Definition of the NFC Wild Card Games: Brutal
by Amy Lignor
Whether it was more brutal to play in Minnesota in the horrifically cold temperatures, or it was more brutal to watch the game being played, is anyone’s guess. There were only two interesting things in the NFC Wild Card Game between the Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks before halftime. One was a fan in the stands dressed in a Darth Vader costume that was purple. Vader would cringe to see his polished, evil black costume turned into some purple thing that looked more like Barney the dinosaur, but the guy gets props. His choice of costume was one way to make sure that no skin was left open to temperatures that could cause frostbite in ten minutes.
The other interesting thing was the fact that the almighty Marshawn Lynch…didn’t come. He had practiced all week after a long bout of being off the field, yet when push came to shove, and the Seahawks knew because of the brutal weather it would be more of a ground game where Lynch’s running skills would be needed, Lynch decided to watch the game from a far warmer room in Seattle.
It was cringe-causing to watch these two highly volatile teams come to a complete standstill in the freezing weather. The last time these two had met up, Seattle had buried the Vikings with QB Wilson’s incredible passing and quickness of foot. But this time around, when the teams went in for halftime, only 185 yards of total offense had occurred. Wilson could get nothing going, and when it came to QB Bridgewater of the Vikings, and his team, they could rarely do anything except score three field goals by the time the fourth quarter came around.
But as everyone always says, especially Tom Coughlin this year regarding his ex-Giants, there are a full four quarters in the game and you must play each one of them. Seattle decided to spring alive in the fourth and score a TD and a field goal, putting them ahead of the Vikings 10-9. And Wilson can be granted kudos for that. On a botched snap that literally had the ball flying over his own head, Wilson saved it!
But, again, game not over. Pass interference call, a catch, a run down the sidelines, and…a FG try by the Vikings with 26 seconds left on the clock. And…BRUTAL! The Vikings actually miss. Misery sets in. The kick is no good and the Seattle Seahawks prove, yet again, that they were born under a lucky star. Or were they? Now they must head directly to the all-powerful Carolina Panthers next week, so they’re looking at a seriously tough match. But the team can flick their noses at the running back who stayed home. They did it with the help of some angel they have on their shoulders, and not with Lynch.
The second NFC Wild Card was the Green Bay Packers, who everyone called for to be the winner of their division at the beginning of the season, as well as the team that would have home field advantage throughout the playoffs; versus the Washington Redskins…a team that literally won their division – the NFC “LEAST” – by default. In other words, they screwed up less than the Giants, Eagles, and the ridiculous, Romo-less Cowboys.
Green Bay and their amazing QB Aaron Rodgers ended the regular season on a hideous note. The Redskins and their hot QB who “LIKES THAT!” – Kirk Cousins – were ramped up and ready to play. Whoever won the game would head to the Arizona Cardinals next week. And both QB’s most definitely wanted to go.
Was there much more to say about this game than: “Brutal?” Not really. This was the most tuned-into and the most anticipated weekend match. Green Bay fans were ripped that the Vikings had won the division over their Lambeau field boys, which is the group you heard cheering when the Vikings FG was missed in their own Wild Card game.
So brutal, yes, but the outcome of this one did not cause much of a shock. Arizona…here they come.