Blogs & Opinion

Kevin Cadle previews the NFL wild card matches on Saturday

Features Posted 4th January 2013 view comments

First up on Saturday we see Cincinnati's trip to face the Houston Texans before a huge NFC North clash between Minnesota and Green Bay, who only played each other last week!

It's a busy weekend of wildcard action, and first up are a team in Houston that thought right up until the last weekend that they would get a bye in the play-offs, only to drop right into third spot and into a tough match against the Bengals.

Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) @ Houston Texans (12-4) - Sat, 9.30pm Sky Sports 1HD

For me, it's all about Cincinnati's defence because if that defence can continue on the streak they're on now then Houston will have a very difficult time. Houston's defence has a difficult time dealing with the long pass, and passing in general.

Adrian Peterson: MVP but can't do it on his own

Adrian Peterson: MVP but can't do it on his own

And that's the strength of the Bengals right now with AJ Green and the other guys that they have been steeping up for them - so their pass game could give the Texans some problems.

The thing with Houston is they can't get Arian Foster going and make things happen with that offensive line. The key for them is play-action, Foster is their main man, but if they can't get that play-action working then he's not going to be as effective.

The guy standing up recently for Houston is Andre Johnson, he's been out there and been competitive each and every game. Offensively the key for them is to run the ball and then that will open up the play-action game and make it hard for the Cincinnati Bengals.

The two quarterbacks have question marks around both of them. This is the first big game for Matt Schaub, probably his first play-off game where he has got to stand up and be the man from the beginning. The jury's still out on Andy Dalton - the last four or five weeks offensively the Bengals have struggled and a lot of it has to do with his play, so it's a big game for both of these in their position.

Kev's Call: I have to go with Cincinnati, I think they're on a much better roll, even though they have problems on offence, but I just think they'll be too strong.

Minnesota (10-6) @ Green Bay (11-5) - Sun 1am Sky Sports 1 HD

I don't really like Minnesota in this one, Adrian Peterson will be able to get off and do some things but he has to have a superhuman game for them to be in it.

Green Bay are at home, they still have those receivers and the Vikings have problems in the secondary with Antoine Winfield - when he didn't play in the second half Aaron Rodgers had a field day with them - and with a broken hand how good is he going to be after just a week?

DuJuan Harris at running back had a good game for the Packers so if he or Ryan Grant can give them a running game I like how they line up offensively, Charles Woodson can give them something extra on defence so there's too many things in Green Bay's favour in this one.

I don't think the outside turf will slow Peterson down, he had 209 yards against them last time outside on that grass in Green Bay. I just think they've got to figure him out third time of asking, Dom Capers and this defence, Peterson has run over them once, twice, but not a third time - the Packers must have a plan to figure out this Vikings run game by now!

For me Peterson is the MVP of the season without a doubt, he's nine years off the record, and who are the Minnesota Vikings without Adrian Peterson, they're not even close to being a play-off team.

He's carried them as far as he possibly could, their QB is shaky, I think I got six games where he didn't pass for more than 150 yards so for me it's not even close over who the MVP is.

Kev's Call: Peterson is my MVP, but I think it's as far as he can take the Vikings, the Packers just have too much going for them and Woodson back in defence will help so it's got to be a home win.

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