Playoff Present – Playoff Past: Can past match-ups predict future victories?

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Can Past Match-Ups Predict Future Victories: Playoff Present - Playoff Past

Aaron Rodgers
Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

As the NFL Playoffs are nearing, many people are already making their predictions on which team will represent both the AFC and NFC in Super Bowl XLVII. Before we jump to conclusions, let's take a look at the upcoming match-ups for this weekend.

The sixth seed Cincinnati Bengals will be facing the third seed Houston Texans. The Bengals are coming off a three game winning streak, and are looking to attack the Texans’s defense with their heavy artillery, in the form of quarterback Andy Dalton and wide Receiver A.J. Green. Being led by head coach Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati hopes that the six year vet can lead the charge into the playoffs.

The sixth seed Minnesota Vikings will be facing the third seed Green Bay Packers. The Vikings seem to be confident heading into this game, being led by Star running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson has had a near record breaking Comeback season, with 12 touchdowns, 2,097 yards, and has also been in talks for league MVP.

The fifth seed Indianapolis Colts will be facing the fourth seed Baltimore Ravens. The Colts, being led by quarterback Andrew Luck under head coach Chuck Pagano, have had a fantastic season this year with an 11-5 record.

The fifth seed Seattle Seahawks will be facing the fourth seed Washington Redskins. The Redskins are coming into this much anticipated playoff game with a victory against division rival Dallas Cowboys. Though the Redskins are hoping to ride the rookie offensive combo of quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris, their defense may need to take a second look at the abilities of Seahawks’ Rookie QB Russell Wilson.

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Cincinnati Bengals Vs. Houston Texans

Andy Dalton
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off a three game winning streak, and are looking to attack the Texans’s defense with their heavy artillery, in the form of quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green. Being led by head coach Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati hopes that the six year vet can lead the charge into the playoffs.

Though the Houston Texans are looked at as the better of the two teams, they are entering the postseason with a two game losing streak and a diminished confidence. Houston will look to head coach Gary Kubiak for some much needed reinsurance and leadership.

Both Kubiak and Lewis have similar coaching styles and have comparable statistics. The one stat that Lewis doesn’t have that Kubiak does have, is a playoff win. To be more specific, the win Kubiak got against the Bengals in last year's Wild Card game, with a final score of 20-19. Will Lewis finally get his much anticipated playoff win? We will find out this Saturday.

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Indianapolis Colts Vs. Baltimore Ravens

Andrew Luck
Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

The Colts, being led by quarterback Andrew Luck under head coach Chuck Pagano, have had a fantastic season this year with an 11-5 record.

Luck has had an amazing rookie campaign with 23 Touchdowns and over 4,000 yards. To defeat the play-off hardened Baltimore Ravens though, he will need to take command of the Colts offense, as he has done so many times this year.

For Baltimore to win this game, their defense, led by veterans Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, will need to perform like the elite unit they were known to be. Quarterback Joe Flacco will also need to display his offensive leadership and precision passing abilities, if he wants to find victory this playoff season, and a contract with the Ravens next year.

Head Coach John Harbaugh and his Ravens will be battling former defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano. Will Pagano’s inside knowledge of Harbaugh’s schemes be the deciding factor of this match up? Though both coaches are friends off the field, there is no doubt that they will be bitter enemies on the field this Sunday.

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Minnesota Vikings Vs. Green Bay Packers

Adrian Peterson
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

The Vikings clinched the sixth seed by upsetting the Packers with a final score of 37-34 to close out the season; both teams will now meet up again in the Wild Card playoff game.

The Vikings seem to be confident heading into this game, being led by star running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson has had a near record breaking comeback season, with 12 touchdowns, 2,097 yards, and has also been in talks for league MVP.

Vikings’ coach Leslie Frazier may also be a key factor for Minnesota. Frazier will have much to prove against Super Bowl winning coach Mike McCarthy. This will be Frazier’s first playoff appearance as head coach and, against an experienced team like the Packers, he will need to motivate his team to perform in the postseason as they did in Week 17.

For Green Bay, quarterback Aaron Rodgers has led the team with 39 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards. The Packers will hope to follow Rodgers, and his signature “Discount Double Check”, to another Super Bowl victory.

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Seattle Seahawks Vs. Washington Redskins

Russell Wilson
Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

The Redskins are coming into this much anticipated playoff game with a victory against division rival Dallas Cowboys. Though the Redskins are hoping to ride the rookie offensive combo of quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris, their defense may need to take a second look at the abilities of Seattle Seahawks’ Rookie QB Russell Wilson.

There are many similarities in both of these teams young quarterbacks, and there are also some heated histories between the two franchises as well.

Before 2005, Seattle had the longest drought of playoff victories in NFL history, dating back to the 1984 season. Then, franchise quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, led the Seahawks to the Playoffs to face none other than the Washington Redskins. Seattle prevailed and won the game with a final score of 20-10.

The Redskins organization has never forgotten this stinging loss, and will most likely keep it in the back of their collective minds come playoff time.

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Playoff Weekend

Robert Griffin III
Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

This first playoff weekend will be a pivot point for the outlook of the Postseason. Upsets may occur; the future remains uncertain. Many will fall in defeat and many will rise in triumph, but for now, we will just have to wait and see what the NFL has in store.


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