We made it! We sat though 4 weeks of preseason only because we hadn’t had any football for months. We enjoyed 17 weeks of Regular season action that was as fun as ever. If you cheer for your hometown team, your fantasy team, or the team you invested a few dollars on that day, this season was as unpredictable as any I can remember. And now, we get playoff football!
Teams were fighting for position right up until the last second of the regular season. The Jets managed to fight themselves out of a playoff spot. Interesting strategy, let’s see if it works. Usually there is a dud of a game the first weekend that nobody wants to watch. Not this year! Each game is intriguing with wild card teams that could realistically make it to the Super Bowl.
As always, here is what I’m looking for in the Wild Card Round in order of how interesting I find the game from least to most;
- Saturday 4:20pm Chiefs @ Texans. While I said I’m ranking these games in order of my interest, this is technically the least interesting, but it’s going to be a good game. I’m fascinated by the Chiefs who have now won 10 in a row and still remain under the radar. If Justin Houston can come back for this game, the Chiefs offense shouldn’t have to score too much to get the win. Which is just how they like it. Alex Smith does just enough with his arm and legs to move the K.C. Offense.
- While the Texans have been a running joke for us all year long, they have rounded into a real football team just in time. Brian Hoyer is back to throw the ball to DeAndre Hopkins 47 times. The Texans lost their best offensive lineman Duane Brown last week so don’t expect them to even try to run against the Chiefs. The Texans defense has played well for most of the year but J.J Watt and Whitney Mercilus have been destroying people lately.
- Expect a low scoring defensive battle. My best guess is we will have a field goal kicking contest and could be decided by a defensive score. Good way to open the playoffs. Prediction: Kansas City 16 Houston 13
- Sunday 4:40pm Packers @ Redskins. Once looked at as the top team in the league, the Packers are driving the struggle bus. Maybe Aaron Rodgers and the offense can snap out of their funk and score a few points. Or maybe they will finally be put out of their misery and cheese head fans can start counting down the days till Jordy Nelson is back next year.
- On the other side of the field, the Redskins offense has been extremely fun to watch. And Kirk Cousins has been the beneficiary of my most over used joke this year…You still like it? You still like it? Washington’s defense should have no problem stopping 312 lb. Eddie Lacy. But can they stop Mr. Olivia Munn?
- The Redskins have all the momentum. The Redskins are at home. The Redskins should win this game. But I can’t bet against Aaron Rodgers. I think he finds a way to pull this one out. Prediction: Packers 33 Redskins 31
- Sunday 1:05pm Seahawks @ Vikings. Mike Zimmer has proven that he is one of the best defensive coaches around. He has a young, athletic, fast defense that swarms around the ball. Minnesota gets to take advantage of their outdoor stadium one more time, and see if the Legion of Boom likes the freezing cold. If Adrian Peterson can take the pressure off Teddy Bridgewater, the Vikings could advance.
- The Seahawks are scary. There is not a single team in the NFC that wants to play Seattle. Especially after the Seahawks dismantled the Cardinals at Arizona. Russell Wilson has somehow convinced defenses not to cover Doug Baldwin. And Tyler Lockett looks like the best special teams weapon since Devin Hester. Oh, did I mention their defense is pretty good too?
- The steamroller that is Seattle can’t be stopped right now. I think the Vikings defense will put up a good fight, but give me Russell Wilson over Teddy Two Gloves. Prediction: Seattle 20 Minnesota 10.
- Saturday 8:15pm Steelers @ Bengals. Normally Cincinnati plays the first game on Saturday because nobody wanted to watch Andy Dalton in a playoff game. But this year we are wishing the Red Rifle was playing. Dalton played great this year and has a chance to play Saturday. The Bengals defense is championship caliber and could win the game for AJ McCarron.
- The Steelers were bailed out from somehow losing to the Ravens. When the Jets lost the Rex Bowl, the Steelers could take advantage with a trip back to the Super Bowl. If the defense can stop the Bengals just a few times the offense is the best in the AFC. Losing DeAngelo Williams could hurt but Big Ben still has the most unstoppable WR in the game. Mr. Antonio Brown.
- I would have to check my Google machine but I’m pretty sure Marvin Lewis is 0-478 in the playoffs. With out Dalton, I think the Steelers find a way to win. Prediction: Steelers 31 Bengals 30.
Come back next week so we can talk about all the top teams that earned byes this week and we can react to Wild Card Weekend. I might have a word or two thousand to say about the Broncos benching Osweiler. Enjoy the football everyone!