The NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Begins
Wild Card Weekend is over, and all eyes now turn to the 2015 NFL Playoffs Divisional Round. The venues for this week are classic playoff atmospheres – the frozen tundra of Lambeau, the jet-engine noise of CenturyLink, the snow of Gillette, and the thin air of (Insert This Week’s Name Here) at Mile High. With a win this weekend, teams will be just a single victory away from the Super Bowl.
The stakes are higher, and Inside The Pylon is raising its game too, with a comprehensive set of previews for the upcoming games. Our focus this week is on the Ravens and Patriots, with a full lineup of looks at different aspects of that matchup. We also have game previews and special teams previews for Panthers-Seahawks, Cowboys-Packers, and Colts-Broncos, so no matter who you root for, we’ve got you covered.
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
Welcome to Our Overload Overlords ‒ Brian Filipiak examines how the Patriots have performed against these defensive front packages, and the challenges Baltimore’s talented defenders might present as practitioners of the craft.
Ravens at Patriots: Suggs vs. Solder ‒ Jeremy Turner delves into one of the most critical matchups of the game: New England left tackle Nate Solder against Baltimore’s pass-rushing linebacker Terrell Suggs.
Passing Game Preview: When the Ravens Have the Ball ‒ Dave Archibald takes a look at what Joe Flacco and company will bring to Foxborough, and what Matt Patricia might have up his sleeve in response.
Passing Game Preview: When the Patriots Have the Ball ‒ Mark Schofield digs into the New England game plan and how Josh McDaniels will attack the field while ensuring Tom Brady withstands a treacherous Baltimore pass rush.
Running Game Preview: When the Ravens Have The Ball ‒ Brian Filipiak covers Justin Forsett and the Baltimore ground attack, from blocks to cutbacks – and New England’s rush defense, from gap fits to edge pursuits.
Running Game Preview: When the Patriots Have The Ball ‒ Brian Filipiak puts the microscope on New England’s options in the running game ‒ Shane Vereen, LeGarrette Blount, and Jonas Gray ‒ and breaks down how Baltimore’s defensive personnel will seek to slow them down.
Ravens at Patriots: Special Teams Preview ‒ Chuck Zodda looks at two bitter rivals facing off and the intriguing battle of Baltimore punter Sam Koch attempting to keep the ball away from dangerous New England returner Julian Edelman.
Reading the Ravens Numbers ‒ Douglas Storms pulls out the abacus and slide rule to identify the most interesting and compelling figures and metrics, and what they can tell us about Baltimore’s trends and tendencies.
Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers
Special Teams Preview ‒ Chuck Zodda reviewed the Cowboys best special teams showing of the year, led by punter Chris Jones and kicker Dan Bailey against a boom-or-bust Green Bay unit that has the potential for explosive plays, but also for catastrophe.
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos
Special Teams Preview ‒ Chuck Zodda checks in the Colts, hoping for a better performance this week from super-punter Pat McAfee, and the Broncos hoping to avoid field goal situations due to the inconsistency of their placekicking situation.