loss in past two playoff games. Lamar Miller rushed for TD last week, looking for fourth straight game with rushing TD. Patriots' Bill Belichick will coach 14th division playoff game and tie Don Shula for most in NFL history. He has 23 postseason wins, most of any coach. QB Tom Brady will play in 13th division playoff game, tying Jerry Rice for most in history. Brady has 22 career playoff wins, most for QB in history. Former Buc LeGarrette Blount led NFL with franchise-record 18 rushing TDs in regular season but has been slowed by an illness this week. He is expected to play. Offense put up big numbers without Brady in Week 3 27-0 shutout at home of Texans.

Comments
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