It’s that time of the season, the first round of the NFL Play-offs which is affectionately known as WILD CARD WEEKEND! Football fans are going to love these games, all four road teams are favored, but certain elements actually make all four of these games a coin toss either way. .
First, the Chiefs travel to Houston to take on the Texans Saturday afternoon. Kansas City became the 10th team since the AFL and NFL merged to win the last ten games of the regular season. They are doing it with a dominant running game which 69% of their runs are straight up the middle, by taking full advantage of their HUGE offensive line. Kansas City’s TE Travis Kelce is also difference maker as he has been all season.
I’m not sleeping on the Texans, they managed to become the first team in NFL history to have 4 different starting QBs win a game and their defense as of late has been fantastic!
This game will indeed be won by the road team in a close game, but, none the less the Chiefs will win their first post season game since Joe Montana was at the helm 1/16/1994 and the Chiefs defeated Houston 28-20, back then they were the Houston Oilers.
The late game Pittsburgh travels to The Jungle in Cincinnati. The focus on this game isn’t the fact that Bengals QB Andy Dalton is not playing, but on the fact that Pittsburgh’s stud running back DeAngelo Williams is out with a sprained ankle. The Steelers running game will be hinging on Fitzgerald Toussant who has 54 total yards in two years (24 carries), and Jordan Todman with just 4 carries this season.
As for the Bengals QB situation with back-up A.J. McCarron … unless he has an AWFUL game he will be just fine. He’s been in the starting roll since Dalton went down Dec 13th, and as far as big games…the kid went to Alabama…Roll Tide!
The Bengals and the city of Cincinnati will be partying like it’s 1991 when they won their last play off game (also vs the Oilers) this one will also be close, but, definitely a Bengals win.
On to Sunday, the first game is Seattle visiting frigid Minnesota, where the temperature at game time will hover around 1 degree. The temperature really won’t be a factor, both teams are used to the cold, and both teams will be playing in it.
This will be only the 6th time since the leagues merged that the league’s top rusher will face the league’s top rushing defense. Adrian Peterson vs Seattle, but it won’t be enough unless Teddy Bridgewater has a solid game as well. Russell Wilson has been one of the most effective QB’s in the post season since entering the league, add his stud receiver Doug Baldwin into the mix and this game could turn out to be quite lopsided.
Seattle has won 6 of their last 7 games and are playing some of their best football of the season, Sunday they will also win by a considerable margin.
Finally, the grand finale, especially for Packer Nation, when Aaron Rodgers and the Pack travel to D.C. to take on the Redskins. Washington is RED-HOT, winning their last 4 games, and their QB Kirk Cousins has put up 23 TDs against 3 interceptions since week 7!
For the Packers, it is most important that Mr. Rodgers stay upright, he’s been sacked 13 times in the last 2 games. Left Tackle David Bakhtiari is questionable…so are the Packers without his protection on Rodger’s blind side. If Bakhtiari can’t go, it won’t be Josh Sittion (that experiment didn’t work), it will either be Don Barclay, or J.C. Tretter.
As far as the Redskins, we already know how hot they have been as of late, BUT keep in mind they have not beaten a team with a winning record all season, and the ‘Skins don’t blitz.
The Packers will win this game, but, it won’t be “going away” like it would’ve been before the “bye week”…it might end up a last second FG…but, a win none the less.
So, the teams that move on after this WILD WEEKEND…K.C., Cincinnati, Seattle, and Green Bay.