Brad Kurtzberg (TheSTN) – Family Affair Adds Flavor to the Super Bowl

While some top online sportsbooks will break-down all of the action on the field, Super Bowl XLVII adds a new twist to pro football’s championship game: for the first time in the history of the Super Bowl, the opposing head coaches will be brothers.

John Harbaugh is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens while Jim Harbaugh is in charge of the San Francisco 49ers. It’s fair to say that at the end of the game on Sunday, John and Jim’s parents will have mixed emotions.

For the record, John is the older Harbaugh at 50. He played his college ball of Miami of Ohio and never reached the NFL as a player.  He rose up the assistant coaching ranks for several years, first at Western Michigan and Indiana, then in the NFL with the Eagles.

John took over as head coach of the Ravens in 2008. Baltimore has made the playoffs for five consecutive years under John’s guidance and he has a regular season record of 54-26 and a postseason record of 8-4.

Younger brother Jim is 49. He was the starting quarterback at the University of Michigan and they finished ranked 2nd in the country in 1985.  He went on to a long and productive NFL career with the Bears, Colts, Ravens and Chargers.

Like his brother, Jim started out as a college assistant and worked his way up to being the head man at Stanford before taking over the 49ers in 2011. In his first year at the helm, San Francisco finished 13-3 and reached the NFC Championship Game. This year, they slipped to 11-4-1 and have now reached the Super Bowl.

Both Harbuagh’s are intense and not afraid to make daring moves that will open them up to potential criticism. John changed offensive coordinators late this season with his team in first place in the AFC North while Jim changed quarterbacks mid-season, going with the raw but more talented Colin Kaepernick over the experienced and safer Alex Smith.

Anyone who knows anything about sibling rivalries knows how personal, intense and fun they can be.  Most brothers love each other but also love beating each other and rubbing it in each other’s faces.

The Harbaugh’s father, Jack, was a college football coach and he taught his sons all about the game he loved. Now he  and the rest of America can sit back and enjoy the fruits of all of that hard work.

One thing is certain, in the case of Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh will be the parents of a Super Bowl winning coach some time on Sunday night.  And dinner conversations at the Harbaugh house will never be the same again.

TheSTN – NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff Game Capsules

SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 2013

GREEN BAY PACKERS–NFC NORTH (12-5) AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS–NFC WEST (11-4-1)

SERIES

  PACKERS 49ERS
LEADER (REG. SEASON) 30-26-1
STREAKS (REG. SEASON) 10 of past 12
COACHES VS. OPP.(REG. & POSTSEASON) McCarthy: 3-1 Harbaugh: 1-0
COACHES PLAYOFF RECORD McCarthy: 6-3 Harbaugh: 1-1
VS. COMMON OPP.(REG. SEASON) GB: 8-3 (Ari. 1-0; Chi. 2-0; Det. 2-0; Min. 1-1; NO 1-0; NYG 0-1; StL. 1-0; Sea. 0-1)SF: 6-4-1 (Ari. 2-0; Chi. 1-0; Det. 1-0; Min. 0-1; NO 1-0; NYG 0-1; StL. 0-1-1; Sea. 1-1)
PLAYOFF RECORD 30-17 26-18
LAST WEEK W 24-10 vs. Vikings Bye (Wk. 17: W 27-13 vs. Cardinals)
LAST GAME (REG. SEASON) 9/9/12: 49ers 30 at Packers 22. San Francisco QB Alex Smith completes 20 of 26 passes for 2 TDs & 125.6 rating. 49ers RB Frank Gore runs for 112 yards & TD.
LAST GAME AT SITE(REG. SEASON) 12/10/06: Packers 30, 49ers 19. Green Bay WR Donald Driver catches 9 passes for 160 yards & TD (68) from QB Brett Favre. Packers RB Ahman Green adds TD run.
LAST PLAYOFF 1/13/02: 49ers 15 at Packers 25. Green Bay QB Brett Favre throws 5-yard TD to WR Antonio Freeman & 19-yard TD to TE Bubba Franks. Packers RB Ahman Green rushes for 86 yards & TD.
BROADCAST FOX (5:00 PM PT): Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver & Erin Andrews (Field reporters). Dial Global Radio: Kevin Harlan, Dan Fouts, Hub Arkush (Field reporter).  SIRIUS: 88 (DGR), 92 (GB), 86 (SF). XM: 88 (DGR), 225 (GB), 226 (SF).

REGULAR SEASON STAT LEADERS

PASSING Rodgers: 371-552-4,295-39 (2L)-8-108.0 (1L) Kaepernick: 136-218-1,814-10-3-98.3
RUSHING Green: 135-464-3.4-0 Gore: 258-1,214-4.7-8
RECEIVING Cobb: 80-954-11.9-8 Crabtree: 85-1,105-13.0-9
OFFENSE 359.4 361.8
TAKE/GIVE +7 +9
DEFENSE 336.8 294.4 (1C)
SACKS Matthews: 13 (2C) Ald. Smith: 19.5 (1C)
INTs Hayward (R): 6 Goldson: 3
PR Cobb: 9.4 Ginn: 10.2 (3C)
KR Cobb: 25.4 James: 29.8
PUNTING Masthay: 43.5 Lee: 48.1 (2C)
KICKING Crosby: 113 (50/50 PAT; 21/33 FG) Akers: 131 (44/44 PAT; 29/42 FG)

 

NOTES

TEAMS MEET for 6th time in postseason; GB is 4-1 in previous 5 playoff meetings. SF defeated GB 30-22 on Kickoff Weekend. Packers lead all-time series (incl. playoffs) 34-27-1.

