NFL Wild Card Weekend: Baltimore Ravens VS. Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks VS. Washington Redskins

It’s day two of the Playoffs, which means it’s day two of the TSS Playoff Challenge. Yesterday saw Tin’s Packers manhandle Whitt’s Vikings (poor Joe Webb) while David D.’s Texans proved too much for AJ’s Bengals.

Today, though, features the games we really came to see. Either Chuch Pagano’s magical season or Ray Lewis’ legendary career come to an end today when the Ravens face off against the Colts. Then the marquee match-up has hotshots Russell Wilson and RGIII going head-to-head in a rookie showdown we’ve all been waiting for since Tony Romo sh*t the bed last week.

Without further ado, here is your preview!

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5 Reasons The Baltimore Ravens Will Win (J. Tinsley)

1. Maybe through inspiration alone, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Bernard Pollard – all playing together for the first time this year – leading the defense will inspire this non-traditional Baltimore defense for a turn-the-clock-back performance.

2. Joe Flacco is the only starting quarterback in NFL history to make the playoffs in his first five seasons. I flipped a coin with heads being Good Joe and tails being Bad Joe. Needless to say, it landed on heads.

3. Expect a healthy dose of Ray Rice. That always tends to work well, especially whenever the opponent ranked near the bottom of rushing yards per game and yards per attempt like the Colts were this year.

4. Baltimore’s coming into this game well-rested (and losers of four of their last five). They’re also a battle-proven postseason team. They’ll use both mental aspects to frustrate potential Rookie of the Year candidate Andrew Luck and the Colts.

5. There’s no way the Ravens let Ray Lewis go out with a first round loss, right?

Final Score: 30-22, Ravens

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5 Reasons Why The Indianapolis Colts Will Win (Gotty)

1. Andrew Luck’s only getting better as each game goes by. Conventional wisdom says a rookie who has started every game this season is no longer a rookie. Weekly, he’s proven that he can put the team on his shoulders and lead them to victory.

2. Youth versus age here. What the Colts lack in playoff experience (most haven’t played a playoff game before), they make up for by having fresher bodies than an aged Baltimore squad that has battled injuries all season long.

3. Even though Baltimore won last year’s meeting between these two, that game didn’t feature Luck or even his predecessor Manning. And if we’re tracking history, Indy won the six games prior to that meeting.

4. Indy has plenty of momentum. They enter the playoffs winners in five of their last six and nine of their last 11. The Ravens? Losers in four of their last five. One time is in full stride while the other is limping along.

5. The “Chuck Pagano Effect.” Okay, I made that up but don’t be so quick to discount it. Not only does 59-year-old coach’s return provide an emotional lift (“hey, if he can beat cancer, we can beat the stinking Ravens.”) but Pagano knows the Ravens. As their former defensive coordinator, he’s familiar with the team’s schemes, the personnel and its DNA. It’s not everything, but even a slight advantage is an advantage in these situations.

Final Score: 24-21, Colts

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