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FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Week 19 DVOA Ratings
Once again, it is time for postseason DVOA ratings. As always, the following rules apply:

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Divisional Round Quick Reads
Let's play a game. I'll give you some stats for two quarterbacks, and you tell me who had the better game. Quarterback A completed 56 percent of his passes for 7.0 yards per play and converted 4-of-13 third- and fourth-down plays. Quarterback B completed 69 percent of his passes for 6.4 yards per play and converted 7-of-10 third-down plays. The first QB had no interceptions and one fumble; the second had one interception and no fumbles, so the turnovers largely even out. For the sake of the QB Winz crowd, we'll even point out that Quarterback A was knocked out of the playoffs, while Quarterback B advanced to the conference championship round.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Clutch Encounters: Divisional Round
Can a NFL game be close and remain a blowout at the same time? The Divisional Round tested that odd theory with action that was not quite up to par. If the Wild Card games were like The Dark Knight, then this weekend was closer to Batman Forever. Some of the same ingredients were there with Drew Brees putting in an ineffective first half, the Colts allowing 40-plus points and turning it over four times, the 49ers featuring a lot of Colin Kaepernick, and Mike McCoy hiding the No. 2 quarterback in DYAR for most of the game.

Seahawks denied Dolphins request to interview McCloughan, at his request | ProFootballTalk
There were no official developments on Tuesday regarding the Dolphins’ search for a General Manager.

K.J. Wright “has a chance” to play against 49ers | ProFootballTalk
The last time K.J. Wright played for the Seattle Seahawks was in the team’s 19-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick park in December.

Tom Cable believes he’ll be a head coach again | ProFootballTalk
“I think the shot will come,” Cable said Tuesday night. “I’ve been told that a number of times. . . . I’ll be a head coach again someday, just when the right owner and organization wants a tough style and a demanding style and discipline and all those things that go with it. . . . When that opportunity comes, I’ll be ready for it, and we’ll be successful.”

2014 NFL Free Agency and Salary Cap Overview - Over the Cap
With the season down to the just four teams and most everyone else turning their attention towards the 2014 season I thought it would be good to look over some of the changes in store for teams next season by looking at their salary cap estimates and potential player turnover. The table at the bottom of the post lists each teams’ estimated 2014 salary cap space (note that it does include 2013 carryover but not 2014 escalator estimates), total number of unrestricted free agents, potential starters, and the names of those who got credit as a starter. Some of the starter names may be a bit off as I was basing it on depth charts at the end of the season which can skew the results with so many on IR, but it’s a reasonable estimate.

Championship Week Diagrams: Patriots Key Play | The Tailgater
The Patriots lack a traditional downfield receiving threat. Starting receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola averaged just 10.6 yards per catch on the season. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, the team’s most reliable downfield presence, is injured. Their rookie backup wide receivers are rookie backup wide receivers. (Good ones, but still.) Tom Brady may be the most efficient short pass sniper in NFL history, but even Brady cannot live on short passes alone.

Championship Week Diagrams: 49ers Key Play | The Tailgater
The 49ers are the Pixar of the five-yard run. They put more ingenuity and creativity into their runs between the tackles than any other team, and the spit-‘n’-polish pays dividends. Niners five-yard runs are beautiful and powerful, and they are effective against the league’s toughest competition.

Championship Week Diagrams: Seahawks Key Play | The Tailgater
The Seahawks have been hiding a secret all season long. Their offensive line is not very good.

NFL Divisional Wrap-up «
The final four of football is set, so let's take a look at how we got there

NFL Prospect Focus: Tennessee offense | National Football Post
The Vols' offensive line is NFL ready

Jim Harbaugh tried to recruit Pete Carroll's son to University of San Diego | Audibles -
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh have known each other for a long time — by Carroll’s estimation, the two probably first met when Carroll was the New York Jets’ defensive coordinator and Harbaugh was the Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback in the early 1990s.

