James Light takes us through his NFL Wildcard Weekend Pickem.
For an NFL fan, this weekend and the next are easily two of the best weekends all year. Four great matchups in two days for two consecutive weeks.
As usual there are many compelling storylines and as always some new faces to the NFL playoff scene.
So without further ado here are my picks for this weekends slate of games.
Cincinnati (+4.5) at Houston – While Houston looked to possibly be a prohibitive favorite early in the season to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl this team has fallen on hard times as of late. Losing three out of their last four games to end the season, including a blowout loss to the Patriots. The Bengals have gone to the playoffs four times under head coach Marvin Lewis and have been one and done each time. Pick: Cincinnati +4.5
Minnesota (+7.5) at Green Bay – Last weeks game between these two teams was an instant classic, with Adrian Peterson breaking off a big run late to put the Vikings in range for a chip shot field goal to put Minnesota in the playoffs. As good as AP has been I expect Green Bay to do enough to slow him down on defense and for Aaron Rodgers to have a big game. Green Bay has won the last three games at home, I expect that trend to continue, but closer than the experts think. Pick: Minnesota +7.5
Indianapolis (+7) at Baltimore – This game always carries a little bit more emotion, especially when played in Baltimore. Still a lot of bitter former Baltimore Colts fans that have not forgiven the Irsay family for packing up the team and leaving for Indianapolis in the middle of the night in 1984, the crowd should be intense for this one. Both teams will be riding a wave of emotions. The Colts from the return of their head coach Chuck Pagano and the Ravens from the retirement announcement of Ray Lewis.The Ravens are 4-0 under head coach John Harbaugh in wildcard and divisional round playoff games. Pick: Indianapolis +7
Seattle (-3) at Washington – Seattle has played as well as any team down the stretch run of the NFL season, with the exclamation point coming in the form of a blowout win over my Super Bowl favorite, the San Francisco 49ers. Washington may be the only team hotter than the Seahawks winning their last seven in a row to win the NFC East. With RGIII still not 100% due to injury the Skins rode Alfred Morris to a win over Dallas last week as Morris rushed for over two hundred yards. I think Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and the second rated Seattle defense will be up to the challenge on the road. Pick: Seattle -3
So there you have it, taking three underdogs with the points and Seattle to cover. Should be some outstanding games, enjoy the football!
Sport Is Everything. James Light.
You can follow James Light via @JamesALight. You can read more of James’ articles through his personal football blog, Jim Light’s Football Blog.