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3 Most Exciting NFL Wild Card Matchups

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(Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)

 

The 2021 NFL playoffs are finally here!

It took an extra regular season week to arrive at this point, but the drama-filled Week 18 helped finalize the pairings during Super Wild Card Weekend.

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12 NFL teams will try to extend their campaign into the Divisional Round in a knockout postseason game.

The win-or-go-home scenario makes the teams play at their best and leave nothing to chance.

While all of the matchups are worth watching, here are three showdowns that will merit the most attention.

 

3. New England Patriots At Buffalo Bills

These two teams fought for the AFC East title until the last regular-season game, but the Buffalo Bills emerged victorious after winning over the New York Jets.

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The Bills lost four of six games at one point but bounced back by winning four straight.

Sean McDermott‘s crew is one of the few NFL teams equally talented on both offense and defense.

The Bills ranked fifth in total yards (381.9), sixth in rushing yards (129.9), and third in points (28.4) per game.

On defense, Buffalo allowed the fewest total yards (272.8), passing yards (163), and points (17) per game.

However, the stats might not matter during the playoffs, especially with Bill Belichick, who knows how to exploit his opponent’s weaknesses.

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Their Week 13 road win against the Bills is a fantastic example wherein the New England Patriots exploited Buffalo’s run defense to score a 14-10 victory.

In that game, New England had 222 rushing yards, 111 of which were courtesy of Damien Harris.

Likewise, the Patriots defense allowed the second-fewest points per game at 17.8.

But the six-time Super Bowl champions must re-discover their winning ways after dropping three of their last four games to close the regular season.

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2. San Francisco 49ers At Dallas Cowboys

These two teams will revive a storied NFL rivalry that dates back to the 1980s.

The San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys last had a postseason game against each other during the 1994 NFC Championship, which San Francisco won en route to a Super Bowl title.

The Cowboys had one of the most explosive offenses all season, averaging a league-best 31.2 points per game.

Dak Prescott established a new franchise record for most touchdown passes in a season (37), while Ezekiel Elliott reached 1,000 rushing yards for the fourth time in his career.

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CeeDee Lamb also finished the regular season with 1,102 yards and six touchdown receptions.

The Cowboys also have gems on defense like DeMarcus Lawrence, league interceptions leader Trevon Diggs, and Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate Micah Parsons.

But if the Niners’ comeback win against the Los Angeles Rams is a preview of things to come, the Cowboys cannot take the road team lightly.

Kyle Shanahan’s troops won seven of their last nine games to make a postseason return after a one-year absence.

Defense has been the 49ers’ strong suit as they allowed the third-fewest total yards (310) and eighth-fewest points (21.5) per game.

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However, the Cowboys cannot underestimate Jimmy Garoppolo, Deebo Samuel, Elijah Mitchell, and Jauan Jennings after their contributions during their repeat victory over the Rams.

Expect the 49ers to pressure the Cowboys’ offensive line through defensive ends Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa.

 

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1. Arizona Cardinals At Los Angeles Rams

Although only one game separates these two teams, the Rams host the Arizona Cardinals as NFC West champions.

Initially, the Cardinals had the upper hand in the division battle, thanks to Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, and James Conner.

However, late in the season, the Rams’ five-game winning streak helped them overtake Arizona in the standings.

Nevertheless, this showdown promises to be an exciting matchup, and it won’t be surprising if the game turns into a shootout.

While the Rams have weapons on offense like Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp, Cam Akers‘ return to peak form will help their cause exponentially.

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Los Angeles must also play hard throughout the game to avoid another second-half meltdown.

It’s also time for the elite players on the Rams’ defense to live up to expectations.

Cardinals fans will make the trip to Los Angeles, and Rams fans cannot allow the red and white to dominate the crowd.

The post 3 Most Exciting NFL Wild Card Matchups appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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How to watch Leicester City vs. Southampton: Live stream, TV channel, start time for Saturday’s Premier League game

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The Premier League is back in action on Saturday.

Who’s Playing

  • Southampton @ Leicester City
  • Current Records: Southampton 0-1-1; Leicester City 0-1-1

Paramount+ is the only place to watch every minute of every Serie A match this season, not to mention select games in Italian. Sign up now with offer code ITALY to get a special one month free trial. A subscription also gives you access to other sports content including every UEFA Champions League and Europa League match, the NFL on CBS, and countless movies and shows. Get it all free for 1 month with promo code ITALY.

What to Know

Southampton and Leicester City are meeting up for their first leg of the season at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday at King Power Stadium. Southampton will be seeking to avenge the 4-1 loss they suffered the last time these two teams played May 22.

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This past Saturday, Southampton and Leeds United ended up with a point apiece after a 2-2 draw.

Meanwhile, Leicester came up short against Arsenal this past Saturday, falling 4-2.

