Predictions for all NFL Wildcard games via Fansided

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No. 6 Baltimore Ravens (10-6) at No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)

Both teams’ antennas will be up even more since this is a rivalry game and bragging rights are on the line. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a 16-13 or 20-16 type game, however this one will come down to Flacco and Ben and giving how each has played this season, I’m siding with Ben on this occasion – plus he’s got the home-field working in his favor too.
Pick: Steelers 34-24

No. 5 Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) at No. 4 Indianapolis Colts (11-5)

Luck (led league with 40 TD passes) is obviously the best player on the field and having that guy on your team should alone make the Colts the slight favorite, although he can’t single-handily carry the Colts to a championship. Yet, I’m a big believer in “Sooner or later this team is going to get over the hump and get the job done after always being in the playoffs and suffering loss after loss” that applies to the Bengals losing three straight years in the Wild Card game. The Bengals are due to win at least one playoff game this year being that this is their fourth year in a row in the playoffs. No, I don’t think the Bengals are going all the way but I think they will find a way to win this game – no matter how sloppy and ugly it might be.
Pick: Bengals 27-23

No. 6 Detroit Lions (11-5) at No. 3 Dallas Cowboys (12-4)

his game will be a battle of who can control the line of scrimmage and even with Suh in the lineup; I can’t vision a scenario where the Lions front four will have success slowing down Dallas’ well-oiled running machine with the league’s leading rusher in DeMarco Murray. The Lions passing game isn’t as scary as in year’s past but is still more than capable of making the Cowboys defensive backs sweat some, but to what extent. This game is all about Dallas in my opinion. Their focused, in a zone, and are just a more complete football team that can hurt you in more ways than the Lions can. I applaud the Lions for overachieving this season but the Cowboys are playing like a team on a mission and a team that is looking to erase the “Will find a way to choke in a Big Game” stigma that has been following this team the last five years. This is a different Cowboys team folks and there out to show that in the playoffs.
Pick: Cowboys 41-20

No. 5 Arizona Cardinals (11-5) at No. 4 Carolina Panthers (7-8-1)

While Arizona has the more talented secondary (Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, Tyrann Mathieu), Carolina possesses the better front seven led by 2013 Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly. The question I’m asking myself is, “Who’s playing better going into this game?” and the answer is Carolina. They’ve won four in a row and Arizona has lost the last two games. You can only go but so far with a third-string quarterback at the helm and I think the Cardinals will reach their breaking point in this game. They don’t generate enough points and the Panthers defense has played as good as anyone the last month. Cam will put up just enough points at home to win this game. Arizona’s luck will run out.
Pick: Panthers 21-16

Read the whole slideshow on Fansided

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NFL playoff picks and analysis for Wild Card Weekend via the Washington Post

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NFC: No. 6 Lions at No. 3 Cowboys (Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET)

The Cowboys went only 4-4 at home this season, compared to 8-0 on the road. The Lions certainly have the offensive capabilities to give the Dallas defense trouble. But it feels like the Lions had their chance Sunday in Green Bay to set themselves up for greater postseason success, when Rodgers exited the game for the NFC North title before returning later, and squandered it.

Pick: Cowboys

NFC: No. 5 Cardinals at No. 4 Panthers (Saturday, 4:35 p.m.)

The chances of Drew Stanton returning for the playoffs probably were eliminated when he was forced to undergo arthroscopic surgery for an infection in his injured knee. So while the Cardinals are a solid all-around team with a superb coach, it’s difficult to rely on a quarterback with two career touchdown passes and 11 interceptions — Lindley’s regular season totals — to win a playoff game.

Pick: Panthers

AFC: No. 6 Ravens at No. 3 Steelers (Saturday, 8:15 p.m.)

The key could be Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. The former Super Bowl MVP struggled mightily in the first three quarters against the Browns on the heels of a miserable outing a week earlier at Houston. But he threw two touchdown passes and had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in the fourth quarter Sunday against Cleveland.

Pick: Ravens

AFC: No. 5 Bengals at No. 4 Colts (Sunday, 1:05 p.m.)

Quarterback Andy Dalton makes his fourth playoff appearance for the Bengals and seek his first postseason triumph. His top wide receiver, A.J. Green, exited the game Sunday night in Pittsburgh and now is subject to the NFL’s concussion protocol, meaning that he must be cleared by an independent neurologist to practice and play.

