NFL playoff officiating choices: Why was OPI known as on Willie Snead however not A.J. Brown?

NFL playoff officiating choices: Why was OPI known as on Willie Snead however not A.J. Brown?

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1:47 PM ETKevin SeifertESPN Staff Writer CloseESPN.com national NFL writer
ESPN.com NFC North reporter, 2008-2013
Covered Vikings for Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1999-2008A historic drop in penalty flags helped lessen the spotlight on NFL officiating in 2020. So did the abolition of replay review for pass interference. But the arrival of postseason football has raised scrutiny on every questionable call, rule interpretation and review.
No worries. We're here for you. What follows is a real-ti..

Tomlin on Steelers’ collapse: We ‘died on the vine’

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2:11 AM ETBrooke PryorESPN Staff Writer ClosePreviously covered the Kansas City Chiefs for the Kansas City Star and Oklahoma University for the Oklahoman.PITTSBURGH — Tears streamed down Ben Roethlisberger's face. Sitting beside him on the bench, Maurkice Pouncey, one of his best friends and longtime teammates, also cried as the emotion spilled over.
The scoreboard facing them illuminated the unthinkable: Their season was over — and their careers might be too.
After falling behind by four..

‘Past particular’: LeBron, Magic, OBJ and extra react to Browns ending playoff drought

‘Past particular’: LeBron, Magic, OBJ and extra react to Browns ending playoff drought

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11:55 PM ETESPNThe Cleveland Browns are not only in the 2020 NFL playoffs, but they have now won their first postseason game in 26 years — a 48-37 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in the wild-card round.
And the Browns have ended yet another notable drought in 2020. Cleveland hadn't won a playoff game since defeating the Bill Parcells-led New England Patriots in the 1994 wild-card round when coach Bill Belichick was the Browns' coach (and Nick Saban was Belichick's ..

Matchup for the ages: Saints, Drew Brees will host Buccaneers, Tom Brady

Matchup for the ages: Saints, Drew Brees will host Buccaneers, Tom Brady

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8:01 PM ETMike TriplettESPN Staff Writer CloseCovered Saints for eight years at New Orleans Times-Picayune
Previously covered LSU football, San Francisco 49ers
Iowa native and University of Iowa graduateNEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees vs. Tom Brady, Part III. Another one for the history books.
The second-seeded New Orleans Saints will host the fifth-seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a playoff matchup for the ages next weekend after the Saints slogged through a 21-9 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunda..

‘What in the world?’ Browns pounce on Steelers from jump with 28 first-quarter points

‘What in the world?’ Browns pounce on Steelers from jump with 28 first-quarter points

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8:34 PM ETJake TrotterESPN Staff Writer CloseCovers the Big 12Joined ESPN.com in 2011Graduate of Washington & Lee UniversityThe start to the Cleveland Browns' first playoff game in 18 years couldn't have gone more perfectly on Sunday night.
On the contest's initial play, Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey snapped the ball over the head of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After a scramble for the ball, Cleveland's Karl Joseph recovered it in the end zone, giving the Br..

Rams optimistic about Donald, Kupp; QB unclear

Rams optimistic about Donald, Kupp; QB unclear

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10:30 PM ETLindsey ThiryESPN Close Covered Rams for two years for Los Angeles Times
Previously covered the Falcons
Has covered the NBA and college football and basketballTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Uncertainty looms regarding the health of the Los Angeles Rams as they begin preparation for a divisional-round playoff game at the Green Bay Packers.
Defensive tackle Aaron Donald has a rib injury, wide receiver Cooper Kupp has bursitis in his knee, quarterback John Wolford has a stinger and quarterb..

Rams QB Goff ‘good’ but mum on Sat. status

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8:25 PM ETLindsey ThiryESPN Close Covered Rams for two years for Los Angeles Times
Previously covered the Falcons
Has covered the NBA and college football and basketballTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — “Good” was the word at the Los Angeles Rams' practice facility Thursday when quarterback Jared Goff spoke with reporters for the first time since undergoing surgery on his throwing-hand thumb on Dec. 28.
“It feels good,” Goff said. “It's progressing well, it's in a good place.”
It remain..

Sources: Watson irked by Texans’ hiring process

Sources: Watson irked by Texans’ hiring process

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7:19 PM ETAdam SchefterESPN Senior Writer Close ESPN NFL Insider
Joined ESPN in 2009
Former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and the author of four booksBy hiring former New England Patriots executive Nick Caserio to solve a large set of problems within the organization, the Houston Texans have created additional ones with star quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Watson offered input on potential general manager candidates, but the Texans neither considered nor consulted with those end..

