This weekend is wildcard weekend. We start off tomorrow with two games followed by two more on Sunday. The first game puts our nemesis, the defending Super Bowl Champs New Orleans Saints at the NFC West Champions, the Seattle Seahawks. That game will be followed by the media-savvy New York Jets against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. Sunday, we kick off at one with the road warriors, Baltimore Ravens, facing the surprising division champion, Kansas City Chiefs. The final game of the weekend will feature Aaron Rodgers and the Packers headed east to face the always dangerous Philadelphia Eagles. Intrigued yet? Predictions below.
New Orleans (-10.5) at Seattle: What doesn't catch your attention more than a road team being favored by double digits IN THE PLAYOFFS?!?!?!? Well, this is a special year. The Saints are the defending Super Bowl Champs. Seattle is the first team to win a division with a losing record. Also, these teams have played each other earlier in the year with New Orleans winning at home by 15 points in Week 11. You know Drew Brees will have the Saints ready to play. Will the home field advantage be enough to help Seattle stage an upset? I don't think so. New Orleans wins but take the spread and Seattle NO 34-SEA 27
New York (+2.5) at Indianapolis: Peyton Manning is actually playing a first round game in the playoffs. Not only that, but we get to see Rex Ryan in the news for another week. The media frenzy surrounding this game was predictable, which is why they get the primetime, Saturday night game. On the field, the Colts are very banged up. The Jets defense isn't what is was last year but they are still one of the best. I think there is just such a huge discrepancy at quarterback that Indy will pull this one out and cover the spread, barely. IND 27- NYJ 24
Baltimore (-2.5) at Kansas City: Baltimore must be getting used to playing on the road in the playoffs. Last year, they went into Foxboro and beat the Pats. It is never fun playing in the same division as the Steelers (or the occasional awesome year for the Bengals). As for Kansas City, they ended San Diego's streak of being in the playoffs for the past four years or so. Dwayne Bowe had a spectacular season, and put up some awesome fantasy numbers (until the first round of the playoffs, ugh). Baltimore is getting old and the offense is shaky. There is definitely potential here for an upset. I just don't believe it will happen. Baltimore covers. Baltimore 24- KC 19
Green Bay (+3) at Philadelphia: Green Bay was a favorite of many analysts this year. They have never trailed by more than seven points at any point this year. They go against a very electric Eagles team. They have a couple of speedsters at wideout (and returning kicks/punts) and a quarterback who can run the entire field in just over ten seconds. If Green Bay is going to pull this one out (fingers crossed), they are going to have to put a lot of pressure on the QB. Keeping the Eagles offense off the field is the key to this game. But Green Bay doesn't have a running game. I have a gut feeling that Eagles will win this one, but take Green Bay and the spread. PHI 31- GB 30
So, what game will you be watching this weekend and why? What are your thoughts on the predictions? Go Falcons!