Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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[January 14, 2014]  (The Sports Xchange)  Carolina Panthers: Newton, Cam

The first NFL playoff outing for quarterback Cam Newton was a disappointment.

"Playoff football is a different speed than the regular season," he said. "I learned that firsthand today."

Newton completed 16 of 25 passes for 267 yards, though 59 of those yards came on the game's second-to-last play when the 49ers had backed off.

"I'm going to focus on how I can get better than this," he said. "You have to seize the moment when the moment arrives."

Carolina Panthers: Smith, Steve

WR Steve Smith was back in action for the Panthers after missing the regular-season finale with a knee injury. He scored Carolina's only touchdown and made four catches for 74 yards.

Smith finished his 13th NFL season, and he said he expects to be back for another.

"It doesn't take much for me to get fired up," Smith said about the ability to be excited about playing another season.

He made his eighth postseason touchdown catch in the second quarter against the 49ers.

San Diego Chargers: Mathews, Ryan

RB Ryan Mathews started the game but he wasn't able to finish. Mathews, who missed practice last week because of a lingering ankle injury, rushed for 26 yards on five carries, and he didn't play in the second half.

San Diego Chargers: Clary, Jeromey

RG Jeromey Clary was among the team's inactive players after missing practice all week due to a shoulder injury.

San Diego Chargers: Te'o, Manti

LB Manti Te'o did not play in the second half after suffering a concussion making a tackle just before halftime.

San Diego Chargers: Gilchrist, Marcus

CB Marcus Gilchrest left the game in the second half after colliding helmets with a teammate while making a tackle.

New England Patriots: Brady, Tom

QB Tom Brady's first thoughts on playing Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the AFC title game came during his weekly Monday morning interview on sports radio WEEI in Boston. Brady expects the world to be predicting a Broncos win on Sunday and that New England feels it is in the underdog role that the team has embraced so openly in the past.

"I know when we played Baltimore (in Week 16) nobody picked us to win, and I'm sure no one is going to pick us to win this week," Brady told WEEI. "We've got a bunch of underdogs on our team and we'll be an underdog again, and we'll see how that shapes up at the end of the week. But I know we're as tough, as physical as we've ever been, and that's how we're going to need to go out and play this game."

New England Patriots: Dobson, Aaron

WR Aaron Dobson missed the Colts game due to a foot problem that he re-injured in the regular-season finale against the Bills. The rookie receiver missed Weeks 13-15 with the injury late in the regular season and has not practiced since limping off against Buffalo.

New England Patriots: Dennard, Alfonzo

CB Alfonzo Dennard returned to action against the Colts after sitting out the regular-season finale with knee and shoulder injuries. Dennard started and played the whole way in the win over Indy, finishing with a pair of interceptions.

New England Patriots: Allen, Ryan

P Ryan Allen left the divisional round victory over the Colts with a right shoulder injury late in the second quarter and did not return. The rookie suffered the injury chasing down an errant punt snap that led to a safety. He stayed into the game for the ensuing free kick, but then went to the locker room and did not return.

New England Patriots: Davis, Ja'Gared

LB Ja'Gared Davis was promoted from the practice squad Jan. 7 and made his Patriots debut with special teams action in the divisional round win over the Colts.

Denver Broncos: Manning, Peyton

QB Peyton Manning wasn't spectacular, but completed 25 of 36 passes for 230 yards, two touchdowns and an interception Sunday. Manning kept the focus on checkdowns, quick outs and screens, which is why he had no completions longer than 21 yards.

Denver Broncos: Thomas, Julius

TE Julius Thomas had the most eventful game of any Bronco on Sunday. He caught two third-down passes on the game-sealing drive at the end of regulation and led the Broncos with 76 yards on six catches, but also dropped one pass, fumbled after another reception and committed a false-start penalty.

Denver Broncos: Mincey, Jeremy

DE Jeremy Mincey notched the first of the Broncos' four sacks Sunday. Mincey joined the team before the Week 16 win over Houston and has been used often as a pass-rush specialist when the Broncos go into nickel and dime packages.

Denver Broncos: Moreno, Knowshon

RB Knowshon Moreno powered through the Chargers for 82 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries Sunday. Moreno played 69 percent of the Broncos' 72 offensive snaps.

Denver Broncos: Phillips, Shaun

DE Shaun Phillips terrorized his former team with two sacks Sunday. Phillips led the Broncos in the regular season with 10 sacks. His performance in Sunday's win represented a return to his early-season form after he closed the regular season with one sack in six games.

Denver Broncos: Ramirez, Manuel

C Manny Ramirez had one of his best games of the season during Sunday's win, helping Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball combine for 134 yards on 33 carries, most of which came up the middle.