After unsatisfying finishes in their previous games, both teams are out for the full three points in this fixture.

Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.  

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How To Watch

  • Who: Leicester City vs. Southampton
  • When: Saturday at 10 a.m. ET
  • Where: King Power Stadium
  • Watch: USA Network
  • Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
  • Caesars Sportsbook odds: Leicester City -117; Draw +280; Southampton +300

Featured Game | Leicester City vs. Southampton

Series History

Leicester City have won five out of their last 12 games against Southampton.

  • May 22, 2022 – Leicester City 4 vs. Southampton 1
  • Dec 01, 2021 – Leicester City 2 vs. Southampton 2
  • Apr 30, 2021 – Leicester City 1 vs. Southampton 1
  • Jan 16, 2021 – Leicester City 2 vs. Southampton 0
  • Jan 11, 2020 – Southampton 2 vs. Leicester City 1
  • Oct 25, 2019 – Leicester City 9 vs. Southampton 0
  • Jan 12, 2019 – Southampton 2 vs. Leicester City 1
  • Aug 25, 2018 – Leicester City 2 vs. Southampton 1
  • Apr 19, 2018 – Southampton 0 vs. Leicester City 0
  • Dec 13, 2017 – Leicester City 4 vs. Southampton 1
  • Jan 22, 2017 – Southampton 3 vs. Leicester City 0
  • Oct 02, 2016 – Southampton 0 vs. Leicester City 0



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NFL preseason Week 2 scores, highlights, updates: Packers rookie Romeo Doubs continues to impress vs. Saints

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The NFL preseason has reached the midway point with Week 2, which serves as the de facto “dress rehearsal” for starters to prepare for the beginning of the regular season — which is just three weeks away. For teams that don’t have joint practices this week, Week 2 of the preseason is critical.

The Carolina Panthers won’t play Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold against the New England Patriots Friday, yet New England will play its starters after the joint practices this week. Jordan Love will start for the Green Bay Packers against the New Orleans Saints, who will be without Jameis Winston (foot). Capping off the night will be the Houston Texans at Los Angeles Rams

Below, we will track all the must-see highlights from Friday’s action, the appetizer for the main course of games this weekend. 

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Schedule

Thursday

Bears 27, Seahawks 11 (Takeaways)

Friday

Patriots 10, Panthers 10 (third quarter –  Live blog)
Packers 13, Saints 10 (second quarter – Gametracker)
Texans at Rams, 10 p.m. ET (Gametracker)

Saturday

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Broncos at Bills, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Lions at Colts, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Commanders at Chiefs, 4 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Steelers at Jaguars, 7 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Raiders at Dolphins, 7 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
49ers at Vikings, 7 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Buccaneers at Titans, 7 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Cowboys at Chargers, 10 p.m. ET (Gametracker)

Sunday

Eagles at Browns, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Bengals at Giants, 7 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Ravens at Cardinals, 8 p.m. ET (Gametracker)

Monday

Falcons at Jets, 8 p.m. ET (Gametracker)

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Romeo Doubs touchdown

There’s a spot for Doubs to earn snaps with the first team this year, and this touchdown catch from Jordan Love demonstrates why. Doubs came up with this impressive four-yard touchdown reception over Brian Allen to put the Packers up, 10-3, over the Saints in the second quarter. Love is starting to show trust in the fourth-round rookie. 

59-yard field goal from Wil Lutz

Lutz missed all of 2021 with a core muscle injury, as the Saints missed his reliability in the kicking department. He certainly looked like his old self with this 59-yard field goal to close out the first quarter.

Just 13 of 23 on 50-plus yard field goals in his career, Lutz hitting this kick is very encouraging.

Romeo Doubs making his case to move up the depth chart

Doubs was one of the young wide receivers Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers criticized during the week, so he was in the spotlight with the second teamers participating in the majority of this one. A 17-yard catch on the opening drive on a Jordan Love throw makes a strong impression, even if Doubs failed to corral a third-down pass earlier. 

No longer a quarterback for the Saints, Hill has shifted his focus to tight end for the 2022 season. The No. 2 tight end in New Orleans, Hill made an early impact by catching a 10-yard pass from Ian Book. Hill adds an extra dimension to the Saints offense in his new role, and can still play wide receiver and running back in short-yardage situations. 

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The Patriots averaged just 1.9 yards per play in the first quarter with just 21 yards of offense, but Nelson Agholor changed that with this 45-yard catch on an impressive throw from Mac Jones. Going against a second-team defense or not, this is what Patriots fans want to see from their new-look offense.

New England scored a touchdown — a two-yard run from Ty Montgomery — three plays later.



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Orioles' Adley Rutschman goes deep vs. Red Sox

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Adley Rutschman continues to impress in his first MLB season as he blasts a two-run homer to help the Baltimore Orioles grab a 8-4 lead against the Boston Red Sox.



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