Sat, Jun 5
Cincinnati Bengals (9-6) at Houston Texans (12-4) Winner: Houston Texans
The Texans lost their chance at a 1st round bye and now are hosting a wildcard game. The Texans are coming into the playoffs with a 2 game losing streak and they better wake up fast. Matt Schaub has to have a big game and get the ball to Andre Johnson and the Texans need another player to step up and help Schaub in the passing game. Arian Foster has to have a big game and take pressure off of Schaub. The Texans defense will have to shut down AJ Green and put pressure on Andy Dalton. The Bengals have now reached the playoffs in back to back seasons and Andy Dalton will need to take care of the ball and get the ball to AJ Green. The Bengals offensive line has to project Dalton and keep JJ Watt from making any plays on their quarterback. The Bengals defense has to shut down Arian Foster and Andre Johnson and force Schaub to beat them with somebody else.
Minnesota Vikings (10-6) at Green Bay Packers (11-5) Winner: Green Bay Packers
These 2 NFC North divisional rivals split the series and both teams won in their home fields. Aaron Rodgers has to take care of the ball and avoid the Vikings pass rush and get the ball to his playmakers Greg Jennings, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, and James Jones. The Packers defense has to shut down Adrian Peterson and not allow him to have a big game. The Packers defense has to let Christian Ponder, who is making his 1st career start in a playoff game to beat them. The Vikings has to give AP the ball and let him carry them to victory. Ponder has to take care of the ball and not make any crucial mistakes and avoid pressure from Clay Matthews. The Vikings defense has to put pressure on Rodgers and slow down their explosive offense.
Sun, Jan 5
Indianapolis Colts (11-5) at Baltimore Ravens (10-6) Winner: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have been the surprise team to the season, and will make a statement to the world that they are for real when rookie quarterback Andrew Luck leads his team to Baltimore. And with Colts head coach Chuck Pagano back, its hard to bet against them. Luck has to have a big game and get the ball to Reggie Wayne and TY Hilton. The Colts are young and explosive on offense and has to take advantage of the old and injured Ravens defense. The Colts defense has to shut down Ray Rice and force Joe Flacco to beat them. This can be Rey Lewis’s last game of his career and the Ravens defense should play inspired football. The Ravens has offense has to get Ray Rice the ball and let him break down the Colts defense. Flacco has to have a big game, he does play inconsistent and the Ravens will need him to take the next step and carry them thru the playoffs. The Ravens defense has to shut down the Colts receivers and put pressure on rookie quarterback Andrew Luck.
Seattle Seahawks (11-5) at Washington Redskins (10-6) Winner: Seattle Seahawks
The battle of 2 rookie quarterbacks, Robert Griffin and Russell Wilson. This is going to a great game. Russell Wilson has been playing great taking care of the ball and making plays with both his arm and legs. Marshawn Lynch has to have a big game and break down the Redskins defense and take pressure off of Wilson. The Seahawks defense has been playing lights out and will have to shut down the Redskins ground game with Alfred Morris and RG3 and force RG3 to beat them with his arm. The Redskins have been on fire and have won 7 straight games, and will need to have a big game from their rookie quarterback RG3. Rookie running back Alfred Morris will have to have a big game and take pressure off of RG3 and break down the Seahawks defense. The Redskins defense will have to match the Seahawks dominate defense and shut down Lynch and force Wilson to beat them with his arm. This game will come down to who’s defense is playing better and which rookie quarterback is playing better. It will be interesting to see RG3 against the Seahawks defense.