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Dublin: -2 °C Sunday 22 January, 2017
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Hello and welcome to our coverage of tonight’s NFL Wild Card games.

It all starts with the Raiders travelling to the Texans at 9.35pm before Detroit attempt a massive upset in Seattle at 1.35am.

And we’ll be here right through to stupid o’clock tomorrow morning.

More importantly though, who have you got tonight and why?

Let me know in the comments section below.

Just like me, Derek Carr will be watching this game in Dublin…. albeit a slightly warmer one I bet:

The Raiders kick off to the Texans to get this season’s playoffs under way.

After a couple of nice plays from the Texans, the Raiders force a punt with a fair catch inside their own ten.

Connor Cook will make his first ever NFL start.

And the Raiders go three and out on their first series.

This could be a long night.

Field Goal – Texans 3-0 Raiders

Houston send out Nick Novack from 50 yards and his field goal is good.

We’ve the first turnover of the day as Clowney makes a circus catch to give the Texans brilliant field position.

The play-calling from the Raiders has been awful so far.

TOUCHDOWN – Texans 10-0 Raiders

Lamar Miller has the game’s first touchdown as Houston takes advantage of the turnover to spring out into an early lead.

TOUCHDOWN – TEXANS 10-7 RAIDERS

Oakland take advantage of great field position and turn to their run game.

Latavius Murray brings it in for the score:

Field Goal – Texans 13-7 Raiders

Houston with a nice drive there. They started inside their own 5-yard-line but made it all the way into the Oakland redzone for the the three points.

It’s the first time this season they’ve scored on a drive that started inside their own 10-yard-line.

We’ve seen more of the injured JJ Watt in this game than any player on the field.

Conor Cook has not been good.

Here, he threw the ball at the player in red with not a Raider in sight.

TOUCHDOWN – Texans 20-7 Raiders

Two absolutely beautiful throws gives Houston 20 points in the first half — this is an offence that normally scores 17 — and that might just be that for this first game.

Raiders will have about a minute left in the first half but it’s not looking good.

HALF – Texans 20-7 Raiders

That wasn’t a pretty half of football by any means.

Oakland will get the ball to start the second half but with two more injuries to important players already tonight — Bruce Irvin and Rodney Hudson — it doesn’t look like it will be their night.

I’m off to have a little cry.

And if you were thinking the Raiders might get back into it, it is only two touchdowns afterall, well:

I’d love to give you an update, we’re half-way through the third quarter but nothing has happened.

The Texans are settling for this lead and the Raiders can’t punish them with Connor Cook.

I’m still here. There’s just nothing to write about. The teams combined for just two first downs between in them in that quarter.

The fourth quarter will be under way shortly.

TOUCHDOWN – Texans 27-7 Houston

Goal line bootleg from the Texans works and Brock Osweiler walks into the endzone for their third offensive touchdown of the game.

And that is definitely goodnight for the Raiders.

TOUCHDOWN – Texans 27-14 Raiders

Quite a nice drive from Connor Cook — though the Texans’ coverage is quite soft — and he finds Andre Holmes for a score.

Holmes is only out there because Michael Crabtree is being evaluated for a concussion.

The Raiders were driving again — and giving me just a smidgen of hope — put a tipped pass is intercepted and, with four minutes left, that’s the ball game.

FT – Texans 27-14 Oakland

The game ends with another Connor Cook interception and it’s Houston that advances to the AFC Divisional Round where they’ll play the Patriots (unless the Dolphins upset the Steelers tomorrow).

A disappointing end to the Oakland Raiders’ season but, after years of being the laughing stock of the NFL, it’s something to build on.

It’s fair to say the next game we see in Houston’s NRG Stadium will be much better.

Unless, of course, the Texans reach the Super Bowl!

Right, I’m off for another coffee but I’ll be back with coverage of the Lions @ Seahawks in 20 minutes.

Second game is under way. The Lions get the opening possession but go three-and-out after a couple of miscommunications on offence which tells you how loud it is in Seattle tonight.

And it’s three and out from the Seahawks too.

Buckle up folks, we could be in for a long night.

That’s the end of the first quarter and it’s fair to say these two are just feeling each other out without much in the way of actual football being played.

Matthew Stafford’s finger looks okay. The Seattle o-line — their biggest weakness — does not.

The Lions decide to go for it on fourth-and-one from the Seattle 38 but the play call is poor and Matthew Mulligan comes up short of the line of scrimmage and we have a turnover on downs.

See, odd choice of play call:

TOUCHDOWN – Seahawks 7-0 Lions

On fourth-and-goal from the Lions’ two-yard-line, Seattle throw the football and somehow score a touchdown.

It was a terrible throw from Russell Wilson, but look at this catch from Paul Richardson

Field Goal – Seahawks 10-0 Lions

The a few missed tackles from the Lions defence puts Seattle in field goal range and Steven Hauschka duly obliges to give his side a 10-0 lead.

Detroit really need to score on their next drive with just two minutes left in the quarter.

Field Goal – Seahawks 10-3 Lions

The Lions are finally on the board as the first half draws to a close as Matt Prater nails a 51-yard field goal.

HALF-TIME – Seahawks 10-3 Lions

And that’s the half. With the exception of that one Seattle drive, there hasn’t been much in the way of offence in this one so far. Still, we knew this would be a low-scoring affair and that’s what we’ve got.

I’m off to look at Richardson’s catch again… and make one final coffee.

I picked the Lions to win this game (for a lot of the reasons the Seahawks only have 10 points so far) but this statistic worries me:

The Seahawks start the second half with a bit of a splutter but they do force the Lions inside their own five-yard-line with a brilliant punt.

Field Goal – Seahawks 10-6 Lions

No, I haven’t fallen asleep, there’s just not a huge amount going on right now.

This quarter is zipping along though and, on just the second drive of it, there are only about three minutes left.

The Lions don’t get a flag on a third-and-two and have to settle for a field goal which Prater nails.

Thomas Rawls is going off on one tonight:

Of course, it helps when your QB sprints 30 yards downfield to throw a block for you:

Field Goal – Seahawks 13-6 Lions

Steven Hauschka restores the home side’s seven-point lead as we enter the fourth quarter.

TOUCHDOWN – Seahawks 19-6 Lions

That might be that with eight minutes left as Thomas Rawls caps off an eight play, 80 yard driver for the score. The point after is missed, however.

We shouldn’t be surprised the point-after was missed:

TOUCHDOWN – Seahawks 26-6 Lions

After a couple of generous calls earlier in the drive, the Seahawks extend their lead to 20 points with a Doug Baldwin touchdown.

If #89 didn’t make the grab, Jermaine Kearse would have been right there to score.

Full Time – Seahawks 26-6 Lions

And that’s it, the Seahawks advance to the divisional round as the Lions’ streak of playoff losses extends to nine.

That’s it for me too. Thanks, as always, for following our coverage and we’ll be back again in 14 hours time for the final two games of the weekend.

Good night (or is it good morning?!)

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