The #NFL on Twitter: divisional round recap

By ‎@brianpoliakoff‎
Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The #NFL divisional playoff weekend on Twitter featured a high volume of conversation around the instant classics in New England and Green Bay, the convincing victory by the defending champion @Seahawks and the @Colts big upset in Denver.

#DALvsGB

The most-Tweeted-about game from the divisional playoff weekend was the @packers 26-21 win over the @dallascowboys. Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) battled through a calf injury to throw for 317 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.

The Packers struck first when Rodgers found tight end Andrew Quarles for a four-yard TD with 8:30 left in the first quarter.

Tony Romo and the Cowboys marched back on the next drive and tied it up at 7 when fullback Tyler Clutts (@TylerClutts44) caught his first TD of the season. Dallas then took a 14-7 lead on a 38-yard TD pass from Romo to Terrance Williams (@TerranceWill2).


After Green Bay connected on a pair field goals, Dallas answered with a long drive that ended with a DeMarco Murray (@DeMarcoMurray) one-yard TD run to put the Cowboys up 21-13 with 4:12 left in the third quarter.

Green Bay answered with a 46-yard Rodgers TD pass to rookie WR Davante Adams (@tae15adams) on a third down and 15 with under two minutes left in the third quarter to cut the Dallas lead to 21-20. The Packers took a 26-21 lead after Rodgers found rookie tight end Richard Rodgers for a TD with 9:10 left in the game.

But Dallas stormed back on the next drive and thought they were close to scoring but a big-time catch by Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) was overturned on replay. And the play was the talk of Twitter.

NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino and @FOXSports rules analyst Mike Pereira confirmed the call was the right one.


The @Lions felt the Cowboys’ pain:

Despite the rule, many felt the call was pretty controversial:


Bryant shared his feelings on Twitter after the game:

Well-known Green Bay fans celebrated as well on Twitter:


The Packers went on to convert two big third downs en route to winding the clock down for the victory. The Packers will travel to Seattle to play the @Seahawks in the NFC Championship next week.

The Cowboys and players also thanked fans for a great season.



#BALvsNE

Another thriller played out on Saturday night when the New England @Patriots defeated the Baltimore @Ravens 35-31. New England overcame two deficits of 14 points to reach their fourth consecutive AFC Championship.

The @Ravens got off to an early 14-0 lead thanks to two long drives that ended in Joe Flacco (@TeamFlacco) TD passes.

But Tom Brady and the @Patriots came back to tie it up at 14 with 3:37 left in the first half. Check out Brady’s TD run and celebration after New England’s first score of the game:

The Ravens scored the next 14 to go up 28-14, but Brady and the @Patriots stormed back and tied it up at 28 on this amazing trick play that saw wide receiver Julian Edelman (@JulianEdelman11) throw a perfect 51-yard TD pass to Danny Amendola (@DannyAmendola).

Brady found Brandon Lafell (@Blafell1) for the winning score with 5:13 left in the game. Brady became the all-time @NFL leader in postseason passing TDs with 46 on the play.

The Ravens had a chance to take the lead but Patriots safety Duron Harmon (@dharm32) intercepted a Flacco pass in the end zone with just 1:39 left in the game.


Patriots players turned to Twitter to celebrate the win:



The Pats will host the @Colts next Sunday in the AFC Championship.

The @Ravens thanked fans for a great season:

And so did some of their top players:


#INDvsDEN

Andrew Luck and the @Colts came out with the only upset of the weekend, as Indy defeated Peyton Manning and the @Broncos 24-13.


The Broncos took a 7-0 lead on their first drive of the game when Peyton Manning connected with Demaryius Thomas (@DemaryiusT) on a one-yard TD pass.

Andrew Luck and the @Colts tied it up at 7 after a long drive that featured two passes of 20+ yards to T.Y. Hilton (@TYHilton13) and ended with a six-yard TD run by running back Daniel Herron (@BOOMHERRON1). Luck later found Dwayne Allen for a three-yard TD and a 14-7 lead. And Hakeem Nicks (@hakeemnicks) caught a 15-yard TD pass from Luck in the third quarter to give Indy a 21-10 lead.


