Sunday, January 6, 2013

NFL Playoffs- Sunday Wild Card Predictions

Youth is served this year in the NFL with nearly half of the teams in the Wild Card battles starting rookie quarterbacks.  Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson lead improbable runs by their otherwise down and out teams to the post season and look to prove it's not a mistake.  Yesterday we looked at the Saturday games (going 1/2), after the break your Sunday games, what I think happens and a prediction from Madden 13.


Indianapolis Colts


Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, January 6th 2003 1:00 CBS

M&T Bank Stadium- Baltimore, Maryland

From the ashes the Phoenix will rise and from the 2-14 seasons the Luck will improve.  Rightfully the worst team in the NFL last year the Indianapolis Colts completely changed their identity in the off season, parting ways with long time quarterback (and face of the franchise) Peyton Manning, firing head coach Jim Caldwell, and taking part in a major front office switch.  How was the franchise rewarded?  With arguably the Rookie of the Year in Andrew Luck, an 11-5 record, and a solid base to build on.  Plus oh yeah they're in the playoffs after winning nine more games than they did the year before and going 9-2 down the last 11 weeks of the season.  None too shabby.

The 10-6 record on the season disguises the issues behind the 2012 season for the Baltimore Ravens.  The continued inconsistency of Joe Flacco (100.8 QB rating at home with 15 TDs and 5 INTs compared to a 75.9 QB rating, 14 TDs and 5 on the road) the Ravens fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and promoted QB coach Jim Caldwell to OC.  The result?  A team that went 1-5 down the stretch with a defense giving up over 25 points per game and an offense unable to keep up.

The confusion among the ranks has yet to be quelled.  Sitting half of the starters did not help the Ravens any. Despite the war cry from long time Ravens heart and soul of this being the end of his road the Ravens are just too much of a mess.  Combined with the Andrew Luck finding his stride without a single turn over in three games (which to the point was his biggest flaw) the Colts start off the Luck era with a playoff win.

Madden Says: Colts 17 Ravens 3

I say: Colts 20 Ravens 13


Seattle Seahawks


Washington Redskins

Sunday, January 6th 2013 4:30 FOX

FedEx Field- Landover, Maryland

Russell Wilson is a more talented and smarter Vince Young.  I have no idea how he wins but he wins.  Despite a low yardage in the air his 64.1% completion percentage puts him 8th in the league (coincidentally RGIII is 4th).  His 26 passing TDs have him in the Top 10 for QBs on the season and lead with rookies.  His output along with the propensity of the Skittles fueled BEAST MODE entering Marshawn Lynch (1590 yards rushing) and an extremely stout defense have lead to a new era for the Seahawks.

I guess he was worth the draft picks, eh?  Robert Griffin III has proven to be transcendent in his first season out of winning the Heisman at Baylor.  Passing for 3,200 yards on the season while rushing for 815 yards he accounted for over 4000 yards of offense and 27 TDs (20 in air, 7 on the ground).  The addition of rookie running back Alfred Morris (a terrific 6th round pick from Florida Atlantic) and his 1613 yards on the ground have given the 'Skins a spark they haven't had in years.  A steady defense, a little weak in passing, has lead them to their first Division title since 1999.

In possibly the most evenly matched game of the early rounds this game can go either way with the big swing point being which rookie QB makes the fewest mistakes.  The knee injury to RGIII may slow him but as he proved against the Cowboys he can still make plays.  How he and Morris will deal with the 5th ranked rush defense employed by the Seahawks will be the difference maker.  When we look back in the end this will be considered Russell Wilson's coming out party for the East Coast.

Madden Says: Seahawks 13 Redskins 10/OT

I Say: Seahawks 24 Redskins 20

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