PACKERS: Have won 13 NFL championships, most all-time. Team’s .638 postseason winning pct. (30-17) is best in NFL history. Club has 30 playoff wins, 3rd most in NFL annals. Team’s 28th playoff appearance, 3rd most in NFL history. Won division for 20th time in team history. Packers had 3 players selected to Pro Bowl: LB CLAY MATTHEWS (4th), QB AARON RODGERS (3rd) & C JEFF SATURDAY (6th)…QB Rodgers led NFL (108.0) in passer rating for 2nd season in row. Has 100+ rating in 4 consecutive seasons & joined HOFer STEVE YOUNG (1991-94) as only QBs to accomplish feat. Has 105.4 postseason rating, highest in NFL history. His 1.58 INT pct. (4 INTs, 253 att.) is 3rd lowest in NFL postseason annals. In career, incl. playoffs, Packers are 29-2 (.935) when Rodgers starts & has 115+ rating. Hails from Chico, CA & makes 1st career start at SF. In 3 starts vs. SF, has 109.4 rating…RB DU JUAN HARRIS had 100 scrimmage yards & TD in WC. FB JOHN KUHN had rush & rec. TD last week, 2nd career postseason game with rush & rec. TD. RB RYAN GRANT holds franchise single-game playoff records with 201 rush yards & 3 rush TDs (Div., 1/12/08 vs. Sea.)…WR-PR-KR RANDALL COBB is 1st player in NFL history with 900+ KR (964) & 900+ rec. (954) yards in same season. Led team with career-high 80 catches & 954 yards. Had 75-yard PR-TD in Week 1. WR JAMES JONES led NFL with career-high 14 rec. TDs, tied for 4th most in season in team history. Had TD in last meeting. WR GREG JENNINGS has 5 rec. TDs in postseason career, tied for 2nd most in team history. Since 2011 (incl. playoffs), WR JORDY NELSON is 2nd among NFL WRs with 22 rec. TDs. Jones is tied for 3rd among WRs with 21 TDs during that span. TE JERMICHAEL FINLEY had 61 catches, most in season by TE in team history. Had TD in Week 1…LB Matthews had team-best 13 sacks & has 10+ sacks in 3 of 4 career seasons. Had 2 sacks, FF & FR in WC. In 7 career postseason games, has 6.5 sacks, 3 FFs & 3 FRs. Had 2.5 sacks in Week 1. CB CASEY HAYWARD led NFL rookies with 6 INTs, tied for 5th most by rookie in team history. Had team-high 21 PD. S MORGAN BURNETT led team with 122 tackles. LB A.J. HAWK ranked 2nd (120). CB TRAMON WILLIAMS has 15 INTs, tied for 2nd most in NFL since 2010 (incl. playoffs). Since joining GB in 2006 (incl. playoffs),CB CHARLES WOODSON has 38 INTs (3rd in NFL) & 9 INT-TDs (1st in NFL). Had 1.5 sacks & FF in last meeting. CB SAM SHIELDS had INT last week & has INT in 4 of past 6.

 

49ERS: Have won NFL-best 16 division titles since 1980. JIM HARBAUGH is 8th head coach since 1970 to win division title in each of 1st 2 NFL seasons. Team is 13-8 (.619) in Divisional Round. 49ers led NFL with 9 players selected to Pro Bowl: LB NA VORRO BOWMAN (1st), S DASHON GOLDSON (2nd), RB FRANK GORE (4th), G MIKE IUPATI (1st), LB ALDON SMITH (1st), DT JUSTIN SMITH (4th), T JOE STALEY (2nd), S DONTE WHITNER (1st) & LB PATRICK WILLIS (6th)…QB COLIN KAEPERNICK is 5-2 (.714) as starter, incl. 3-0 at home. In 7 starts, has 99.9 passer rating with 10 TDs vs. 3 INTs. In 3 home starts, has 116 passer rating & has 100+ rating in all 3 games…RB Gore rushed for 1,214 yards, his team-record 6th 1,000-yard season. Is franchise leader with 8,839 career rush yards & 51 career rush TDs. Rushed for 112 yards & TD in Week 1. Has TD in all 3 meetings vs. GB…WR MICHAEL CRABTREE had career-high 85 catches, 1,105 yards & 9 TDs. In past 3, has 19 catches for 344 yards (114.7 per game) & 4 TDs. Had TD catch in last year’s Div. Playoff. TE VERNON DAVIShas 10 catches for 292 yards (146 per game) & 4 TDs in 2 career playoff games. Aims for 3rd postseason game in row with 100+ yards & 2+ TDs. In playoffs, averages 29.2 yards per catch. Since 2009 (incl. playoffs), leads NFC TEs with 35 TDs. Has TD in all 4 career games vs. GB. In those 4, has 16 catches for 351 yards (21.9 avg.) & 4 TDs. WR RANDY MOSS has 10 rec. TDs in playoff career, tied for 3rd most in NFL postseason history. Needs 2 rec. TDs in playoffs to tie HOFer JOHN STALLWORTH (12) for 2nd. In 16 games vs. GB (incl. playoffs), has 77 catches for 1,390 yards (18.1 avg.) & 16 TDs. Aims for 9th in row vs. GB (incl. playoffs) with TD…Team had 16 giveaways, tied for 2nd fewest in NFL…49ers led NFC in total defense (294.4 yards per game) & pass defense (200.2). Ranked 2nd in run defense (94.2). LB Aldon Smith has 33.5 sacks, most by player in 1st 2 seasons. Led NFC with team-record 19.5 sacks. Has 15 sacks in past 10. Has 10.5 sacks in past 5 at home. Has sack in both career playoff games. LB Bowman led team with 144 tackles. Had 24 tackles in 2 playoff games last year. Had INT in Week 1. LB Willis ranked 2nd on team with 120 tackles. Had sack in last playoff game. Has been selected to Pro Bowl in each of 1st 6 seasons. DT Justin Smith had sack in both playoff games last year. DT RAY MC DONALD had 2.5 sacks in last playoff game. S Goldson had 41-yard INT in last year’s Div. Playoff. CB CARLOS ROGERS had sack in Week 1 meeting.

