The 2013 NFL Playoffs and the road to Super Bowl XLVII have arrived. Unfortunately for everyone at this page, the New York Giants are home watching and won't be able to try and defend their title. Being the football fan that I am, that doesn't stop me from watching the playoffs; every game and every second. Here's a guide on which teams to root for this weekend, whether or not they come out with a win.
Nothing like a good AFC Wildcard game rematch to kick off Saturday. Last postseason the Texans and Bengals met in the Wildcard round. The game ended with the Texans giving the Bengals a 31-10 beating, and that was with their third string quarterback, T.J. Yates. This time around the Texans have a healthy Matt Schaub and a much more powerful J.J. Watt.
Bandwagon pick: Houston Texans
I like Houston. I think they're a good team, and I've been a fan of Watt's since he was at Wisconsin. Nothing against Cincinnati, really. They went on an impressive run to get back to the playoffs. I just like Houston more.
This is one of the games I'm looking forward to watching the most this weekend. The Colts have gone from a two-win team last year to an 11-win and playoff-bound team this year. Number one draft pick Andrew Luck found a good connection with Reggie Wayne and the two have led the Colts back to success. I personally don't think the Ravens are as good of a team as their record shows, even if they did give the Giants a beat down.
Bandwagon pick: Indianapolis Colts
With what they've accomplished as a team this season and the Chuck Pagano story of his cancer battle, how can you not root for this team? And like I said above, I don't find Baltimore all that impressive. The Colts have gone beyond my expectations.
No one expected the Vikings to make the playoffs, and no one expected the year Adrian Peterson had after coming off his knee surgery. No offense to Christian Ponder, I like the kid, but Peterson has carried this team on his back the entire season. The Packers started the season a little shaky then lost Clay Matthews and Jordy Nelson to injuries for a few weeks. They managed to hold their own and get 11 wins.
Bandwagon pick: Minnesota Vikings
Peterson alone makes me want to root for them. He's had a year for the history books. I also can't bring myself to root for the Packers.
This could be the biggest game of the weekend: A battle of the rookie quarterbacks. Both Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson have led two losing franchises to winning records and playoff berths. RGIII has impressed with his ability to run and create mayhem for opposing defenses, while Wilson has been very calm, cool, and collected and had brought a smoother offense to Seattle. Kudos to Pete Carroll for choosing Wilson to be the starting quarterback rather than going with Matt Flynn who they gave $10,000,000 guaranteed.
Bandwagon pick: Seattle Seahawks
This is more geared toward how impressed I am with the Seahawks instead of an anti-root-for-division-rival motive. RGIII was the second pick overall and Heisman Trophy winner. He was expected to succeed. No one really expected what Wilson has done this season. Both teams are on a roll these last few weeks of the season, but I like the way Seattle is moving. This is going to be some game.
There you have it. These are all the teams I am rooting for during the Wildcard round. Watch out next week for my Divisional Round bandwagon choices.
--You can follow Kelsey O'Donnell on Twitter @KelsODonnell