NFL Playoff Schedule 2013: Power Ranking Each Matchup on Wild Card Weekend

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2013

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 30:  Sidney Rice #18 of the Seattle Seahawks is introduced against the St. Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field on December 30, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Kevin Casey/Getty Images)
Kevin Casey/Getty Images

Speaking frankly, we are all going to watch every NFL postseason game. This is the time of year when you cancel plans with friends and family to purposely sit in front of the television and watch football. However, there are some games that are more appealing than others. 

In an effort to help you properly plan what you will be doing on Wild Card Weekend, we are going to provide you with a power ranking of all four games. These are the games that we are most excited to see. 

The biggest factor in this ranking is how competitive the game will be. While anyone can watch a football game, you tune in to see something that captivates you and you can't turn away until the clock strikes zero. 


No. 4: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

This game has more star power at the top than any other game this weekend, but it is also the most lopsided matchup. Even as I say that, I am aware that the Vikings just beat the Packers last weekend. 

However, moving things to Green Bay, giving Aaron Rodgers five days to prepare and letting the defense look at what it did wrong against Christian Ponder will put the Packers over the top in his game. 

Peterson is going to get his yards, even in the cold elements, but Ponder has to make enough plays to keep the Vikings in this game. That is a risky proposition, though he has come through a lot more often than he gets credit for. 

Still, the Packers are a vastly superior team on paper and should have no problem holding serve on their turf. 


No. 3: Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens

Writing this, I can easily see this being the most competitive game of the weekend. I can also see it turning into a one-sided affair for the Ravens, because the Colts have not been great away from home this season. 

Andrew Luck, in particular, has struggled on the road. He threw 13 of his 18 interceptions this season away from home. The team's best win away from home was probably against Detroit, though the Lions finished just 4-12 this season. 

On the other side, the Ravens are starting to show signs of age and breaking down. Their defense is not nearly as imposing as it once was. Ray Lewis' status for the game is being kept under wraps, though it would be a surprise if he didn't play. 

As long as Joe Flacco doesn't have one of those games where he throws three interceptions, which he is prone to do, the Ravens should be able to take care of business against a team they are vastly superior to on paper. 


No. 2: Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans

This might actually be the least anticipated postseason matchup, but I am intrigued by the storyline of where these two teams are at right now and where they could be. 

The Bengals have conquered their white whale(s), beating Pittsburgh and Baltimore in consecutive weeks to end the season. Now they have to end their postseason losing streak that dates back to 1990. 

They have the passing game to exploit the Texans' suddenly inept secondary. A.J. Green is the best receiver playing this weekend, so look for him to have a huge game in his second-career postseason game. 

The Texans look like a shell of their former self right now. They should have been the No. 1 seed in the AFC, all they needed was one win in the last two weeks to secure a first-round bye. Now, they are stuck playing a game when they figured they would have a week off. 

Matt Schaub looked terrible against Indianapolis in Week 17. He constantly threw off his back foot, forced bad throws and made it so the Colts didn't bother to respect the passing game. 

Houston's defense is so dependent on the front seven making plays, because the secondary is a mess right now. The talent is there for the Texans to make a run, but based on recent play, they look like they could be one-and-done. 


No. 1: Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins

Ignoring, for a moment, the fact that Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch play for Seattle's offense, this game is worth the price of admission just to see what Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris will be able to do against the Seahawks defense. 

The Seahawks are the "It" team in the NFC right now. They had one of the most impressive three-game stretches in recent memory, scoring 150 points against Arizona, Buffalo and San Francisco. 

They did come back down to earth against St. Louis in Week 17, scoring just 20 points, but that defense has opened a lot of eyes down the stretch. Add Wilson, Lynch and Sidney Rice to the mix on offense, and suddenly no one wants to play Seattle. 

However, the Redskins carry the longest winning streak in the NFC. They won their last seven games to capture the NFC East for the first time in 13 years. 

Playing at home is a huge advantage for the Redskins. They weren't great at home in 2012, posting a 5-3 record. Seattle has been a different team away from home, though. It lost five of its eight road games, needing two wins at the end of the year to make that record look acceptable. 

This should be one of the most exciting games of the entire postseason, and easily the top choice to watch on Wild Card Weekend. 


Since you need to know how to find all four matchups, here is the schedule for the entire NFL postseason. 

Wild Card Round

Team 1 (ROAD) Team 2 (HOME) Date Time TV Info
Cincinnati Houston 1/5/13 4:30 p.m. ET NBC
Minnesota Green Bay 1/5/13 8 p.m. ET NBC
Indianapolis Baltimore 1/6/13 1 p.m. ET CBS
Seattle Washington 1/6/13 4:30 p.m. ET FOX


Divisional Playoffs

Team 1 (ROAD) Team 2 (HOME) Date Time TV Info
Bal/Ind/Cin Denver 1/12/13 4:30 p.m. ET CBS
GB/Wash/Sea San Francisco 1/12/13 8 p.m. ET FOX
Wash/Sea/Minn Atlanta 1/13/13 1 p.m. ET FOX
Hou/Bal/Ind New England 1/13/13 4:30 p.m. ET CBS


Conference Championships

Team 1 (ROAD) Team 2 (HOME) Date Time TV Info


Super Bowl XLVII

Team 1 Team 2 Date Time TV Info
AFC Winner NFC Winner 2/3/13 TBD CBS