NFL - Ranking the top 25 'must-sign' free agents this offseason - ESPN
The stakes in NFL free agency would be so much higher this offseason if NaVorro Bowman, Kam Chancellor, Geno Atkins, Sean Lee, Clay Matthews, Percy Harvin and other headliners hadn't signed contract extensions keeping them off the market. Teams have gotten pretty good at identifying their best players and securing their services preemptively. The short list of potential high-priority unrestricted free agents will get even shorter as teams re-sign top players or use the franchise tag to buy additional time.

Carroll's Seattle success puts him in elite company among coaches -
Two more wins, and Pete Carroll joins the list. Two more wins, and he joins the only two head coaches in NFL history to add a Super Bowl title to their college championship: Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer.

Contract extensions enter uncharted waters for these NFL players. | : Mike Tanier Article
The NFL imposed a cap on rookie contracts during the labor wrangle of 2011. Instead of over-the-barrel holdout negotiations with the top players in the draft class, there is now a streamlined system of four-year contracts, plus fifth-year team options for first-round picks. The long-term financial ramifications of the rookie cap are still evolving, but in the short term, teams saved themselves millions of dollars, hundreds of manpower hours of haggling and the embarrassment/financial strain of Jamarcus Russell-level crippling draft mistakes.

Wait and see on Seahawks' Harvin | - Sports
The status of the Seattle receiver Percy Harvin, who had a concussion in Saturday’s playoff game, will be determined later in the week

2014 NFL Draft Team Needs: Offensive Line Breakdown | NFL Articles | Draft
In the first of a series of articles focused on team needs by position, I'll take a look the offensive line for each team and how many or how few improvements they need to make to consider this off-season a success. Instead of going team-by-team and giving little perspective of how difficult it will be to satisify those needs, looking at needs by position allows for easier valuation of the market.

Kaepernick vs Wilson: the narrative - Niners Nation
This isn't the fan post to analyze the relative merits of these two quarterbacks. I'm not going to offer any stats or anything substantive at all. This is about the media generated narrative, the...

Graham, Moreno lead 2014 fantasy free agent class -
With free agency on the horizon, Michael Fabiano looks at 20 players who could be on the market this offseason and evaluates what would be best for their fantasy fortunes.

Eric Branch's post on San Francisco 49ers | Latest updates on Sulia
#49ers … Is the #Seahawks secondary really the NFL's grabbiest group? NFL Films' Greg Cosell weighed in on @KNBR … “I think that’s probably myth,” Cosell said. “When you watch tape, everybody does stuff. It’s just you’re talking about a good team that’s in the spotlight, very visible, with a lot of talkative guys. And I can tell you right now – and I know in San Francisco they may not like to hear it – that’s the best secondary in football and it’s not close.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Film Room: Percy Harvin
Percy Harvin is a special, but polarizing, player. Ever since the Minnesota Vikings selected him with the 22nd overall pick of the 2009 draft, he has been one of the most intimidating yet confusing players in the league.

The Niners and Seahawks have been on a collision course for the NFC Championship Game - ESPN
Donte Whitner isn't one to hold back.

NFC championship story lines: 49ers hot enough to beat Seahawks' home cooking?
Are 49ers hot enough to overcome Seattle's home cooking?

Seahawks offense must find ways to be better, even against the best
Monday metatarsal musings: In their past five games, the Seahawks’ offense has faced four Top 10 defenses. They produced enough to win three of those matchups, but will need even more against the 49ers in Sunday’s NFC Championship game.

2014 Shrine Game: Tuesday West Practice Notes
The East practice was all-but useless today, as the rain washed out any hopes of gather notes as the team practiced indoors in a walk-through type setting. Luckily the rain cleared up and there was the chance to evaluate the West practice. The field wasn’t in great shape, but it was certainly good enough to evaluate the offensive linemen.

Chalk Talk: Marshawn Lynch's first score vs. Saints -
It looked like a troubling sign for the Seahawks when their first seven rushes against New Orleans produced 19 yards, an average of just 2.7. Three of those runs went for either no gain or a loss.

