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NFL Wild Card Matchups

Cincinnati Bengals( 10-6, Wild Card) vs Houston Texans(12-4, 1st in AFC South)

           

AJ Green- Cincinnati Bengals             J.J. Watt- Houston Texans

The match-up between the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals could turn out to be a very intense battle. These two teams met up last year in the 2012 playoffs. The Texans hammered the Bengals by a score of 31-10. A match-up to look forward to is the Bengals’ passing attack against the tremendous defensive line that is led by J.J. Watt.  Bengals Wide Receiver A.J. Green is a huge threat for any defense. During the regular season, Green caught 97 passes, accumulated 1350 receiving yards and scored 11 receiving touchdowns, which was the 3rd-most in the NFL. On the other side of the ball, the Houston Texans look to stymie the Bengals’ offense by bringing a lot of pressure with their defensive lineman. Bringing pressure is nothing new for  Texans Defensive End J.J. Watt. He leads the NFL in sacks with 20.5 and came just 2 sacks short of tying Micheal Strahan’s  NFL record for most sacks in a season.Can the heavily favored Texans breeze through the  Bengals or will David(Bengals) beat Goliath?

Indianapolis Colts(11-5, Wild Card) vs Baltimore Ravens(10-6, 1st in AFC North)

       

Andrew Luck- Indianapolis Colts         Ray Rice- Baltimore Ravens

The match-up featuring the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens could be decided by which team’s offense plays the best.  Both the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens defenses are historically good defenses but as of this year, that is not the case.  In terms of total defense statistics, neither team has a defense in the top half of the NFL. Surprisingly, the Colts and the Ravens have had good offensive statistics during the season.  Andrew Luck broke the record for most passing yards thrown by a rookie with 4,374 yards. Ray Rice leads a solid rushing attack for the Ravens. Rice had 1143 rushing yards and 9 rushing touchdowns during the regular season. The Ravens hope to get back to defensive dominance with the help of returning linebacker and defensive leader, Ray Lewis. Although a rookie quarterback, Andrew Luck is the unquestioned leader of the Colts and hopes to rally his troops to victory. Ray Rice looks to dominate in the run game and get the Ravens to the AFC divisional round. Don’t be surprised if we see both offenses put up a lot of points!

Washington Redskins(10-6, 1st in NFC East)  vs Seattle  Seahawks(11-5, Wild Card)

      

Robert Griffin III- Washington Redskins   Russell Wilson- Seattle Seahawks

The Washington Redskins vs the Seattle Seahawks is a highly anticipated showdown, which features two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. The crazy thing is that, they are both rookies! RobertGriffin III is coming off of an outstanding rookie season in which he led the Redskins to a 10-6 record and a regular season NFC East championship.  In the regular season, Robert Griffin III  had 3,200 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, 815 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns and a passer rating of 102.4. Russell Wilson led the Seahawks to an 11-5 record and a spot in the playoffs.  During the regular season, Wilson had 3,118 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, 489 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns and a passer rating of 100.0. Both of these quarterbacks are threats in the running and the passing game and look to provide some excitement for NFL fans. Both teams have had successful defenses as of late but the Redskins rank 28th in total defense for the season and the Seahawks’defense has been more consistent by having the fourth best defense in the NFL. These two teams are very dangerous on both sides of the ball, so this game could come down to big plays.

Green Bay Packers( 11-5, 1st in NFC North) vs Minnesota Vikings (10-6, Wild Card)

       

Clay Matthews- Green Bay Packers   Adrian Peterson- Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers face each other in an NFC Wild Card game. The two teams faced each other twice in the regular season. The Packers won the first game by a score of 23-14 and the Vikings won the second meeting by a score of 37-34. In fact, the last game was played in week 17. Adrian Peterson led the way with 190 rushing yards. The Packers look to shut down the somewhat unstoppable running game of the Minnesota Vikings. Adrian Peterson is averaging over 200 rushing yards against the Packers this season and hopes to continue his success against them in the playoffs. The Packers have had many defensive struggles this season and have also been hindered by injuries to star defensive players, Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews. Clay Matthews is back from his injury and proved to be in good condition as he was wreaking havoc in the backfield in the week 17 game between the Vikings and Packers. Linebacker Clay Matthews looks to put pressure on the Vikings offense. On the other hand,  Adrian Peterson wants to dominate against the Packers’ defense. Peterson had a monster year with 2097 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. Will Adrian Peterson remain unstoppable or can the Packers defense give a strong defensive effort?

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