The Green Bay Packers will host the Minnesota Vikings in the first NFC wildcard playoff game this weekend. In the other NFC wildcard game, the Washington Redskins will host the Seattle Seahawks. The winners will advance to take on the San Francisco 49ers or the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round.
Green Bay vs. Minnesota
The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34 in the last week of the regular season to qualify for the playoffs. It is a match-up that the Packers were dreading or at least rooting against. Minnesota has Adrian Peterson in top form and he will be ready to run through the Packers defense.
That should more than make up for the lack of production from quarterback Christian Ponder. While he has made a few plays this season, he is certainly not the reason why the Vikings finished 10-6. Without Peterson, it is questionable as to how many games this team would have won.
The Packers are lead by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. In years past, he has relied on receivers such as Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson to make the offense click. However, he has had to work more with speedster Randall Cobb and James Jones. With Jermichael Finley having a reduced role in the offense, it has been imperative that other guys contribute more on offense.
Minnesota may be able to win if AP is his usual dominating self and the Vikings defense can force a turnover or two. However, Aaron Rodgers should be able to will Green Bay to a victory in front of the faithful at Lambeau.
Washington vs. Seattle
Seattle and Washington are almost mirror images of each other. Both teams have rookie quarterbacks, outstanding running backs and can play defense as well. There is no doubt that each team should rush for at least 200 yards and possibly throw for 200 as well. If you enjoy watching teams score a lot of points, this is the game to watch.
The edge on defense goes to the Seahawks. Richard Sherman is a ball-hawk in the secondary while Bruce Irvin is a speedy pass rusher. RGIII will have to use his considerable mobility to escape the rush and get the ball down the field. Fortunately, he is the man you want playing quarterback when you need a player who can run for yards as well as pass for them.
Russell Wilson should not be overlooked when it comes to running ability. He rushed for almost 100 yards and three touchdowns in a game against Buffalo earlier this year. Redskins defenders will have to account for him on each passing play. Wilson loves to pretend that he is handing the ball to the running back only to keep it himself and run for big gains.
Sunday’s game will be decided by a touchdown or less. Therefore, the winning team will be the team that can protect the ball, run the ball efficiently all day and can make a big stop on defense. While Seattle is a good team, Washington has a distinct edge playing at home and should win the game.
Football fans are going to want to tune in to both games this weekend if they want to see two great match-ups. There will be three amazing running backs playing this week as well as two rookie quarterbacks looking to make a name for themselves in the postseason. However, there can only be one winning team in each game. That’s the beauty of the playoffs.
This is a guest post submitted by Don Phan. Don currently writes sports content for blogs part-time and is with Fanatics Inc. full-time as a marketing associate. Fanatics is a leading retailer of NFL merchandise and is a premier source for officially licensed Russell Wilson jerseys.