This is probably going to be one of the more interesting NFL playoff series’ in recent memory. You have a three 5,000 yard passers (both probably won’t make the MVP), new teams on the verge, coaches on the hot seat, and plenty more storylines abound. Here are my picks for the Wild-Card games.
Detroit vs. New Orleans – The last game was a flag fest for Detroit. Without their defensive leader, the Lions didn’t show much in the way of tact against a seasoned and hungry Saints team. With Ndamukong Suh back in the middle, I don’t expect the team to unravel, but the Saints are too motivated to not be one and done like last year. I expect Gregg Williams to draw up a gameplan to clamp Megatron and make Matthew Stafford to beat them with other players, which will be hard considering that they are so thin at RB. Detroit’s secondary is awful and likely will make for Drew Bress to continue on his monster march to the NFC Chanmpionship. Saints win 42-24.
Cincinnati vs. Houston – Halfway through the season, the Texans seemed poised for a Super Bowl run. They boasted the season’s #1 defense, one of the league’s elite at running back, beast at wide reciever…but then the wheels fell off. Injuries plagued them by ravaging Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, Matt Leinart and lord knows who else leaving the team to limp into the playoffs by winning the flaccid AFC South. If the Colts were half of what they usually are this time of year they would have been cooked, but luckily for them they are not and they the Texans get their first playoff berth ever. Cincinnati has defied expectations; amongst the league leaders in defense and boasting an offensive roster loaded with talent, they have rebounded from shedding Carson Palmer and Chad OchoCinco. Andy Dalton is primed for success at QB and A.J Green is good enough to reach Jerry Rice-like levels of success at wideout…the kid is that good. I expect a tight matchup being that both teams have flaws on offense. Rookie Qb T.J Yates has sufficed at signal caller for Houston, but he has struggled as the season was worn on and I dont think that Arian Foster has enough to carry his squad against one of the league’s top rush defenses. Cincinnati will show to be one of the teams to watch in the future and win. Final Score: Cincinnati, 24-14
Atlanta vs. New York – Atlanta comes into the game as one of the league’s hottest teams even though getting baked by N.O. (who wasn’t tho). The offense began to click and the defense strung together a few nice games to put itself in the playoff conversation. The enigmatic Giants seem to show signs of the team that upset the Patriots one game and then go and squander games in other moments. But the Giants asserted themselves to win the NFC East last week and appear finally ready to settle on an identity. The interesting matchup will be the Falcons high flying offense against the Giants defense. Defense wins. Giants will prove to be the stronger, hotter team. Victor Cruz will make enough catches to keep the Giants alive on offense. Giants win the best matchup of wild card weekend 30-24.
Pittsburgh vs. Denver – The Steel Curtain will bring an end to the run of Tim Tebow as a starting QB. The league’s leading defense will punish the mercurial running offense of the Denver. Ill take a hobbled Big Ben over a two legged Tebow any day…regardless of the injuries the Steelers win in a defensive bloodbath 21-10