NFL Wildcard Preview

My picks for the opening round of the NFL Playoffs, Wildcard weekend.

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Hello and welcome to my NFL Playoff primer for the Wild Card weekend.  Tomorrow all the records get thrown out the window and we see who the real contenders and pretenders are.  Let’s start with the Raiders and Texans.

1:35 PM PT ESPN/ABC HOU -3.5

Raiders

(12-4, 6-2 away)

12-4

Texans

(9-7, 7-1 Home)

Both teams have quarterback problems.  The difference is that the Raiders have found their quarterback of the future and the Texans haven’t.  With that being said though, with as shaky as Brock Osweiler has been he has almost a full season of experience as a starting quarterback.  Connor Cook on the other hand has only a few quarters, and he is the backups backup…

Great season Raiders, but this team just isn’t the same without Derek Carr.  Texans win this by at least 10.

My Pick:  Texans

5:15 PM PT NBC SEA -8.0

Lions

(9-7, 3-5 away)

9-7

Seahawks

(10-5-1, 7-1 Home)

I’m a homer so I’ve got to go with the Seahawks, but let me tell you why.  Matthew Stafford hasn’t quite been 100% since he hurt his finger, and the Lions closed out the season with three straight losses.  Seattle plays like dynamite at home, and I don’t think that Detroit has the personnel to get to Russell Wilson.  Unfortunately for the Lions that playoff drought that’s existed since 1991 will still be intact after tomorrow.

My Pick:  Seahawks

10:05 AM PT CBS PIT -11.0

Dolphins

(10-6, 4-4 away)

10-6

Steelers

(11-5, 6-2 Home)

This should be an easy pick with Ryan Tannehill out for the Dolphins, but watch out for Jay Ajayi.  A lot of the kudos go to his Steeler counterpart Le’Veon Bell, but Ajayi has had multiple 200-yard rushing games this season.  I also was stupid enough to drop him from my fantasy team…

With that being said though, I don’t think that Miami has the firepower to keep up with Pittsburgh in Heinz Field.  That Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown connection has a lot of oomph.

My Pick:  Steelers

1:40 PM PT FOX GB -5.0

Giants

(11-5, 4-4 away)

11-5

Packers

(10-6, 6-2 Home)

This may be the best game of the weekend.  Green Bay has a huge advantage at home, but don’t sleep on the Giants as they have beaten the NFC’s top team, the Dallas Cowboys, twice.  Aaron Rodgers has been lights out since guaranteeing a playoff berth, going 6-0 since a 4-6 start.  Rodgers may secretly be an MVP candidate with 4,428 passing yards and 40 touchdowns to lead the league.  The frozen tundra is a mysterious place.  Don’t doubt the Pack here, as good as the Giants are they don’t have a lot of postseason experience since 2011.  A-Rod does.

My Pick:  Packers

Well that’s it for now, have a safe weekend everyone.

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