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Fri, January 3, 2014

My Wild Card Predictions

Wild Card Game 1:  #5 Kansas City @ #4 Indianapolis in the AFC (Saturday, 3:30 CST)

For those that listen to my show, you know that Indy is my Super Bowl pick in the AFC.  The NFL is quarterback driven with everyone keeping an eye on who makes that “next step.”  I think it’s Andrew Luck.  With wins over San Francisco (road), Denver, and Kansas City (road) in the regular season, they showed they can win.  Not buying Kansas City.  Two teams met in Week 16 in Kansas City and the result was an Indy blowout.  I am expecting the same Saturday.

Indy over KC 31-17

Wild Card Game 2: #6 New Orleans @ #3 Philadelphia in the NFC (Saturday, 7:00 CST)

Last year in December, I made my black sharpie lock of 2013: “The Saints would win the NFC.”  Wow, that looked good until December.  New Orleans is NOT the same team on the road.  Carolina’s Week 16 win over the Saints did the entire NFC (outside of Seattle) a favor.  Philly can be “that team” this year.  They have a hot QB, the best RB in the NFL this year, and a defense that has been vastly overrated.  I think the Eagles win…BUT, you can’t erase black sharpie.

New Orleans over Philly 34-31

Wild Card Game 3: #6 San Diego @ #3 Cincinnati in the NFC (Sunday, 12:00 CST)

Who was the only team to go unbeaten in 2013 against 2013 playoff teams?  OK, the placement of this question SHOULD lead you to answer Cincinnati.  AND YOU’RE RIGHT!  They were a perfect 4-0 (NE, IND, SD, & GB).  I like them.  Defensively they are stout and can mix it up to confuse Brady/Manning/Luck.  Offensively, if Andy Dalton “manages the game” (which is what ALL QBs DO at the root of the position), Cincinnati should breeze AND have a shot at making the AFC Championship Game.  San Diego was 5-2 against 2013 playoff teams this year.  They are no push over.  BUT, conditions and start time (10 AM west coast), I give the nod to the Bengals.

Cincinnati over San Diego 24-16

Wild Card Game 4: #5 San Francisco @ #4 Green Bay in the NFC (Sunday, 3:40 CST)

I let the cat out of the bag yesterday, I am taking the Packers.  Yes, I work in Green Bay.  No, I am not a homer.  People think I am a Bear fan, to be honest (I am a fan of Cutler’s wife, that’s it).  I think it boils down to one thing: Rodgers > Kaepernick.  Simple.  I know CK has torched the Packers, but I don’t have confidence in him to do it again.  Turnovers.  If the Packers defense continues to be a sieve BUT can force a couple of miscues, that can even out.  Eddie Lacy is a key component, too.  Can he tip the scales?

Green Bay over San Francisco 27-23

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