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NFL Wild Card Weekend

The NFL playoffs began this weekend with a four game slate. First up on Saturday the Houston Texans beat the Cincinatti Bengals in a rematch of last year’s Wild Card matchup 19-13.  Houston racked up 420 yards of offense in quarterback Matt Schaub’s postseaon debut and Schaub credits this to the play of his blockers.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has now started in the playoffs each of his first two years but is still looking for that elusive first victory. Despite this, Dalton remains optimistic about his team.

At Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers won the grudge match over their heated division rival Minnesota Vikings 24-10 after the teams split a pair of meetings this season.  Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers talks about the familiarity between the teams.

Minnesota had to rely more on star running back Adrian Peterson without first string quarterback Christian Ponder, who was out with an elbow injury. But Peterson, who rushed for over 400 yards in his two games against Green Bay this season and finished just nine yards shy of the NFL single season record, wound up with only 99 yards on 22 carries. Peterson says the Packer defense was just too good.

Sunday’s action began with the Baltimore Ravens spoiling the first playoff game of rookie QB Andrew Luck as the Ravens down the Indianaplis Colts 24-9.  Ravens head coach John Harbaugh says despite the emotions of LB Ray Lewis’ final playoff run, the game always comes down to execution.

This ends a season for the Colts that saw a staggering franchise turaround after finishing 2-14 in 2011.  But head coach Chuck Pagano, who missed most of the year while recovering from leukemia, says this postseason loss will be a tough learning opportunity for his team.

And finally the Seattle Seahawks celebrated their return to the postseason with a win over the Washington Redskins 24-14.  Washington scored two touchdowns in the first quarter but managed to muster only 74 yards the rest of the way.  Washington QB Robert Griffin III hobbled his way through most of the game before being knocked out in the fourth quarter, reaggravating his knee injury. Many have questioned coach Mike Shanahan’s to keep RGIII on the field but Shanahan defends his decision.

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll is really proud of his team overcoming a two touchdown deficit behind rookie QB Russell Wilson.

The divisional matchups are now officially set for next weekend. Saturday will feature the Baltimore Ravens at the Denver Broncos (4:30 EST) and the Green Bay Packers at the San Francisco 49ers (8:00 EST).  And on Sunday the Seattle Seahawks visit the Atlanta Falcons (1:00 EST) and the Houston Texans head north to play the New England Patriots (4:30 EST).

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