NFL Numbers for the Boardroom: Wild Card Playoffs

As the name implies, Wild Card Weekend was wild.  The Carolina Panthers, a team with a losing record made history and moves on to the divisional round.  The Pittsburgh Steelers a consistent playoff contender was knocked out of the playoffs.  Of course the weekend would not be complete without a major controversy over a call.

This weekend the controversy was about a pass interference call, well non call, in the fourth quarter of the Detroit Lions versus Dallas Cowboys wild card game.  It was third-and-1.  Detroit Lions tight end, Brandon Pettigrew attempted to catch a pass from his quarterback, Matthew Stafford. A flag was thrown on Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens by NFL referee Pete Morelli.  Morelli announced that the penalty was pass interference, but later picked up the flag and changed the call to no penalty.  He explained in a report that a different angle showed that the contact did not warrant pass interference, but face guarding which is a penalty at the college level, but not at the professional level.  To exacerbate the situation, an image of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ son, Stephen Jones, partying with the NFL’s VP of Officiating Dean Blandino last summer began circulating.

Numbers for the boardroom


The Carolina Panthers defense held the Arizona Cardinals to 77 yards and set an NFL record for fewest yards allowed in a postseason game.  They defeated the Cardinals, 27 – 16.  This is the first playoff win for Panthers’ quarterback, Cam Newton since he was drafted in 2011.


Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sacked five times by the Baltimore Ravens defense.  The Ravens dominated the the NFL’s second-ranked offense and won 30-17.


Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw for 376 yards and one touchdown in the Colts’ 26-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.


The Cincinnati Bengals became the first team in NFL history to lose four consecutive opening-round playoff games.


Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo took the Cowboys 59 yards in 11 plays to get the winning touchdown against the Detroit Lions.  The final score was 24-20.  Ironically, the last time that the Lions won a playoff game was against the Cowboys in 1991.

You know the wild card weekend controversy.  If you are a Lions fans roar that the contact from Anthony Hitchens was clear and you should have had a first down. If you are part of Cowboys Nation explain that Brandon Pettigrew slowed down and he and Hitchens collided. You can add that Pettigrew grabbed Hitchens face mask and that penalty was not caused.

No matter what your view is, the call, non-call happened at 8:25 in the fourth quarter. A lot of football was played before and there was still a lot to be played.

The 2014 NFL Playoff schedule is here.

Get in the game!

Posted on January 5, 2015 at 1:03 pm

Written by

Shavannia Williams

Shavannia is the founder of Heels & Helmets and editor of its e-magazine, She also writes the football column, Gridiron, for the e-magazine. A sports marketing professional with over 13 years of experience, Ms. Williams has worked with the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, and WNBA. As the owner of a marketing firm, Shavannia’s client roster includes: DC Women’s Business Center, NFL Players and United Way NFL Partnership. Her love for football began at The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where she worked for Michigan Football and received her B.A. in Sport Management and Communication. She is excited to bring talented women together to provide a resource to help other ladies “join the conversation at the office” and enhance their business relationships. Follow her on twitter @MzGridiron.
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