Wild Card Weekend Recap

Hopefully you didn’t miss any of the NFL opening playoff round action this weekend, but in case you did, here’s a brief recap to get you caught up and looking forward to next week’s divisional round games.

Texans Sneak Past Bengals

The Bengals were coming in hot and the Texans cold, but the overall better team prevailed on Saturday, as Houston got past Cincinnati 19-13 at home. Offensively, the Texans didn’t look their best, settling for four field goals, but the defense dominated the Bengals holding them to fewer than 200 total yards. Arian Foster did his part, rushing for 140 yards and setting the tone for the Texans’ attack.

The win sends Houston into the divisional round where they fell last season. Even with Matt Schaub under center this time, things will not be easy as the Texans take on the New England Patriots–the team that scorched them 42-14 in week 14. Oh, and by the way. It’s also a road game for Houston.

Looking ahead, I have to like the Pats here. Their playoff experience will likely serve them well and they simply match up very well against Houston.

Green Bay Exacts Revenge on Minnesota 

After the Vikings defeated the Packers at home in week 16 and clinched a playoff spot in the process, many thought they could do it again, but the frozen tundra of Lambeau proved to a different story as the Packers took care of business 24-10 on Saturday.

Adrian Peterson’s 99 yards on 22 carries fell well below his 200+ yard average against Green Bay this season and with Joe Webb filling in for the injured Christian Ponder, the Vikings could not muster enough offense to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and his slew of talented targets.

The Pack will go into San Francisco for a tough test against the Niners, but its one I think they can pass. Again, experience will benefit the Packers here as they boast a former MVP at QB against a first-year starter in Colin Kaepernick.

Ray Lewis and Inspired Ravens Top Colts

Instead of putting the Ravens into a funk, Ray Lewis’ retirement announcement this week spurred his team and himself on to victory, as the Ravens defense shut down the Colts, keeping them out of the end zone in the 24-9 win. Lewis played inspired football, leading the team with 13 tackles and extending his career by at least one more game in the process.

Andrew Luck and the Colts enjoyed a fantastic season as the feel-good team of the year, but a Super Bowl was not in their future, at least not this year. Coach Chuck Pagano’s courageous battle with leukemia also inspired a team that is sure to be great for years to come.

As inspirational and uplifting as their performance was this week, the Ravens will have their work cut out for them next week as they take on the league’s hottest team in the Denver Broncos. I wouldn’t go against the Broncos, which are winners of 11 straight, especially at home.

RGIII Goes Down, Skins Fall to Seahawks

The Seahawks were certainly up against the ropes as they fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter, but they rallied behind a stellar second half defensive performance and the solid tandem of Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. Washington attempted to counter with a rally of its own, but all hopes were dashed when Robert Griffin III went down with an ugly looking knee injury in the fourth quarter and did not return.

The Hawks’ next road challenge will be against Atlanta, which has struggled in the postseason in recent years, but should be a solid favorite to advance this season, fielding the best team they’ve had since the “Dirty Bird” era.