Wildcard Weekend NFL Picks
This is a bittersweet time of year for us football fans. The good news is that we have the most exciting part of the season starting (playoffs), but we all know there are only 4 weeks of football until a very long offseason. Even if your team did not earn a ticket to the playoffs, you’ll still watch every game, and usually will find a team or two that you find yourself rooting for. Maybe you’re hoping a hated rival goes down because you don’t want to see them lifting the Lombardi trophy in the air, or you’ve become a fan of a player or two that doesn’t play on your team.
If you’re a fan of one of the lucky 12 teams that made the dance, you must have visions of ticket tape falling from the sky to honor your teams Super Bowl victory. Unfortunately, my Bucs did not make the dance this year and the owners have cleaned house. That is a topic for another blog as we will discuss the offseason after the Superbowl. I will give you my thoughts on every team and what I think they should do as far as the draft and making some personal changes to improve their chances next season. There is going to be another team that will do what Kansas City did this year. So onto my analysis of each game and what I think will be the difference between the winners and losers![table “” not found /]
Score Prediction: Colts 30 – Chiefs 17
Kansas City had an amazing turn around this season. You have to give all the credit to Andy Reid for taking a team that had the number one pick in the draft to a team that made the playoffs in one season! All that being said, they are going against a solid Colts team that is lead by the best young Quarterback in the league, Andrew Luck, who I think is going to be the difference in the game. He is going to need a solid running game with Brown and Richardson eating up yards and the clock. All Pro and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Robert Mathis needs to apply constant pressure to Alex Smith. I also think home field advantage will pay a big part in this indoor stadium. [table “” not found /]
Score Prediction: Eagles 42 – Saints 38
Drew Brees is the best Quarterback in the league besides Brady, Rogers, or Manning (Peyton that is). I just don’t know if he can carry this team on the road, in the cold weather, and in a hostile stadium. You cannot forget the outstanding season that Nick Foles is having for the Eagles. Plus, they have one of the best running backs in the league: Shady McCoy (LeSean if you want to be proper). He led the league in rushing yards this season. DeSean Jackson is going to either catch a deep ball or do something special on a punt return; that will be the difference. I predict a close but high scoring game with Brees and Foles going point for point! [table “” not found /]
Score Prediction: Bengals 34 – Chargers 10
This game should be all about one player on the field: Andy Dalton. That may not be entirely fair but he has been to the playoffs the last two seasons and lost in the first round both times without playing well. He had an outstanding season this year and it will all be for nothing if they lose to an undermanned San Diego team. If Dalton plays like he has all season and they get the kind of weather that is expected, they should win this game with ease. [table “” not found /]
Score Prediction: San Francisco 31 – Green Bay 21
Now to the game that I think all football fans are waiting for the most. This one is a complete toss up! Aaron Rogers has been back for only one game, but he definitely made his mark. How incredible was that 4th down touchdown pass he threw against Chicago last week? Those are the kind of plays that legends put forth. Matthews is out so Green Bay will be without a pass rush to help stop Colin Kaepernick and try to keep him in the pocket. However, Green Bay could pull some magic out of their hat and win this game; it wouldn’t be surprising, but I don’t see that happening.
No one wants to play San Francisco right now as they may be the most dangerous team in the playoffs outside of Seattle (at home). I also think San Francisco will dominate on Defense and be able to slow down the Packers offense. I have to stay true to my preseason predictions and if I am going to have my Denver vs. San Francisco Super Bowl, they have to start here.
How I finished last season
Total for the year:
170 wins – 86 misses
Locks of the week:
51 wins – 21 misses ( I did not post a lock of the week in week 17)
How I did this season
Total for the year:
156 wins – 99 misses
Locks of the week:
52 wins – 20 misses ( I did not post a lock of the week in week 17)
Clearly, I was a lot better in my overall picks last season but one more win in my locks of the week. This season was tough to predict, but now I have something to shoot for next season. A lot of people have been asking me to predict against the spread. I am going to consider it this offseason as that will certainly make it a lot more challenging.
Cheerleader of the Week
Cigar of the Week: Joya de Nicaragua Antono Dark Corojo
AJ’s Smokin’ Sports Corner: Wildcard Weekend NFL Picks by Drew Brannen