Wild Card Preview: Rookie QB Showdown Headlines Weekend
The time has come. No more excuses, no more “we’ll-get-‘em-next-week”, it’s win or go home. This week has provided some great games in the past. We all remember the Music City Miracle in 2000 when Frank Wycheck threw the ball across the field to Kevin Dyson, who ran 75 yards for the touchdown in the final seconds. That play probably isn’t allowed to be discussed or aired in the greater Buffalo area due to the rioting that would ensue. In fact, I think the penalty for such a transgression is jail time. This week has definitely provided some games that could end in similar fashion, let’s see which match up has the most potential to send a city into a car-flipping tizzy.
Saturday, January 6, 2013
Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans – 4:30 PM EST
Somehow, the Texans have found a way to fall into the Wild Card round, after losing three of their last four. These teams will meet for the second time in as many years. Last year, back-up T.J. Yates ended up leading the Texans to a win. This year, the Texans are stumbling in and seem positioned for an upset. Houston’s defense hasn’t held an opposing offense to under 23 points since Week 10. Even the offense has been stagnant. Matt Schaub started the season with 21 TD passes and 9 interceptions over their first 12 games (11-1), since then, he’s thrown 1 TD and 3 interceptions over their 1-3 stretch. If the Bengals can get A.J. Green going, and open up the run for Mr. Law Firm, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, they’ll be in business. This game is all about which Houston team decides to show up.
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers – 8:00 PM EST
It’s not every year that two teams meet in Week 17, and then meet again in the Wild Card round. Normally I would be opposed to watching two teams play again, but this one has drama all over it. Adrian Peterson nearly broke the single-season rushing record while leading the Vikes in a win over the Packers in Minnesota. This afforded the Vikings a playoff birth, and now they meet again in Green Bay. This will be the third meeting of these two teams, and so far, the home team has one each game. In fact, home field has been a huge determinant in this match up over the years, with the Packers winning five of the last six games at Lambeau Field. Minnesota will have to rely on AP heavily again to have a shot, but funny enough, Minnesota is 0-3 in Green Bay when AP breaks 100 yards. They’ll have to hope these stats don’t hold up, because for them to have a shot they’ll need him to have a monstrous game.
Sunday, January 7, 2013
Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens – 1:00 PM EST
This game has so much potential. It could be Ray Lewis’s last game, as he has announced his intention to retire at season’s end. It could be a Cinderella story continued if Pagano’s Colts could win a game here. Chuck, now back on the sideline, could not have picked a better time to come back. He spent the past four seasons on the Ravens sideline as defensive backs coach then defensive coordinator trying to confuse opposing offenses with Ray Lewis before bolting for Indy. If anyone knows this defense, it’s Pagano. Andrew Luck has been asked to throw the ball a ton for this Colts team, and has had his share of up’s and downs. He comes into this week having thrown 5 TD passes with 0 interceptions in their last three games. The Ravens have been battling injuries all season, but they feel that this is the best shape they’ve been in. For the first time this season they expect to have Terrell Suggs, Bernard Pollard, and Ray Lewis all on the field together. Maybe that will be enough to bring the bite back to this historically amazing defense.
Seattle Seahawks @ Washington Redskins – 4:30 PM EST
Rookie quarterback vs. rookie quarterback, what else could be more exciting? They even have a similar game. Both have made exceptionally good decisions passing the ball (RG III has 5 INTs, Wilson 10), and have made some waves with their legs when it mattered. Offensively, these teams are quite similar. Not just at QB, both teams have great running backs that have proven they can carry the load week after week. It’s the defensive end where they differ. The Seahawks secondary has been a bright spot for this fourth ranked defensive unit. The Redskins on the other hand, have the third worst pass defense in the league. We’ll have to see how much the home field advantage helps the Redskins in this one. It may come down to which QB makes more mistakes