Taking a closer look at the wild card round: NFC
Now it’s time to look at the better conference this round. No offense to the AFC but there’s a reason both of the NFC games were scheduled at the second game, they’re the match ups that are going to attract more viewers because they both hold potential to be classic games. Quick tangent: do fans realize that there’s a chance that the Packers and Seahawks can meet in the conference championship game? That’s pretty crazy considering what happened earlier in the season between those two teams. I’m getting a little ahead of myself but I just wanted to point that out. Let’s take a look at this side of the tournament.
Key match ups: In the Packers-Vikings game, the key to each team is pretty simple: how much can you stop the other team’s best player? Adrian Peterson is clearly the best RB in the league and Aaron Rodgers is arguably (definitely on Brady/Manning level) the best QB in the league so the defenses for each team will have their work cut out for them. This was the last game of the regular season and the Vikings won the game but this time it will be at Lambeau. It’ll be cold so who does that benefit more? Peterson breaking the record of rushing yards in a single playoff game (248) is definitely in play.
The final game this weekend will feature two rookie QBs that have been incredible for their own teams throughout the season. Redskins-Seahawks in the nation’s capital will surely have fireworks and i’m very excited for this game. These teams play a very similar style on offense. Both have an excellent running game, they take care of the football AND both RG3 and Russell Wilson are dual threat style QBs. How much will RG3’s injury hold him back? It was evident against my Cowboys that he’s not 100% but still remained somewhat effect on the ground. Can Seattle play at elite level when they’re on the road? They’re weren’t good outside of Seattle for most of the season but they did have a signature road win against the Bears in early December.
Prediction: This is a quarterback driven league and as much damage as Peterson can do, I don’t think it will be enough to overcome how good the Packers are at home. The Packers are going to throw everything at Peterson and dare Christian Ponder to carry more of the Vikings’ offense throughout the game. Would you bet on Ponder? I’m putting my money on Rodgers. Now the other game was harder for me to pick. Essentially the Redskins and Seahawks are the same team on offense with the exception of RG3 not being 100% healthy. The biggest difference is that Seattle has been playing MUCH better on defense than the Redskins have and I think that will be the determining factor in this game. I’m taking the Seahawks on the road but I think it will be a very close game filled with excitement.