I will be looking at the key players and match ups in the two Sunday games, the Colts at Baltimore and the Sea hawks at the Redskins. On Sunday we will see something that does not happen too much. Three rookie quarterbacks will be trying to gain some playoff experience and come away with a W.
The first game will be the Colts against the Ravens. The veterans vs the rookies. Coming into this game the Colts have 11 rookies on their active roster being lead by the first overall pick in the 2012 draft, Andrew Luck. The Ravens, on the other hand have an older roster with 18 players who have at least 6 years of NFL experience.
On offense the Colts and Ravens are very different teams. The Colts have had outstanding play from their rookie star at Quarterback. Andrew Luck has produced 23 touchdowns to 18 interceptions, not to mention setting a new rookie record for passing yards. The running game has been off and on all season, with the combination of Vick Ballard and Donald Brown. They have produced about 1,200 yards and have scored only three touchdowns. The Ravens will be lead by a veteran play caller Joe Flacco, who seems to think he is an elite quarterback. He has 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, also throwing about 3,700 yards. Elite? Maybe not, but they do have one of the best at the running back position in Ray Rice. He has averaged 4.4 yards a carry this year and has been a consistent play maker all season. But as I have said this is a Quarterback driven league, advantage- Colts
For over the last decade the Ravens have always been known by their defense, lead by one of the all time greats at middle Linebacker, that being Ray Lewis. He is the heart and soul of the Ravens defense. Lewis said that he was going to retire at the end of the season. This will be his last ride, and his team wants him to go out in a bang. These guys will give it all for Ray, and probably play at a level they have not all season. The Colts on the other hand are a very young defense lead by two veterans Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney. They are a young and hungry defense but not as experienced in the playoffs. The edge has to be given to the Ravens.
I expect this to be a great game, and be within the 7 point spread. But I still expect the Ravens to come out with a W at home behind Ray Lewis. 20-17 Ravens
The second game will feature two great young rookie quarterbacks. Robert Griffin the second overall pick in the draft, and Russel Wilson the mid third round pick in the draft. Don’t prejudge Wilson by where is was picked, he is playing like a first rounder.
Both of these offenses have a very mobile and smart quarterback. RG3 for the Redskins has thrown for 3,200 yards and thrown 20 TDs. Wilson has thrown for 3,100 yards and 26 touchdowns. It has been a while since two rookie quarterbacks have preformed so well. Just like at quarterback the Redskins have a rookie running back as well. Alfred Morris has also played like a veteran for the Skins. He has averaged 4.8 yards a carry and scored 13 TDs. The Sea hawks have one of the best at running back in MarShawn Lynch, who has averaged 5 yards a carry this season and has scored 11 touchdowns throughout the season. Both of these offenses are able to make plays and be explosive, but I have to give the Advantage to the Redskins.
On the defensive side of the ball one team is the clear favorite. Washington has only given up less then ten points ONCE this season. Defense becomes key in the playoffs and that is something the Redskins lack. The Sea hawks on the other hand has been an outstanding defensive team all season. They have given up 17 points or less 10 times on the season, lead by two monsters at corner back That being Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner. The Sea hawks are the better team on defense.
Both teams have explosive offenses, but the Sea hawks are able to make more plays on defense and that is why they will leave Washington with a W.