NFL: Playoffs offer clash of generations

Tue Jan 1, 2013 5:12pm EST
 

By Steve Keating

(Reuters) - With Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson set to make playoff debuts, the year of the rookie continues in the National Football League (NFL).

But defense and experience win championships and few know the road to the Super Bowl better than longtime quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

The wild-card weekend kicks off on Saturday with the Cincinnati Bengals visiting the Houston Texans, followed by NFC North rivals the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings renewing hostilities on Lambeau Field's famous frozen tundra.

Sunday's games will be a rookie quarterback showcase. Luck, the number one overall pick in last year's draft, will lead the resurgent Indianapolis Colts against the Baltimore Ravens, with Griffin, selected number two by the Washington Redskins, going against the Seattle Seahawks and their brilliant first-year quarterback Wilson.

More intriguing, however, is the possibility of a clash of the generations in the divisional playoffs the following weekend when Manning and the AFC top seeded Denver Broncos join the action along with Brady and the number two seeded New England Patriots.

In the NFC, the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons and number two San Francisco 49ers await their conference's wild-card winners.

OLD GUARD

While NFL fans have been mesmerized by the dynamic talents of Griffin, Luck and Wilson, the old guard of Brady, Manning and the Packers' Aaron Rodgers have trophy cases that contain Super Bowl rings and most valuable player awards.   Continued...

 
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) celebrates on the bench after his team beat the Dallas Cowboys during their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland December 30, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst