It feels like just yesterday that the NFL was dominated by the NFL lockout that threatened to cancel the 16-game season. But postseason play is here, and all the talk is about high-flying offenses and several Hall of Fame worthy quarterbacks.
Those hoping to see some high-octane offenses are in luck, starting Saturday night, when Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford battle it out in New Orleans.
But first we have the Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans, one of the hardest matchups of the weekend to put a finger on. The Bengals made it to the playoffs by beating some ordinary teams, and the Texans have been led by T.J. Yates, a rookie quarterback who was thrown into the fire after injuries to Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart.
Since stepping in during a Week 12 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Yates has thrown as many touchdowns as interceptions (3) and accumulated 949 yards passing.
The Bengals are looking to their own rookie, Andy Dalton, to lead them to a victory. Dalton had a successful rookie campaign with 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, but many of victories came against teams living at the bottom of the NFL standings.
Time of game: 4:30 p.m. — NBC.
The second matchup of the game may leave fans exhausted once the game is over. Both the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions have explosive offenses, but the Saints seem intent on making people forget about their disappointing first-round loss to the Seattle Seahawks last year.
The two quarterbacks taking the field today combined for more than 10,000 yards passing this season. So anybody hoping for a defensive struggle should look elsewhere.
People around the NFL have been campaigning for Brees to win the MVP after his record-breaking filled season that included 46 touchdowns passes and more than 5,400 yards passing.
But Detroit’s Matthew Stafford isn’t somebody to take lightly. He also put together a great season, throwing for 41 touchdowns and racking up more than 5,000 yards passing.
Time of game: 8 p.m. — NBC