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2013 NFL Playoffs: The First Game Of The Divisional Round Kicks Off A Great NFL Weekend

Divisional Round Excitement

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

As the first half of the Baltimore Ravens at the Denver Broncos came to an end, fans could only wait in eager anticipation for the second half to begin,

The Broncos got off to an early lead when Vernon Holliday ran back the longest punt in NFL Playoff history for a touchdown, just to have Baltimore answer with two quick scores.  Denver recovered from the swing in momentum and scored two unanswered touchdowns taking a 7 point lead with less than two minutes left.  Baltimore was not done, though, with Joe Flacco completing three straight passes including a 32 yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith.  21-21 going into the locker room.

That is 42 total points in the first half for two teams battling it out in bitterly cold weather, each with hopes of representing their city in the AFC Championship game.  And this is just the first of four games this weekend that promise such intensity.

Not only is there a complete second half to be played at Sports Authority field in Denver, there is also the Green Bay Packers heading into Candlestick Park to face the San Francisco 49ers, two of the absolute best teams in the NFC.

The story line there revolves around Aron Rodgers and the Packers offense going up against the 49ers vaunted defense, with Rodgers still feeling slighted by the team that passed him up in the draft.  With that pick, they selected Alex Smith, who led the Niners to a win in Week 1 against the Packers, yet he will not be the quarterback to face the Green Bay defense on Saturday night.  Collin Caepernick gets his first start in the playoffs, and coach Jim Harbaugh’s controversial switch under center will be under the microscope.

Sunday’s games could be just as exciting with the Houston Texans looking for revenge against the New England Patriots, and the upstart Seattle Seahawks crossing the country to face the number one seed Atlanta Falcons.

The Wild Card Round was bemoaned by NFL fans across all forms of social media as a boring weekend, with no real excitement.  So far this weekend, those fans should be absolutely content.  Denver and Baltimore have been giving the people what they want, and it is far from over.

 

Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA.  Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.