Wildcard teams play the hand they are dealt

Published 2:24 am Thursday, January 13, 2005

By Staff
Rob Griffin
The National Football League Wildcard Playoffs started this past weekend.
The Indianapolis Colts hosted the Denver Broncos, a team that defeated them in the final week of the regular season.
The Colts fared better this time as Peyton Manning dissected the Broncos defense for five touchdowns, (one rushing). Manning also passed for 457 yards, no. 2 all-time for a single wildcard game. The Colts will take their high-powered offense to Foxboro Stadium to face the New England Patriots, a team that has beaten them eight straight times in New England, including the playoffs.
Next we have the Minnesota Vikings who played at Lambeau Field against Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. Favre did not have a great day at the Quarterback position, tossing four interceptions. However, Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper threw four touchdown passes en route to a 31-17 win, his first win against the Packers in three outings this season. Minnesota had an 8-8 regular season record.
On to another 8-8 team, the St. Louis Rams. St. Louis played the Seattle Seahawks, a team that they defeated twice in the regular season. Could the Rams pull out another win against the NFC West division leaders? The game was close during the entire contest, but with his team down late in the fourth quarter, Rams QB Marc Bulger guided his team to the endzone with the winning score as they defeated Seattle 29-28.
In another close game, the New York Jets and the San Diego Chargers battled for the right to play the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional round of the playoffs. Tied at 17 when the fourth quarter expired, it was on to overtime. The Chargers won the toss and quickly took advantage of their opportunity by moving the ball down field. San Diego's rookie kicker, Nate Kaeding, missed a short field goal as it sailed wide to the right. That gave the Jets the ball around the 30-yard line. New York took the ball down into field goal range and veteran kicker Doug Brien knocked it right down the middle to give the Jets the win.
The Divisional Playoffs can be seen on ABC and Fox. Look at your TV Guide to see who plays who and when. I'm your sports guy and you've been great!

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