NFL Playoffs: 5 Biggest Surprises from Wild Card Weekend
NFL Wild Card Weekend: The Five Biggest Surprises
When it comes to the NFL Playoffs not much is surprising anymore, or at least that's what I thought heading into last weekend's round of games. Just when you think you've seen it all or you know exactly what's going to happen, the unthinkable happens and you're reminded why the NFL is the best professional sports league.
There were plenty of stories to follow heading into the Wild Card Round, and you could've argued that all the games could've gone either way. Not one team was clearly overmatched on paper. But of course that's not how things played out.
The Minnesota Vikings were ultimately overmatched by the Green Bay Packers in a game that wasn't even close. The Houston Texans finally returned to their winning ways, a legend lived on to play another week, and there was a rookie showdown in the nation's capital in a game people will be talking about for a long time. Wild Card weekend had it all.
Of the major professional sports in America, the NFL has the most entertaining postseason by far. Each weekend builds on the previous perfectly, and you can really see the momentum of some teams building along the way. It's always fun to watch that one team that gets hot at the right time. They may not have had the best regular season but it doesn't matter come playoff time.
In this list we take a look at the five biggest surprises from Wild Card weekend:
Adrian Peterson Finally Shut Down By Green Bay Packers
You know it's bad when 99 yards for an opposing running back is good for the Packers. We all know how dominant Adrian Peterson was during the regular season against the Packers (400+yards), but it was a different story Saturday night.
This was a pretty big surprise to me. I thought Peterson would go for 150 and at least one touchdown, but the Green Bay defense rose to the occasion and helped the team earn a first round playoff victory.
Ray Lewis Leads Baltimore Ravens in Tackles
I wasn't doubting that Ray Lewis would play well in Sunday's first AFC wild card game, but I didn't see his team-leading 13 tackles coming. Lewis really didn't miss a beat from his last performance, and you could argue that he is even better now. Lewis is going to play like a man possessed in these playoffs, so I guess you can throw age out the window. Oh, and the fact that he's only three months removed from major surgery.
Christian Ponder Late Scratch from First Playoff Game
Twitter had itself a little blow up session on Saturday afternoon with the news of Christian Ponder possibly being a late scratch. Early on it looked as if it would just be another overreaction on behalf of Twitter, but lo and behold, Joe Webb was the quarterback who ended up starting for the Vikings. This was a development pretty much out of left field, and something that obviously hurt Minnesota's chances of advancing.
The Robert Griffin III Injury Situation
Maybe some people saw this coming, but I don't know if anyone would have predicted all that transpired Sunday at FedEx Field. It's now being said that Robert Griffin III will have a total knee reconstruction done this week and that he will be sidelined for up to eight months.
Many people hate Mike Shanahan right now, but the situation is what it is. Hopefully it's only a bump in the road for RG3.
Bruce Arians Rushed to Hospital, Misses Game
Some things are bigger than the game of football, and Bruce Arians being rushed to the hospital was the biggest surprise of the weekend. Of course this didn't have anything to do with the actual game on field, but you can't tell me that Arians' absence didn't have a major impact on the Colts.
If Indianapolis had its play-caller, maybe the outcome would have been different? We'll never know, but just on shock factor alone, Arians' scare was the biggest surprise of this Wild Card weekend. Luckily, it sounds like the head coach to be is doing fine after dealing with the flu and an inner ear infection.