New England and Baltimore are developing an impressive postseason rivalry.
NFL Wildcard weekend has been a fun ride, as per usual, filled with tough defense and a few phenomenal plays. The Indianapolis Colts took care of the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon, meaning a matchup between Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos and his former team.
Denver is stacked with talented players thanks to John Elway’s construction of the team over the last four years. So, there have been far more “studs” than “duds” this season, and we’ll look at a few specific men here.
Considering the violent nature of the National Football League, the Denver Broncos have made it through the regular season relatively healthy. But there were plenty of bumps and bruises, as well as more major injuries, the last few weeks, making the bye important for the team.
The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t won an NFL playoff game since January 6, 1990. They beat the Houston Oilers—right there, that tells you it was a long time ago—by a 41-14 score in the wild-card round of the AFC playoffs. Since then, the Bengals have lost all five postseason contests they’ve played in. That needs to change this weekend.
The Green Bay Packers do not have many holes in their game as they enter the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the NFC. However, one is their blocking in the kicking game. They allowed more combined blocked field goals, extra point attempts and punts than they had in the previous five seasons combined.
Throughout the John Elway – Peyton Manning Era, a focus on offense was apparent. But things have changed this season, and possibly for the better, as the Broncos are more well-suited to face the playoffs this time around.
The Minnesota Vikings have more confidence and optimism heading into this offseason than they did a year ago. They have two of the most important pieces in place in head coach Mike Zimmer and Teddy Bridgewater. Also, they improved in several areas from the past season. The Vikings have 12 free agents this offseason, but just one opening day starter.
The 2014 Oakland Raiders season ended on Sunday in Denver at Sports Authority Field at Mile High with a 47-14 loss to the Broncos. The Raiders just struggled in almost every facet of the game as they lost their eighth road game of the season and their 11th overall dating back to 2013.
The Oakland Raiders have one more game in 2014 before they pack it in for the winter, and many of the same players still have injuries either keeping them out of practice or game day itself. The best news is that rookie quarterback Derek Carr is ready to go for Sunday after experiencing an undisclosed illness.