It’s hard to believe another NFL regular season has come and gone, and this past season was as wild as one could imagine. We can only hope for more of the same as the playoffs kick off this weekend. That being said, I don’t see this wild card weekend as being particularly competitive and all four games (on paper at least) seem pretty predictable.
Titans 16 – Chiefs 27
You don’t want to face Andy Reid coming off of a bye week, and that is exactly how he approached last week… as a bye week. Hunt got one carry,
Alex Smith didn’t play, and he played enough starters to sneak out the win.
Couple that with the fact that the Titans are by far the worst team in the playoffs and you have a recipe for our first double digit win of the 2017 playoffs.
Falcons 20 – Rams 31
I know the Falcons were incredible in the playoffs last season, but to me this is the lock of the week. The Falcons were never able to fully hit their stride as an offense this season, Wade Phillips will have his defense ready for them. On the other side of the ball the Falcons defense is still not consistent and faces a juggernaut in Goff, Gurley, and McVay.
The good news for Atlanta folks is that they get to watch both of their beloved football teams get wrecked in the postseason this week.
Bills 13 – Jaguars 24
The Bills without a healthy LeSean McCoy, against what in my mind is unquestionably the NFL’s best pass defense, on the road is just too much to ask. Congrats on making it back the playoffs Buffalo, now head back to that desolate winter wasteland from whence you came.
Let’s look for a minute at the Jags and whether or not a lengthly playoff run is possible, and I am one of the few people out there that does believe in this team. Obviously the pecimissm is entirely based around Blake Bortles and the fact that the Jags seem to live and die with his play:
However, I am much more optimistic about the upside Bortles has coming into these playoffs. Sure he laid an absolute dud against a beatable Titans secondary, but look at the four games prior to that:
That is a really solid stretch of games… He doesn’t need that sort of a run in these playoffs, but I don’t think he is quite as bad as Dilfer when he led the Ravens to their championship, and has looked better since establishing a better rapport with his full arsenal of non-Allen Robinson receivers.
Panthers 17 – Saints 31
You have to give it to the Panthers, they overcame a really rough schedule to finish 11-5 and make the playoffs. They beat the Bills, Lions, Falcons, Jaguars, and Patriots, but there is one team that handed it to them twice this season and they play them in the Wildcard round.
Cam has been inconsistent all season, and the defense has struggled tremendously to slow down these Saints this season. They gave up over 30 points to the Saints twice, including 34 before Alvin Kamara was really even a thing.
While the Eagles hold the NFC’s top spot, we all know the Wentz injury changes everything and opens up the door for one of what I consider to be the next best two teams in the NFL in the Rams and Saints. Both get a chance to get going at home this week and head into Minnesota and Philly rolling.