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04.02.2015 08:19
NFC Wild Card Game antworten

<p>NFC Wild Card Game</p><p>This is largely to do with the inconsistency that Arizona has shown throughout the season (and not because I have a soft spot for Arizona after there 2009 play off run). They have the worst home record of any team in the play offs (44) yet as we saw when they dismantled the Minnesota Vikings recently they are capable of blowing away any team with Superbowl aspirations.</p><p>This is a repeat of a week 17 fixture (like three other wild card games), but that lopsided win for Green Bay won't really have much bearing in this contest. Ken Whisenhunt had already seen the Vikings win earlier that day making any tilt at the number two seed (and a weeks rest) became a redundant exercise. Thus many of the starters were rested (most notably Kurt Warner) and you can bet for sure that the playbook was well and truly scaled back. It really was a Vanilla performance.</p><p>Mike McCarthy on the other hand chose to play his starters, even though they too could rise no higher in the seedings. He was rewarded with a 337 victory but both he and his players won't be fooled into overconfidence. It was an interesting clash of philosophies one coach deciding to rest his star players whilst the other choosing to maintain momentum. With such a debate being top of blog boards (thanks largely to the Indianapolis Colts choosing to throw away their shot at emulating the '72 Miami Dolphins) this match up will serve as a good indicator as to which approach is best.</p><p>Of course the positive side of Arizona's schizophrenic nature shouldn't be forgotten. This time last year they were widely derided for being the worst team to ever make the playoffs. Then they caught fire. Warner and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald completed some of the most stunning plays of the season in games when it mattered most. Indeed during the four postseason matches Fitzgerald was almost unplayable (He set post season records with 30 catches and 546 yards). This season Fitzgerald has again been a stellar performer, even without dominating the highlights reels. He has 97 receptions for 1.092 yards and 13 touchdowns. With Anquan Boldin a doubt for the game, Arizona will need Warner and Fitzgerald to click like the 2009 vintage. Doing so against the second ranked NFL defence will be a tough ask Whisenhunt no doubt will have some innovative plays to get his big receiver free.</p><p>Potentially crossing swords with Fitzgerald could be the impressive Charles Woodson. He leads the league with a total of 9 interceptions and is also a genuine Defensive MVP candidate. In the game last week, Fitzgerald only took three catches for 17 yards and was held in check by his coach. This time we will see the real thing.</p><p>The Green Bay defence has been the subject of many column inches ever since the change from a 43 line up to the current 34. Latterly those column inches have been glowing about the unit, as mentioned before they rank second overall but are number one against the run. The growing combination of Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower may struggle to offer balance to the Cardinals attack, but they will have to make the Packers defence respect them in order to gain room for the passing game. If Green Bay can shut those two backs down then the likelihood of a Cardinals win recedes relying on only one mode of attack (in this case passing) won't get you to the Superbowl.</p><p>Green Bay on the other hand appears to have a well balanced outfit. Although Aaron Rodgers has been sacked a league leading 51 times (in comparison Warner has only been grounded on 24 occasions) only 7 of those have come in the last six games clearly the offensive line are beginning to pull their weight. Rodgers himself, has been nothing short of outstanding this season he has only thrown seven interceptions but has stacked up an impressive 30 touchdown passes. wholesale jerseys </p><p>Whilst there is no doubt Green Bay are a pass first team, the running game has also contributed manfully. Ryan Grant has quietly accumulated his 1,253 yards (only 3 100+ yard games) and is enough of a presence to keep defences honest. If the troublesome Darnell Dockett can pierce through a line that has, at times been full of holes, then Green Bay may need to revert to a ground game. Whilst Grant is efficient, Rodgers is the true star who makes the franchise tick. china nfl jerseys </p><p>Form dictates that you have to pick the Packers. They have won seven out of eight, have the second best defence in the league and have a greater balance offensively. The problem with making predictions is that you can get them wrong. As was evidenced last year, the Arizona Cardinals quite enjoy proving people wrong. When they are on song there is nobody quite like them, and they are one of the most enjoyable teams to watch in the league. nike nfl jerseys china </p><p>As I said at the start of this piece this game is the most intriguing match up of the wild card games. My head says Green Bay to win but my heart says Arizona, and I desperately want my heart to be right. wholesale jerseys china </p>

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