Reviewing the Divisional Round of the Playoffs
The Best Weekend of the Year lived up to its reputation this weekend, as the divisional round of the playoffs gave us three outstanding games. Here is my reaction, with a disproportionate amount of time spent on the Denver-Baltimore game, because, well, if you saw it, you’d understand.
Pete Carroll may have iced himself out of a championship game | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
Icing the kicker -- calling time out right before the opposing kicker tried to boot a field goal -- can be effective on a situational basis. Per ESPN's Stats & Info, kickers who were iced from 2001 through 2011 hit 76 percent of their field goals, as opposed to 81 percent when a time out was not called. However, the odds decrease for iced kickers in overtime, and if you're trying to get that extra edge, icing is a strategy to try, as annoying as it can be to the football-viewing populace.
NFL Playoffs: Patriots, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson... | National Football Post
With the Falcons and Patriots now advancing to Championship weekend, here are my quick game notes from Sunday’s Divisional matchups. Five things that stood out from my perspective…
A disappointing loss to a promising season
The Seahawks’ season ended in disappointment Sunday in a 30-28 loss to the Falcons, one step short of the NFC Championship game. But rookie QB Russell Wilson emerged encouraged about the future.
Seahawks fall just short
The Seahawks took the lead late in the fourth quarter, only to have the Falcons win Sunday’s divisional playoff game 30-28 on a 49-yard field goal with 13 seconds left at the Georgia Dome.
Instant reaction: Cruel defeat ends season, Seahawks pick 25th " Seahawks Draft Blog
Well, that’s a cruel way for a season to end. The Seahawks had no business making this a close game after an error-strewn first half. Marshawn Lynch’s fumble, odd play calling in the red zone and bad time management all combined to give Atlanta a 20-0 lead at half time. Somehow this team came back. They fought their way back into the game. And with 30 seconds to go, they led. 28-27. Surely not?
Rapid Reaction: Falcons 30, Seahawks 28 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
What it means: The Seahawks lost a heartbreaker after their fourth-quarter pass defense faltered once again, a recurring theme for Seattle. The Seahawks had taken a 28-27 lead with 31 seconds remaining. But they couldn't stop the Falcons from moving quickly into position for the winning field goal with eight seconds left. The team will have to address that aspect of its performance in the offseason.
I wish this story was about Russell Wilson - Blog - MyNorthwest.com
This story is supposed to be about Russell Wilson. Heroes are made in the playoffs and Wilson's performance had all the ingredients for hero nomination. Or coronation.
Failed fourth-down run comes back to bite Seahawks - Blog - MyNorthwest.com
Carroll was asked after the game whether he was kicking himself for that call. "No, I don't look at it that way, but you can," he responded.
Two-minute drill (Playoff heartbreak edition): Falcons 30, Seahawks 28 | Seahawks Blog | Seattle Times
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 385 yards, not only a career-high and franchise playoff record, but the most ever for a rookie quarterback in any playoff game. Seahawks tight end Zach Miller had never had more than 59 yards receiving in any game since joining Seattle. He had a career-high 142 yards receiving against Atlanta despite playing with a torn plantar fascia suffered on the third play of the game. It was the second-most receiving yards by a Seahawk in any playoff game.
Heartbreaking loss means Seahawks season ends too early | Jerry Brewer | The Seattle Times
The Seahawks went out in typical fashion Sunday — in a thrilling, heart-stopping loss to the Falcons that will leave fans pondering a lot of "what-ifs."
Playoff loss hurts but talented, young Seahawks team will be back | Steve Kelley | The Seattle Times
The Seahawks rallied against Atlanta on Sunday but lost a heartbreaker. It was a painful loss but this team will build off a great season that might just be the start of something big.
Carroll laments loss, says future’s bright for his young team | Seahawks Insider - The News Tribune
The Seahawks fully expected to be playing San Francisco for a third straight time this season, with a chance to go to the Super Bowl on the line. "Yeah, definitely," Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "You go up one with 30 seconds left, you feel like you’ve got the game. They ran some routes that I should have stopped."
Call this demarcation line between fledgling, legend | Seattle Seahawks - The News Tribune
Is it against the rules to suggest that an athlete had a legendary performance in a loss? What if he leads his team to 28 points in the second half of a game? Twenty-one in the frantic final 13 minutes of that game? On the road? In the divisional round of the playoffs?
Seahawks vs. Falcons: Seattle's Valiant Comeback Falls Short as Atlanta Advances | Bleacher Report
After playing disorganized and sometimes head-scratching football in the first half of Sunday's game, Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks came out with vengeance for the final two quarters...
Pete Carroll: Refs said practice kicks weren't allowed - NFL.com
Carroll took a timeout, then Bryant was able to get off a "practice kick." Bryant missed it. Carroll was irate after the play because of a pregame conversation he had with officials, who warned him that kickers wouldn't be able to take a practice kick, like Justin Tucker did between overtime periods in the Baltimore Ravens' win Saturday. "The officials told us before the game that nobody's going to get a chance to do that," Carroll said. "I asked them pregame what if somebody does, and they didn't know what the answer was, obviously. I had never heard that before, so I was just challenging it."
Asante Samuel: Richard Sherman can 'eat humble pie' - NFL.com
FoxSports.com's Alex Marvez reported that Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel pranced through Atlanta's locker room after the win shouting that Sherman and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll could "eat some humble pie."
Matt Ryan, Mike Smith get first playoff win with Falcons despite furious Seahawks rally - NFL - Don Banks - SI.com
Not sure what must have been greater, the inherent and inescapable pressure the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons were under as they entered this weekend's NFL Divisional round, or the stomach-churning stress and strain they endured in the second half when it came within seconds of slipping away Sunday against Seattle in a shell-shocked Georgia Dome. But in the end, they withstood it all, and moved on. And those are the magic words when it comes to playoff football.
NFL Playoffs -- Colin Kaepernick dazzles as 49ers down Packers - NFL - Jim Trotter - SI.com
Perhaps 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is a football savant, because his decision to change starting quarterbacks midway through the season is, for the time being, proving to be as cunning as it was calculated.
92 ejected from Candlestick Park | ProFootballTalk
Last night’s game in San Francisco was a pretty good one, especially for the home team. But 92 folks who paid for tickets left prematurely, and involuntarily.