NFL WILDCARD WEEKEND!
The NFL playoffs are upon us and we’re taking our 51-29 regular season record into this weekend hopeful that we’ll be able to duplicate our 8-2 record in last year’s playoffs as well as correctly picking the eventual Super Bowl winner, finishing at 9-2. In order to be successful once again, we’ll need for some of the teams in the first round to upset their opponents; always a risk. Here’s who we like…
*Home team in CAPS
Bengals over the TEXANS- We are strong believers that the teams that peak the latest have the better chance at success. Case in point the Bengals have won 7 of their last 8 games of the regular season-their one loss coming at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys who, with 3:44 left in the fourth quarter kicked a 40 yard field goal for the win. By contrast, the Texans come into Reliant Stadium limping; losing 3 of their last four games including a rout by the Patriots and losses to the Vikings and Colts. Cincinnati has the offense in Andy Dalton, BJGE, A.J. Green and a stellar defense with Michael Johnson and Geno Atkins combining for 24.5 sacks on the season. The Texans are 4.5 point favorites, however we’re picking the Bengals to win this one outright.
PACKERS over the Vikings- The last time QB Christian Ponder met the Pack at Lambeau Field, he had 2 interceptions, threw for a meager 119 yards and managed a QB rating of only 41.9. In last season’s meeting at Green Bay, Ponder finished with one INT, 190 passing yards and a QB rating of 52.3. Temps are due to be dropping into the 20’s for Saturday’s game and Adrian Peterson, who has over 400 yards rushing in their two games vs the Packers this season, has been experiencing some abdominal injuries and so the hits he’ll be expecting will not bode well for the top MVP candidate. The Packers need to keep the ball out of A.P.’s hands however, as clearly Ponder won’t tear apart the Pack’s secondary given his past performances there. The Vikes have lost their last two games at Green Bay by a combined score of 68-21. Packers by double-digits…
#7 Vikings QB Christian Ponder has had a tough go of it at Lambeau Field and Saturday should be no exception. Photo: Adam Bettcher /Getty Images
Colts over the RAVENS- Talk about a team roaring into the post-season, the Colts are 9-2 over their last eleven and have won 5 of their last six, making them one of the hottest teams in the league. Of course, a lot has to do with their emotional state as head coach Chuck Pagano wages his battle against Leukemia. Now that he’s back on the sidelines, there will be a renewed intensity on the field by this group. Couple that with the steady maturation of first round pick Andrew Luck. He has done his best impression of last year’s version of Eli Manning by putting together seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime. Throw in his 4,384 passing yards, an NFL rookie record, and you can see why we’re so high on the youngster. It should be a loud and emotionally charged game in Baltimore given the recent news of 17 year veteran MLB Ray Lewis’ impending retirement, but when it’s all over we look for the Colts to win this one outright. Not sure why the Ravens are 6.5 point favorites coming into this game losing 4 out of their last five…
#12 Colts QB Andrew Luck should have plenty of it vs the Ravens and with coach Pagano back on the sidelines to pull off the upset. Photo: vegassharps.com
REDSKINS over Seahawks- This could be the toughest game of the weekend to predict given that both teams come into this one with a combined 14-1 record over the last eight weeks. Both have very talented and able quarterbacks. However the odds-makers made the ‘Skins a home dog for this contest perhaps because they’re not convinced that RGIII is at 100% or maybe because of the 170 points that the Seahawks have put up over their last four games (even though two of their opponents were Buffalo and Arizona). We’re going with Washington here because of another reason; one less obvious. In the confines of CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks are 8-0 and part of that is due to the 12th man being their stadium that boasts one of the noisiest arenas in the NFL. However, they have lost 5 games on the road which, if nothing else, shows their vulnerability. Landover can get pretty rowdy as well and we love the combo of RGIII and Alfred Morris. ‘Skins in a close one.