 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 13, 2013

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS–NFC WEST (12-5) AT ATLANTA FALCONS–NFC SOUTH (13-3)

SERIES

  SEATTLE FALCONS
LEADER (REG. SEASON) 8-5
STREAKS (REG. SEASON) Past 3
COACHES VS. OPP.(REG. & POSTSEASON) Carroll: 0-3 Smith: 2-0
COACHES PLAYOFF RECORD Carroll: 3-3 Smith: 0-3
VS. COMMON OPP.(REG. SEASON) Sea.: 3-2 (Ari. 1-1; Car. 1-0; Dal. 1-0; Det. 0-1)Atl.: 4-1 (Ari. 1-0; Car. 1-1; Dal. 1-0; Det. 1-0)
PLAYOFF RECORD 9-11 6-11
LAST WEEK W 24-14 at Redskins Bye (Wk. 17: L 22-17 vs. Buccaneers)
LAST GAME (REG. SEASON) 10/2/11: Falcons 30 at Seahawks 28. Atlanta scores 24 1st-half points behind RB Michael Turner’s 2 rushing TDs (21, 1). Falcons QB Matt Ryan connects with TE Tony Gonzalez for TD & WR Julio Jones adds 11 catches for 127 yards.
LAST GAME AT SITE(REG. SEASON) 12/30/07: Falcons 44, Seahawks 41. Atlanta QB Chris Redman throws 4 TDs, including 2 4th-quarter TDs to TE Alge Crumpler (55, 7). Falcons RB Warrick Dunn rushes for 70 yards & TD. Atlanta defense has 2 FRs & INT.
LAST PLAYOFF

BROADCAST FOX (1:00 PM ET): Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin & Chris Myers (Field reporters). Dial Global Radio: Dave Sims, James Lofton, Tony Boselli (Field reporter).  SIRIUS: 88 (DGR), 92 (Sea.), 86 (Atl.). XM: 88 (DGR), 225 (Sea.), 226 (Atl.).

 

REGULAR SEASON STAT LEADERS

PASSING Wilson (R): 252-393-3,118-26-10-100.0 (3C) Ryan: 422-615-4,719-32 (3C)-14-99.1
RUSHING Lynch: 315-1,590 (3L)-5.0-11 (T3C) Turner: 222-800-3.6-10
RECEIVING Rice: 50-748-15.0-7 Gonzalez (TE): 93-930-10.0-8
OFFENSE 350.6 369.1
TAKE/GIVE +13 +13
DEFENSE 306.2 (2C) 365.6
SACKS Irvin (R): 8.0 Abraham: 10
INTs Sherman: 8 (T2L) DeCoud: 6
PR Washington: 8.7 Franks: 7.8
KR Washington: 29.0 (1C) Jac. Rodgers: 25.7
PUNTING Ryan: 45.6 Bosher: 47.5
KICKING Hauschka: 118 (46/48 PAT; 24/27 FG) Bryant: 143 (3L) (44/44 PAT; 33/38 FG)

 

NOTES

TEAMS MEET for 1st time in postseason. Clubs have met 13 times in regular season. Sea. is 8-5 in those meetings. Atl. has won past 3 & has scored 30+ in all 3.

SEAHAWKS: Have won 6 in row & 8 of past 9. During 6-game winning streak, have outscored opp. 217-74. Won 1st road playoff game since 1983 last week. Overcame 14-point deficit, largest of season. Club has scored 20+ points in 10 consecutive games (incl. playoffs). Seahawks had 5 players selected to Pro Bowl: RB MARSHAWN LYNCH (3rd), T RUSSELL OKUNG (1st), S EARL THOMAS (2nd), C MAX UNGER (1st) & KR LEON WASHINGTON (2nd)…Rookie QB RUSSELL WILSON has 27 TD passes, most by rookie in NFL history (incl. playoffs). Has also rushed for 4 TDs. Overcame 14-point deficit in WC (14-0), largest by rookie QB in postseason win in NFL history. In reg. season, completed 252 of 393 passes (64.1 pct.) for 3,118 yards with 26 TDs vs. 10 INTs for 100.0 passer rating, 1 of 2 rookie QBs in NFL history with 100+ rating in season. In past 4 games (incl. WC), has 7 TD passes vs. 1 INT, 116.9 passer rating & 4 rush TDs…RB Lynch was selected to 3rd career Pro Bowl & 2nd as Seahawk. Ranked 3rd in NFL with career-high 1,590 rush yards. Tied franchise playoff record with 132 rush yards last week & owns 2 of 3 highest marks in team postseason history. Incl. playoffs, has 100+ rush yards in 9 of past 11. In past 11 games (incl. WC), has 1,173 rush yards (106.6 per game) & 11 TDs (10 rush, 1 rec.). Since Nov. 2011, leads NFL with 2,663 rush yards (incl. playoffs). Aims for 3rd in row vs. Atl. with rush TD. RB MICHAEL ROBINSON scored 1st career postseason TD last week…WR SIDNEY RICE led team with 50 catches & 748 yards. Tied for club lead with 7 rec. TDs. Had 52-yard TD catch in last game vs. Atl. Tied NFL postseason record with 3 rec. TDs in 1/17/10 Div. (with Min.). WR GOLDEN TATE tied for team lead with career-high 7 rec. TDs…In reg. season, Seahawks led NFL in fewest points allowed (245), points per game allowed (15.3) & TDs allowed (25). Defense ranked in top 5 in NFC in all 3 categories: 2nd overall (306.2), 3rd passing (203.1) & 5th rushing (103.1). In WC, allowed 203 total net yards (99 passing, 104 rushing). Team’s red zone defense was 2nd in NFC with 44.7% TD pct. allowed (17 TDs, 38 poss.)…CB RICHARD SHERMAN led team with 24 PD & 8 INTs, tied for 2nd most in NFL. Scored 2 TDs (blocked FG return & INT-TD). Rookie LB BOBBY WAGNER led team with 139 tackles. DE BRUCE IRVIN led NFL rookies with 8 sacks. Had 1st career postseason sack last week. S Thomas had INT in WC, 1st playoff INT. Was selected to 2nd consecutive Pro Bowl.

