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#6 Indianapolis Colts at #3 Houston Texans4:35pm ET Todd Gurley Jersey , ESPN/ABCSB Nation blogsColts - Stampede BlueTexans - Battle Red BlogWell, the playoffs are here, and we’re starting with a very interesting AFC matchup. Indy is the #6 seed, but they played this exact game in Houston in Week 14 and won, 24-21. I’d be surprised at anything that isn’t similarly close in some fashion.On one hand, you have one of the best stories of the year in Colts QB Andrew Luck. After missing all of the 2017 season following shoulder surgery, many began to question whether or not Luck would ever even play again or if he did if he would come anywhere close to the quarterback he had once been. Not only did he have a fantastic season topping 4,500 passing yards and nearly hitting 40 passing touchdowns, but he Aaron Donald Jersey , along with Head Coach Frank Reich, helped guide the Colts to a 9-1 finish that turned their season around after starting out 1-5. It’s a somewhat miraculous turn of events.The Texans, though, were a bit more sure of a bet. With QB Deshaun Watson healed up from last year’s ACL injury and the Texans’ defense re-formed, Houston always looked a candidate for a strong 2018. A 0-3 start certainly looked like it could throw the Texans entirely off-course, but an overtime win in Week 4 over the Colts helped get them back on track.This is just a great AFC South rivalry extension into the playoffs. As a neutral observer, it’s hard not to get excited for this rubber match. I’ll take the Texans largely due to a game-changer in WR DeAndre Hopkins, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Colts’ storybook season continues.#5 Seattle Seahawks at #4 Dallas Cowboys8:15pm ET, FOXSB Nation blogsSeahawks - Field GullsCowboys - Blogging the BoysIf today’s AFC matchup is a contest between a Cinderella story and a sure thing made good C.J. Anderson Jersey , the NFC game is about two teams that just kind of figured things out along the way.Many analysts considered the Seahawks headed toward a losing season in 2018 before things got going. The roster wasn’t looking good and with the Legion of Boom dead and gone, it seemed like things could go bad for Seattle. Very bad. But something happened. I’m not sure what, and I’m not sure when. But somehow, the Seahawks managed the roller coaster. Starting 4-5, they put together a 6-1 finish that included a banner win over the Kansas City Chiefs that got them back to the postseason with perhaps their weakest team since the earliest years of Head Coach Pete Carroll’s tenure.The Cowboys were a similar story. Throughout their season, you saw the markings of a relatively unsuccessful team. A Week 1 loss to the Carolina Panthers, a Week 7 loss to their NFC East rival Washington Rivals, a 0-23 drubbing at the hands of the Colts in Week 15 and a hair’s breadth win over the five-win New York Giants to end the regular season all seem to point to a team that shouldn’t have been able to make the playoffs. But, and this is perhaps the most important data point for today Samson Ebukam Jersey , all of those were on the road. The Cowboys are the only playoff team in the NFC that won just three games on the road this year; they just looked like an entirely different team at AT&T Stadium where they pasted the Jacksonville Jaguars 40-7 and won an emotional overtime game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 14 that followed a close win over the NFC #1 seed New Orleans Saints.So I’m rolling with that data point. The Cowboys were 3-5 on the road and 7-1 at home. Dallas’ favorite sports franchise is in the playoffs and is sure to have a rowdy home crowd backing them. Away from the confines of CenturyLink Field and the support of the 12th man, Seattle is going to find themselves in awfully unfriendly territory today. And I think that could be enough to send them home for the year. Sean McDermott didn't like the hit that knocked Josh Allen out of the game, and he sure didn't like the way the Buffalo Bills finished without their rookie quarterback.The Oakland Raiders also lost their QB and a receiver in what's looking like a lost first season under Jon Gruden.The Bills fell 20-13 in Houston on Sunday, with the Texans getting the go-ahead score when Johnathan Joseph intercepted Nathan Peterman's pass and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown with 1:23 remaining.Allen threw for 84 yards and ran for 20 before he was hurt when Houston's Whitney Mercilus hit his right elbow with his helmet after Allen's pass. McDermott was angry about the hit and complained to officials that it was late."We talk about protecting the quarterback and I thought it was late," McDermott said. "But at the end of the day, the officials rule over the game, and obviously, they didn't."Peterman threw two interceptions, the second one coming after Joseph's score."At the end of the game ... he was probably trying to do too much Cooper Kupp Jersey ," McDermott said. "I don't want to paint it all bad, but we've got to protect the football and make sure we're smart."Derek Carr and Amari Cooper both left the Raiders' 27-3 loss to Seattle in London with injuries. Carr was holding his left arm gingerly after getting sacked six times by the Seahawks and wouldn't have returned to the game had Oakland gotten the ball back, though he said afterward he was OK. The bigger concern was for Cooper, the two-time Pro Bowl receiver who was evaluated for a concussion after a helmet-to-helmet hit from safety Bradley McDougald. Gruden believed it should have drawn a penalty."I thought so," Gruden said. "I'm just hoping Amari is OK. I'm not going to say anything else. I hope he's all right. He's a great kid."Wide receiver Seth Roberts also departed because of a concussion with 11 minutes remaining.The Atlanta Falcons also lost multiple receivers, but were able to overcome their departures in a 34-29 victory over Tampa Bay.Calvin Ridley, who was leading the Falcons with six touchdown catches, went out in the first half with an ankle injury and didn't return. Mohamed Sanu was sidelined in the second half with a hip problem after hauling in a 35-yard touchdown pass.Also in that game, the Buccaneers lost defensive tackle Gerald McCoy John Johnson Jersey , who walked slowly off the field in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury.It appeared the Rams had lost receiver Cooper Kupp when he was carted off the field after wrenching his left knee when Broncos safety Darian Stewart horse-collared him on the Denver sideline in the second quarter. But he made a surprising return in the second half.In other injury news:—Ravens left guard Alex Lewis was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with a neck injury after being hurt in the first minute of the fourth quarter of a victory at Tennessee. Lewis had been blocking on a run by Gus Edwards when he turned away from the pile slowly and went down. Trainers strapped him to a backboard and carted him off the field.Coach John Harbaugh said there's a lot of optimism for Lewis, who was getting a CT scan at the hospital.For the Titans, linebacker Derrick Morgan hurt a shoulder and did not return, and left guard Quinton Spain departed with an injured right shoulder.—Vikings cornerback Mike Hughes limped off in the fourth quarter of Minnesota's victory over Arizona with an apparent left knee injury.—Browns receiver Rod Streater suffered a neck "stinger" while covering a punt in the first quarter and did not return to a loss to the Chargers. His injury complicated Cleveland's issues at wide receiver as Rashard Higgins and Derrick Willies were also out with injuries. Linebackers Joe Schobert and James Burgess went out with hamstring injuries in the second half.—Jets receiver Quincy Enunwa injured an ankle on a fumble in the second quarter of a victory over Indianapolis and didn't return. Safety Marcus Maye left with a hand injury in the third quarter. The Colts, who were already playing without several injured starters, lost receivers Robert Turbin (right shoulder), Ryan Grant (ankle) and Marcus Johnson (right ankle).—Cowboys receiver Tavon Austin was forced out in the second half of a rout of Jacksonville with a groin injury, while the Jaguars lost defensive end Calais Campbell (rib) and tight end Niles Paul (knee).
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