PLAYOFF WATCH 2017: Can Jadeveon Clowney slay Tom Brady?

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Oakland Raiders lines up against the Oakland Raiders during the first half of their AFC Wild Card game at NRG Stadium on January 7, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TX – JANUARY 07: Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Oakland Raiders lines up against the Oakland Raiders during the first half of their AFC Wild Card game at NRG Stadium on January 7, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Good morning! This is Playoff Watch 2017, the early buzz on NFL playoffs.

Houston, a 16-point underdog according to bovada.lv, is the largest playoff underdog in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Few are giving them a chance to pull off the upset of quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

But could third-year defensive end Jadeveon Clowney lead a massive insurrection and shock the football world?

Clowney, the former South Carolina standout who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft, had a breakthrough season and was picked for his first Pro Bowl.

With J.J. Watt’s season cut short because of back surgery after three games, Clowney’s play has been vital to the Texans’ defense remaining top-notch.

He had 16 tackles for losses, six sacks and 17 quarterback hits in the regular season. Clowney will need to make more than few spectacular plays to help the Texans.

He had a dynamic interception against Oakland in the wild-card round.

Clowney’s play and a Raiders penalty left the Texans with the ball on the 4-yard line. Houston scored on the next play to take a 10-0 lead and went on to a 27-14 victory.

“That interception that was a really instinctive play … the back came at him,
Houston coach Bill O’Brien told the Associated Press. “He understood what was coming at him. He saw the quarterback through the back. He basically backpedaled to get in the throwing lane, tipped the ball to himself. He did several things on that play to really change the game at that point.”

The Raiders were playing with Connor Cook at quarterback and he was making his first NFL start.

The seasoned Brady won’t likely tip off his throws.

Last season, Clowney had two sacks against New England.

“You’ve got to get after him … we’ve got to go in there and execute the game plan and force him into some bad throws, some turnovers and try to get him where we want him,” Clowney said.

Terry Bradshaw admits: I shouldn’t have called Mike Tomlin a cheerleader, according to the Sporting News. 

Pittsburgh linebacker Bud Dupree was fined for his hit on Miami quarterback Matt Moore. Both the NFL and the NFLPA are investigating the handling of the concussion protocol the Dolphins used. Moore missed only one play and was re-inserted in the game.  Dupree, who played at Wilkinson County and Kentucky in college, is part of the slew of players from Georgia still alive in the playoffs. 

Here’s your full divisional round injury report.    Seattle running back C.J. Prosise returned to practice from a broken clavicle and could play against the Falcons. Green Bay wide receiver Jordy Nelson (ribs) did not practice.

Playoff Watch 2017 will appear Monday through Friday mornings.

SI.com breaks down the AFC Divisional playoff matchup between the Houston Texans and the New England Patriots.

ATLANTA FALCONS REGULAR SEASON RECAP

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

 



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