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NFL Wild Card Saturday Games Predictions

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Making predictions about the games ahead, because we can.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

This Saturday, the Carolina Panthers (shakes fist) will play the Arizona Cardinals, while the Ravens take on the Steelers. Aside from hate-watching Carolina, there aren't real heavy stakes here, but you're not gonna pass up playoff football.

With that in mind, I thought I'd put together my predictions for these two games, and let you debate the same. These are not in any way scientific and should not be viewed while operating heavy machinery and/or sleeping, so bear that in mind.

Cardinals @ Panthers


I arrive at this prediction reluctantly, but I really can't say I think the Cardinals stand a great chance of winning this game. They're starting Ryan Lindley at quarterback, their ground game is only mediocre and their defense is hard-charging but probably isn't enough to carry them past Cam Newton and the weirdly resurgent Panthers.

Carolina's likely to slow down at some point—their body of work for the season suggests they are not a great team, as does their roster—but they're probably going to pull off a playoff win first. Regretfully.

Prediction: Panthers 24, Cardinals 13

Ravens @ Steelers


The Steelers have been an odd team this season, while the Ravens are an odd team almost every year. In both cases, the oddness has to do with inconsistency that you wouldn't expect from teams with the talent Baltimore and Pittsburgh can bring to bear.

With the Steelers' improved play, home-field advantage and potent passing game, I expect them to walk away from this one with a win, even though they won't have Le'Veon Bell to carry the load.

Prediction: Steelers 31, Ravens 24

What are your predictions for these games?