NFL Playoffs: Wild Card Weekend Picks

January 8, 2011

The NFL playoffs are finally here, which means that I’ll start to pay more attention to the pro game than I have during the regular season. Each week, I’ll make predictions on the games until we work our way down to Super Bowl weekend.  I am excited for the games to start this weekend, as many of the matchups are very even and could go either way.

AFC Wildcard

New York vs. Indianapolis

The Colts have been written off by many people because Peyton Manning doesn’t have the receiver corps that he usually has to work with. While I don’t think that the Colts have the ability to win it all, I do think that they can beat the Jets this weekend.

The receivers aren’t the ones picking apart the Jets defense; Peyton Manning is. Even with the injuries this season, the Colts still pass for more yards per game than any other team in the league. Manning knows how to beat Rex Ryan’s defensive schemes, and unless Ryan makes some adjustments that Manning hasn’t seen (which is doubtful), I think that the Colts will do just enough to beat New York.

Final Score: 30-28 Indianapolis

Baltimore vs. Kansas City

Although Baltimore’s defense this season hasn’t been as good as it has been in prior years, they still have the 5th best run defense in the league. However, the Ravens will be going against the best rushing attack in the NFL, led by speedster running back Jamaal Charles.  

I think this game will ultimately come down to experience. Kansas City is a talented team, but is young and may still be a year away from being a true contender in the AFC. While I think we’ll see glimpses of what the future could look like for the Chiefs, I believe that the experience of the Ravens defense and Joe Flacco on the offensive end will carry Baltimore through.

Final Score: 27-21 Baltimore

NFC Wildcard

New Orleans vs. Seattle

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone outside of the state of Washington who thinks that the Seahawks will win this game.

Seattle has one of the worst defenses in the NFL, so Drew Brees and the rest of the Saints offense should be licking their chops. Brees could have a field day against the Seahawks secondary, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this one got out of hand early if Brees is hitting his targets.

Pete Carroll is going to need the 12th Man (and maybe more) to help his team tonight. It would be quite an upset if the Seahawks were able to beat New Orleans.

Final Score: 35-17 New Orleans

Green Bay vs. Philadelphia

Colin Cowherd wasn’t very kind to Aaron Rodgers on his radio show yesterday, but unlike Cowherd, I do think that Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. You can’t control who you play, and regardless of what teams Rodgers has padded his stat line against, the fact is that he can throw the ball.

If the Packers want to win this game, they are going to have to make Michael Vick feel their presence every time he tucks it and runs. If Green Bay can keep the pressure on Vick the entire game, I think it will be hard for Vick to work his magic. I am of the opinion that in order to win in the playoffs, you need a quarterback who is great at throwing the ball. Rodgers is the better pure passer, and while Vick has gotten much better at it, you can’t expect anyone to make perfect throws all the time when they’re constantly running from the defense. However, if Green Bay fails to get pressure on Vick, then number seven could put on a show.

Final Score: 31-27 Green Bay

Let me know what you think of my picks by commenting or sending me an email at Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to read my work.

– K. Becks

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