What an amazing regular season we just finished up. There were several games in the final weekend that decided playoff seeding, division crowns and who would get into them. In the AFC, the Colts outlasted the Titans on the road to claim the final spot. The Houston Texans had to beat the Jaguars to clinch their division and 3rd seed for the playoffs. Kansas City and New England blew out their respective opponents to earn the top two seeds and earn first round byes. The Baltimore Ravens needed a late-game INT to beat the Browns and wrap up the division to make the playoffs. Despite edging the Bengals in the final game, the Steelers are on the outside looking in and they have issues with Antonio Brown. The two Wild Card games in the AFC will feature rematches from earlier in the season.
In the NFC, we saw the New Orleans Saints clinch homefield advantage the week before. The Los Angeles Rams got the other bye with a win over the San Francisco 49ers. Chicago wrapped up the 3rd seed after they dominated their rivals from Minnesota. With Minnesota losing to the Bears and the Eagles blanking the Redskins, Philadelphia is in and Minnesota is out. Dallas ended the season on a winning note, despite a lot of the starters not playing to rest up for next week. The Seahawks head into their game with Dallas on a winning note also. My record last week was 9-1, which raised my record to 80-45. My winning percentage rose from 61.7 to 64%. Let see how things will turn out for Wild Card weekend and who’ll meet in the Divisional Round.
We kick things off with a battle between AFC South rivals who’s meeting for the 3rd time this year. The 3rd ranked Houston Texans will host the 6th ranked Indianapolis Colts. These two beat each other on their own home field this year. They beat each other by three points, so we know this game should be really close. Both the Texans and Colts have elite QBs, good running game and defenses that can dominate a game. The last couple of months, it seems like Deshaun Watson is coming into his own. When it comes to Andrew Luck, he’s pretty much a shoe in for Comeback Player of the Year has had an amazing season. The offensive line has been amazing, and Marlon Mack has been great. Can they continue that against the Texans? Will the Texans have success against the Colts defense? I’m riding with the Texans.
Houston Win 23-21
We head to the NFC for the first Wild Card game as the Dallas Cowboys host the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks finished the season winning their final two games and six of their last seven games. Russell Wilson is one of the more underrated QBs in the league. Seattle possess one of the tougher defenses in the league as they held the Cowboys to 13 points earlier in the season in Seattle. Can the Seahawks beat the Cowboys again? Like Seattle, Dallas won their final two games and seven of their final 8 games. Dak Prescott have become one of the better QBs in the league and the addition of Amari Cooper have been amazing. Ezekiel Elliott still remain one of the better RBs in the league. The defense for the Cowboys has been dominate at times and will need to be against the Seahawks. Cowboys should win this rematch!
Dallas Win 27-17
The first game on Sunday will feature the Los Angeles Chargers visiting the Baltimore Ravens. The Chargers finished the year with a 12-4 record and tied for the best record in the AFC. Los Angeles was dominated a couple weeks at home against this same Ravens team. Melvin Gordon should play this game and they will see the return of Hunter Henry, who didn’t play all season after tearing his ACL. The Chargers are undefeated on the road, can they continue that streak? Baltimore is probably the most dangerous team in the playoffs as they boast the best defense. They have won three in a row and 6 of their last 7 games. Lamar Jackson is becoming more confident with his arm just like his legs. Can the Ravens have a repeat performance against the Chargers? I’m riding with the Chargers to upset the Ravens in this one.
Los Angeles Win 20-17
The final game of Wild Card weekend will see the Philadelphia Eagles travel to Chicago to face the Bears. The Eagles got into the playoffs with help from the Bears as they beat Minnesota in the season finale. Once again, Nick Foles is leading a magical run for the Eagles, but he’ll come into this game with bruised ribs. On the other side, the Eagles defense is starting to resemble their dominant unit from a year ago. Can the magic continue for the Eagles? Chicago bolster the best defense in the NFC as the addition of Khalil Mack has been golden. On the offensive side, Mitchell Trubisky has improved immensely, and the running game has helped. These team’s kind of mirror each other as this should be a defensive struggle. This is a tough one, but the Bears will win, and the Nick Foles speculation will begin.
Chicago Win 19-17
What’s the game you’re looking forward to the most? What do you think about my predictions? How do you envision Wild Card weekend shaping up? Check out the Divisional Round according to my picks and also leave some feedback below.
AFC Divisional Round
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers
New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans
NFC Divisional Round
New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys
Los Angeles Rams vs. Chicago Bears