Indy never lost the lead again en route to their 24-13 upset win in Denver. Colts players thanked their fans after the game:



Denver players also sent their appreciation to fans for a great season:



#CARvsSEA

The underdog @Panthers traveled to the defending @SuperBowl champion Seattle @Seahawks and lost a tough battle 31-17.


Seattle got on the board first when QB Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) found Doug Baldwin (@DougBaldwinJr) for a beauty of a 16-yard TD pass with 56 seconds left in the first quarter. And the Panthers tied it up at 7 when quarterback Cam Newton (@CameronNewton) found rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin (@kelvinbenjamin) for a seven-yard TD with under eight minutes left in the first half.


But Seattle answered right back with a 63-yard TD pass from Wilson to Jermaine Kearse (@chopchop_15).

While the Panthers cut Seattle’s lead to 14-10 at the half with a late field goal, Twitter was abuzz with the leaping ability of Kam Chancellor (@Kam_Chancellor) on the field goal block attempt.



Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch (@MoneyLynch) had another one of his staple #BeastMode runs in the third quarter.

A double Wilson connection helped put Seattle up 24-10 with under 11 minutes left in the game when Luke Willson (@LWillson_82) caught and ran for a 25-yard TD.

And who else but @Kam_Chancellor helped put the game away when he intercepted a Cam Newton pass and returned it 89 yards for a TD with just under six minutes left in the game.


Players from the winning team thanked teammates and fans after the game:



As did head coach Pete Carroll:

Some @Panthers thanked their fans as well after a tough end to the season:



Coaching carousel

The playoffs also are a time when teams make decisions on their coaches. The @buffalobills hired former @NYJets coach Rex Ryan as their new coach and announced it on Twitter Sunday night:


And just a day after a tough playoff exit, the @Broncos and head coach John Fox decided to part ways.


Most-mentioned #NFL players and teams

Here are the top five most-mentioned #NFL players (player name and/or player Twitter handle) on Twitter during the Divisional Playoff weekend (Saturday, Jan. 10 to Sunday, Jan. 11):

  1. Dez Bryant (@DezBryant)
  2. Tom Brady
  3. Peyton Manning
  4. Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12)
  5. Kameron Chancellor (@Kam_Chancellor)

Here are the top five most-mentioned team accounts on Twitter during the Divisional Playoff weekend (Saturday, Jan. 10 to Sunday, Jan. 11):

  1. Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys)
  2. New England Patriots (@Patriots)
  3. Green Bay Packers (@Packers)
  4. Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens)
  5. Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks)

Click on the image below to explore this data visualization that features the most-mentioned players and teams (and related Tweets) from the divisional playoff weekend.

The #NFL on Twitter: divisional round recap

Most-Tweeted games and moments

Here are the most-tweeted games during and around live telecasts from the divisional playoff weekend based on number of Tweets, as measured by Nielsen Social (@NielsenSocial).

  1. @dallascowboys vs. @Packers (FOX)
  2. @Ravens vs. @Patriots (NBC)
  3. @Colts vs. @Broncos (CBS)
  4. @Panthers vs. @Seahawks (FOX)

And here are the moments that sparked the top Tweets per minute (TPM) peaks during live televised games, as measured by Nielsen Social (@NielsenSocial).

  1. End of game: @packers defeat the @dallascowboys 26-21
  2. Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) 31 yard catch from Tony Romo on fourth and two with under five minutes left in the game is challenged by Green Bay and reversed, giving the ball to the @packers (see no. 4).
  3. @Patriots safety Duron Harmon (@dharm32) intercepts a Joe Flacco (@TeamFlacco) pass in the end zone with just 1:39 left in the game.
  4. Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) 31 yard catch from Tony Romo on fourth and two brings Dallas to the Green Bay one yard line with under five minutes left in the game. (Play was later reversed on a challenge; see no.2)
  5. End of game: @Patriots defeat the @Ravens 35-31

See more here from @NielsenSocial on the reach of Twitter activity around this past week’s #NFL games.

Come back next Tuesday as we recap how the #NFL Conference Championships played out on Twitter.