FALCONS: Have qualified for postseason in three consecutive years for 1st time in franchise history. Under head coach MIKE SMITH, team has made playoffs in 4 of past 5 seasons. Club has posted 5 consecutive winnings seasons, 1st time in franchise history. Falcons had 3 players selected to Pro Bowl: TE TONY GONZALEZ (13th), WR JULIO JONES (1st) & QB MATT RYAN (2nd)…QB Ryan has 56 regular-season wins as starter, most by QB in 1st 5 NFL seasons. Passed for team-record 4,719 yards & 32 TDs. His 68.6 comp. pct. was also a club record. Had career-high 99.1 passer rating, 2nd highest mark in franchise history. Is 2-0 in career vs. Sea. In career at home (incl. playoffs), is 33-6 (.846). Has posted 100+ rating in 33 games & Falcons are 32-1 (.970). Has 100+ rating in 20 home games & Atlanta is 20-0. Pass offense averaged 281.8 net pass yards per game, highest in team history. Offense averaged 369.1 net yards per game, 2nd best mark in franchise history (376.6 in 2011)…RB MICHAEL TURNER rushed for 10 TDs, his team-record 5th consecutive 10 TD season. Has 10+ rush TDs in all 5 seasons with Atl. Since joining Atl. in 2008, has 62 rush TDs, 2nd most in NFL (incl. playoffs). Has rush TD in 6 of past 7…WRs RODDY WHITE (1,351) & Jones (1,198) are 1st Falcons teammates with 1,000+ rec. yards in same season since 1998. White had team-record 6th consecutive 1,000-yard season. Since 2007 (incl. playoffs), has 585 receptions, most in NFC. Set club single-game postseason record with 11 catches in 1/3/09 WC. In 1st 2 NFL seasons, Jones has 133 catches for 2,157 yards (16.2 avg.) & 18 TDs. Had 11 catches for 127 yards in last game vs. Sea. TE Gonzalez was named to 13th Pro Bowl, most ever for TE. Led team with 93 catches. Has 5 seasons with 90+ receptions, most by TE in NFL history. Holds NFL record with 14 consecutive seasons with 60+ catches…DE JOHN ABRAHAM has 126 career sacks, most by active player (incl. playoffs). Has 4 career sacks in postseason. Led team with 10 sacks, his 7th season with 10+ sacks. LBs STEPHEN NICHOLAS SEAN WEATHERSPOON tied for team lead with 95 tackles. CB ASANTE SAMUEL led team with 19 PD & was 2nd on club with 5 INTs. Has INT in 3 consecutive games. Holds NFL postseason record with 4 career INT-TDs. Has 7 career INTs in playoffs, 2nd most by active player & tied for 6th most in NFL history. S THOMAS DE COUD was 2nd among S with 6 INTs. DeCoud & WILLIAM MOORE (4) were only S teammates with 4+ INTs each.

TheSTN – NFL: AFC Divisional Playoff Game Capsules

SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 2013

BALTIMORE RAVENS–AFC NORTH (11-6) AT DENVER BRONCOS–AFC WEST (13-3)

SERIES

  RAVENS BRONCOS
LEADER (REG. SEASON) 5-4
STREAKS (REG. SEASON) 2 of past 3
COACHES VS. OPP.(REG. & POSTSEASON) Harbaugh: 2-1 Fox: 3-1
COACHES PLAYOFF RECORD 6-4 6-4
VS. COMMON OPP.(REG. SEASON) Bal.: 8-3 (Cin. 1-1; Cle. 2-0; Hou. 0-1; KC 1-0; NE 1-0; Oak. 1-0; Pit. 1-1; SD 1-0)Den. 9-2 (Cin. 1-0; Cle. 1-0; Hou. 0-1; KC 2-0; NE 0-1; Oak. 2-0; Pit. 1-0; SD 2-0)
PLAYOFF RECORD 11-7 18-16
LAST WEEK W 24-9 vs. Colts Bye (Wk. 17: W 38-3 vs. Chiefs)
LAST GAME(REG. SEASON) 12/16/12: Broncos 34 at Ravens 17. Denver RB Knowshon Moreno rushes for 115 yards & TD. WR Eric Decker adds 131 receiving yards, including 51-yard TD catch.
LAST GAME AT SITE(REG. SEASON) 10/9/06: Broncos 13, Ravens 3. Denver QB Jake Plummer throws 4-yard TD pass to WR Rod Smith in 4th quarter to seal win. Broncos defense forces 2 sacks & 3 INTs.
LAST PLAYOFF

12/31/00: Broncos 3 at Ravens 21. Baltimore RB Jamal Lewis rushes for 110 yards & 2 TDs (1, 27) in Wild Card victory. Ravens defense limits Denver to 177 total yards, totaling 5 sacks & 1 INT.

BROADCAST CBS (2:30 PM MT): Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf, Solomon Wilcots (Field reporter). Dial Global Radio: Kevin Kugler, Mark Malone, Scott Kaplan (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (DGR), 92 (Bal.), 86 (Den.). XM: 88 (DGR), 225 (Bal.), 226 (Den.).

 

STAT LEADERS

PASSING Flacco: 317-531-3,817-22-10-87.7 Manning: 400-583-4,659 (2C)-37 (1C)-11-105.8 (1C)
RUSHING Rice: 257-1,143-4.4-9 Moreno: 138-525-3.8-4
RECEIVING Boldin: 65-921-14.2-4 D. Thomas: 94-1,434 (2C)-15.3-10
OFFENSE 352.5 397.9 (2C)
TAKE/GIVE +9 (3C) -1
DEFENSE 350.9 290.8 (2L)
SACKS Kruger: 9 Miller: 18.5 (3L)
INTs E. Reed, C. Williams: 4 (T3C) Harris, Woodyard: 3
PR J. Jones: 9.2 Holliday: 10.2
KR J. Jones: 30.7 (1L) Holliday: 26.3
PUNTING Koch: 47.1 Colquitt: 46.3
KICKING Tucker (R): 132 (42/42 PAT; 30/33 FG) Prater: 133 (3C) (55/55 PAT; 26/32 FG)

 

NOTES

TEAMS MEET for 2nd time in postseason. Ravens defeated Broncos, 21-3, in Wild Card on 12/31/00.

