Ok, so we’ve arrived to Wild Card weekend in the NFL playoffs.
To be perfectly honest, these aren’t the most exciting game but hey, it’s what we’re stuck with. NFL fans, buck up…it’s the hand we’ve been dealt.
Here’s the larger problem at hand. For the sanctity of the rest of the playoffs, we need the following teams to win this weekend:
If that’s the case, here is what the divisional round would look like:
- Indianapolis at New England
- Carolina at Seattle
- Dallas at Green Bay
- Pittsburgh at Denver
That’s the best case scenario for football fans everywhere and honestly, that’s what you should root for. If either Baltimore or Detroit win this weekend, the playoffs could turn into a gigantic snoozefest filled with chalk matchups potentially in the championship games. If those matchups roll out for the divisionals, at least there is some wiggle room for excitement.
I don’t want the postseason compromised by busters messing it up by winning.
Anyhow, here are my Wild Card Weekend picks:
Carolina 23, Arizona 10 – Sorry purists. The 7-8-1 Panthers are a better team than the 11-5 Cardinals. Mediocre record be damned. This game has been put on a tee for the Panthers in their building.
Pittsburgh 20, Baltimore 17 – The Bell injury is a huge deal. With a healthy LeVeon Bell, I thought Pittsburgh had a chance to make a big run in the AFC…and possibly to the Super Bowl. Now, with that knee injury, that really changes what Pittsburgh can do offensively. They are a one-trick pony. It’s a good trick but one nonetheless. However, Baltimore came into this game after just a brutal performance for three quarters against Cleveland at home last week before rubbing the collective crust out their eyes and opting to play some football. If faced with any other opponent, I’d pick against Pittsburgh. Not here though.
Indianapolis 23, Cincinnati 20 – I still don’t believe in Andy Dalton…although, I’m not sure entirely that I believe in this Colts team.
Dallas 27, Detroit 17 – Dallas has all the answers right now but it’ll be interesting to see how they deal with Detroit’s front seven. The Lions will need to hit 30 to win this on the road. I don’t see how they can do it.