Just when you thought it was all said and done. That's right folks, yours truly is back for Fox's Pick'ems Postseason Edition. We start things off with the WildCard round. The following below are the seedings in each conference for the 2012 NFL Playoffs.
There will be two games on Saturday and Sunday, a reprieve to those who are exhausted from watching all those college bowl games. That being said, let's begin
Saturday 4:30 p.m.
(5) Cinncinati Bengals @ (3) Houston Texans
Last year when these two teams met, T.J. Yates was taking snaps under center for the Texans in a 31-10 beat down last year. This time around could be different however. If you had been watching the Texans of late, it just seems like they play with no sense of urgency. After starting off at 11-1 and with the #1 Playoff spot seemingly anointed to them, they ended up going 1-3. On the other side, the Bengals went 3-1 during that same time frame and had 2 straight victories over divisional opponents (Steelers and Ravens respectively). Not too mention that the Bengals have a stronger running game in BenJarvis Green-Ellis (278 carries for 1,094 yards and 6 TDs) as well as wideout A.J. Green having a strong sophmore season (97 catces for 1,350 yards and 11TD). Though the Texans got Matt Schaub starting this time, don't expect the same results.
Saturday 8:00 p.m.
(6) Minnesota Vikings @ (3) Green Bay Packers
This will mark the thrid time that these two teams have met. The first was a 23-14 victory for the Packers in Week 13 at Green Bay and then most recently a 37-34 victory for the Vikings in a barn burner in Week 17. In those two games, Adrian Peterson rushed for 208 and 199 respectively against the Packers defense. However in the second game, Vikings' Christian Ponder threw 234 yards and 3 TDs on a 16 for 28 day. The key for the Packers would be to try to let Ponder beat them, who at times this year looked lost and confused and had only 6 games where he had a QB rating of over 85.0. The Packers will be getting back Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson to bolster their defense. Though Adrian Peterson put up monster numbers during the regular season, the playoffs are a whole new kind of ball game.
Sunday 1:00 p.m.
(6) Indianapolis Colts @ (4) Baltimore Ravens
The old Baltimore team comes into town to face against the new Baltimore team. Bet you heard that cliche before. These two teams have met in the past, each time the Colts came away with a victory ('06 Divisonal Round @ Baltimore 15-6 and '09 Divisional Round @ Indianapolis 20-3). The good news for the Ravens is that Ray Lewis will be coming back. The bad news is that he will be retiring after the playoffs. That could give the Ravens some form of motivation. Not to mention All-Pro RB Ray Rice will be facing the 29th ranked run defense (137.5 ypg allowed). But then again, Chuck Pagano was the Ravens' defensive coordinator just last season and the Colts have been playing some tough football, including 2 victories in 3 weeks over the Houston Texans.
Sunday 4:40 p.m.
(5) Seattle Seahawks @ (4) Washington Redskins
This will be a tough yet fun game to watch. During this season the Seahawks posted a 3-5 record on the road but had a 2-1 record against East Coast teams (Dolphins, Bills, Panthers). They have been winners of 5 straight, including 3 games where they scored 40+ points. Then you have the Redskins, who boast a 5-3 home record and are currently on a 7-game winning streak. The key match up will be how will QB Robert Griffin III and RB Alfred Morris perform. They have combined for a total of 2,428 (Morris with 1,613 and Griffin III with 815), which accounts for approximately 89.6% of the Redskins 2,709 total rushing yards. This Sunday, they'll be facing the 10th ranked rushing defense (103.1 ypg allowed) as well as the 1st ranked scoring defense (allowing 15.3 ppg). Not too mention that RGIII is somewhat hampered by a sore knee he sustained in Week 14 and has been taking hard blows. This could turn into an old school football game of smash mouth defense and hard-nose running. High-passing offense fans turn away because this will not be your cup of tea.
-Ryan L. Fox
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