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Monday, December 31, 2012

The Texans have fallen a hard the last few weeks. Wildcard WeekendPreview.

The Texans were at the top of the NFL, now they've fallen down and have to play an extra game to get to the Super Bowl.

With the Dallas and Redskins game over, the playoff picture is now clear. 
Here's a look at the Wild Card Match-ups.

The AFC teams were locked-up before Sunday but there was a lot of movement left with the seeding.  
AFC Playoff Picture:
 #1 Seed -  Broncos - With the Texans loss, Peyton Manning took Denver to the Top spot in the AFC.  The road to the Super Bowl goes through Mile High.
#2 Seed - Patriots - Tom Brady has a first round bye, is anyone surprised.  This team has to play defense if they want to go to another Super Bowl. 
AFC Wild Card Game - #6 Bengals at #3 Texans
The Bengals started off slow but turned it on toward the middle part of the season.  They have a good passing attack and BGE can run the ball well enough keep defenses honest.  .
The Texans were the best team in the league a few weeks ago, now they are falling apart.  They still have the talent on both sides of the ball that lead them to be one of the most complete teams in the league at the mid-season point.  They have to get Foster rolling to give Schaub time to throw.  The defense and Watt has to put pressure on Dalton to win. 
The Bengals are the hot team but with the Texans playing at home, I have to believe Houston will be looking to make a statement.  If they Texans are one and done after the start they had, this would be a huge disappointment. 
AFC Wild Card Game - #5 Colts at #3 Ravens
The Colts may be the best story in the league this year.  After trading and releasing everyone this offseason, the expectations were low for this team.  All they've done is win 11 games and make the playoffs.  Not to mention the fact that their new Head Coach missed most of the season with cancer.  Someone is going to make a movie about this team.  I've been impressed by their offense with a serviceable running game and solid wide receivers.
The Ravens fired their OC a few weeks ago and they are still struggling.  I am not, and have never been, a Flacco fan.  Looking back at the Ravens schedule they beat a lot of bad teams.  I don't think they have enough offense to go very far in the playoffs. 
I wasn't taking the Colts seriously as a team that could win a playoff game, until I saw this match-up.  Yes the game is in Baltimore but this is a very winnable game for the Colts

The NFC had a lot to work left Sunday as several teams were still alive to make the playoffs.  
NFC Playoff Picture:
 #1 Seed -  Falcons - Atlanta had the top spot locked-up and didn't have much to play for today.  Everyone, including me, is waiting to see what they can do in the playoffs.  The road to the Super Bowl goes through Atlanta.
 #2 Seed -  San Francisco - The 49ers had a rough week last week but they followed it up by locking up a first round bye.  This team has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, a dynamic QB and a very good back-up.  Don't count on Alex Smith not taking any snaps in the post season.  
NFC Wild Card Game - #6 Vikings at #3 Packers
This is the third match-up this season between these two teams.  The Packers had a chance to knock out the Vikings and failed to do so.  The Vikings started off as one of the hottest teams in the league but played poorly during the middle part of the season.  They've put together a very good run at the end of the year beating the Texans, Packers and a solid Bears team.  Peterson is a monster and is obviously great but Ponder has played well also.  He had a big game against the Packers this week. 
This Packers team has dealt with a lot of injuries on defense so it makes it hard to judge their ability.  If they can get the defense together enough to support the offense, they could put together a run at another Super Bowl as the road team.
This is a match-up between division opponents that should be interesting.  For me it comes down to QB play and Rodgers is clearly better.
NFC Wild Card Game - #5 Seahawks at #4 Redskins
The Seattle bandwagon is full, everyone seems to be jumping on board right now.  While their wins the last few weeks were impressive, I still have questions about this team.  Can Wilson keep playing at an elite level?  Why are they so different on the road?  I do like their running game and defense and those two things travel well and can play in any weather conditions.  That alone makes them dangerous.
The Redskins made it into the playoffs in the last game of the regular season.  After a slow start this young team has been playing great football the second half of the season.  They have a terrific running game and a solid defense.  If it wasn't for RG3 Alfred Morris would be getting rookie of the year consideration.  They looked really good in a must win game last night.
This match-up of two rookie QB's is great for the future of the NFL.  One of them will obviously move on to the Divisional Round. 

These are my first thoughts on these Wildcard games.  I'll take a look at individual match-ups this week as we get closer to game time.  The NFL has to be happy, there are some really exciting games to watch this year.  

By - Scott King (@fballxtrpoints) 


  1. Bengals D in bottom third of league? Dude you must have obtained your info from a 2002 post. The bengals are in the top 5 in defense in the league.

  2. bengals defense is one of the best in nfl.
    need to get facts straight before writing article.

  3. Bengals #6 in total def.