RAVENS: Club is 7-5 (.583) all-time on road in postseason…Have won postseason game for 5th consecutive season…Captured AFC North title for 2nd straight year…Since 2000, Bal. has 6-3 record vs. Den. (incl. postseason)…QB JOE FLACCO is 1st QB in Super Bowl era to win postseason game in each of his 1st 5 seasons. Posted 125.6 passer rating last week, highest postseason passer rating by Ravens QB in single-game. In past 3 postseason games, Flacco is 2-1 & has 6 TDs vs. 1 INT & 104 passer rating. Has 6-4 postseason record, incl. 2 AFC Championship appearances. Had career-best 3,817 passing yards in ’12, 2nd-most in season by Raven. Incl. postseason, Bal. is 30-3 (.909) when Flacco has 100+ passer rating…RB RAY RICE has averaged 102.7 scrimmage yards in 3 career regular-season games vs. Den. Totaled 117 scrimmage yards last week (70 rush, 47 receiving) in WC game. Rice (1,621) reached 1,600 scrimmage yards for 4th season in row. Led AFC RBs with 61 catches in 2012. Rookie RB BERNARD PIERCE rushed for 103 yards on 13 att. (7.9 avg.) in 1st career postseason game last week…WR TORREY SMITH averages 20.3 yards per catch in 3 career postseason games (6 receptions, 122 yards). Smith had career-best in receiving yards (855) & TDs (8) in ’12. WR ANQUAN BOLDIN(145) posted most receiving yards in postseason game in franchise history last week. Boldin’s 145 receiving yards in 2nd-half were most in 2nd-half of postseason game since HOFer JERRY RICE (157 on 1/22/89). For career in postseason, Boldin has 35 receptions for 571 yards (16.3 avg.) with 4 TDs…TE DENNIS PITTA has TD in each of past 2 playoff games. Pitta (7) tied TODD HEAP (7 in ’05) for most TD receptions by TE in franchise history this season…LB RAY LEWIS has played in 18 career postseason games (11-7, .611). Lewis had INT in only postseason meeting vs. Den. S ED REED has 8 career postseason INTs, tied for 4th-most in NFL history. S BERNARD POLLARD had team-high 98 tackles in ’12…LB TERRELL SUGGS has 10 career postseason sacks, tied for 7th-most all-time. LB PAUL KRUGER had playoff-best 2.5 sacks last week…DT HALOTI NGATA registered at least 5 sacks for 3rd season in row…CB CARY WILLIAMS posted 1st career postseason INT last week…KR-WR JACOBY JONES ranked 1st in NFL with 30.7 KR avg. in ’12. Tied league-high with 3 kick-return TDs (2 KO, 1 PR) this season…Club had 6 players selected to 2013 Pro Bowl (KR Jones, FB VONTA LEACH, DT Ngata, S Reed, RB Rice, G MARSHAL YANDA).

BRONCOS: Have 13-3 (.813) postseason record at home…Won AFC West for 12th time & 1st time in back-to-back years since 1986-1987…Have won 11 consecutive games, longest active streak in NFL. Became 6th team since 1970 to finish season with 11+ consecutive victories…Den. is 8-4 (.667) all-time in Divisional Playoff Games…QB PEYTON MANNING (5,389) has 3rd-most career postseason passing yards in NFL history. For career, Manning is 9-2 vs. Ravens (incl. 2-0 in postseason). Reached 4,000 passing yards (4,659) this season, extending his NFL record to 12 career 4,000-yard seasons. Passed for at least 3,000 yards in 14th season, surpassing HOFer DAN MARINO (13) for 2nd-most such seasons in NFL history (BRETT FAVRE, 18). Manning registered single-season franchise bests in passing yards (4,659), TD passes (37) & passer rating (105.8) this season. Manning’s 37 touchdown passes and 105.8 passer rating led the AFC in 2012…RB KNOWSHON MORENO is averaging 110.8 scrimmage yards per game in past 6 starts. Moreno rushed for 115 yards on 21 carries (5.5 average) with TD in last game vs. Bal…WR DEMARYIUS THOMAS set franchise postseason record with 204 receiving yards & became 7th player in NFL history to reach 200 receiving yards in playoff game on 1/8/12 vs. Pit. In ’12, Thomas (1,434) joined ROD SMITH (1,602 in 2000) & BRANDON LLOYD (1,448 in 2010) as only Broncos to reach 1,400 rec. yards in season. WR ERIC DECKER had 8 catches for 133 yards, incl. 51-yard TD reception in last game vs. Bal. Decker led AFC & ranked 2nd in NFL with 13 TD receptions & posted 1,064 receiving yards. Thomas & Decker are 1st Broncos duo to register 1,000+ receiving yards & 10+ TD catches in season…DE ELVIS DUMERVIL (11) reached 10+ sacks for 3rd time in career. LB VON MILLER (18.5) registered most sacks by Bronco in season since ’82…CB CHAMP BAILEY has 2 career postseason INTs, incl. 100-yard INT-TD return on 1/14/06 vs. NE (tied for 2nd-longest return in postseason history). CB CHRIS HARRIS had 98-yard INT-return TD in last game vs. Ravens. CB TRACY PORTER has 2 career postseason INTs, incl. 74-yard INT-return TD…Club had 5 players selected to 2013 Pro Bowl (CB Bailey, T RYAN CLADY, DE Dumervil, QB Manning, LB Miller).

 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 13, 2013

HOUSTON TEXANS–AFC SOUTH (13-4) AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS–AFC EAST (12-4)

SERIES

  TEXANS PATRIOTS
LEADER (REG. SEASON) 3-1
STREAKS (REG. SEASON) 3-1
COACHES VS. OPP.(REG. & POSTSEASON) Kubiak: 1-2 Belichick: 3-1
COACHES PLAYOFF RECORD 2-1 17-7
VS. COMMON OPP.(REG. SEASON) Hou.: 10-1 (Bal. 1-0; Buf. 1-0; Den. 1-0; Ind. 1-1; Jax. 2-0; Mia. 1-0; NYJ 1-0; Ten. 2-0)NE: 10-1 (Bal. 0-1; Buf. 2-0; Den. 1-0; Ind. 1-0; Jax. 1-0; Mia. 2-0; NYJ 2-0; Ten. 1-0)
PLAYOFF RECORD 2-1 23-16
LAST WEEK W 19-13 vs. Bengals Bye (Wk. 17: W 28-0 vs. Dolphins)
LAST GAME(REG. SEASON) 12/10/12: Texans 14 at Patriots 42. New England QB Tom Brady passes for 296 yards & 4 TDs, including 2 to TE Aaron Hernandez (7, 4).
LAST GAME AT SITE(REG. SEASON) 12/10/12
LAST PLAYOFF

BROADCAST CBS (4:30 PM ET): Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Steve Tasker (Field reporter). Dial Global Radio: Ian Eagle, Trent Green, Lewis Johnson (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (DGR), 92 (Hou.), 86 (NE).  XM: 88 (DGR), 225 (Hou.), 226 (NE).

