Fantasy Football News

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Steelers, Falcons Solidify First Round Byes; Other News from Early Game Action

With Mike Tomlin's Pittsburgh Steelers easily handling AFC North rival Cleveland Browns, 41-9, in their 1:00 P.M. match-up, the Steelers clinched both the second seed in the AFC playoffs and a first round bye. Atlanta, on the NFC side of things, took care of Carolina, 31-10, to take the top seed and of course the first round bye.

Despite coming out with the victory over Cincinnati and finishing the season with a 12-4 record, the Baltimore Ravens had to settle for the fifth seed in the playoffs while Rex Ryan's Jets hold the sixth seed.

Other headline-making news in the football world today:

*With their loss to Oakland and Indy's recent 23-20 victory over Tennessee--thanks to a game-winning field goal by veteran Adam Vinateri--the Kansas City Chiefs were bumped down to the fourth seed. Peyton's win awarded him Kansas City's third seed.

*AFC Wild Card Match-ups for next week:

Baltimore @ Kansas City
New York @ Indianapolis
(Note: The Colts have tied an NFL record with their ninth consecutive playoff appearance)
*Jacksonville, needing both a win and a Colts loss, were doubled up by Houston, 34-17, and subsequently eliminated from contention.

*The Bucs, needing a win to have a shot at making the "Second Season" A.K.A. the postseason, defeated the already playoff-bound New Orleans Saints. New Orleans, whether they won or lost, basically already had the fifth seed wrapped up.

*Unfortunately for Tampa, they needed both the Packers and Giants to lose for them to move on. That didn't happen after Green Bay defeated Jay Cutler's Bears 10-3, putting the Pack in as the sixth seed. Which also means that despite New York's 17-14 victory over the Skins, they will miss the playoffs this season.

*With the Eagles' loss to Dallas, Chicago was given the No. 2 seed, Philly now holds the No. 3 seed.

*The NFC Wild Card match-ups are still up in the air. We know the Eagles will be hosting the Packers, but it's unclear who the Saints will be playing. The winner of the St. Louis/Seattle prime-time matchup will host New Orleans next week. Either way, I do think it's safe to say the Saints will be moving on to the second round, but you just never know. Anything could happen.

*Coaching changes: both Minnesota's and Dallas' interim coaches, Leslie Frazier and Jason Garrett respectively, are expected to be named their team's head coaches.

The games that didn't matter:

Patriots(#) 38, Dolphins 7
Jets (#) 38, Bills 7
Lions 20, Vikings 13
Chargers 33, Broncos 28
Niners 38, Cardinals 7

# already clinched a playoff spot

Photo Credit
Ray Lewis: AP Photo/Rob Carr

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