Pick: Colts

Read the whole article at Washington Post

5 key things to watch in the Detroit Lions – Dallas Cowboys Wild Card game

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1) Lions QB Matthew Stafford is currently 0-17 on the road when facing a team with a winning record.
2) Can Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense keep rolling into January?
3) The coach who oversaw Detroit’s worst season ever is now running the Cowboys defense.
4) The Dallas secondary will need to cover Calvin Johnson a little better this year.
5) These teams rarely play each other in the postseason.

Read the whole article via USAToday

Full NFL Wildcard weekend schedule with exact times, days and channels

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UPDATED:

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Saturday, Jan. 10

AFC Divisional Game 1
(1) New England Patriots vs. (6) Baltimore Ravens, 4:35 p.m. CBS

NFC Divisional Game 1
(1) Seattle Seahawks vs. (4) Carolina Panthers, 8:15 p.m. FOX

Sunday, Jan. 11

NFC Divisional Game 2
(2) Green Bay Packers vs. (3) Dallas Cowboys, 1:05 p.m. FOX

AFC Divisional Game 2
(2) Denver Broncos vs. (4) Indianapolis Colts, 4:40 p.m. NBC

Championship round

Sunday, January 18

NFC: FOX, 3:05 p.m.

AFC: CBS, 6:40 p.m.

Super Bowl XLIX

Sunday, February 1

NFC champion versus AFC champion (FOX, 4:30 p.m.)

NOTE: Above game times are Pacific(west coast), game times below are Eastern(east coast)

NFL Wild Card Weekend

Saturday, Jan. 3
NFC: 4:35 PM (ET) Arizona at Carolina (ESPN)

AFC: 8:15 PM (ET) Baltimore at Pittsburgh (NBC)

Sunday, Jan. 4
AFC: 1:05 PM (ET) Cincinnati at Indianapolis (CBS)

NFC: 4:40 PM (ET) Detroit at Dallas (FOX)

In Vegas, the Dallas Cowboys are favorites to win against the Detroit Lions

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If you believe the Oddsmakers in Las Vegas, who are some of the smartest mathematicians in the world, they believe the Dallas Cowboys will beat the Detroit Lions by a touchdown in the second NFC Wildcard game on Sunday. The over/under and spread of the game is as followed:

Lions at Cowboys -7,
Over/Under 48 total points

NFL.coms @judybattista @ChrisWesseling @Gil_Brandt @CoachBillick @greggrosenthal make their NFC Wildcard predictions!

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NFC GAMES

NFC WILD CARD 1

Judy Battista: Chicago Bears. They certainly would have been a playoff team last season if the defense had been even marginally better.
Brian Billick: Green Bay Packers. Even with a steady rushing attack, the Packers aren’t anything without Aaron Rodgers — keeping him healthy has to be priority No. 1. Green Bay gave up 45 sacks last season; only the Cardinals have given up more since 2009. If Rodgers plays all 16 games, the Packers make the playoffs.

Gil Brandt: San Francisco 49ers. I think San Francisco has a chance to have as good a defense as any in the NFL, even with the uncertain availability of NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith. That should carry the Niners, though Frank Gore and the running game will slow down.

Gregg Rosenthal: Arizona Cardinals. In Bruce Arians we trust. (And Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Ellington, Michael Floyd and John Brown.)

Chris Wesseling: 49ers. Jim Harbaugh has a lot working against him this year, but the other wild-card contenders just aren’t strong enough to overtake his team.

NFC Wildcard Game 2

Judy Battista: San Francisco 49ers. The expected extended absences of Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman are the difference between winning the division and getting a wild-card spot.

Brian Billick: 49ers. The 49ers are the second-best team in the NFC, but unfortunately for them, they are also the second-best team in their division. San Francisco will make the playoffs for the fourth time in four seasons under Jim Harbaugh.

Gil Brandt: Carolina Panthers. I think everybody’s kind of writing off the Panthers, given how much receiving talent they lost, but the pass catchers they ended up with — including first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin — are as good as last year’s guys. Plus, their defense is still excellent.

Gregg Rosenthal: Bears. The defense has to get better, but the passing game should be among the league’s best.

Chris Wesseling: Lions. Defenses can’t find a way to double-team Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, Golden Tate and Eric Ebron.

Source: NFL.com