NFL : WILD CARD WEEKEND
By Leo Haggerty
Finally, it has arrived. That National Football League post-season begins this weekend with, arguably, the best quartet of contests since the inception of the Wild Card.
With that being said, I’m going on record right now saying that one, and possibly more, winners from this weekend will find a way to get to the Conference finals in two weeks. That’s how well all 8 teams are playing coming into Wild Card Weekend.
So let’s get down to picking winners. Enjoy.
Indianapolis (+1 1/2) loses to HOUSTON
Even though Indy is playing the best of any American Football Confetence team in the playoffs, I cannot pull the trigger on the Colts. I know QB Andrew Luck is on fire but look for the duo of J.J. Watt and Javedeon Clowney to put the heat on #12 all game long for the Texans. Plus, I expect the former Clemson pair of QB Deshaun Watson and WR DeAndre Hopkins to carry the day for the home team but it will be close. HOU, 24-21, in a nail biter.
DALLAS (-2 1/2) loses to Seattle
This is a terrible matchup for the Cowboys. Seattle wants to run the pigskin and then run it some more. Hawks want to give Dallas a steady diet of RB Chris Carson and supplement that with the magic of MVP candidate QB Russell Wilson. I don’t think the Lone Star guys will be able to stop the run and get off the field. That equates to a long evening in Big D for the Boys. SEA, 23-16, with Carson eclipsing the century mark on the ground.
BALTIMORE (-3) loses to Los Angeles Chargers
Yeah, I know the Ravens went into LA and beat the Chargers a couple weeks ago. But it’s playoff time and Bolts QB Philip Rivers is on a mission. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is an anomaly but the Chargers have had the opportunity to see what he can do up close and personal. That gives the Thunderbolts defensive staff a blueprint to come up with a game plan to stop #8 and I believe they will. LAC, 27-20, with a late Rivers to Mike Williams TD pass to seal the deal.
CHICAGO (-6 1/2) loses to Philadelphia
Yes, I know the Bears have a great defense but tell me this doesn’t feel like deja vu with the Birds. Foles takes over the last three games and finds a way to get Philadelphia to the post season again. When it comes to playoff pressure, the Eagles have been there and done that. Not so with Chicago and QB Mitchell Trubisky and Company are in uncharted territory. PHI, 22-13, as St. Nick keeps the repeat dream alive for Philly.
Now, it’s just a matter of sitting down in front of the TV and watching the outcome. See you next week for the Divisional Round games.