NFL playoff’s resume this weekend after last weekend’s wildcard ties. The Daily Shift’s Joel Slattery has more…
There are just eight teams left in the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy as the road to Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans is fast approaching. This weekend sees the Divisional round of games take place, with all four of last weeks winners on the road to play their seeded opponents.
In the American Conference, the Baltimore Ravens travel to the Mile High City to take on the Denver Broncos. The Ravens dispatched of the Colts in the last round without too much bother. However, it was the performance of one man who made all the headlines. Ray Lewis, playing in his last game at M&T Bank Stadium led the defence with an amazing 13 tackles.
This game could be his last in his remarkable NFL career however as the Peyton Manning led Broncos are many peoples tip to go all the way. After an average start to the campaign they more than made amends, winning their last 11 games on the trot and will be fancied to make that 12.
The other AFC match-up brings us a repeat of the week 14 Monday Night Football game as the Houston Texans go to Foxboro to play the Patriots. The Pats came out easy winners that day and are favourites to progress to the Conference Championship game.
The Texans reached this round via an unimpressive 19-13 win over Cincinnati last week. They will have to up their game big time if they are to do what so many have failed to do in the past – win a playoff game in New England.
In the National Conference the games look tougher to call. The Saturday night primetime match sees the Green Bay Packers go to Candlestick Park to play the San Francisco 49ers. Last week, the Packers did what they couldn’t do the week before i.e. stop Adrian Peterson.
Another great performance from Aaron Rodgers meant that Green Bay were fairly comfortable throughout against the unfortunate Vikings who lost quarterback Christian Ponder to injury in practice. Home advantage could prove crucial in the Bay Area on Saturday but the Packers give up easily so expect this one to be a cracker.
On the other half of the NFC draw lies the last remaining rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. He led his Seattle Seahawks to a breathtaking come-from-behind victory over Washington on Sunday.
He takes his team to the Georgia Dome to play the number one seed the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons were unbeaten all year against teams from outside their division. This too promises to be a close game perhaps decided by a field goal. And in a roofed stadium conditions should be perfect for kickers, with the pressure being the only thing that could upset them.
No matter what the outcomes it promises to be a great weekend of NFL Playoff action. The matches can be seen live on Sky or, if you prefer, highlights will be screened on the BBC on Monday.
NFL Divisional Round Games:
Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos – Saturday 9:30pm (GMT)
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots – Sunday 9:30pm (GMT)
Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers – Saturday 1am (GMT)
Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons – Sunday 6pm (GMT)