In this Jan. 1, 2017, file photo, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, in Detroit. The Lions play against the Seattle Seahawks in a Wild Card playoff game on Saturday, Jan. 7.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
Good morning and Happy New Year! This is Playoff Watch 2017, the early buzz in NFL playoffs.
The fine folks of Detroit have some incredible football patience.
They waited out the promise of the Wayne Fontes era.
They stayed with general manager Matt Millen seemingly forever.
The great Barry Sanders just woke up and walked away one day.
Now, former Georgia standout Matt Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, has played eight seasons and doesn’t have a playoff win.
He’s posted a 51-58 record, has had just three winning seasons and been to one Pro Bowl.
He’s 0-2 in the playoffs and the locals have decided that it’s about time for Stafford to start delivering in meaningful games.
The No. 6 seed Lions (9-7) are set to play No. 3 seed Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1) in the NFC wildcard round on Saturday.
The Lions trailed in the fourth-quarter of 15 of their 16 regular-season games. Stafford rallied to victory eight times in those games.
It appears to be an uphill battle for Stafford, because Seattle has won nine straight home playoff games and he has an injured finger.
Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill was officially ruled out for Sunday’s AFC wild card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
Backup quarterback Matt Moore is set to start for the Dolphins, who are making their first playoff appearance since 2008.
Tannehill was unable to practice on Wednesday, but Dolphins head coach Adam Gase had held out hope that Tannehill could return from his knee injury this week.
Moore has been effective in relief of Tannehill, posting a 105.6 passer rating to Tannehill’s 93.5, and Moore is averaging 8.3 yards a pass to Tannehill’s 7.7.
Cowboys lose Randy Gregory for playoffs and next season. Gregory, who trained in Duluth
FILE: Former Nebraska standout defensive end Randy Gregory at the Fox Sports South studios recently. Look for Gregory’s weekly diary leading up to the NFL Draft, which is set for April 30 to May 2. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)
before the 2014 draft and was set to do a diary with the AJC, was suspended at least one year for another violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.
Gregory served a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season for his first substance abuse violation and served an additional 10-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy for a second time.
The Cowboys drafted Gregory with the 60th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Wildcard round betting favorites include Houston by 4 points over Oakland, Seattle by 8 points over Detroit, Pittsburgh by 10 over Miami and Green Bay by 4.5 over the New York Giants, according to Bovada.lv.
The NFL on CBS has wild card week action on Sunday, beginning with THE NFL TODAY (12 noon) and THAT OTHER PREGAME SHOW on CBS Sports Network (9 am-12 noon).
THE NFL ON CBS analysts break down some of Wild Card Week’s games:
Playoff Watch 2017 will appear Monday through Friday mornings.
SI.com breaks down the AFC Wild Card playoff matchup between the #3 Pittsburgh Steelers and the #6 Miami Dolphins.
RECAP OF THE ATLANTA FALCONS 2016 REGULAR SEASON
GAME 16: Falcons 38, Saints 32
5 things we learned from the Falcons win over the Saints
Falcons defense sags late but hangs on vs. Brees
Julio Jones says bye week will be ‘great for me’ with sore toe
GAME 15: Falcons 33, Panthers 16
5 things we learned from the Falcons win over the Panthers
NFL playoffs: Falcons clinch NFC South title
Third-and-21, no problem for Coleman
What Dan Quinn had to say after the win over the Panthers
GAME 14: Falcons 41, 49ers 13
5 things we learned from the Falcons’ win over the 49ers
What Matt Ryan had to say about the win over the 49ers
PHOTOS: Falcons win over the 49ers
GAME 13: Falcons 42, Rams 14
REPORT CARD: Falcons handled their business against woeful Rams
GAME 12: Chiefs 29, Falcons 28
5 things we learned from the Falcons’ loss to the Chiefs
Falcons still control their playoff destiny
PHOTOS: Falcons have a bad day at the office
Matt Ryan tormented by Berry’s big interceptions
Beasley becomes a double-digit sacker
GAME 11: Falcons 38, Cardinals 19
5 things we learned from the Falcons’ win over the Cardinals
MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons keep getting better as they go
Julio Jones gets calls this time
Taylor Gabriel continues scoring streak in win over Cardinals
Coleman scores TD in return from injury
Falcons’ offensive line ‘stepped up to the task’
GAME 10: Eagles 24, Falcons 15
5 things we learned from the Falcons’ loss to the Eagles
Ryan, offense slowed down to a crawl
Perkins stalls key drive with costly penalty
Defense gets blown of the line of scrimmage
Keanu Neal can expect fine but Falcons’ biggest issue is injuries (Trufant and Tamme)
Falcons go into bye week wrong way — beat up by Eagles
What Dan Quinn had to say after the loss to the Eagles
What Matt Ryan had to say after the loss to the Eagles
What the Falcons had to say after the loss to the Eagles
PHOTOS: Falcons fall to the Eagles
GAME NINE: Falcons 43, Buccaneers 28
5 things we learned from the Falcons’ rout of the Bucs
GAME EIGHT: Falcons 33, Packers 32
GAME SEVEN: Chargers 33, Falcons 30 in OT
5 things we learned from the Falcons loss to the Chargers
Dan Quinn’s gamble with house-money backfires
6 penalties ‘unacceptable’ for Falcons offensive line
Philip Rivers confounds Falcons with short passes: ‘He picked us apart’
Matt Ryan’s late-game interception leads to overtime loss
PHOTOS: Chargers rally to beat Falcons
GAME SIX: Seahawks 26, Falcons 24
5 things we learned from the Falcons loss to the Seahawks
MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons didn’t win, but they made one guy believe (me)
MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons got jobbed but did themselves proud
Matt Ryan’s turnovers were costly
What Dan Quinn had to say after the 26-24 loss to Seattle
Seattle slows down Falcons’ running backs Freeman, Coleman
Ryan Schraeder, offensive line rebounds in second half
Julio Jones: ‘It was just a missed call’
What the Falcons had to say after the 26-24 loss to Seattle
What Matt Ryan had to say after the 26-24 loss to Seattle
Richard Sherman non-commital on pass interference non-call
PHOTOS: Falcons at Seahawks in Seattle
GAME FIVE: Falcons 23, Broncos 16
5 things we learned from the Falcons upset of Super Bowl champs
MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons rock a rookie in the Rockies
What Dan Quinn have to say after the win over Denver
Coleman amassed 163 yards to power the offense
Vic Beasley has breakout game with 3.5 sacks
Kemal Ishmael moved to linebacker, led team in tackles
What the Falcons had to say after the win over the Broncos
Photos: Falcons battle the Broncos
GAME FOUR: Falcons 48, Panthers 33
5 things we learned from the Falcons’ 48-33 win over the Panthers
Tweetcap: Falcons 48, Panthers 33
Old pro Freeney shows new trick with Falcons
Falcons’ rookie Neal holds on vs. Olsen
What Julio Jones had to say after the 48-33 win over the Panthers
What Dan Quinn had to say after the 48-33 win over the Panthers
What Matt Ryan had to say after the 48-33 win over the Panthers
Alford battled; Collins to return
Early view in NFC South isn’t what most expected; Falcons on top
GAME THREE: Falcons 45, Saints 32
5 things we learned from the Falcons’ 45-32 win over the Saints
Falcons, Saints protest with unity circle before game
REPORT CARD: Falcons earned high marks for drubbing Saints
What Dan Quinn had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints
What Matt Ryan had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints
What the Falcons had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints
Keanu Neal makes strong debut for Falcons
Falcons’ Deion Jones runs for glory, not survival, in return home
AJC POWER RANKINGS: Falcons best in NFC South?
GAME TWO: Falcons 35, Raiders 28
5 things we learned from the Falcons’ win over the Raiders
Trufant’s heads-up play saves the day
Tight ends help to power offense
Weatherspoon plays strong in first start since 2013
Matthews, Schraeder held Mack sack-less
JEFF SCHULTZ: Falcons put on offensive show and win
What Matt Ryan had to say after beating the Raiders
What Dan Quinn had to say after the win over the Raiders
GAME ONE: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 24
5 things we learned from the Falcons’ loss to the Bucs
No sacks for new-look Falcons pass rush
Julio Jones not worried about his ankle injury
Falcons have a case of the “no-huddle” blues
REPORT CARD: Falcons can’t ‘gift’ opponents 17 points
FILM REVIEW: Beasley missing in action
AJC’S NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where are the Falcons?
Hageman charged is domestic violence case