Last weekend's games were just a teaser for this weekend. The Baltimore Ravens went into Pittsburgh and handled a Le'Veon Bell-less Pittsburgh Steelers with a little help from Terrell Suggs' Thighmaster Interception. Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts had no problem continuing the Cincinnati Bengals playoffs misery. The Arizona Cardinals had one of the worst offensive showings in NFL playoffs history with 3rd string QB Ryan Lindley, and the Carolina Panthers took full advantage. Then there was the game that everyone is still talking about. The Dallas Cowboys got a little help from the referees as they came back to defeat the Detroit Lions. The NFL has admitted multiple penalties were missed on both sides, but that won't change the outcome.
This week Tony Romo and the Cowboys travel to Lambeau Field to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay earned a first round bye, and they needed it with Aaron Rodgers' calf injury. It was revealed this week that Rodgers has a tear in his calf along with the strain that was already known. He is expected to play, but will definitely not be 100%. Tony Romo has not been good in cold weather games, and has been dealing with a bad back all year, routinely getting pain-killing shots before and during games. He took a lot of hits in last week's game from Ndamukong Suh and Co. and will be feeling it in the sub 20° weather.
The other 3 games are all must-watch TV/streaming. The Baltimore Ravens go to New England to take on Tom Brady and the Patriots. The Ravens have a good history against the Patriots in the playoffs with multiple wins against them, and they have won five consecutive playoff games. The Patriots are the #1 seed in the AFC this year, and Rob Gronkowski faces a questionable Ravens secondary.
The Carolina Panthers are the first team to make it to the playoffs with a sub-.500 since the team they are playing this weekend, the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle also won their first game in the playoffs in 2010, but went on to lose the following week when they traveled to Chicago to take on the Bears. The Seahawks are the defending champsions, are coming off of their first round bye, and have won 9 of their last 10 games. The Panthers need a big game from Cam Newton and their defense to have a chance at CenturyLink Field.
The final game of the weekend is the Indianapolis Colts travelling to Denver to face their old QB, Peyton Manning, and his new team, the Broncos. Manning still shows up on the Broncos injury report with a thigh injury, but he has been full practice all week. The Colts have a tough task going into Denver and leaving with the win. Their defense is questionable, and their running game has been patchwork all year with Ahmad Bradshaw on IR, and Trent Richardson now practicing special teams instead of being a running back. Boom Herron has had some success for the Colts, but he also has a bad case of fumbilitis.
Who do you have going to the Championship Round next week?
FOX Sports GO
NBC Sports Live Extra
Saturday, Jan. 10
AFC Divisional Game 1: (1) New England Patriots vs. (6) Baltimore Ravens, 4:35 p.m. (NBC)
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. (CBS)
Sunday, Jan 18
NFC Championship Game, 3:05 p.m. (FOX)
AFC Championship Game, 6:40 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday, Feb. 1
Super Bowl XLIX, 6:30 p.m. (NBC)