The NFL Playoffs are all about star power, particularly when you're dealing with legends like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. And yet, with four teams remaining, there are key wildcards to each team, game-breakers or game-makers. Maybe it's a guy who doesn't always show up, but when he does, he makes all the difference.
With the AFC and NFC Championship games set for Sunday, here are the wildcards to watch for.
The 29-year-old Davis has enjoyed one of his most productive seasons as a pro, catching 15 touchdowns. He is lethal in the red zone, but has the speed to stretch the field. Seattle meanwhile, ranks second in the league in defending the tight end, just as its shutdown performance of Saints' All-Pro Jimmy Graham displayed.
Moreno -- a former first-round pick who appeared to be a bust -- has had a career renaissance this season. This year, he became the first running back in team history to top 1,000 yards rushing and 500 receiving, while amassing a career-high 13 touchdowns. Moreover, his ability in pass-protection is one of the reasons why Peyton Manning was sacked fewer than any other quarterback in the league.
Talib came to the Patriots in a trade with Tampa Bay after Week 8, and his presence has been sensational for this defense. Even with a lingering hip injury, the first-time Pro Bowler has the size and physical ability to jam up receivers. In his one-on-one matchup with Broncos All-Pro receiver Demaryius Thomas, he held Thomas to his lowest yardage output of the season during the Pats Week 12 win.
Harvin is one of the most dynamic players in the league, and yet, his inability to stay on the field continues to plague Seattle. His status for Sunday's tilt with the 49ers remains up in the air after he sustained a concussion against the Saints. When healthy, he not only makes life much easier for quarterback Russell Wilson, but the threat of his speed on the perimeter opens the field for Seattle's offense. Seattle's All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman may have summed it up best: "If he gets a step on you, there is no coming back from that." If Harvin is unable to play, his absence from the field will be a crucial factor for the 49ers defense.
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