NFL Wild Card Weekend Predictions

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

After seventeen weeks of hard-hitting, high scoring, and exciting NFL action the playoffs have arrived for twelve NFL teams. Four games will go ahead this weekend and four the following weekend. In the AFC New England and Pittsburgh were awarded a bye week this weekend for their stellar records. In the NFC Atlanta, and Chicago will be sitting at home comfortably watching all the opening weekend action unfold before they find out who they will play the following weekend.

AFC

The AFC South division champion and 3rd seed Indianapolis Colts will take on the 6th seed New York Jets on Saturday Night in Indianapolis. Both teams are well coached and overcame limited struggles this season to make the playoffs. The Jets will be led by Coach Rex Ryan and their exceptional defense. While the Colts will put the ball in QB Peyton Manning’s hand and hope he has what it takes to put up points against the tough Jets defense. The Jets star cornerbacks Darrelle Revis, and Antonio Cromartie will have their hands full trying to cover Indy’s wide receivers Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, and Blair White. If the Jets have any hope of winning they will need to shutdown Manning’s throwing game, and come up with key interceptions to turn the game around. The Jets can’t go toe to toe with Manning and the Colts because they will get blown out. For New York to win they have to keep the ball out of Indy’s offense and limit the amount of time QB Mark Sanchez needs to air it out. If the Jets can run the ball down Indy’s throat they may have a chance at winning. A lot of factors have to go right for the Jets to go into Indianapolis and knock off the Colts. Prediction Colts 35 – Jets 17

In the other AFC contest this weekend the West division champion, and 4th seed Kansas City Chiefs take on the 5th seed Baltimore Ravens. Even though Kansas City won their division and host this game the Chiefs are the underdog heading into this Sunday afternoon game. Kansas City is led by QB Matt Cassell and pro bowl star receiver Dwayne Bowe, and pro bowl star running back Jamaal Charles. Bowe had 1162 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns this season while Charles ran for 1467 yards and had 5 touchdowns. Kansas City can beat you in the air or on the ground. However only one of their ten wins this season came against a playoff team and that was Seattle. The Chiefs have beat up on many poor quality teams this season including, Cleveland, Buffalo, Denver, Arizona, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Tennessee. Kansas City has faced no opponent like the Ravens. The Ravens present one of the toughest overall defenses in the NFL. If Kansas City wants to run the ball with Jamaal Charles, Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, and Jameel McClain will be certain Charles has a poor day. The best bet for the Chiefs to win is to throw the ball around and hope Baltimore’s poor cornerbacks can’t cover Dwayne Bowe and company. However Ravens free safety Ed Reed is a ball hawk and he might be prime for a big interception or two if Kansas City isn’t careful. Ravens QB Joe Flacco shouldn’t have to do too much to help his team win. As long as he doesn’t turn the ball over the Ravens have a great chance to win. Running back Ray Rice should have an exceptional afternoon running the ball like many running backs did to the Chiefs this season. Baltimore should expect an easy win this weekend. Prediction Chiefs 13 – Ravens 27

NFC

The Seattle Seahawks managed to sneak into the playoffs on the last evening of the regular season after beating the St. Louis Rams at home. Seattle has won the weak NFC West and 4th seed with a 7-9 record. The Seahawks reward is a home playoff game against the Super Bowl champion and 5th seed New Orleans Saints. New Orleans won 11 games this season and beat the daylights out of Seattle 34-19 in week 11 at home. The Saints have lost running backs Pierre Thomas, and Chris Ivory to injury and will rely on Reggie Bush on the ground. QB Drew Brees will have many options when he throws the ball. Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, Lance Moore, and tight end Jeremy Shockey all stand to make big plays this Saturday afternoon and Seattle will be in trouble trying to figure out who to cover. What favours Seattle is their home crowd. Seattle is home to the 12th man and the crowd noise should help the Seattle defense when Drew Brees is attempting to call plays on the field. Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll hasn’t named a starting quarterback yet but it shouldn’t matter because both of his options Charlie Whitehurst and Matt Hasselbeck are inadequate when facing a team like New Orleans. The Saints defense hasn’t been where it was last season but they should have no problem shutting down a feeble no name Seattle offense. The Saints should be able to score with will and this should prove to be the most lopsided game of wild card weekend. Prediction Seahawks 14 – Saints 41

The marquee matchup of wild card weekend is the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers. The 3rd seed Eagles won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and the Packers snuck into the playoffs on the last Sunday of the season with a thrilling 10-3 win at home against the Chicago Bears. Green Bay finished with a 10-6 record and one of those wins came all the way back in week 1 in Philadelphia 27-20. Eagles QB Michael Vick was not yet an mvp candidate back on September 12th but he will have to be the star of the game if Philadelphia is to win. Vick will look to get off to a good start by finding wide receivers DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin in the endzone. Green Bay cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams will be sprinting all evening to cover the speedy Eagles receivers but their longevity and playoff experience should give them the edge. If Philadelphia wants to run the ball with Vick, and running back LeSean McCoy the vaunted Packers defense led by Clay Matthews, AJ Hawk, Desmond Bishop, and B.J. Raji should be licking their lips at the prospect of putting Vick, and McCoy on the ground. For Green Bay the game rests on QB Aaron Rodgers throwing hand. If Rodgers can continue to put up amazing number threw the air the Packers will be dancing in the endzone. Rodgers threw for 3922 yards, and 28 touchdowns. Wide receivers Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, and James Jones could all have a huge night in Philadelphia. Eagles cornerbacks Asante Samuel, and Dimitri Patterson will have to bring more than their A game to help the Eagles win. Green Bay has been without running back Ryan Grant since he went down in week 1 and the Packers running game has been non-existent all season long. The Packers don’t have a hope in hell if they decide to run the ball on Sunday. The Packers best bet to win is a solid defensive performance against Michael Vick and his weapons and a great night from QB Aaron Rodgers. Prediction Eagles 33 – Packers 40

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s