 

STAT LEADERS

PASSING Schaub: 350-544-4,008-22-12-90.7 Brady: 401-637-4,827 (1C)-34 (2C)-8-98.7 (2C)
RUSHING Foster: 351-1,424 (2C)-4.1-15 (1L) Ridley: 290-1,263 (3C)-4.4-12 (T3L)
RECEIVING A. Johnson: 112 (2C)-1,598 (1C)-14.3-4 Welker: 118 (1C)-1,354-11.5-6
OFFENSE 372.1 (3C) 427.9 (1L)
TAKE/GIVE +12 (2C) +25 (1L)
DEFENSE 323.3 373.3
SACKS Watt: 20.5 (1L) Ninkovich: 8
INTs Jackson: 4 (T3C) McCourty: 5 (T1C)
PR Martin (R): 12.1 Welker: 9.7
KR Martin (R): 23.9 McCourty: 24.2
PUNTING Do. Jones: 47.2 Mesko: 43.1
KICKING S. Graham: 138 (2C) (45/45 PAT; 31/38 FG) Gostkowski: 153 (1L) (66/66 PAT; 29/35 FG)

NOTES

TEAMS MEET for 1st time in postseason.

 

TEXANS: Have most wins in single season in franchise history (13)…Captured AFC South title for 2nd consecutive season…Club posted 6-2 road record in ’12…Hou. seeks 1st road postseason win in franchise history…QBMATT SCHAUB registered 1st career postseason win last week. Schaub (4,008) reached 4,000 passing yards for 3rd time in career (4,770 in 2009; 4,370 in 2010). In 3 career regular season starts vs. Patriots, Schaub has passed for 833 yards with 5 TDs vs. 2 INTs & 91.5 passer rating…RB ARIAN FOSTER is 1st player in NFL history to rush for 100+ yards in each of 1st 3 postseason games. Foster averages 170 scrimmage yards per game in 3 career postseason games. Posted NFL-best 17 TDs (15 rush, 2 receiving) in ’12. Has registered 8 games with 100+ rush yards this season & Texans are 8-0 in such games (incl. playoffs). Has totaled 3 rush TDs in 2 career regular-season games vs. NE…WR ANDRE JOHNSON averages 87.7 receiving yards per game in 3 career postseason games. Johnson (1,598) joined HOFer JERRY RICE (4) & MARVIN HARRISON (3) as only players in NFL history to register at least 3 seasons with 1,500 receiving yards. Has totaled 17 catches for 263 yards (15.5 avg.) with TD in 3 career postseason games. Had 8 catches for 95 yards in last game vs. Patriots…TE OWEN DANIELS had most receptions (9) in postseason game in franchise history last week. Daniels had career-best 6 TD receptions in ’12…DE J.J. WATT has 4.5 sacks, 3 passes defensed & 29-yard INT-return TD in 3 career postseason games. Watt had NFL-best 20.5 sacks in 2012, tied for 6th-most since sacks became official stat in ’82. Posted 16 passes defensed in ’12, most among NFL DL. LB BROOKS REED has 4.5 sacks & FF in 3 career playoff games. LB WHITNEY MERCILUS tied for 1st among AFC rookies with 6 sacks. Had sack in last meeting vs. NE…DE ANTONIO SMITH has 3 sacks, 1 FF & 1 FR in 7 career postseason games…CB JOHNATHAN JOSEPH has 2 INTs in 3 career postseason games with Texans…S GLOVER QUIN posted team-high 84 tackles in ’12…Club had AFC-best & franchise-record 8 players selected to 2013 Pro Bowl (T DUANE BROWN, RB Foster, WR Johnson, CB Joseph, C CHRIS MYERS, QB Schaub, G WADE SMITH, DE Watt).

 

PATRIOTS: Club is 13-3 (.815) at home in postseason…Head coach BILL BELICHICK & QB TOM BRADY (16) have most postseason wins by QB-head coach duo…Belichick (17) is tied with HOFer JOE GIBBS (17) for 3rd-most playoff wins all-time, trailing only HOFers TOM LANDRY (20) & DON SHULA (19)…Brady’s 16 postseason wins are tied with HOFer JOE MONTANA for most playoffs wins by QB in NFL history. Brady (5,389) has 4th-most passing yards in NFL playoff history. Brady (38) needs 2 TD passes to join Montana (45) & BRETT FAVRE (44) as only QBs to reach 40 postseason TD passes all-time. Brady (499) has most career postseason completions all-time. Has 16-6 (.727) playoff record, 3rd-best postseason record as starting QB in NFL history (min. 15 starts). In 2 career regular-season games at home vs. Hou. Brady is 2-0 & has 6 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 118.8 passer rating…RB STEVAN RIDLEY (1,263) is 5th player in franchise history to reach 1,200 rush yards in season…WR WES WELKER (53) needs 6 postseason receptions to surpass TROY BROWN (58) & DEION BRANCH(54) for most career postseason catches in club history. Branch (836) has most career postseason receiving yards in Patriots history. In past 2 vs. Hou., WR BRANDON LLOYD is averaging 100 receiving yards per game…TEROB GRONKOWSKI has 21 receptions for 323 receiving yards with 3 TDs in 4 career postseason games. Gronkowski (11) is 1st TE in NFL history to post 10+ TD catches in 3 consecutive seasons. TE AARON HERNANDEZhad 8 catches for 58 yards with 2 TD receptions in last game vs. Hou…LB JEROD MAYO led club with 147 tackles in ’12. LB BRANDON SPIKES has sack, INT, FF & FR in 4 career postseason games…DT VINCE WILFORKhas 2.5 sacks in past 3 playoff games…CB DEVIN MC COURTY had INT in last game against Texans…Club had 7 players selected to 2013 Pro Bowl (QB Brady, TE Gronkowski, G LOGAN MANKINS, LB Mayo, WR MATTHEW SLATER, WR Welker, DT Wilfork)

Jim Ross – @JRsBBQ Talks WWE RAW, @TheRock, NXT, Ray Lewis + More

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the first, JR’s blog of the new year. Big night tonight on RAW from Tampa with the road to WrestleMania seemingly getting a distinctive kickoff. Random Thoughts time….

