Yes, the season is over for the Minnesota Vikings, ladies and gentlemen. But that certainly doesn't mean that the NFL is done for the season, as there are two more wild card playoff games today to determine the match-ups for the divisional playoffs next weekend.
The early game will be on the AFC side of the house, as the AFC North Champion Baltimore Ravens (10-6) will play host to the team that used to reside in Baltimore, the Indianapolis Colts (11-5). The Colts were in a similar situation to the Vikings just one year ago, with a 2-14 record and the top overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. They used that pick on rookie signal-caller Andrew Luck, and he. . .along with the inspirational story of head coach Chuck Pagano. . .has driven this team to a stunning turnaround. The Ravens have a storyline of their own in this one, as legendary linebacker Ray Lewis has announced that this season is going to be his "last ride." Will the Colts continue to be "ChuckStrong?" Will the Ravens win one for Ray? The action kicks off on CBS at noon Central time, with the winner moving on to play the Denver Broncos next Saturday.
After that, we'll head over to the NFC side of the house for what might be the most intriguing game of the weekend. . .and, granted, the bar hasn't been set terribly high in that respect thus far. . .between the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. The Redskins won the NFC East in the season's final game, while the Seahawks nearly stole the NFC West from the San Francisco 49ers. Both of these teams come into this game red-hot, with the Redskins having won their last seven in a row and the Seahawks riding a five-game winning streak. It will also be a match-up of rookie quarterbacks as Seattle's Russell Wilson (my pick for NFL Rookie of the Year) does battle with Washington's Robert Griffin III, and the NFL's second and third leading rushers (Washington's Alfred Morris and Seattle's Marshawn Lynch, respectively). This one will get underway at 3:30 PM Central time on FOX. The winner earns themselves a trip to Georgia to battle the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons next Sunday afternoon.
Here are all the particulars for each game.
AFC Wild Card: Colts vs. Ravens
SB Nation blog: Stampede Blue | Baltimore Beatdown
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Jan. 6, 1 p.m. ET
Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md.
TV Schedule: CBS
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
NFL odds: Ravens -7
NFL picks: Colts, 27-24
NFC Wild Card: Seahawks vs. Redskins
SB Nation blog: Field Gulls | Hogs Haven
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Jan. 6, 4:30 p.m. ET
Location: FedEx Field, Landover, MD.
TV Schedule: FOX
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
NFL odds: Seahawks -3
NFL picks: Seahawks, 23-16
RGIII Longform: The future is already here
Seeds of the Seahawks offense: Shanahan and Carroll