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Friday January 7, 2011 10:27 pm

NFC Wild Card Weekend Preview - Saints, Seahawks, Packers, Eagles




Posted by Dennis Velasco Categories: Editorial, NFL, Playoffs, Super Bowl,

Aaron Rodgers leads his Green Bay Packers during the NFC Wild Card weekendThe NFC Wild Card weekend kicks off with the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks mixing it up in the Great Northwest on Saturday, January 8th at 4:30PM ET. There has been much ballyhoo about the Seahawks making it into the postseason as NFC West division champions with a losing record (7-9), the first time that's happened in the NFL's history. Feel bad if you're a Tampa Bay Buccaneers or New York Giants fan, both of whom finished with 10-6 records, but because of the current playoff system will be watching instead of playing.

In any case, despite being the home team because of being a division winner, the Seahawks will be playing host to the Saints who have a better record at 11-5 and are the favorites to win this wild card division match-up. However, the Seahawks aren't slouches at home (5-3) and this is football, where on any given Sunday anything can go down. However, everything will need to go right for the home team to win, such as Matt Hasselbeck going back in time, Drew Brees throwing nothing but interceptions, and Marshawn Lynch performing as crazy as he looks.

On the Saints' side, there is some concern about them missing running backs Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory, who led the team in rushing yards (716). But, former Seahawks running back Julius Jones will be in pads ready to dish out some revenge against his former team.  But, the Saints' offense is all about Brees and he should be able to pick apart the Seahawks' passing defense that gave up 249.6 passing yards per game. In the end, I believe there will be too much of Brees and even the Saints' defense that likes to take chances and usually comes through, especially against bad teams like the Seahawks.

The other NFC Wild Card division game finds the Green Bay Packers (10-6) visiting the Philadelphia Eagles(10-6) on Sunday, January 9th at 4:30 PM ET. The Eagles are not great at home, splitting their record at 4-4, but luckily, the Packers are only 3-5 on the road. However, despite that, the Packers have the potential to run the table all the way to a Super Bowl championship. It all starts with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who suffered a concussion in the latter part of the season, but should be fine for the postseason. He has the ability to take over a game and is only missing a running game to complement his skill. And, it all ends with the Clay Matthews-led Packers defense. The Packers D makes plays and can be scary for any opponent.

However, how much more scared can Michael Vick get? He's already been to prison, had his reputation and name sullied, and was written off by the league. This season, Vick turned it all around and performed at an MVP level when he's been on the field. Can he figure out the Packers defense? Luckily, he has a rushing game spotlit by LeSean McCoy to help keep defenses honest. If Vick can get enough time, whether from his offensive line or creating time with his running ability, he should find DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek and company and give the Philly fans something to cheer about. However, I believe the Packers are the most dangerous team right now and can do what the New York Giants did a few season ago - shock the world and win a Super Bowl.

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