Makings of a rivalry: How Seahawks-49ers became one of the best in professional sports -
A village may be required to raise a child, but it takes two fervent fan bases, a pair of high-profile coaches and three years of increasingly contemptuous history to produce one of the greatest current rivalries in professional sports.

Key moments in the Seahawks-49ers rivalry -
A look at the timeline of events that has defined the Seahawks-49ers rivalry, which will take center stage during Sunday's NFC Championship Game:

2013 NFL playoffs -- Mike Holmgren says he's 'pulling for the Seahawks' - ESPN
Mike Holmgren is now one of the intruders.

Some revealing stats on Russell Wilson - Seattle Seahawks Blog - ESPN
Another statistic would seem to indicate Wilson is having a tougher time finding open receivers: He has held the ball for 4.42 seconds on average before passing, taking a sack or scrambling in the past five games. Wilson held the ball for 3.86 seconds the first 12 games. The league average is 3.51 seconds.

The Seahawks' efficient, effective drafting - Stats & Info Blog - ESPN
If the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks meet in the Super Bowl, it could be that the entire Seahawks defense that faces Peyton Manning costs less than Manning.

Can the Seattle Seahawks offense do enough? - ESPN
It’s no secret that the Seattle Seahawks' offense has sputtered at times down the stretch. Can the Seahawks do enough now to win against the rugged San Francisco 49ers defense with a Super Bowl trip on the line?

Ticket gripes, billboard bias, trash talk ... must be playoff fever | Local News | The Seattle Times
A restriction on Seahawks ticket sales that excluded those with California billing addresses is giving 49ers fans a chance to vent about lots of ways they dislike Hawk fans.

How tight is it between the 49ers and Seahawks? | Seahawks Insider - The News Tribune
Sunday will be the first postseason meeting between the Seahawks and 49ers. The regular-season series is tied 15-15. Even the team totals from this year are similar.

How the Seahawks' defense eliminated New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham: Film Study |
Jimmy Graham started with a bang before the NFC divisional playoff game, getting into an altercation with Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin. But the New Orleans Saints' tight end didn't show up again until 24 seconds remained in the Saints' 23-15 loss.

East-West Shrine Game notebook: Day 1 | National Football Post
A detailed look at some of the most noteworthy performances from the first day of practice.

Las Vegas market report | National Football Post
It’s the old guard at quarterback in the afternoon, followed by the new era of signal-callers in the nightcap.

Back to the future | National Football Post
Divisional Round winners took to the ground this past weekend to grind out hard fought victories.

Detroit Lions coaching search: Were Lions foolish to search for a 'safe' hire? | Audibles -
When the Detroit Lions went searching for a head coach in 2009, they focused squarely on the assistant coaching ranks -- Leslie Frazier, Todd Bowles and Ron Rivera among the names considered then alongside Jim Schwartz, who they eventually hired.

The Tuesday Mailbag | The MMQB with Peter King
The Tennessee Titans had their pick between their top choice on offense (San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt) and one of their top two choices on defense (Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer), and time was of the essence.

Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and next wave of QBs are here to stay | The MMQB with Peter King
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Greg Roman’s favorite play-call from last Sunday, the one that led to Colin Kaepernick pilfering the opposing quarterback’s Superman shirt-rip celebration in the end zone, had been in the offensive coordinator’s back pocket since Nov.

New England Patriots riding ground game led by LeGarrette Blount | The MMQB with Peter King
Despite having quarterback Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the architect of the record-breaking 2007 passing attack, the Patriots rumbled their way to the AFC Championship Game with 234 rushing yards on 46 carries and six touchdowns in Saturday’s victory over the Colts.

Marshawn Lynch goes Beast Mode again vs. Saints (photos) | The MMQB with Peter King
Photographers Robert Beck and Rod Mar had their eyes on Marshawn Lynch as he went Beast Mode—again—versus the Saints. A look at what’s in store for San Francisco? Check out the gallery.