Perhaps you’ve heard this before … say from the Falcons.
The Baltimore Ravens, defending Super Bowl champions, are sitting at home as the playoffs begin, and coach John Harbaugh knows why.
“We’re going to need to run the ball better; we’re going to need to protect Joe (Flacco) better,” Harbaugh said. “Those things will make us better offensively. We’ve got to make more big plays down the field. We were not as good in the passing game as we needed to be. We never got together. … We’ve got to be better defensively.”
Michael Vick hasn’t played a full season because of injuries since joining the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009, but he said he’s not worried that that will hurt his chances to find a starting job in 2014, saying he knows “at some point I’ll be back out there.”
Vick lost his starting job to Nick Foles and will be on the sideline for the Eagles’ playoff game.
“I don’t worry about it,” Vick said, according to CSNPhilly.com. “My skill set is still there; my arm is still there; my legs are still there. I’m still a playmaker, that’s evident.”
ON THE MOVE
San Francisco 49ers offensive line coach Tim Drevno, who has worked for coach Jim Harbaugh for a decade from the University of San Diego to Stanford to the 49ers, is leaving to become offensive line coach at USC on new coach Steve Sarkisian’s staff.
The Cincinnati Bengals changed punters for the playoffs, waiving Shawn Powell after only two games and signing Zoltan Mesko. Powell signed after Kevin Huber sustained a season-ending broken jaw during a 30-20 loss in Pittsburgh on Dec. 15. Powell shanked a 10-yard punt during a 34-17 win over Baltimore on Sunday. Mesko was New England’s fifth-round pick in 2010. The Patriots released him Aug. 31, and he punted in seven games for Pittsburgh before he was waived Oct. 29. … Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, one of several starters held out against San Diego, has been cleared to play in Saturday’s wild-card game against Indianapolis after sustaining a concussion two weeks ago. The Chiefs, however, could be without right tackle Eric Fisher, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft. He strained a groin Tuesday and was not working Wednesday.
BY THE NUMBERS
.750 In Robert Kraft’s 20 years as owner, the New England Patriots have made the playoffs 15 times (75 percent of the seasons) and are 20-11 with six Super Bowl appearances, including three championships.
HE SAID IT
“My arm felt good. Mentally, I felt good. I prepared hard all week, but there’s always going to be some sort of re-indoctrination period, if you will. It was kind of like the preseason for me. I wanted to take that first hit, get that first throw in a live game rep. I’ve played a lot of football. It didn’t take long to get into the mix.” — Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on his return against the Chicago Bears after missing several weeks with a broken collarbone
Compiled by Ray Cox