Denver Broncos: Jammer, Quentin

CB Quentin Jammer replaced the injured Chris Harris in the second half Sunday and struggled, allowing three completions for 95 yards, including a 49-yard connection from Philip Rivers to Keenan Allen on a fourth-and-5 play midway through the fourth quarter.

Denver Broncos: Welker, Wes

WR Wes Welker returned after missing three games because of a concussion and finished with 38 yards and a touchdown on six receptions. The return of Welker helped the Broncos convert 69 percent of their third-down attempts after succeeding on just 22 percent in a Week 15 loss to San Diego, when Welker did not play.

Denver Broncos: Webster, Kayvon

CB Kayvon Webster returned to the lineup after missing two consecutive games following surgery to repair a fractured thumb on Dec. 13. Webster played one snap on defense and seven on special teams while wearing a cast on his hand. He will continue wearing the cast for as long as the Broncos advance in the postseason.

Denver Broncos: Wolfe, Derek

DL Derek Wolfe missed a sixth consecutive game after suffering seizure-like symptoms on Nov. 29, two days before the Broncos' second win over the Chiefs this season. Wolfe has practiced just twice since the condition developed, on Dec. 25 and 27.

Denver Broncos: Vallos, Steve

C Steve Vallos returned after missing Week 17 because of a concussion suffered when he was hit by Houston's Jared Crick on a first-quarter kickoff return Dec. 22.

Carolina Panthers: Newton, Cam

QB Cam Newton was 8-for-10 for 136 yards with a touchdown, an interception, one sack and one pass deflected in the first half. Newton was 8-for-15 for 131 yards, an interception, four sacks, eight hits and four passes deflected in the second half.

Carolina Panthers: Smith, Steve

WR Steve Smith caught all four of his passes for a season-high 74 yards in the first half. He was targeted just once in the second half. Smith's 31-yard touchdown catch was his 10th-career playoff touchdown. He has accounted for 60 of Carolina's 229 all-time points in the playoffs.

Carolina Panthers: Williams, DeAngelo

RB DeAngelo Williams had just five carries and 13 yards, his fewest carries since Oct. 21, 2012 and fewest yards since Nov. 11, 2012.

Carolina Panthers: Davis, Thomas

LB Thomas Davis matched a career high with 17 games played this season. The ninth-year player, who finished with eight tackles, also played 17 games in 2008.

Carolina Panthers: Hardy, Greg

DE Greg Hardy, who had eight sacks in the Panthers' final three regular-season games, did not have a sack. Hardy finished with six tackles and two quarterback hurries.

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Carolina Panthers: Stewart, Jonathan

RB Jonathan Stewart, who said he was healthy, was inactive Sunday. Stewart did not play the rest of the season after tearing his MCL in Week 14.

Carolina Panthers: Mikell, Quintin

SS Quintin Mikell, who with 12 playoff games played was Carolina's most experienced postseason player, injured his foot in the first half and did not return. He was replaced by undrafted rookie Robert Lester.

Indianapolis Colts: Brazill, LaVon

WR LaVon Brazill has had a strong final month of the season. Brazill caught two passes for 73 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the AFC divisional playoff loss to New England. He had scoring catches of 38 and 35 yards against the Patriots. It was his first multi-touchdown post-season game and the fifth multiple touchdown game by a receiver in franchise post-season history.

Indianapolis Colts: Mathis, Robert

OLB Robert Mathis had three tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in the AFC divisional playoff loss to New England. Mathis now has 6.5 career playoff sacks, 2.5 sacks behind former Indianapolis OLB/DE Dwight Freeney (9.0). He also moved into a tie with Justin Snow and Reggie Wayne for the third most post-season games played in franchise history (18).

New Orleans Saints: Robinson, Khiry

RB Khiry Robinson, an undrafted free agent, made his first NFL start in the divisional playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks.

New Orleans Saints: Humber, Ramon

OLB Ramon Humber got a rare start in place of an injured Parys Haralson for the playoff game with the Seahawks.

New Orleans Saints: Dawson, Keyunta

OLB Keyunta Dawson returned and played against the Seahawks after missing six games with a calf injury.

New Orleans Saints: Thomas, Pierre

RB Pierre Thomas did not play in the divisional playoff game with the Seahawks because of a chest injury.

Seattle Seahawks: Lynch, Marshawn

RB Marshawn Lynch rushed for 140 yards against New Orleans, a Seattle playoff high. That beat his own record of 132 at Washington last year, which he shared with Shaun Alexander (132 vs. Carolina in 2006).

Seattle Seahawks: Chancellor, Kam

SS Kam Chancellor had 14 tackles against the Saints, third in Seattle post-season history.

Seattle Seahawks: Hauschka, Steven

PK Steven Hauschka was 3-for-3 against the Saints, tying his own team record for a playoff game. He also improved to 36-for-38 for the season, one of which was blocked.

