The NFL Playoffs kick off Saturday with a pair of intriguing matchups. AFC South foes clash in Houston as the Texans host the Colts and elsewhere in the Lone Star State the Cowboys welcome the Seahawks in a prime time affair.
Let’s take a deep dive into each matchup:
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (10-6) at HOUSTON TEXANS (11-5)
Saturday at 4:35 p.m. airing on ESPN
Opening line: Texans -3
Record against the spread: Indy (8-7-1), Houston (7-7-2)
Series: Colts lead 26-8
Week 17 results: Colts over Titans 33-17, Texans over Jaguars 20-7
Colts won last matchup with Texans 24-21
AP Rankings: Colts #8, Texans #7
Colts offense: Rush (20), Pass (6), Overall (7)
Colts defense: Rush (8), Pass (16), Overall (11)
Texans offense: Rush (8), Pass (17), Overall (15)
Texans defense: Rush (3), Pass (28), Overall (12)
Notes and Sundry Thoughts – Colts last playoff appearance was 2014 when they advanced to the AFC Championship game but lost to the Patriots…Just Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Anthony Castonzo, and Adam Vinatieri were on the last Colts playoff team…Four-game winning streak for the Colts and they’ve won nine of 10…Colts defense has been forcing turnovers in 2018 with 26 takeaways…Opponents held to 16.4 points per game, over the Colts last eight…Colts offensive line allowed the least amount of sacks in the league (18) which helped offense convert league best 48.6 of third downs and Luck throw the second-most TDs (39)…Luck threw a TD to 13 different receivers which ties Matt Ryan and Drew Brees for most in a season in NFL history…Luck finished as a top-5 QB in ESPN PPR fantasy leagues…Marlon Mack (RB21 ESPN PPR) compiled 100 yards four times this season, most since 2007 when Joseph Addai did it four times…Eric Ebron (TE4 ESPN PPR) led the league and set Colts franchise record with 13 TDs this season…Hilton finished as WR 14, in ESPN PPR leagues, and had four 100-yd games this year and caught nine passes for 199 yds in last meeting with Houston…Texans are the first team since 1998 and sixth since 1980 to make playoffs after 0-3 start…Third time in four years Houston has won the AFC South…Bill O’Brien is 1-2 in his playoff coaching career…J.J. Watt recorded AFC-best 16 sacks, his fourth year with 15 or more sacks which is one behind Reggie White for most seasons with 15 or more sacks in NFL history…DeAndre Hopkins, the second-best WR in ESPN PPR, tied Texans franchise record with 115 receptions and set a career-high with 1,572 yards…Deshaun Watson (4,165 yds, 26 TDs, QB4 ESPN PPR) has longest active streak of pass attempts without an interception at 207 attempts…Lamar Miller finished the season with 973 yds and five TDs. He was RB23 in ESPN PPR.
Check out my preview of SUNDAY’S SLATE.
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SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (10-6) at DALLAS COWBOYS (10-6)
Saturday at 8:15 p.m. airing on FOX
Opening line: Cowboys -1
Record against the spread: Seahawks (9-5-2), Cowboys (9-6-1)
Series: Cowboys lead 10-9
Week 17 results: Seahawks over Cardinals 27-24, Cowboys over Giants 36-35
Seahawks won last matchup with Cowboys 24-13
AP Rankings: Seahawks #10, Cowboys #11
Seahawks offense: Rush (1), Pass (27), Overall (18)
Seahawks defense: Rush (13), Pass (17), Overall (16)
Cowboys offense: Rush (10), Pass (23), Overall (22)
Cowboys defense: Rush (5), Pass (13), Overall (7)
Notes and Sundry Thoughts – These two teams have met once, back when Tony Romo botched the snap on a go-ahead field goal late in the game and Seattle won 21-20…Both Seattle and Dallas appeared in the 2016 playoffs and both lost in the Divisional Round…Pete Carroll has led Seattle to the playoffs seven times in nine seasons…Russell Wilson has led them to the playoffs six out of seven years…Wilson finished as QB9 in ESPN PPR leagues, Day Prescott was QB10…Seahawks led league with plus-15 turnover ratio, their 11 giveaways were tied for third fewest in a season in NFL history…Wilson threw three TDs in seven games this year en route to 35 total scores…Wilson has won both matchups against Prescott…Chris Carson compiled 1,151 yards, good enough for RB15 in EPSN PPR leagues…Tyler Lockett has had a meteoric rise this season with career-high receptions (57), yards (965), and TDs (10) and finished as WR16 after being drafted an average of outside the top 50 receivers…Cowboys (34) two playoff wins behind Steelers for most all time…Dallas has lost three-straight to Seattle…Cowboys are 7-1 at home, this year, and have won both Wild Card games that they’ve hosted in 10 years at AT&T Stadium…Ezekiel Elliot led NFL with 1,434 yds rushing and was fifth best RB in ESPN PPR leagues…Elliot set a franchise record for receptions by a running back with 77, this year…Cowboys have 11th ranked passing attack since acquiring Amari Cooper…Cooper finished the year at WR19 but scored less than 10 points in each of the last three games…Blake Jarwin led Dallas tight ends with three TDs.
*Your fantasy season doesn’t have to end just yet, play in the GSI PLAYOFF FANTASY CHALLENGE.