Compelling matchups in first round

If Mike Martz lets him, Marshall Faulk could be the key for the Rams in the first round of the playoffs.

Originally Published: January 7, 2005
By Joe Theismann | ESPN Insider
As the playoffs begin this weekend, remember that last year's playoffs were the reason the NFL placed a new emphasis on the five-yard chuck rule this season. Officials focused more this year on illegal contact from defensive backs.

After a regular season with the new emphasis, I'm curious to see how officials will call the rule in the playoffs.

NFL officials have done a good job this season of being consistent with their calls. I wonder how much of a factor the new emphasis will be in the playoffs. In the past, officials have allowed more contact and let players play more in the postseason.

Joe Theismann

Football analyst
Former college and pro football star Joe Theismann has served as an analyst for ESPN's Sunday Night Football since 1988. He also is frequently heard on ESPN Radio, regularly contributes to and has contributed to the NFL Draft.