NFL Playoffs 2015: NFC Wild Card Weekend Primer

NFL: Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings
Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has completed close to 70% of his passes in leading Minnesota to the playoffs. He’ll have his work cut out for him against Seattle’s defense on Sunday. (Photo Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports)

Let’s just jump right in.

Seattle Seahawks v. Minnesota Vikings

I want this match up to be closer. 

I want so badly to believe that Minnesota is at a greater advantage being at home, in record low temperatures, with Adrian Peterson.

But alas, I just can’t get there.

Give me Seattle’s defense against Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings receiving corps. Every advantage goes to the Seahawks in that battle, given the lack of arm strength of Bridgewater and Seattle’s pension for roughing up the opposing teams top target (in the Vikings case, that’s Stefon Diggs).

Adrian Peterson will get his, but if Seattle exploits Minnesota’s banged up defense early and often enough, his impact won’t matter as much as Vikings faithful would like to believe. I would love to overlook the 38-7 thumping the Seahawks laid on the Vikings in week 13, but that would be ignoring the obvious gap the Vikings would have to make up in just a few weeks.

It hasn’t happened.

How will this go?

I think the Vikings give a more spirited effort than a few weeks ago, but ultimately I believe Bridgewater takes his playoff lumps and the Seahawks win this one comfortably.

Prediction: Seahawks 28, Vikings 14

Green Bay Packers v. Washington Redskins

Kirk Cousins has been sensational since week 7 (23 TD’s, 2 INT’s). Green Bay’s pass defense (ranked sixth in the NFL) will have its work cut out for them. (Photo: John McDonnell/Washington Post)

I was hard on Kirk Cousins to begin the season, and with good reason. He was turning the ball over at a ridiculously high pace. But since the Redskins comeback win against Tampa Bay week 7 Cousins has thrown a remarkable 23 touchdowns to just interceptions. It’s no wonder he’s being touted for a huge payday this offseason. Not to mention he’s made Jay Gruden look like an absolute genius (which I contend, he is not).

It’s really simple: give your team a chance to win and it’s more often than not they will. Cousins has begun to do that and then some, which is why them storming into the postseason wasn’t a surprise. In the NFC East, especially down the stretch, they made the fewest mistakes.

Green Bay, however, will be a challenge.

This isn’t all going to be on Aaron Rodgers, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did take over this game. The Packers come into this contest ranked sixth in the NFL in passing defense. That means the redskins biggest weapon, the pass, will be the focal point of any game plan Dom Capers puts together. It also means that if Alfred Morris and Matt Jones don’t give the Redskins some semblance of a ground game, it’s going to a long day for the Redskins.

Am I counting on a Green Bay blowout? No, but I think Rodgers is too good and the Packers defense will generate enough stops to pull out, yet another, road upset in these playoffs.

Prediction: Green Bay 28, Washington 21

Thoughts? Let me know about’em! Follow me on Twitter @DACubbage

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