(Sporting Alert) – The NFL Playoffs wild-card weekend continues on Sunday with two games, with Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins.
Colts, the No. 5 seed head, into the contest with a two game winning streak, following wins over the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs to end the regular season and will be looking to pick up on that form against the Ravens.
NFL Wild-Card Playoffs TV Schedule Sunday Jan. 6
Events: Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
Date: Sunday Jan. 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm ET
Live TV: CBS
Events: Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins
Date: Sunday Jan. 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm ET
Live TV: Fox
But Indianapolis will have to do without left guard Joe Reitz, who will be out of the playoff game at Baltimore because of a concussion.
The club says he will likely be replaced by Jeff Linkenbach.
But rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, who ended the regular campaign with 4374 passing yards and 23 touchdowns, is fit and is ready to go to build on his successes this term.
Colts (11-5) made a massive improvement from last season, but head coach Chuck Pagano has warned his team to continue to push on and forget about everything else, especially since its a playoff game.
“Just stick with the process,” said Pagano. “It’s another week. We know the stakes are higher. The energy, the excitement and all that stuff is higher.
“Don’t get caught up in all that stuff. Do what you’ve been doing for the last 16 weeks, and it will be good enough.”
Facing Baltimore (10-6) at M&T Bank Stadium will be far from an easy encounter, but after recovering from a 1-3 start on the road to finished 4-4, Pagano isn’t bothered too much about playing away from home.
“It’s business as usual,” he said. “We have to strap it on, buckle up, put the mouthpiece in and play football.
“We have a game to play, a game where we’re going to do everything we possibly can to try to win.”
Meanwhile, Baltimore comes in with some concerns after dropping four of its last five games, including a 17-23 defeat at Cincinnati last week.
But the Ravens have been back to bounce back and linebacker Ray Lewis is ready to play his part in helping the team recovering the form that saw them going on back-to-back four game winning streaks in the same season.
The veteran Lewis has been training hard to return from a torn triceps tear and the team expects the 17-year man to be “full of speed” when he takes the field.
“He’s ready to go,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said on the club’s official website at www.baltimoreravens.com. “He’s going to play in this game.
“He should be full speed.”
The days other game, in the meantime, will come from the FedEx Field, where Robert Griffin III will lead an on form Washington Redskins against the visiting Seattle Seahawks,
RGIII and the Redskins (10-6) recovered from a horrible start to the season to finished with a winning record on the back of a seven game winning streak that will be brought into Sunday’s game.
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, meanwhile, will check on left guard Kory Lichtensteiger before the game, while cornerback Cedric Griffin has been activated for the game.
Griffin was activated to join the 53-man roster after he completed the four-game suspension handed down by the NFL and Shanahan expects him to play and make an impact on Sunday.
“I hope so,” Shanahan said on www.redskins.com. “That’s why we got him up.”
At the same time, Lichtensteiger has been battling an ankle injury, which forced him to miss practice for the third successive days and the club confirmed that he will be a gametime decision.
If Lichtensteiger is unable to go then rookie guard Josh LeRibeus, who filled in last week, will replace him.
“We’ll test him out before the game and do what we think gives us the best chance to win,” Shanahan said.
“Very similar to [left tackle] Trent Williams [earlier this season]. Trent didn’t practice during the week either.”
He added: “[LeRibeus] got all the reps, so he got some repetition during the week.
“A lot of times, guys will go out early and somebody is forced to play that hasn’t had the repetition.
“LeRibeus got the reps this week and Kory’s got the experience, so we’ll see how it is before the game.”
The Seattle Seahawks are just as pumped for the game as the Redskins, following their good run of form which has been extended to a five game winning streak.
Seattle’s offense in the last few weeks, have been exceptional, after scoring 40 or more in three of the last four games.
Like the Redskins with Griffin III, the Seahawks have their own star rookie quarterback in Russell Wilson, who is certainly not playing like a 75th NFL draft pick.
The press has been looking to draw comparison between the two and build hyped up story from the responses, like it would with a Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the soccer world, but both Wilson and Griffin III are having none of it.
“I’m playing the Redskins, we’re playing the Redskins,” Wilson explained. “I’m not playing him.”
Griffin said, according to a conference-call interview: “I try to stay away from that kind of stuff.
“I feel like the media is going to do all the comparisons. So it’s not my job to compare me and Russell.
“I’ve told people many times, and it’s an old cliché, you never play quarterbacks in this league as a quarterback, you play defenses.”