Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013 Wild Card Round Preview

Bengals @ Texans: The Houston Texans did not finish the season the way they desired, as they lost three out of the four final games of the season. This unfortunate collapse cost them a first round bye, where New England and Denver swooped in for the 1st and 2nd seed. In the last three losses of the year, Houston's offense was unsuccessful in scoring 16 points or more in a single game. Though Arian Foster has been relatively consistent throughout the duration of the season, the most important thing for Houston shall be the passing game, and Matt Schaub's clutch rating in the fourth quarter. On the other hand, the Cincinnati Bengals, Houston's opponent for tomorrow, are 7-1 in the past 8 games, and this amazing streak propelled them into the playoffs. In a rematch of last year's divisional round matchup, Cincinnati is looking for revenge, where this inexperienced team can eventually play for the AFC Championship game. However, the Houston Texans, at home, will likely beat this young Cincinnati squad in tomorrow's game.
Texans over Bengals 20-6
Stand-Out Performance: Arian Foster: 105 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

Colts @ Ravens: Very similar to Saturday's game, Sunday's game featuring the Colts and the Ravens has two very different teams, one who has struggled before the postseason, where as the other has been thriving. After losing their star quarterback to a neck injury, and then to free agency, the Indianapolis Colts drafted Andrew Luck out of Stanford. Luck's leadership managed to abolish their disappointing 2011 campaign, and now, as they enter the postseason, Indianapolis starts their run at the perfect time. After losing to the New England Patriots, the Colts are 5-1, and are playing a very frail Baltimore Ravens team. Linebacker Ray Lewis announced his retirement earlier this week, which could potentially be used as motivation for this defense, a motivation that is an absolute necessity at the moment. The Ravens are 1-3 within the past four games, and even though the Ravens clobbered Cincinnati in the season opener, things are not looking great for this squad. However, Baltimore's running game will dominate the weaken Colts defense, and Ray Rice will single handedly lead this team into the divisional round.
Ravens over Colts 27-13
Stand-Out Performance: Ray Rice: 140 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, 1 receiving TD

Vikings @ Packers: Last week, when Adrian Peterson came within 9 yards of breaking the single season rushing record, Minnesota managed to beat the Green Bay Packers at home. Peterson led this team into the playoffs, but unfortunately, one can not win into today's playoff system relying heavily on a rushing game, even if it is Adrian Peterson at the helm. Truth be told, Aaron Rodgers and his scary offense in Green Bay will slaughter the Vikings at home. With Greg Jennings back and Jordy Nelson ready to play, Christian Ponder doesn't even come close to Rodgers and the mighty Green bay Packers.
Packers over Vikings 38-17
Stand-Out Performance: Aaron Rodgers: 350 passing yards, 3 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD

Seahawks @ Redskins: Away from home, Seattle is like a fish out of water. Though this team scored 40-plus points in three straight games, it is unlikely they can repeat that amazing statistic. The Redskins were sensational last week, where Alfred Morris showed the Pro Bowl voters that they made a serious mistake. RGIII also proved he can win big games when the team's Super Bowl chances are on the line. As RGIII matches up against the Seahawks defense, it will be interesting to see how he fares against this amazing pass rush. Seattle's quarterback Russell Wilson has been flying below the radar as two other rookie quarterbacks gain all the attention. Dont't be surprised if Seattle rolls against the Washington Redskins.
Seahawks over Redskins 24-17
Stand-Out Performance: Russell Wilson: 250 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD

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