Bills’ Diggs, Beasley questionable for Colts game

Bills’ Diggs, Beasley questionable for Colts game

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3:31 PM ETMarcel Louis-JacquesESPN ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — When the Buffalo Bills host their first playoff game in more than two decades Saturday, there's a chance they'll do so without their top two wide receivers.
Stefon Diggs (oblique injury) and Cole Beasley (knee) are listed as questionable for Saturday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Beasley suffered his injury late in Buffalo's Week 16 victory over New England and missed the team's regular-season finale again..

Packers allowing 6,000 fans for divisional round

Packers allowing 6,000 fans for divisional round

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8:25 PM ETRob DemovskyESPN Staff Writer CloseCovered Packers for Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1997-2013
Two-time Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters AssociationGREEN BAY, Wis. — The Frozen Tundra won't be the completely empty tundra for the playoffs.
The Green Bay Packers announced Thursday that approximately 6,000 ticketed fans will be allowed to attend the team's first playoff game, either Jan. 16 or 17 in the NFC divisional..

Bills RB gifts tickets to wrongfully convicted man

Bills RB gifts tickets to wrongfully convicted man

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7:06 PM ETMarcel Louis-JacquesESPN ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — While the Buffalo Bills spent the past 25 years without hosting an NFL playoff game, Valentino Dixon spent most of it imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.
Dixon, a big Bills fan, missed most of the team's Super Bowl runs in the 1990s and its most recent home playoff game, in 1996.
Bills running back Taiwan Jones is making sure Dixon won't miss the next one.
After it was announced that Bills Stadium would open for the first t..

NFL playoffs wild-card round guide: Picks, bold predictions and more for every game

NFL playoffs wild-card round guide: Picks, bold predictions and more for every game

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7:15 AM ETESPN staffThe opening weekend of the NFL playoffs has arrived, with six games on the wild-card round slate. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the keys to every game, a bold prediction for each matchup and final score picks.
Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a stat to know for each game, and the Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a matchup rating (on a scale of 1 to 100) and a game projection. ESPN Chalk's Dave Bearman hands out helpful nuggets as..

Bryant: From Kenosha to the U.S. Capitol, a brand new yr brings the identical outdated reminders

Bryant: From Kenosha to the U.S. Capitol, a brand new yr brings the identical outdated reminders

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10:30 PM ETHoward BryantESPN Senior Writer CloseSenior Writer, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine
Author of “The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron”
Author of “Juicing the Game”Following the postmortems of a year that couldn't end fast enough, the first week of 2021 has not provided a balm for 2020 as much as it has amplified last year's relentlessness. For Black America in general, and Black athletes in particular, the year has begun with a series of events that once again have put on globa..

Assistant Katie Sowers not returning to Niners

Assistant Katie Sowers not returning to Niners

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3:05 PM ETNick WagonerESPN Staff Writer Close Covered Rams for nine years for stlouisrams.com
Previously covered University of Missouri football
Member of Pro Football Writers of AmericaSANTA CLARA, Calif. — Katie Sowers, one of the NFL's first full-time female assistants and its first openly gay coach, will not return to the San Francisco 49ers next season, she said on social media Thursday.
Her contract is expiring after four seasons with the team as an offensive assistant, primarily w..

Bryant: From Kenosha to the U.S. Capitol, a brand new yr brings the identical previous reminders

Bryant: From Kenosha to the U.S. Capitol, a brand new yr brings the identical previous reminders

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10:30 PM ETHoward BryantESPN Senior Writer CloseSenior Writer, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine
Author of “The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron”
Author of “Juicing the Game”Following the postmortems of a year that couldn't end fast enough, the first week of 2021 has not provided a balm for 2020 as much as it has amplified last year's relentlessness. For Black America in general, and Black athletes in particular, the year has begun with a series of events that once again have put on globa..

Rams QB Goff ‘good’ however mum on Sat. standing

Rams QB Goff ‘good’ however mum on Sat. standing

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8:25 PM ETLindsey ThiryESPN Close Covered Rams for two years for Los Angeles Times
Previously covered the Falcons
Has covered the NBA and college football and basketballTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — “Good” was the word at the Los Angeles Rams' practice facility Thursday when quarterback Jared Goff spoke with reporters for the first time since undergoing surgery on his throwing-hand thumb on Dec. 28.
“It feels good,” Goff said. “It's progressing well, it's in a good place.”
It remain..