The NFL Playoffs kick off later this afternoon, with three rookie quarterbacks set to take the field during Wild Card weekend. Generally speaking, the best games of the NFL Playoffs take place during Wild Card weekend, with this postseason being highlighted by some first and second year signal callers, mixed in with a few veterans.
It is amazing that we will not be talking about Aaron Rodgers or Matt Schaub or Joe Flacco as much this weekend. As good as they are (well, at least Rodgers), they are old news. It is the newbies who most of will focus on the most this weekend. Andy Dalton and Christian Ponder were drafted in the 2011 NFL Draft. Compared to the top three quarterbacks who are being discussed this weekend, even they are sort of old news.
The 2013 Wild Card weekend is all about three picks from the 2012 NFL Draft. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III went No. 1 and 2 in last April’s draft, while Russell Wilson may have been one of the biggest steals in recent history by going in the third round. All three will be leading their teams on the field this weekend.
With that being said, which one of the rookie quarterbacks can you most trust this weekend? Luck and the Indianapolis Colts will be facing Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens. No team is playing with more emotion right now than the Colts, who welcomed back head coach Chuck Pagano last week in a big win against the Houston Texans.
On the other side of the coin, Griffin III And his Washington Redskins will be facing Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Griffin III may have home field advantage, but it is Wilson’s team who is favored on the road tomorrow afternoon.
Strictly looking at the overall teams, you would have so say that Wilson has the best shot at getting out of Wild Card weekend. Nothing against Griffin III or Luck, but Wlson has the most talent around him. Griffin III would rank second, with another strong rookie in running back Alfred Morris, who may be the only player preventing Wilson from being named as the steal of the 2012 NFL Draft. Luck has done a fantastic job with the Colts this season, but the team goes as he goes. If the Ravens can step up defensively, in what could be Ray Lewis’s final game of his career, Luck could struggle.
Either way, at least one rookie quarterback will be playing in the Divisional round of the NFL Playoffs next week. Luck could make it two, while Dalton and Ponder are looking to make it half the quarterbacks playing next weekend to be only a year or two removed from playing in college.