Divisional Play-off Preview

Four of this season’s top teams enter the play-offs this weekend.

It all starts on Saturday night when Joe Flacco and his in-form Ravens travel to Foxboro to tackle the New England Patriots. Flacco completed 18 of 29 passes for 259yds and two touchdowns in last week’s wildcard win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Baltimore QB seems to like January. His seven road play-off wins are the most by a quarterback since the 1970 merger.

Tom Brady has had another 4000+ yard season. He’s thrown 33 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions from his 373 completed passes. His number one receiver is Tight End Rob Gronkowski with 82 receptions, 1124yds and 12 TDs. He’s the man Baltimore will need to watch in freezing conditions, but we all know Brady is the coolest customer inside the pocket and can see the field better than anyone.

Newton vs Wilson

The defending Super Bowl champs enter the fold in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Cam Newton got his first postseason win last weekend, but he knows he has to do better against a solid Seahawks defence. He’s also got to compete against “The Twelves”. The Seattle fans get CenturyLink rocking and make it difficult for even the elite signal-callers. But, Seattle’s offence isn’t invincible and Carolina’s D is looking strong.

Ice Bowl Part 2

Green Bay’s success this postseason could come down to the fitness of Aaron Rodgers. The Quarterback’s calf muscle has a slight tear in it in addition to being significantly strained, according to league sources. The injury is not expected to prevent Rodgers from playing in Sunday evening’s divisional round playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys, but it could affect how mobile and effective he is.

The Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy told reporters this week that Rodgers was back in practice on Thursday, for the first time all week, and “looked good”.

The opposite QB, Tony Romo, is the league’s top rated player in his position this season. His wideout, Dez Bryant, is the league’s leading receiver and their running back, DeMarco Murray, tops the rushing charts.

We might get a classic in -21C conditions.

The Master vs The Apprentice

Peyton Manning takes on the team he won the Super Bowl with in the weekend’s final game.

Andrew Luck is the man who replaced Manning as the Colts’ quarterback. A lot has been made about these two this week, but Luck was quick to point out, “We face the Broncos, in a sense. I’ve never been into the quarterback versus quarterback thing, you know, we’re not on the field at the same time. But I have a lot of respect for (Manning) obviously. What he does, what he still does, is amazing. He’s a stud, but I’ll worry about the Denver defence. That’s what I’ve got to worry about.”

Manning missed all of last week’s workouts with a thigh injury, but he’s declared himself fit for this one.

In the Luck vs Manning bracket, Luck narrowly leads the veteran in yardage: 4,761 yards, just ahead of Manning’s 4,727

When these teams last met in September, Manning picked up three touchdowns in their 31-24 home win. Luck produced two TDs for Indy.

This is too close to call.

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