Seattle Seahawks: Harvin, Percy

WR Percy Harvin sat out the second half against the Saints with a concussion. His status for the NFC title game is uncertain, coach Pete Carroll said Monday, as he must go through the NFL's concussion protocol. He said it will start to become more clear on Wednesday or Thursday if Harvin has a chance to play.

Seattle Seahawks: Wright, K.J.

LB K.J. Wright, out since breaking his foot against San Francisco on Dec. 8, has a chance to play, coach Pete Carroll said. Wright did some running on Monday and if he recovers well could get on the field for practice on Wednesday.

San Francisco 49ers: Rogers, Carlos

CB Carlos Rogers was out for the second straight week after he suffered a right hamstring strain in the final moments of Week 17's win in Arizona. Rogers hasn't participated in practice since sustaining the injury and his status remains week-to-week. He said prior to the Panthers game he wouldn't risk reinjuring his hamstring if he wasn't 100 percent because it would likely end his season.

San Francisco 49ers: Tukuafu, Will

FB Will Tukuafu, a defensive lineman converted to fullback, left Sunday's game in the first quarter with an apparent injury to his lower right leg. He did not return to the game after playing just three snaps. Coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday that Tukuafu underwent an MRI Monday morning and the team is awaiting those results. His status for Sunday's game in Seattle remains up in the air. The 49ers re-signed Tukuafu after starter Bruce Miller hit injured reserve after breaking his left scapula in Dec. 15 against Tampa Bay. Anthony Dixon and tight end Vance McDonald spent time at fullback in Tukuafu's stead.

San Diego Chargers: Troutman, Johnnie

LG Johnnie Troutman was overwhelmed early on in replacing Jeromey Clary in Sunday's game. Clary aggravated a shoulder injury during practice leading up to the game which led to Troutman being inserted into the lineup. The right side of the line was leaky too many times against the Broncos.

Indianapolis Colts: Vinatieri, Adam

PK Adam Vinatieri has now scored 213 career points in the playoffs. He has made 51 post-season field goals, which is also an NFL record, including two against the Patriots on Saturday night. Vinaiteri is a unrestricted free agent.

Indianapolis Colts: Wayne, Reggie

WR Reggie Wayne says that he expects to be ready for the start of training camp next summer. Wayne missed the second-half of the 2013 season after suffering a knee injury. He helped the Colts coaching staff work with the team's young receiving corps. But he is itching to return to the practice field and be ready for the 2014 season.

Indianapolis Colts: Allen, Dwayne

TE Dwayne Allen hopes to be cleared by team medical personnel to start off-field work after he missed most of the 2013 season with a groin injury. Allen's surgical procedure was more extensive than originally planned, which pushed his rehab schedule from an expected four months to six months. He is not sure if he will be participating in the Colts' OTA workouts in the spring but fully expects to be ready to go by the start of training camp.

Indianapolis Colts: Havili, Stanley

FB Stanley Havili (shoulder) had his shoulder wrapped on Monday after he was injured in Saturday's divisional playoff game at New England game. No word on if his injury will require surgery.

Indianapolis Colts: Thornton, Hugh

OG Hugh Thornton (neck/shoulder) left the Patriots game and did not return. It has not been determined if he will require additional medical procedures for his injury.

Indianapolis Colts: Butler, Darius

CB Darius Butler (leg contusion) was injured against New England. He returned once and then and was sidelined for the remainder of the game. Butler is not expected to have to undergo surgery but a final decision has not been made.

Indianapolis Colts: Gordy, Josh

CB Josh Gordy (collarbone) was hurt against New England on Saturday. Gordy did not return. It has not been determined if he will have to undergo surgery.

San Diego Chargers: Mathews, Ryan

RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) would likely not play if there was a regular-season game on this weekend. He will be fine for training camp.

San Diego Chargers: Lissemore, Sean

DE Sean Lissemore (shoulder) missed his second straight game but it isn't considered a serious injury.

San Diego Chargers: Te'o, Manti

ILB Manti Te'o (concussion) left the game and didn't return. His status is unknown.

San Diego Chargers: Gilchrist, Marcus

SS Marcus Gilchrist (concussion) left the game and didn't return. There was no update provided for him.

San Diego Chargers: Butler, Donald

ILB Donald Butler (concussion) played throughout the game and was diagnosed afterward. No update was provided. Butler, once again, proved what a valuable player he is when he made an athletic interception in the end zone right before halftime to keep the Chargers in the game. Butler is a free agent and priority for the Chargers to sign this offseason.

San Diego Chargers: Clary, Jeromey

RG Jeromey Clary (shoulder) wasn't able to play on Sunday but his injury isn't considered serious.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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