Wild Card weekend points way to the madness yet to come
By: LANCE REED
There is no way that anyone could be precise in this year’s NFL playoffs. In both the AFC and the NFC, things are completely up in the air. Beginning this weekend with the Wildcards, the evidence is clear by virtue of the point spreads, which are all small. No game is a sure bet.
At press time, the two wild card games on Saturday had not yet been played. So, hopefully I am right when this article is being read Sunday.
Kansas City makes the trip to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. The Colts and Andrew Luck easily handled the Chiefs earlier this season and it should be the same again this time. The Colts are playing good football right now. Look for Luck to pull it out 27-21 COLTS.
The late game has the New Orleans Saints traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. Can Brees and company play in the cold? It will be around 23 degrees. Oh and they will be on the road. The Eagles are picked to win by just 2.5 points, but something tells me the Saints will be ready. Philly does not play consistently at home. I may be going out on a limb here, but SAINTS 42-35.
Sunday, the opening wild card game is in the AFC. The Chargers travel to Cincinnati to meet the Bengals. Andy Dalton and the Bengals are nearly impossible to beat at home, which is why their are favored to win by 6.5 points over the Chargers in the noon game. The Bengals’ defensive unit also seems to play better at home. The Chargers will not be able to hold on and this game will be won late. San Diego will give it a good fight but fall. BENGALS 31-21.
At 3:40 p.m., the 49ers of San Francisco head to Green Bay to meet the Packers at Lambeau Field. This game will be the upset game of the day in my opinion. The Packers are the underdogs by 2.5 points in their own stadium, but yet there is something that tells me the Packers will win this one on a late game drive. Rogers finds a way to get the Packers into field goal range and they send the San Fran boys packing. Call me crazy, PACKERS 21-20.
If Wildcard weekend is hard to predict, wait until the divisional round. It will not be any easier. The Denver Broncos, the top seeded team in the AFC, has played inconsistently at times, as well as the New England Patriots (second seed).
The situation is the same with the Seattle Seahawks, the top seed in the NFC, and the Carolina Panthers (second seed). Either team can be defeated by teams that are playing in the wild card games.
All of the games should be fun to watch and keep up with. I really would like to see a rematch of the Broncos and the Patriots in Denver. I think the Pats have the coaching and the know-how to take down Peyton Manning, despite his resurgence recently.
In the NFC, I don’t know if any team can do what the Cardinals of Arizona have done. They beat Seattle at home. It was the first time in two years. It can be done, but which NFC team can do it.
When it is all said and done, I find it very difficult to make a Super Bowl Prediction. Keeping in mind the game will be in New York this year and it will be cold. I see this game being very compelling.
My Super Bowl prediction, SEATTLE versus NEW ENGLAND. The Seahawks win 17-14 due to their defensive power.