Black Monday in the NFL saw three coaches lose their jobs as the regular season ended, but for twelve teams, the campaign goes on as we head towards the historic Super Bowl 50. The Broncos, Cardinals, Patriots and the overall favorites the Panthers await in the divisional rounds. First up in the playoffs though it’s the Wild Card round, which contains franchises with 13 Super Bowl wins between them.
Matt Smith and Ben Roethlisberger joined Brady, Newton, Manning and Palmer after an amazing night in the AFC playoffs. But which pairing from Rodgers, Cousins, Wilson and Bridgewater will complete the list?
Seahawks @ Vikings
Temperatures of -20? This is all about Russel Wilson
The Seahawks are red hot coming into the post season, including a 37-8 win over the Vikings, and became one of the few teams to blowout the Cardinals last Sunday. They have the top scoring defence (17.3 points per game), top run defense, and second best pass defence. Wilson has had to scramble quite a lot due to running back injuries. But he’s still missing his wrecking ball of a running back in Marshawn Lynch. The pressure will again fall on Christine Michel
For the Vikings Adrian Peterson’s stats above speak for themselves. Teddy Bridgewater while at times has been extremely vulnerable to sacks, has punished defenses when given the opportunity. Their rushing defence has been impressive, and with Wilson showing weakness against the Rams, they’ll use the rush again to pressure the QB.
- Bridgewater has completed 65% of his passes
- The Vikings are 7-0 when Peterson has rushed for over 100 yards
- The Seahawks lead the head to head record by 9-5
- The Seattle franchise have only lost three times since 2012 when Lynch has rushed for 100+ yards
Despite the Vikings great win in Lambeau Field last week, I can’t see past the Seahawks in this one. Apart from the Chiefs, they have been the form team in the NFL coming into the playoffs . Coming up against only the 13th best defence in the NFL? Seahawks win is the bet, with Tyler Lockett and Peterson both to get on the scoresheet
Packers @ Redskins
The most intriguing wildcard match up is the last game on Sunday in FedEx Field. The Packers have a 4-8 record in FedEx against this seasons surprise NFC East champs.
This season has been like a yo-yo for Mike McCarthy’s offence. Losing top receiver Jordy Nelson at the start of the season was a sign for what was to come. The Packers have played six different tackles this season to make up for the various injuries, with an inconsistent offence being saved by a makeshift defence.
Facing one of the most experienced playoff quarterbacks is one of the least. Kirk Cousins pulled the Redskins out of the mire to four consecutive wins to take the division title. DeSean Jackson is their main target, with nearly 18 yards per catch in the regular season. But the Redskins have coughed up on average 380 yards per game to opponents. They simply can’t afford to do that on Sunday
- The Redskins haven’t beaten a team with a winning record all season.
- They haven’t won a playoff game since 2005
- This is Green Bay’s 31st playoff appearance
- The Packers have won an NFL-record eight Wild Card games
Similar to the Steelers/Bengals, I think playoff experience is again key, and this is where the Packers trump the Redskins. In terms of touchdown scorers back the returning Eddie Lacy to power over the line at least once at , while for the Redskins, look to Jackson . But for the match, it’s gotta be Green Bay