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AFC: Wildcard Weekend Starts Postseason Play

The AFC postseason lineup has been made and AFC Wildcard Weekend highlights the first weekend of the postseason. The AFC has three very strong representatives in the postseason in Denver, New England and Houston and could give the NFC trouble when the two conferences meet in February to tangle for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The AFC lineup of teams in the postseason should look familiar to many, as they are teams that appear on a regular basis. The AFC seedings for the postseason have Denver at no. 1 followed by New England, Houston, Baltimore, Indianapolis and Cincinnati.

On Saturday, the AFC wildcard matchup will feature the Houston Texans hosting the Cincinnati Bengals. Houston won the AFC South division and for most of the season was considered the team to beat in the AFC. The Texans however, have cooled off a bit over the last month of the season and enter the game with a 12-4 SU record.

Cincinnati enters this matchup riding a streak of 7 wins in their last 8 games, including winning their last three regular season games to end the season 10-6 SU.

The two teams met last season in the playoffs and Houston defeated Cincinnati 31-10 behind backup quarterback T.J. Yates who started in place of Matt Schaub who was injured. The win for Houston was their first playoff victory since the franchise started in 2002 and it was the Bengals’ fourth straight loss in the postseason.

Most thought Houston would have a first round bye entering the playoffs and the top seed for the AFC just two short weeks ago. However, Houston lost two straight to fall to third in the seedings behind top seed Denver and second seed New England.

In Sunday’s wildcard game, the Indianapolis Colts visit the Baltimore Ravens. Indianapolis ended their regular season with a record of 11-5 SU, while the Ravens limped into the posts season 10-6 SU after losing four out of their last five games.

Andrew Luck the rookie quarterback for the Colts had a fine season and helped turned the team around from their 2-14 season, just a year ago. This will be the first time the Colts have gone to the playoffs since Peyton Manning their long time leader at quarterback left to play with Denver.

Last season Baltimore was close to playing in the Super Bowl, but lost to New England 23-20 when their placekicker Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal that would have tied AFC Championship and sent it to overtime.

The Ravens have been banged up all season and their defense has not been the unit it has been in the past. Injuries to start the season on defense to Terrell Suggs and then to veteran Ray Lewis hurt the defensive unit and they fell to middle of the pack.

Lewis has announced he will retire after the season and that could give the team a boost, as they will want to send out the veteran from the University of Miami with another Super Bowl ring.

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