Wild Card Rematches: Three Reasons the Games Go the Other Way

Gordon TrueCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 03:  Quarterback Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The 2010 NFL Wild Card Weekend will feature three rematches from Week 17. All three games turned out to be blowouts.

The Jets defeated the Bengals 37-0, the Eagles fell to the Cowboys 24-0, and the Packers took care of the Cardinals 33-7.

The playoffs are a new season, though. Everybody has the same record, 0-0. Here are three reasons why all three teams that got blown out will win this weekend.

1. Andy Reid is 7-0 in opening playoff games. Wade Phillips is 0-4.

Since Andy Reid took over as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999, they have never lost an opening playoff game.

Rather, they have compiled wins against Tampa Bay (2000, 2001), Atlanta (2002), Green Bay (2003), Minnesota (2004), the New York Giants (2006), and Minnesota (2008).

On the other side, Wade Phillips has yet to win a playoff game.

With the Broncos, he lost to the Raiders (1993). With the Bills, he lost to the Dolphins (1998) and the Titans (1999). Most recently, with his current team the Cowboys, he lost to the Giants (2007).

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Look for Reid and McNabb to do what they always do: win their first game of the postseason.

Look for Phillips and Romo to do what they always do: go one-and-done in the playoffs.

2. The Bengals will be at home this time (and actually trying).

The Bengals only lost twice at home this season. One of those losses came in Week 1 on a fluke play when Brandon Stokely, of the Denver Broncos, had a deflected ball fall into his arms in the final seconds of the game.

Among their six home wins are victories over the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

While the Jets compiled an impressive 5-3 road record, it's not quite as good as it sounds. Their last four road victories came against the Raiders, the Bills, the Buccaneers, and a Colts team that was resting its starters.

It's never a good sign when the only reason you're in the playoffs is because the last two teams you played weren't trying to win. Look for things to be much different this time around.

3 . Kurt Warner > Aaron Rodgers.

In a game featuring two high-octane offenses, a lot depends on which quarterback is able to avoid mistakes.

Aaron Rodgers has been phenomenal in his first two years as a starter. He is the first player in NFL history to pass for 4,000 yards in his first two seasons.

But Sunday will be his first playoff game and he's facing one of the decade's best quarterbacks. As good as Rodgers has been, it's still an unknown how he'll deal with the pressures of the second season.

Arizona's defense finished with 43 sacks (despite not rushing the passer at all in Week 17), good for sixth in the league. Green Bay finished with a league-leading 50 sacks allowed (despite not having to defend a pass rush in Week 17). 

Translation: Rodgers will be under serious pressure, both figuratively and literally, all game long.

Kurt Warner, on the other hand, will be starting his 12th playoff game with eight playoff victories under his belt. He has played in three Super Bowls (and holds the record for first, second, and third all-time passing yards in a Super Bowl).

Just last year, Warner set NFL records for both passing yards and touchdowns in a postseason.

Look for Warner and that accurate arm of his to shine against the Packer's banged up secondary.