Winning apps for the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl

The buffalo wings and pizza are on the way. Your favorite microbrew is chilling in the fridge. The TV is tuned in to the big game. Everything’s ready. Or is it?

Don’t forget the apps! There are actually plenty that will enhance your playoff and Super Bowl viewing experience, as well as providing a bit of pregame fun. Here are a few that we recommend. All are free and available for iOS and Android.

Madden NFL 25. Don’t be a Monday-morning quarterback. Play the game yourself before the real-world kickoff and see if you can coach your favorite team as well as Jim Harbaugh or Bill Belichick can. The mobile version isn’t as complex as the console game, but it’s still fun. The NFL also has a game simulator, but your play is interrupted by video commercials too often.

Beer Citizen. Remember to do your pregame prep. As noted above, the right brew is critical to game viewing. Consumer Reports recommends 11 craft beers, and we tell you where they stand as far as floral, honey, fruity, and other notes. If you want to add a few more unusual types to your list, let Beer Citizen help. Browse by beer style or by country of origin. Then learn what other brew-sters think of each beer’s appearance, scent, taste, and mouth-feel. Drink up!

Food Network In the Kitchen. Ah, the art of the tailgate. Whether your party is at home or in the parking lot, it’s all about the food. Download this app, and do a search of the recipes for “football.” Then get started on Guy Fieri’s Lime Chicken Tequila Tailgate, Tyler Florence’s potato salad, and the Spicy Cheddar Cheese Football. Once you’ve planned your menu, take a look at Consumer Reports’ Food & Drink Guide, where we’ve rated store-bought guacamole, chicken wings, dips, and more.

NFL Mobile. Check this one out before the games begin. NFL Mobile is full of news, analysis, and plenty of video. You can also let the app know your favorite teams, so you get all the latest on what’s going on in one place.

NFL Connect. Another app from the football league, this one combines social networking and games. Pit yourself against your friends in a sort of football bingo game. You choose from among 16 tiles, each representing an event in the game, and try to get four to happen in a row. Meanwhile, you can view the game in GameCast, and follow along with various social media.

Yahoo Sports. Slice and dice your stats with Yahoo’s Sports app. Select a game, then look at stats for star players, suchg as passing and rushing yards, receptions, and sacks. You can also check out a map of who favors what team. The Super Bowl’s being played in New Jersey, but that state has no team in contention. So far, Garden State residents favor Denver over New England and Seattle over San Francisco. Just in case you were wondering.

Finally, remember the most crucial component of great football viewing—your TV. If you’re in the market for a new one, be sure to check our Ratings before you buy. And check the discussion on Yabbly about whether size matters when it comes to buying a TV.

Donna Tapellini

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