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NFL Playoffs: Wild-Card Weekend

January 18, 2013
Owensville High School

NFL Playoffs: Wild-Card Weekend

Cody Goggin

And then there were eight… The playoffs for the National Football League are in full swing right now. Only eight teams remain to vie for their respective conference championships and a chance to represent their conference in the Super Bowl. Heading into wildcard weekend, every team still had a chance at winning the Super Bowl, but this past weekend, four teams had their seasons ended and their dreams put on hold

Before the playoffs started, veteran linebacker and legend for the Baltimore Ravens, Ray Lewis announced that after this season he would ride off into the sunset and retire, ending his  potential Hall of Fame career whenever his team’s season would end. This gives the whole Baltimore Ravens team inspiration and motivation to fight even harder to keep the season of their team and the career of their leader going.

Indianapolis would be matched up against Baltimore in the first round of the playoffs. The Colts also had motivation and a great story with their head coach Chuck Pagano. Pagano spent most of his first year with the team recovering from a treatable form of leukemia. Under offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, the Colts finished with a record that was good enough to lock them up with a five seed in the playoffs, much improving over their 2-14 record just a year ago. The Colts showed that they were no match for the hard-fighting Ravens as the game was close in the first half, but then falling by a score of ----.

In the other first round AFC matchup, the Bengals took on the Texans. Just a year ago, these two teams met in the same round of the playoffs with the ---- being the victors. Last year, Houston was without their quarterback Matt Schaub, but he was back for this matchup. In what was a very defensive-oriented matchup, the Texans just overpowered the Bengals offense and put up more field goals to win and advance by a score of ---.

On the other side of the board was the Packers and the Vikings. These two teams met in Minnesota just a week earlier in which they played out a thriller; a thriller that Minnesota came out on top in, in order to claim their spot in the playoffs. This week, though, they would play in Green Bay, at one of the fiercest and toughest places to play in all of the NFL: Lambeau Field. The Packers took it to the Vikings, who were playing without their quarterback Christian Ponder right from the start. Minnesota’s offense became one-dimensional without their passing game and would rely solely on the legs of Adrian Peterson. Peterson could not find any running lanes, though, as they only had one point of attack and were predictable to a veteran Packers team.

The last matchup of wild-card weekend was between the Washington Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks. Robert Griffin III led the Redskins into this game hot, coming off of a win against their divisional-rival Dallas Cowboys the week before. Washington started out the game by scoring on their first two drives, putting the score at 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. However, on the last Redskins touchdown, Griffin went down with a knee injury, but he would power through the next portion of the game. Seattle raged back with a vengeance and confirmed the faith of the fans in them. They scored 24 unanswered points in the next three quarters to win the game. Griffin reinjured his knee in the fourth quarter and it was later confirmed that he had a partially torn ACL and LCL.

Heading into the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, the Patriot will match up with the Texans, the Broncos with the Ravens, the 49ers with the Packers, and the Falcons with the Seahawks. The bye week can affect some teams negatively, but the extra week of rest can actually help many teams. Next week we will see in what way the bye week effects all of the teams that earned home-field advantage and an off week. Only eight teams remain, but only one will hoist the Lombardi.

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