Tom Brady on Ravens’ complaints: Study the rules

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
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New England completed the greatest playoff comeback in franchise history on Saturday, so it comes as no surprise that there were more than a few smiling faces around Gillette Stadium.

But one figure might need some help turning his frown upside down.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was a bit peeved by the Patriots‘ unorthodox, if not questionable substitution tactics. Baltimore found success getting to New England quarterback Tom Brady, and Patriots coach Bill Belichick needed a stop-gap. Continue reading

Joe Flacco helps Ravens top Steelers in Wild Card

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
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NFL teams spend all season battling for the right to go to the postseason. Once a berth is locked up, the prime objective through Week 17 is to secure the best possible seed. Why?

Because the highest seed gets home-field advantage in the playoffs, and there’s no better place to play postseason football than at home. Crowds are raucous, stakes are high and historical records are in the favor of those wearing the home uniforms.

Postseason football on the road is often the most difficult, a fact proven by Wild Card weekend. Visiting teams went 1-3, and only one game was a one-possession contest inside two minutes.

That matchup — Cowboys vs. Lions — and its controversial end will likely be debated for days, before the collective attention of fans and media alike turns to Packers/Cowboys. The clock is ticking on that one.

But despite the loss, Detroit still featured at least a couple commendable performances. We’ll get to those later.

In the meantime, since we’ve reached the postseason and Baltimore is in said postseason, that one E word is going creep into consciousness.

But I have one pressing question: Is this column elite?

Here are Wild Card weekend’s greatest on the road:

Continue reading

Referee Pete Morelli explains picked-up flag in Wild Card game

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
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In the confusing aftermath of the final minutes of the Dallas Cowboys‘ 24-20 Wild Card win over the Detroit Lions, the officiating crew assigned to the game made an attempt to clarify just what happened.

Referee Pete Morelli spoke with reporter Todd Archer following the game and described how the officials decided to pick up a flag that had initially been declared as pass interference on the CowboysAnthony Hitchens. Continue reading

A.J. Green enters NFL’s concussion protocol

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
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The Bengals lost their shot at the AFC North division crown on Sunday night, but that might not be all.

A.J. Green has entered the league’s concussion protocol, NFL Media’s Aditi Kinkhabwala reported Sunday night, after sustaining a blow to the head from Steelers safety Mike Mitchell late in the fourth quarter of the Bengals27-17 loss.

The hit came less than a second after Green hauled in a 17-yard pass and was wrestled down toward the ground by Antwon Blake, forcing a fumble. The result was a pivotal recovery by the Steelers, ending the Bengals‘ drive. Continue reading