NFL Playoffs 2012-13: Ideal Matchups for Wild Card Weekend

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IIDecember 27, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 10: The Baltimore Ravens defense lines up against the Cincinnati Bengals offense during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium on September 10, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The NFL playoff picture will be completed after Week 17, and it has the potential to be a masterpiece with thrilling matchups set for Wild Card Weekend. 

Six teams have already filled up all the AFC spots, but the seeds can still be shaken up. Two more tickets to the postseason are still available for NFC teams.

The matchup between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys will decide the NFC East champion, and there are still several scenarios that could play out to determine whether the Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears or New York Giants receive the final Wild Card spot.

Here are the matchups that would be ideal for NFL fans and the scenarios that would cause them. 



Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota will be playing the Packers for a spot in the playoffs, while Green Bay will be motivated to get a victory and seal a first-round bye.

If the Vikings win this game, they will get the last NFC Wild Card spot while opening the door for the San Francisco 49ers to regain the No. 2 seed from the Packers. If the Niners beat the Arizona Cardinals, these NFC North rivals will face each other two weeks in a row. 

The Packers are a high-flying passing offense led by Aarond Rodgers, while the Vikings move the ball with a relentless dose of Adrian Peterson.

With an intense rivalry, conflicting styles and the last game of the regular season fresh in the minds of both teams, this matchup would provide plenty of storylines for fans to get excited about.


Washington Redskins vs. Seattle Seahawks

With a victory over the Cowboys, the Redskins will clinch the NFC East and the No. 4 seed in the playoffs. 

The Seahawks have a chance to move all the way up to the No. 2 seed, but this would require the 49ers to lose to the Cardinals, and in all likelihood, they will end up as the first Wild Card.

A matchup between the Redskins and Seahawks would feature two of this year’s exciting rookie quarterbacks. Watching a quarterback duel between Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson would be an exciting prospect for NFL fans. 

In an ideal sports world, this would be the second Wild Card matchup.



Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Ravens and the Bengals will face off in the final week of the season, and a Baltimore victory will put the pressure on the New England Patriots to beat the Miami Dolphins in order to protect its No. 3 seed.

While the Pats losing is unlikely, it would create an ideal set of matchups for Wild Card Weekend in combination with a Ravens win.

In this scenario, Baltimore and Cincinnati would battle for a third time this season in the opening set of playoff games.

With defensive stars such as Geno Atkins and Haloti Ngata set to battle in the trenches for their respective teams, this would be another hard-fought AFC North battle. It would test the wit and creativity of both coaching staffs as the teams would be going against each other for the second time in two weeks.


New England Patriots vs. Indianapolis Colts 

Postseason battles between the Patriots and Colts have been the marquee events of the past decade, but this one would mark the beginning of a new era.

Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady was always a must-see event, and Andrew Luck has proved this season that he is ready to carry Indianapolis back towards being a perennial contender. 

While Manning and Brady may face off later in the playoffs, Luck will get his chance to prove that he can be an elite quarterback down the road in this potential matchup. 

With the future taking on the present, this matchup would complete an ideal slate of Wild Card games.