Originally written December 28, 2012 on WhoDeyFans:
Santa was good to me this year.  I got a Bengals toaster, a new authentic Dalton jersey and a playoff berth.  It feels so good to be here.  Playoff bound, a good core group of guys and a team that finally looks to be on the up-and-up.  People will talk about this Sunday’s game against the Ravens and why is does or doesn’t matter (everyone knows that it does) but there is something else that has got me thinking.  Who will we play the first round of the playoffs?  There is possibility that we could play one of four different division leaders.  What are the scenarios?  What are the match-ups?  Let’s find out. New England Scenario:  NE win, Denver win & Houston win or NE loss & Baltimore loss. What scares me: Tom Brady and the offense. Doesn’t bother me: Defense. If the season ended today this is who we would be playing…and my least favorite choice.  There is just something about a Tom Brady offense that scares the crap out of me.  We do have one of the best defenses in the league but I don’t expect a brick wall to stop a high speed train either.  The upside is that that their defense is atrocious.  The only thing they got going for them on that side of the ball is their run D and that’s still 12th in the league.  Still, I don’t like this match-up. Houston Scenario:  Houston loss, NE win & Denver win. What scares me: J.J. Watt Doesn’t bother me: The passing game. I do have to say that this match-up has some appeal to it considering it would be the rematch from the wild card game last year.  We’re a better team now…but so is Houston.  Foster is still beast and Schaub is an improvement over Yates.  Then there is Watts.  It’s obvious that we’ve had a problem with the defense getting to Dalton as of late and having the ‘sack master’ on the other side of the line won’t help either.  I feel this match-up is a little better than NE but not my favorite. Denver Scenario:  Denver loss & NE win. What scares me: Peyton Manning Doesn’t bother me: Run D Here’s another chance at redemption.  I think the game against the Broncos earlier this year was a winnable one.  We had just started turning our season around and I think a rematch will show the progress we’ve made.  Manning is a nightmare and containing him is a job that no one wants.  The second thing that scares me the most are the DBs.  They have a combined total of 16 INTs on the season.  Dalton will need to thread the needle even better during this match up.  A little better match-up but still not my first choice. Baltimore Scenario:  Baltimore win & NE loss. What scares me: Ray Rice Doesn’t bother me: Everyone else. Here it is.  I think this is our best match-up.  I know…it would require us to lose this week, which we should not do on purpose, but I think this is our best match-up.  We’re the most familiar with this foe and have the best chance of beating in a playoff game (in my opinion).  Flacco has been struggling lately and the defense just aren’t the cutthroat squad they have been in the past.  I think our only challenge with this game would be Ray Rice.  Containing the run and forcing the other team to throw has been a good tactic for us all year and we’d have to knock it out of the park with the Ravens to be successful. So here it is.  We’ll find out who it’s going to be by Sunday night. Take Our Poll   P.S.  Bengals beat the Ravens on Sunday 17-13.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Miguel Cabrera turns down playoff bonus from Tigers

Rich Gannon blasts Raiders personnel: ‘They’re stealing’

Suspended KeiVarae Russell: Notre Dame becoming ridiculous

Antrel Rolle: Amukamara improved after losing virginity

High school football player dies after suffering head injury

Giants shut out Pirates, advance to NLDS

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Manziel, Kevin Sumlin went to a Rick Ross party together?

AUDIO: Radio host crashes car during interview

GALLERY: Derek Jeter tops list of athletes with weird phobias

WATCH: LeBron James makes one special Cavs fan’s night

10 most shocking developments so far in 2014 NFL season

WATCH: Matthew McConaughey gives pep talk to Longhorns

ESPN reporter announces she has breast cancer

Byron Scott explains why Kobe wouldn't make a good coach

Hibbert texts Duncan for advice on being like Spurs

Belichick repeats moving 'on to Cincinnati' during presser

Donald Sterling’s wife called the cops on V. Stiviano

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Radio host crashes car during interview

GALLERY: Athletes and odd phobias

Amukamara better after lost virginity?

H.S. player dies after suffering head injury

Cowboys player accused of rape

Scott: Kobe would not be a good coach

Pats WR benched for mouthing off?

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.