With @TheRock returning to the live, Monday night RAW tonight, it kicks off WWE’s 2013 TV year in a significant manner. Adding to the fact that the National Championship of College Football will be airing live as well, there will be a massive amount of TV households using television which bodes well for WWE’s flagship broadcast. TV viewers are creature’s of habit and channel surfing is the norm in today’s world.

I’m taking advantage of picture in picture and watching Raw with its audio while having football on the secondary screen. I don’t need audio to follow football and am anxious to see and hear Raw.

I see tonight’s RAW as a great opportunity for ALL talents to make their presence felt. My ‘maximizing one’s minutes’ theory was never more timely than it will be tonight for everyone who appears on RAW.

Raw getting off to a fast, compelling start seems imperative. First talents out of the gate will occupy some prime real estate. The first 30 minutes of RAW are going to be vital.

I’ve updated a ton of new, Q&A’s here on our site and invite you to check out the new material.

Vividly remember broadcasting in Miami the first RAW of 2007 with @JohnCena vs. Kevin Federline aka K-Fed at the same time that OU played Boise State in one of the most exciting games of the year in the Fiesta Bowl. It was a challenging night for yours truly as I was being fed football scores during commercial breaks. That was the only #OU game that I missed all season but got to see the 4th quarter and OT in my room after being dropped off at the hotel by @JerryLawler. I hit the mini bar in my room hard that night as my #Sooners lost a nail biter. Wearing my OU gear home on the plane the next day provided for some interesting conversations with a variety of folks as if my black hat doesn’t do on its own.

On this date in 2002, HHH returned to the WWE after a career threatening quadriceps injury. The return was at Madison Square Garden and the ovation that ‘The Game’ received still is a vivid memory and one of the loudest ‘pops’ that I can ever remember hearing in the ‘World’s Most Famous Arena.’

Hard to believe that some on Twitter @JRsBBQ seemingly have such ill conceived opinions that the Rock returning to WWE to gear up for a WrestleMania run is a negative to ‘young talents.’ I find this flimsy theory laughable. Rock is a major attraction that will attract disconnected/former viewers and many new viewers who are fans of Rock’s movie work. The more eyes watching any WWE program the better. Rock also provides WWE an ‘outside the usual envelope’ media buzz which is invaluable.

Saw where Argentina Zuma passed away a few days ago. I met him in 1974 while working for Lee Roy McGuirk in the Oklahoma Territory and was amazed that a man so small, maybe 5’6″, could have been a major headliner in MSG. Zuma was a former Olympic gymnast from Argentina and competed in the 1948 Olympics. He was a muscular, well conditioned athlete who could ‘sell’ with the best of them, but never ‘die,’ and could fly in an era where ‘flying’ was a highly unique skill set. What I remember most about the man was that he treated a rookie, me, in a gentlemanly, professional manner. I can still recall Zuma getting a ‘hot tag’ and lighting it up. Nice man..real pleasure to be around…RIP Argentina Zuma.

Disappointing trip to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl as Texas A&M schooled my Sooners. @JManziel2 is a freakish QB that OU had no answer whatsoever. Huge offseason, especially in recruiting, awaits Oklahoma. Changes in the talent level across the board is needed. Players win games and not systems or coaches. Great coaching certainly is money but a great coach with average or less players is hamstrung.

@AdrianPeterson has to be the NFL MVP but the quarterback loving voters will likely give the nod to Peyton Manning who I’d vote as the comeback player of the year. Yes, I’m biased. I hope that #Vikings get AD some help.

Great argument can be made for @DangRussellWilson wining the NFL Rookie of the Year but that distinction will likely go with @RG3. Haven’t forgotten Andrew Luck either but Wilson still has his team in the playoff hunt while the other two went down Sunday. Seattle travels well and with a big, physical, fast defense will give #falcons all the ‘Birds can handle in the Georgia Dome this weekend. Denver will likely blast the Ravens in Mile High as this is a bad matchup for an aging, tired defense.

Speaking of the Ravens, I’d love to see the great Ray Lewis have one WWE match ala Lawrence Taylor back in the day.

In the next month or two we are going to accelerate the developmental process of a couple of new JR’s products specifically a JR’s HOT Sauce and, hopefully, a Buffalo Wings Sauce.

Remember that fans in the UK and that entire region of the world can access JR’s products via @Americansoda in Manchester and at some of their American Candy locations.

Getting loads of questions regarding the 20th Anniversary of RAW show in Houston next week. I can’t make it any clearer but I don’t know any creative plans and if I did why would I spoil them? One can get plenty of speculation from the internet wrestling community who appear to have better sources than do I. I just know that every attempt will be made to make that milestone event special and that includes follow up to what occurs tonight.

Excited to travel to Orlando this week for the @WWENXT tapings @FullSail which will be highlighted by an appearance by WWE HOFer @ShawnMichaels. I hope the NXT talents are ready to kick off 2013 in a big way. If one can’t get motivated for this taping, those talents need to become civilians. Really anxious to see who comes to play Thursday night.

Thanks for dropping by and keep supporting my family’s efforts with building JR’s brand via http://www.wweshop.com.

If you are or know a retailer who might want to carry our products in a retail setting or have contacts with decision makers in the grocery world, please email Ed Clements at eclements@clementsfoods.com.

Boomer Sooner!

J.R. @JRsBBQ

Brad Kurtzberg (TheSTN) – Jets Are Foolish To Keep Rex Ryan

The New York Jets fired GM Mike Tannenbaum earlier this week, a move that was both expected and necessary, but they made a major mistake by holding on to Coach Rex Ryan, a man who contributes to the problems surrounding this troubled franchise as much as anybody.

Supporters of Ryan point to the fact that the Jets reached the AFC Championship Game in his first two seasons in New York and that he is a defensive genius.

While Ryan does bring some defensive coaching ability to the table, his shortcomings in other areas far outweigh whatever benefits his defensive coaching ability may provide.

In fact, Ryan is so wrapped up in his defense that he neglects other areas of his team. In 2011, Santonio Holmes, the Jets top wide receiver, was not getting along with quarterback Mark Sanchez. It got so bad that Holmes was benched in the fourth quarter of the Jets season finale, a game the Jets needed to win in order to have a chance at making the
playoffs. Ryan was unaware of the feud. One player said he had never been in such a divided locker room before. Ryan vowed to be more involved in his offense and to pay more attention to the entire team in 2012.

It didn’t exactly turn out that way. This season, the Jets locker room again seemed divided, this time over whether or not backup QB Tim Tebow should get a chance to run the offense when Sanchez’s play was so bad it could only be described as downright embarrassing. Again, the locker room was divided but Ryan was either unwilling or unable to stop it.

Later in the season, leaks about what Tebow allegedly said or didn’t say about his willingness to run the Jets wildcat offense after Rex started Greg McElroy ahead of him also made Ryan look bad. Either the coach misinterpreted what Tebow said or he was planting stories in the media to make his backup quarterback look bad. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for Ryan’s ability to lead the team.

It was clear from day one that Ryan had no use for Tebow and he did nothing to integrate the former Heisman Trophy winner into his offense despite the fact that there were constructive ways to do it. All season long, we heard about “secret” plans to use Tebow. The secret must have been that Ryan thought Tebow couldn’t play quarterback and would only insert him in a game to whet the appetite of Tebow’s sizable following just enough to keep them interested. The net result: the Jets offense sputtered and Tebow lost whatever potential trade value he had to the Jets.

The offense as a whole was again a major failure in 2012. Who did Ryan bring in as his offensive coordinator for this season? Tony Sparano. The ex-Dolphins head coach was brought in to run the wildcat and the “ground and pound” attack that was more successful in Ryan’s first two seasons as Jets coach. The Jets running attack under Sparano was average at best, their passing offense was among the worst in the league.  The team never truly established an offensive identity.

Another problem with Ryan’s leadership is his blustery and boastful style that makes him resemble the ringmaster at a circus. While owner Woody Johnson never met a back page story about his team he didn’t like, Ryan’s empty boasts result in his total lack of credibility.

Before this season, the Jets head coach once again said this was the most talented team he had since he came to New York and said the club should be Super Bowl contenders. While it’s OK to try to boost your team’s confidence, Ryan said this every year despite the obvious fact that the Jets’ talent level was clearly headed in the wrong direction.

Even this year while the frequency of his boasts were reduced, Ryan still said enough silly things to make any intelligent observer of the game tune him out. When you’re winning, the circus surrounding the team is tolerable, but when you’re losing, it gets downright embarrassing.

As for Ryan’s defense, it is not quite as good as advertised. Sure, Ryan supporters can point to top 10 finishes in yards allowed, even in the past two losing seasons. But the most important defensive statistic is points allowed and the Jets finished 18th in that category in 2011 and 20th this season, hardly championship numbers.

More importantly, Ryan’s defense broke down at key times late in games way too often even when the team was winning. With the game on the line, the Jets defense was at its worst and cost them more than a few wins each season.

Keeping Ryan on for another season will also hurt the Jets chances of bringing in a quality GM. The new hire goes into the job knowing he is stuck with a coach he didn’t choose, a bad salary cap situation and a quarterback that is among the league’s worst. The fact that the Jets must give Sanchez $8.25 million in guaranteed money this year means they are stuck with him on their roster for at least 2013. This is a quarterback driven league and unless the Jets can draft a QB who can start right away, they will be put deeper into salary cap hell by signing a free agent to hold the job until they can develop one.  So the new GM would take over a team with a bad salary cap situation, a coach he didn’t choose and one of the league’s worst starting quarterbacks. That’s hardly a desirable situation for a new GM and a smart one with choices would head elsewhere if at all possible.

The bottom line is that Ryan did a poor job the past two seasons and is as responsible as anybody for the Jets failures. He may be a very good defensive coordinator, but he is not well-suited to be a head coach.

The Jets set their team back at least another year by holding on to Rex in 2013.  Unless major changes are made to the roster and mentality of this team, then the chances of a turnaround by the Jets in 2013 are somewhere between slim and none.

Jim Ross – @JRsBBQ 7 Points To Ponder – The Cotton Bowl

  1. Tackling. For the Sooners to win they must tackle better than they have all season. Missed tackles equate to potential big plays and extended time on the field for one of the nation’s best offenses.
  2. Assignment Football. Things like gap control and containment facilitate OU’s chances of getting a few more three and out’s which, against Texas A&M, are crucial.
  3. Line of Scrimmage. How well OU’s offensive tackles handle the Aggie DE’s looms large. LT Lane Johnson can earn himself some major bucks with a great game. Sophomore RT Tyrus Thompson will be sternly challenged. Sooners D-Line will be assaulted. How will they respond?
  4. Ball Control. One of the best ways to defend Kevin Sumlin’s Aggies is to keep their offense off the field. Timely play calling and crisp execution by the Sooners offense is a must.
  5. Oklahoma Running Game. It must have a discernable pulse. If Damien Williams, Brennan Clay and Trey Millard can be effective, QB Landry Jones’ night will be significantly more productive. Plus, an efficient running game makes the game clock an ally.
  6. Big Plays. Give up many of them and OU loses. Make a few and the Crimson clad fans amongst the 90,000 attending will celebrate a win. Can the Aggies secondary matchup with the Sooners deep, big play making receiving corps? Let’s hope not.
  7. Turnovers. Always a big factor in any game especially one where the two teams are so evenly matched. It’s hard to imagine that the team with the fewest turnovers in the game doesn’t win it.

Expect an emotional, high scoring contest Friday night in Cowboys Stadium. It’s easy to speculate that the last team with the football wins but one can also make an argument that the team who makes the last, big play on defense wins it. QB Jones will someday, and deservedly so, be remembered as one of the best to ever play at Oklahoma and hopefully that discussion begins Friday night in Dallas.

Oklahoma 38 Texas A&M 35

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.

@JRsBBQ

 

 

(WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross’ made in Oklahoma products including BBQ Sauces, Chipotle Ketchup, Main Event Mustard (Jalapeno Honey Mustard), All Propose Seasoning/Dry Rub and 5 flavors of Beef Jerky are sold at all Norman Homeland Stores. The Beef Jerky is also available at J. Boties in Norman at 36th and Main. Or order online for worldwide delivery from http://www.wweshop.com.)