Previewing The Wild Card Playoffs
Here are my predictions for this week’s Wild Card games.
Indianapolis Colts (10-6) vs. Houston Texans (11-5)
This will be the third time the Colts and Texans play this year. The two team split the season series with each of those games being decided by just three points. The Texans are one of the hottest teams in the NFL, winning 11 of their last 14 games. On the other hand, Andrew Luck has been resurrected and looks the player of old. That said, I think the Colts rely too heavily on their passing game and standout play of their defense. If either of those two fail today, Texans win by a wide margin. For me, the Texans are a much better all around team and with the game being played in Houston, I’ll give the home team a slight advantage.
Prediction: Colts 24 Texans 28
Seattle Seahawks (10-6) vs. Dallas Cowboys (10-6)
To me, this game is a toss up. Vegas currently has the line at (DAL -2.0) which is just about as close as you can get. I’m not in love with either of these teams. Seattle is a shell of what they have been over the past five or so years. Russell Wilson has carried this once defensive driven team with few reliable offensive weapons. Dallas received a huge shot in the arm when Amari Cooper came over from Oakland near the trade deadline, and that may very well be just enough to push them over the edge.
Prediction: Seahawks 23 Cowboys 24
Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) vs. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
Traveling cross country will be a challenge for the Chargers, but I think they get the job done. Lamar Jackson is the first quarterback in NFL history to start a playoff game as a 21 year old. Furthermore, Jackson hasn’t started the entire season, and will have a tough task against a strong Chargers defense. Defense always travels well, and I think the Chargers have a much better team all around. If Melvin Gordon and the rest of that offense gets going early, look out!
Prediction: Chargers 26 Ravens 13
Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) vs. Chicago Bears (12-4)
I’m officially putting the Bears on upset alert. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in love with this Eagles team, but for reasons that are beyond my knowledge, Nick Foles gives this team the element they need. It’ll be tough to walk into Chicago and pull off this win, but if anyone is going to do it, it’ll be the Eagles. I don’t want to hold this against the Bears, but young teams with very little collective playoff experience usually don’t do very well come playoff time. All said, playoff football is different than the regular season; therefore, the defending champions get the nod.
Prediction: Eagles 20 Bears 16