NFC Scout's Take
The Skins are really the only NFC team with a sense of momentum right now. They're playing inspired football over the last four weeks, both offensively and defensively. Their run defense has been phenomenal, and
Another thing the Redskins have going for them is
Washington is really a
Lastly, Washington's getting good play from
You watch the Seahawks these days and you can tell they don't have a lot of confidence in their running game. They've really put the onus on this team winning directly on
But Seattle doesn't really have a running game right now, and I think it makes them very vulnerable in the playoffs. They've become almost a one-dimensional team. Injuries have really hurt
Seattle middle linebacker
Seahawks defensive end
That last game against New England was huge for
The best news is this matchup favors the Giants running the ball because they have such a solid offensive line. New York has five quality starters, and they play well together. If they get in a groove, this offense can ride that running game.
The Giants also have the deepest pass rush in the playoffs. The strength of that team is the front four. Their linebackers and secondary are playing well enough, but they could get dink and dunked down the field by Bucs quarterback
The Bucs, to me, are the most vulnerable team in the NFC. They really took their foot off the gas the last two weeks of the season, starting with the second half of that game in San Francisco. They almost looked like they went into shutdown mode. That really surprised me, because it's not like they have a bunch of superstars on this team. They're a team built without superstars. They have a bunch of good solid parts. It was surprising to see them pull guys when they were playing pretty well.
Garcia hasn't played much down the stretch, but he can come back and play well in the playoffs, even with that bad back. I think the passing game will probably benefit from them holding him back the last two weeks to get healthy, but conversely, the running game is really tough to jump right back into. A running game is a matter of rhythm, and you can't always find it again once it's gone.
The Bucs at running back are going with
The Bucs don't have a great defense any more. They've gotten pretty good play out of their corners, though.