Wild Card Weekend Preview Part 2

chuck paganoIndianapolis @ Baltimore

Easy to say before the season that the Indianapolis Colts were not expected to be in the playoffs was a complete understatement. New coach, new front office, rookie quarterback, and what was to be inferior talent level all across the depth chart. All of these weaknesses have turned out to be not as weak as everyone expected. The new coach Chuck Pagano turned into an emotional rallying point for his team when he was diagnosed with leukemia very early in the season. #Chuckstrong became the focal point and the catalyst to get to the playoffs, so the embattled coach could come back and lead his team.

The rookie quarterback never really had a bunch of rookie moments. Andrew Luck never had that deer in the headlights look that so often you see out of rookie quarterbacks. Note to teams looking for the next Andrew Luck, pick a quarterback that started multiple years in college. Luck shook off bad performances and came back the next week with the determination and will to succeed and bring his team to this point, which is a remarkable 11-5 record.

Somehow the talent was retained enough and also augmented enough as well to have this incredible season. Who would have thought that re-WWP Waynesigning WR Reggie Wayne would have been such a key move, first off I couldn’t believe he would ever want to re-sign back with the Colts with the success Wayne had with Peyton Manning. I was sure that Wayne would have followed Manning to Denver or carved out a niche with another established quarterback. Retaining Wayne was critical to the success and development of the rookie quarterback and now has the Colts 3 wins from the ultimate goal, which is the Super Bowl.

Wayne’s Receiving Stats

Rec

Yds

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

106

1355

12.8

33

5

22

0

Baltimore is still having identity issues. They have been known for so long as a hard nosed, grinding out, defense first team. Now the Ravens have tried to give the reigns over to their QB Joe Flacco. Flacco has been in the league for 5 seasons now and this was to be the year that he was to take off and be “the guy” when it comes to leading the Ravens to the championship. Flacco was no longer just “the care taker” or “game WWP Flaccomanager”, he was to be able to put the pieces together and if need be audible to better and more favorable matchups. It just didn’t seem to materialize this year. Instead it looked like the same old Ravens. If teams got up on the Ravens and held more than a one score lead there were not able to run consistently enough to bring the play action, which is Joe Flacco most dangerous part of his game into play. The Ravens are not that team that are in obvious passing down that can beat you. I think they should scrap that thought process and go to what they know. Beat the crap out of people and run the freaking football. Make QB Joe Flacco be the “game manager” that he doesn’t want to be but that is what he is. That is the way for the Ravens are going to be successful.

WWP LewisPrediction, as much of a story as the Colts head coach has been, today all eyes will be on MLB Ray Lewis and what will be his final home game of his career. Lewis has been the heart and soul of the Ravens defense for 17 seasons and this being his last game in front of the home crowd, what better way to send Lewis off with a win against the upstart Colts and his old defensive coordinator and Colts head coach Chuck Pagano. Keys to the game will be ball control offense by the Ravens. Ravens QB Joe Flacco can try next year to make the Ravens his team, for now hand the ball off to RB Ray Rice and toss some screens to Ray Rice and if that wasn’t enough run some wild cat with Ray WWP RiceRice. The Ravens need to run the football and dictate tempo to the young Indianapolis Colts. Even though Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck has been good, he has thrown his share of INT’s this year (18) so if you can get him flustered in his 1st playoff game it will serve the Ravens well. Against the spread might be a tall order, the Ravens are favored by 6.5 points. The Ravens will not cover but they should win. Ravens 19 Colts 16

WWP WilsonSeattle @ Washington

I am so hyped for this game. Seattle travels to Washington in a battle of 2 rookie quarterbacks with similar styles. We will start out with the 6th quarterback taken in last spring’s draft Russell Wilson. That is right, the 6th QB selected and Wilson was taken in the 3rd round. So Cleveland who is rumored to be looking at Chip Kelly as their new head coach could have had the style of QB he is going to be looking for. I wonder how Russell Wilson would look like with a “star” on his helmet? I am not going to anoint him as the second coming but I find it hilarious to see all these teams not in the playoffs who have definite needs at the QB position and had 70 picks to draft Wilson. You talk about measurables, like his height. Well Drew Brees is the same height. Wilson isn’t accurate enough, well he completed 60% of his passes which is better than the number one overall pick Andrew Luck. Competition, he played in the ACC and then in the Big 10, so that was not it either. Well what ever it was the Seahawks look like geniuses now.

Russell Wilson’s Stats

Att

Comp

Pct

Yds

YPA

Lg

TD

Int

20+

40+

Rate

393

252

64.1

3118

7.93

67

26

10

42

11

100.0

** Wilson also rushed for 489 yards and 4 TD’s.

I have been singing the praises of RG3 all year. So we will focus more on his backfield mate RB Alfred Morris. Morris is another guy that they are probably 25 NFL teams that are kicking themselves for not taking this kid. A 6th round pick out of Florida Atlantic, Morris burst on to WWP Read Optionthe scene this year by putting up some great numbers for a running back period, let alone a rookie running back. He along side RG3 gave the Redskins a 2 headed monster that defenses had trouble dealing with all season, when it comes to that spread/read option that both the Seahawks and Redskins adopted this year.

This was the analysis on Alfred Morris by respected scout Bucky Brooks who works for the NFL Network.

WWP MorrisOverview

Morris is a thick running back and a bit of a tweener, not big enough to be imposing at the next level. He is a serviceable runner who at best could carry a load like BenJarvus Green-Ellis of New England, but he will have to prove he has the speed and athleticism to deserve a shot. He carries late-round or free-agent value.

Analysis
Strengths
Morris is a natural runner between the tackles. He is deceptively agile in short areas to avoid clean hits, and plays faster when tasked with finding daylight in a short area. He has a sense of urgency in the backfield. He is capable of blocking in pass protection at the next level.

Weaknesses

Morris doesn’t have NFL speed and will need to define himself more as a runner if he wants to make enough of an impression in a camp. He has the natural ability within the tackles to be successful, but in the NFL seams and holes are harder to come by and arm tackles difficult to avoid. Morris will need to prove himself as a thumper early.

This is why I want to turn this site into a website to shed light on kids like this who aren’t always going to the biggest schools, or have the fastest 40 times, and who do not get the recognition they deserve.

Prediction, both teams are so similar and this game will come down to the team who doesn’t make the big mistake. The other key
question is how healthy is RG3 3 weeks removed from the knee injury? Last week Griffin III looked like he was still favoring the knee. I expect this to be a competitive game through out with maybe one mistake causing the outcome. The Redskins are favored by 3.5 and I can see why. This game is taking place in Washington. If the game was in Seattle the Seahawks would be favored by 3.5. With that being said, I like the Redskins in this game. Too much for the Seahawks to deal with as far as crowd noise, defense, and Morris and RG3. Redskins 23 Seahawks 19

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