Domata Peko, Kyle Cook and the Bengals posted a valiant effort, but the Texans bested Cincinnati, 19-13, on Saturday. Cook started at center, while Peko started at defensive tackle, racking up three tackles and one assist. “No one is ready to go home to the offseason. It’s very disappointing; very disappointing,” Peko told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “One thing I can tell you is we had guys that played their hearts out.” The veteran defensive tackle remained optimistic after the game, pointing out the team’s promising youth. “We have a good solid foundation of guys here in this organization. We have young guys that are great players. All the keys to the puzzle are here,” Peko stated. “We have to keep getting better. We made the playoffs twice in a row. That’s a great step for this organization. We look forward to getting farther next year.”
For Houston, Keshawn Martin returned two punts for 14 yards. The versatile rookie and the Texans will be moving on to face the Patriots next Sunday at 4:30.
Colts backup quarterback Drew Stanton did not play in the team’s 24-9 loss to the Ravens. Baltimore will advance to play Kevin Vickerson and the Broncos next Saturday at 4:30. (During Vickerson’s bye week, Tom Kensler of The Denver Post conducted a question and answer session with the talented defensive tackle, focusing on topics such as overcoming adversity, Vickerson’s stellar season and the playoffs. The full article on the Detroit native can be found here: http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_22318883/broncos-q-amp-defensive-tackle-kevin-vickerson)
While the Packers crushed the Christian Ponder-less Vikings, 24-10, defensive tackle Jerel Worthy watched from the sidelines. Worthy suffered a season-ending knee injury last week against Minnesota in the last week of the regular season. In 14 games (including two starts), the rookie notched 14 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Worthy saw the third-most number of snaps among Green Bay defensive linemen. The Packers will play the 49ers next Saturday at 8.
San Francisco rookies Garrett Celek and Trenton Robinson had the chance to rest a bit this week, as the 49ers enjoyed a bye week. They will play Green Bay on Saturday. Taylor Price of 49ers.com wrote an interesting piece on Celek, who has “become a valued contributor” on the San Francisco roster. The tight end is ready to take part in his first playoff game next week. “It’s definitely exciting. This week I’m trying to be super-focused. I need to know every position, make sure I have everything down. Whatever they need me for, I want them to be able to count on me.” The full feature on Celek’s outstanding journey can be found here: http://www.49ers.com/news/article-2/Garrett-Celek-Catching-On/5f22f36b-d1c2-4d1d-a08c-d85c06ffe3d6
The Redskins started out hot against Seattle, but the Seahawks scored 24 unanswered points to give the Pete Carroll-led Seahawks a 24-14 triumph. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was called on to relieve an injured Robert Griffin III in the fourth quarter. But by that point, it was too late, as Cousins could not overcome the ten point deficit. The rookie completed three of ten passes for 31 yards, with his longest completion being 15 yards. The failure to spark a comeback can hardly be pinned solely on Cousins, as Washington’s receivers dropped three of his passes. Before the game, Dan Granziano of ESPN.com wrote an interesting article about the rookie. The full piece can be found here: http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/47858/the-curious-case-of-kirk-cousins