There's no doubt that at least one quarterback in all four playoffs games this weekend is going to have to throw his way back into the game or at least lose trying.
Here's a look at the eight quarterbacks in the fourth quarter this year as well as their favorite fourth-quarter targets and their career game-winning drives.
|A. Luck||87-163||53||1,165||7||6||11||7||R Wayne (52T)|
|C. Ponder||87-145||60||940||8||4||6||2||M. Jenkins (32T)|
|R. Griffin III||79-126||63||841||4||2||13||2||S. Moss (26T)|
|A. Dalton||80-125||64||971||9||5||13||7||A.J. Green (40T)|
|A. Rodgers||75-117||64||948||11||2||10||9||J. Jones (28T)|
|R. Wilson||64-105||61||796||7||1||7||3||S. Rice (25T)|
|J. Flacco||62-99||63||759||5||0||15||14||D. Pitta (22T)|
|M. Schaub||62-92||67||578||3||4||3||12||A. Johnson (27T)|
HOW HAVE THESE 8 TEAMS DONE?
Well, the final 12 teams have been assembled for the run to a Super Bowl championship. There are no more easy games, or teams with their bags packed and the head coach on the firing block.
The question is how have these 12 teams done against each other this season. Seattle is 4-1, Indianapolis 3-2, Minnesota 3-4, Houston 3-4, New England 3-3, Cincinnati 2-2, Washington 2-2, Denver 2-3, Baltimore 3-4, Green Bay 2-4, and Atlanta 2-0. Imagine that only three teams have winning records against playoff teams and that includes Atlanta with only two games against playoff teams. Maybe the reason there are always surprises in the playoffs is because they all struggle against each other.
THIRD-DOWN PRESSURE CALLS
Here's a quick look at the eight defensive coordinators and their pressure calls on third downs. The ratio is the number of blitz calls to sacks made.
|TEAM||% OF TIME BLITZ CALLS||NO. OF BLITZ||SACKS||RATIO|
A COUPLE OF NUMBERS FOR THIS WEEKEND
1. The Ravens may be playing their last game with Ray Lewis. The home fans will be as emotional as the players. Ray Lewis is 10-7 in postseason play but has only played four postseason games at home in his career.
When Lewis played his first NFL game Andrew Luck was 7 years old and now stands in the way of Lewis' quest for a world championship or at least a chance to play another game.
Even if the Ravens win they most likely are done at home. Baltimore is 15-1 at home when Ray Rice has at least 20 carries. In the last three weeks the Colts have given up 632 yards rushing at 6.58 a rush. What do you think the Ravens should do to win this game?
2. In the Seahawks-Redskins game both quarterbacks have thrown the same number of passes, 393. Russell Wilson has 26 touchdown passes and Robert Griffin III has 20. Wilson has four rushing touchdowns for a total of 30 and RG3 has seven on the ground for a total of 27.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told me that two-thirds of all the Redskins' run plays have an option element to them. That means they are trying to force opposing defenses to play assignment football, which can paralyze defensive ends.
Keep an eye on some of the unique things the Seahawks may do against the Redskins' option game. Seattle has given up the fewest points in the NFL and over the past five games only 60 total points (12 per game).
Andy Dalton has been sacked 19 times in the last four games. In his last two road games he has been sacked 12 times. At home the Texans defense records a sack every 12 pass attempts. It could be a rough day for Dalton.
Andrew Luck has thrown 105 passes without an interception. Christian Ponder has thrown 90 passes without an interception.
The sack formula for Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers gets sacked too often but it doesn't affect his winning and losing until you get to five sacks in a game. When Rodgers is sacked five or more times in his career the Packers are 2-11. If he is sacked four or fewer the Packers are 54-16.