Playoff Time is here once again. Unfortunately this means Dolphins football is over, but as a football fan in general there are some great match ups ahead.
Cincinnati @ Houston:
Saturdays game between the Bengals and Texans should be a good match up, but that may be something Houston should fear.
After the Bengals loss to the Dolphins most pundits had them failing for the the rest of the season and they started to losing 2 more in a row before their bye. A.J. Green could not get open like he had in the past and Andy Dalton looked like an average quarterback. 3-4 at the bye week had the Bengals in a tough position. Whatever happened during their bye week went very right. since week 8 the Bengals are 7-2 with 1 of those losses they should have never allowed to Dallas. Dalton has thrown for 3600+ yards and Green finished with 1350 yards and 11 touchdowns. Cincinnati is back in playoff shape and ready to show it.
The Texans have taken a different approach to finish their season. A team predicted to be in the Superbowl since the preseason, are falling apart. 11-1 to start the season they were embarrassed by the Patriots in New England and seem to have never rebounded. Initially they came back with a nice win against the Colts but finished the season losing to the Vikings and Colts in poor fashion. Both of those teams are obviously playoff teams, but the Texans were supposed to be unbeatable.
Houston will take the advantage of being home because this is their last foreseeable chance to play at home after slipping to the 3 seed week 17. Right now Houston is a 4.5 point favorite which is mostly just home field advantage. If J.J Watt can interrupt Andy Dalton and anybody can slow down A.J. Green then Houston should command the game. The Bengals need to focus on Arian Foster. If they can take him out of the game Houston’s offense becomes one dimensional.
Indianapolis @ Baltimore:
Sunday afternoon’s match up is young versus old. Andrew Luck is looking to put his stamp on the NFL while Ray Lewis looks to add to his legacy before leaving it all behind.
The Colts have been a tough team to gauge throughout the season. They did a great job finishing at 11-5 after last seasons debacle, but they are a last minute team. Luck has not been statistically as great as most people believe, but he is rock solid at the end of the game. If the Colts are down late Luck can not be counted out. He always seems to find a way to pull it out. After an impressive win over Houston to finish the season Indy should have some momentum moving forward.
The Ravens have gotten very old as the season has progressed. They have also been decimated by injuries. The defense is not what it once was and most teams are moving the ball consistently easy against them. Joe Flacco is confusing when he looks like an elite QB at times and then goes quiet at others. Torrey Smith had a somewhat quiet season but is a scary deep threat.
A week ago saying this would be a fairly easy win for Indy would be understandable, but once again Ray Lewis has changed that. Love him or hate him, nobody can rev a team up the way Lewis does. If he truly plans on retiring after this season then Baltimore owes him everything in their power to win this. The Ravens are favored by 6.5 and Baltimore is a tough place to go into and win. The Ravens play well at home and are a tough physical team. The Colts have been the comeback team of the year by leaps and bounds but their Luck may have run out.