As I said in my last post: Welcome to Playoff football. The time of year where upsets make history and true champions show their colors.
Minnesota @ Green Bay:
Didn’t we just see this game? This past weekend most of the country watched the Packers at the Vikings to see if Adrian Peterson could accomplish what no running back has been able to do since Eric Dickerson. Sadly, we did not get to see a new record, but in the process we did get to see a great game.
Minnesota was also playing for the chance to be in the playoffs. This game had a lot riding on it for the Vikings. Whether or not he is chasing a record doesn’t necessarily change the Vikings game plan. Let’s not pretend they are a pass first team with Christian Ponder taking the snaps. We all know what is coming before the Vikings snap the ball, and you know what this means for a defense? NOTHING because they still can’t stop Peterson.
Green Bay does not look like a team that almost went undefeated last season. Much like the Ravens, they have had some serious injury issues. Jordy Nelson has been consistently injured for the latter part of the season and Greg Jennings is only just now coming back into the Packers stride. What makes the Pack different this season is their defense. They finally have a chance to win a game without scoring 50 points. Clay Matthews is a beast end of story, A.J. Hawk has had another great season, and as a team they are playing well.
After watching this past weekend we should already know what the game should look like. Except for that one minor detail of….ya know playing at Lambeau which can cause any team to lose in January. Game time temperature looks to only be about 20* but somehow it is always colder there. Minnesota should be comfortable with cold weather but the atmosphere in general can be intimidating. Green Bay has a secret weapon who is not named Rogers, and that is Randall Cobb. He wasn’t supposed to be much of an impact until next season but he has been awesome so far. A go to receiver each time Aaron Rogers needs an open man, and also elusive on returns.
If the Packers somehow manage to control Peterson then the game is over. Minnesota cannot win without another great AP game. Conversely if the Vikings can stop Aaron Rogers from throwing all over them then they might be able to pull out the win. The Vikings may have shown all they have to give last weekend and the Packers may have been holding back.
Seattle @ Washington:
Ok let’s pretend it is August 2012 and we are all amped up to start the season. Now I tell you that the most interesting game on Wild Card weekend will be Seattle & Washington…Commence laughter. Alright back to reality, this game should be awesome. 2 rookie quarterbacks, 1 the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner and top two pick, and the other a QB taken in the 3rd round (which people thought was way too early) to ride the bench behind Matt Flynn.
Seattle started the season modestly and were never considered a bad team. They also weren’t a very good team. Flynn never got the chance to start and Russell Wilson could win but not score much more than 20. Now that we’ve seen a full season they are possibly the scariest Wild Card team ever. Wilson can run and throw like a #1 pick and could get some serious consideration for ROY, Marshawn Lynch is still an elite back finishing with almost 1600yds and 11 touchdowns, and the Seahawks defense is just plain tough.
Washington has who most people believe is the best rookie this season. Robert Griffin III is as versatile a rookie as the NFL has probably ever seen. Most compare him to Michael Vick the only difference being that RGIII can throw. When he runs you get a little nervous because apparently no one taught him how to slide. When he doesn’t run or throw he hands off to some other rookie named Alfred Morris who finished with 1600+ yards and 13 touchdowns…Once again let me state the word ROOKIE. If RGIII does somehow get hurt they can plug in Kirk Cousins another rookie who looks plenty capable of managing important situations.
I’d love to say I know who will win this game but I just can’t guess. The Seahawks scored 150 points in 3 games which is just ridiculous and the Redskins just find ways to win. 10-6 isn’t the most impressive record ever, but playing in the NFC East is just tough. Rookies have certainly flourished this season and we get to see a bunch of them in this game. Seattle is favored by 3 at Washington which really translates into 6 points with them at home. As a whole team the Seahawks are probably more equipped to win this game, but RGIII has done just fine making good defenses look stupid.