Carolina Panthers vs Atlanta Falcons – live!

Carolina Panthers 3-0 Atlanta Falcons 4:57, 1st quarter

That’s more like it! Matt Ryan nearly throws a pick: this is the kind of ineptitude we expect from the NFC South. Falcons punt and the Panthers take the fair catch on, oooh, their own 13.

Carolina Panthers 3-0 Atlanta Falcons 6:19, 1st quarter

Matt Ryan starts at the 20. Rather disappointing that the first drive of a travesty of a playoff decider actually resulted in points. A field goal, but still points. Anyway, Roddy White picks up two receptions and we’re on the Carolina 45.

On 3rd and 9, Cam powers forward but is a yard short of moving the chains. The short field goal is good.

Carolina Panthers 0-0 Atlanta Falcons 8:50, 1st quarter

Newton is showing no after-effects from that car crash - he sustained back fractures in the accident - and picks up 20 yards with his feet. Meanwhile, some people aren’t that impressed with Geno’s perfect day.
We’re on the Atlanta 10 now

@tom_lutz Less of the Geno was great today- Miami secondary took the day off. Jets need a QB like I need a life

Carolina Panthers 0-0 Atlanta Falcons 15:00, 1st quarter

And we’re off in our featured game. The Panthers start at the 20 and they get off to a zingy opening with an 18-yard throw to Greg Olsen. He only needs one more yard to bring up 1,000 yards for the season. And next play he goes to 1,007 with an eight-yard reception. A Stewart run takes the ball – and Stewart, come to think of it – to the Carolina 47.

An email! “Of course Geno played brilliantly today,” writes Rob Coster. “It gives Jets fans just enough hope that things will be different next season before he throws nine interceptions in his first game of 2015. And the Jets go 2-14. And still miss the first pick in the Draft.” In more Jets news, Woody Johnson was asked about Rex’s future after the game. “Today’s all about the players,” he replied. Which is owner speak for “I feel a firing coming on”.

And the Ravens are in the playoffs after they beat the Browns and the Chiefs beat the Chargers.

Playoffs here we come.

Rex Ryan is looking very chipper on the sidelines at the Dolphins, they’re heading to a 37-24 win over the Dolphins. It’s fairly obvious the players want Rex to stay - I think Woody Johnson would be making a big mistake to sack him. Geno Smith, meanwhile, has shown that he can pull off big games at quarterback. Admittedly in meaningless games.

Right. The Titans have lost to the Colts. They’re now guaranteed the No1 pick next year. The Bucks also tank... failed to beat the Saints and with have the second pick. The Colts will move up to third seed in the AFC in the unlikely event the Steelers and Bengals tie this evening.

Talking of people getting sacked, Justin Houston and JJ Watt both have three sacks today - meaning Houston is on course to lead the league this season with [does complex maths] 21. Watt is due to end with [does even harder maths involving fractions] 20.5.

So, what’s happening so far on the final day of the playoffs. Well:

1) The Patriots (a weakened, we’ve rested everyone Patriots, mind) lost to the Bills. They had already secured the top seed in the AFC though.

Hello! And welcome to live coverage of two bad teams battling it out to see who can pass themselves off as a good team. Neither team can end the season with a record above .500 but a victory will send the winner to a home playoff game. Where they will be destroyed.

So, who will triumph? Well, despite the Falcons’ struggles this season, Matt Ryan has been in good form with 28 touchdowns against 12 interceptions this season. His team also looked good while beating the Saints last week. Then again, that’s the same Saints who are currently being handed a beating by the shambling shambles that are the Bucs.

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