Road Teams Are the True Wild Card
We live in a day and age where we need results as fast as possible. We hate the phrase “some assembly required”, we need it all put together out of the box. We even microwave Pop-Tarts for goodness sakes. So why on earth would anyone want to wait for the results of the NFL playoffs?
Well lucky for you, I happen to have just gotten off a conference call with expert psychics and ESP experts Dionne Warwick, Miss Cleo, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopie Goldberg’s character in the movie Ghost) and John Edwards. They were nice enough to inform me of not only the victors of the wild-card games this weekend but the entire playoffs including the eventual Super Bowl XLVII winner.
**Disclaimer: Please only use the following information for personal use and do not go blow your child’s college fund on stupid bets**
Cincinnati over Houston 24-17
In a rematch of last years wild card game we get a different result. Momentum means something in the playoffs and the Bengals have won 7 of 8 while Houston has lost 3 of 4. All three of those Texans loses have been to teams currently in the playoffs. In those loses Arian Foster has averaged a mere 52 rushing yards. Also, keep in mind that while Andre Johnson put up nearly 1600 receiving yards this year he has a feeble 4 TDs. His counterpart A.J. Green has scored 11 times with 1350 yrds. The Bengals defense has given up less points and less yards and will be the difference in the matchup. Matt Schaub struggles in his first post season game while Andy Dalton gives Cincy it’s first win over Houston since 2005 and a trip to Denver.
Green Bay over Minnesota 31-14
In 2009 the Pack beat Arizona in week 17 by a score of 33-7 before playing them the next week in the playoffs and losing 51-45, so they know the hazard of back-to-back games against the same opponent. Minnesota is riding a four game win streak but their defense has given up the 9th most passing yards per game this year (244 per game) and their top defender Antoine Winfield will be playing with a broken hand. Those facts will not help against last seasons MVP Aaron Rodgers, who will be starting his seventh playoff game (Christian Ponder will be making his first across the sidelines) and leads the Packs 253 passing yards per game (9th best in the league). Add to Rodgers strengths that Randall Cobb will be returning and it looks as if Jordy Nelson will try and give it a go. With Charles Woodson returning to Green Bays defense, Ponder will need Adrian Peterson and his 1,019 yards after contact (tops in the NFL). The weather expects to be under 26 degrees and the cold weather Packers will be making a trip to warm San Francisco in a week.
Colts over Ravens 23-20
It comes down to the kickers and Adam Vinatieri is as sure a certainty as the red-shirt security guy getting whacked on Star Trek. Indy is hot winning 5 of 6. Rookie Andrew Luck has looked like anything but a newbie in throwing for over 4000 yards this year. Baltimore will focus on Reggie Wayne, leaving T.Y. Hilton to make a few big plays (he already leads Indy in receiving TD’s this season with 7). In contrast, the Ravens lack a top-tier receiver as neither Anquan Boldin nor Torey Smith cracked the 1000 yard mark. The Colts are 8-2 in the last ten games against Baltimore (albeit with Peyton Manning at QB) and defeated the Ravens in the 2009 playoffs 20-3. Ray Lewis can start his retirement as the Colts pay yet another visit to New England.
Seahawks over Redskins 28-21
It’s only the second matchup in NFL postseason history of rookie quarterbacks. Russell Wilson tied a rookie record with 26 passing TD’s. The Redskins have won seven in a row (all after their bye week) while Seattle has won five in a row and seven of eight. The QB’s are even, the running backs in Marshawn Lynch and Alfred Morris are even and the receivers in Sidney Rice/Golden Tate and Pierre Garcon/Santana Moss are even (although Wilson nailed Sidney Rice and Golden Tate for scores seven times each, both more than any Redskin receiver). The difference here will be the defensive play. Seattle boasts the top D, giving up a mere 15.3 points per game. Washington has surrendered 24.2, 11th most. Seattle gave up the 4th least yards per game with 306.2, Washington allowed 377 (5th worst in the league). Morris will have a tough time finding the endzone as Seattle allowed only 8 rushing TDs this year. Wilson will be able to find the endzone with his arm as Washington gave up 31 scores through the air. The sprained right knee of RGIII will have plenty of time to recover when he sits home next weekend.
Yes you read that right, three road teams will be victorious this weekend. Check back next week when I brag about how all my “expert predictions” were correct and I give you the Divisional Round winners.
* * Bonus pick* * Notre Dame over Alabama in the BCS National Championship 24-20