Wild Card Weekend

January 9, 2010
By K. Becks

I had meant to post an entry yesterday to review the National Championship game and give a look back at some of my favorite games of the bowl season. However, due to the fact that the NFL Wildcard games start today, I’m going to have to put that on hold. As for the National Championship, I’m not saying anything that people haven’t already said; it was a decent game, but we’re left wondering “what if?”

Since the wildcard games start today, I’ve decided to give my picks for the games. Each week I’ll make new picks as we work our way down to two teams. This year’s matchups are particularly interesting, especially since many of these teams played each other just last week.

AFC Wildcard
New York vs. Cincinnati

I don’t think that Cincinnati should be extremely concerned about last week’s performance (other than the fact that they couldn’t catch the ball). Carson Palmer needs to have a solid game against the tough Jets passing defense for Cincinnati to win. If he can do that, and Cincinnati can make Jets QB Mark Sanchez look like a nervous rookie in his first playoff appearance, then they will play another week.

Final Score: 24-17 Cincinnati

Baltimore vs. New England

The Patriots are pretty banged up heading into this one. Without wideout Wes Welker (say that one 5 times fast), guys such as Julian Edelman are going to have to step up big time. If the Ravens want to win this one, then RB Willis McGahee is going to need to gouge the Patriot defense much like he did last week against Oakland. The Patriots are 8-0 at home this season, and are also a perfect 7-0 at Gillette Stadium in the playoffs, but I think that the Ravens have the ability to win a close one. This game could be the most interesting of the wildcard weekend.

Final Score: 20-14 Baltimore

NFC Wildcard
Philadelphia vs. Dallas

This is probably the most anticipated matchup of the weekend. We will finally get to see if Tony Romo and Wade Phillips can win in the playoffs. Philadelphia has yet to beat Dallas this season, and trying to do that in Dallas will be no easy task. Time is running out for Donovan McNabb to get his Super Bowl ring, so he is going to need to play much better than he did last week if he wants to keep his season alive. Making Tony Romo revert to his previous late season play will be key for the Philly defense, and I think that they are capable of doing that.

Final Score: 35-33 Philadelphia

Green Bay vs. Arizona

This is my favorite game this weekend. I really don’t want to see either team lose, because both have major upsides that are capable of taking them to the Super Bowl. Green Bay is one of the hottest teams in football right now, and QB Aaron Rodgers has been making people in Green Bay say “Brett who?” Arizona faces a tall task in stopping Rodgers, and I just don’t see them doing it well enough. This game should be closer than last week’s, but the “W” will go to the same team.

Final Score: 34-24 Packers

Like my picks? Think I have no idea what I’m talking about? I’d love to hear your comments. Shoot me an email at aroundthecornsportsblog@gmail.com or post a comment under this entry, and I’ll try my best to get back to you in a timely manner. Thanks everyone.

- K. Becks

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