Super Wild Card Weekend is upon us, as 12 teams look to prove themselves and advance to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. There will be some really close games, and some that are blowouts. Nonetheless, I am here to predict every game of this wild card weekend.
Last Week: 10-6
Playoff Record: 0-0
(7)Colts vs (2)Bills:
The Colts are faced with a tough test as they meet the red-hot Bills in Buffalo, where fans will be in attendance for the first time all season. I’ve been to a Bills game before, and the crowd is electric. The inclusion of fans will provide a huge boost for the Bills in a game they are already favored to win.
-The Colts have one of the best run defenses in the league, but the Bills almost never try to establish the run.
-Colts rookie RB Jonathan Taylor ran for 253 yards last week, the Bills will have to limit him and force Phillip Rivers to throw.
-Bills QB Josh Allen just won AFC Offensive Player of the Month for December, compiling 1,399 total yards, 14 total touchdowns and one interception in the month of December. Safe to say, he’s on fire.
-The Bills are on a six game winning streak and are a Hail Mary away from being 10-0 in the last ten weeks.
-One of the Colts’ biggest wins this season was in week 10 when they defeated the Green Bay Packers in Overtime.
The Bills will most likely approach this game with a well scripted air attack, while the Colts will likely go ground-and-pound. However, if the Bills offense puts up enough points quickly enough, Colts QB Phillip Rivers will be forced to throw, and the Bills elite secondary will make him pay for it. While I believe this game will be relatively close, and extremely fun to watch, I’m going to predict that the Bills pull away with it in the fourth quarter, winning their first playoff game in over two decades.
Bills Win 30-24
(6)Rams vs (3)Seahawks:
Two divisional rivals will meet this weekend as the Rams go to Seattle to take on the Seahawks. Both of these teams have been extremely hot and cold this year, and both have embarrassing losses to separate “New York” teams. This game will all depend on which version of each team that shows up.
-The Rams and Seahawks have faced off twice this year, and the series is split 1-1.
-The Rams could potentially be without starting QB Jared Goff, meaning backup John Walford would make his second career start.
-The Seahawks defense has improved drastically, while the offense has been on a slight decline.
-Jared Goff has been the most inconsistent part of this Rams team, his performance could make or break this game for the whole team.
-Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has 13 interceptions on the season, so does Jared Goff.
If Goff plays, this game will be tight, and I think it could come down to a defensive struggle where one offensive play could determine the outcome of the game. If Wolford plays, all bets are off. I have not been the guy this season to bet against the Seahawks, but I just have a gut feeling that the Rams will win this game. I think their defense is incredibly strong, and it has given Russell Wilson trouble twice this year. Of course there’s always the chance Goff or Wolford turns the ball over three to four times, which would make this game an easy win for the Seahawks. But, assuming Goff plays, I think the Rams defense will limit Rusell Wilson enough for the Rams offense to be able to score more often, resulting in a Rams win.
Rams Win 24-22
(5)Buccaneers vs (4)Football Team:
While the Football Team does have some impressive wins on the season, including one against the Steelers, they are in no way shape or form prepared to face this Buccaneers team. The Buccaneers got hot at the right time, and look to wreak a lot of havoc in the playoffs, and it will all start against Washington.
-Washington made the playoffs with a 7-9 record, for comparison, the Buccaneers are 11-5.
-When teams with losing records have previously made the playoffs, they have surprisingly never lost their first game.
-The Washington front four might be the best in the NFL, and rookie Chase Young has proven he can be a problem for QBs.
-The Buccaneers are on a four game win streak, and have put up over 40 points in each of their last two games.
-Buccaneers QB Tom Brady passed for over 4,500 yards on the season, and has 43 total touchdowns to go along with it.
-The Buccaneers have possibly the best WR group in the NFL with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown.
-The Buccaneers defense has been somewhat inconsistent this year, but are still a top 10 defense.
-While Alex Smith is the best QB on Washington’s roster, he has more interceptions than passing touchdowns on the year.
This game could prove to be a defensive showcase for both teams, as both offenses could struggle to move the ball. But, in the end, there’s almost no doubt in my mind that the Buccaneers will win, because while the Washington offense isn’t horrible, it pales in comparison to the Buccaneers offense. This should be an easy Buccaneers win.
Buccaneers Win 27-13
(5)Ravens vs (4) Titans:
While the Ravens are one of the hottest teams heading into the playoffs, part of me wonders if it’s only because of how easy their end of season schedule was. The Titans have been very up-and-down this year, and most of that could be attributed to their terrible defense.
-The Ravens are on a five game win streak and have scored 27 points or more in each of those games.
-In the Titans last six games they have scored 35 or more points in four of them.
-The Titans are bottom five in the league in terms of defense, and the Ravens are top 10.
-Titans RB Derrick Henry went over 2,000 total rushing yards last week, and became only the eighth player in NFL history to do so.
-In their last matchup this season, the Titans won 30-24 in overtime, as Derrick Henry ran for 138 yards and a game winning touchdown against the Baltimore defense.
-Ravens QB Lamar Jackson has still not won a playoff game.
While the Ravens are favored in this game, and for good reason, the Titans, and especially Derrick Henry, have proved they are the perfect match for the Ravens, and I think the Titans will come away with a win, knocking Lamar Jackson and the Ravens out of the playoffs again.
Titans Win 35-31
(7)Bears vs (2)Saints:
This is the game that proves how much less competitive the NFC is than the AFC. In the AFC, the 10-6 Dolphins missed the playoffs, but here in the NFC, the Bears got the seventh seed with a record of 8-8. This game doesn’t need much analysis or quick facts, but here they are anyway.
-The Bears have lost seven of their last 11 games, but thankfully had an easy end of season schedule to bail them out.
-The Saints offense has scored 29 points or more since Drew Brees has come back from injury, including a 52 point game against the Minnesota Vikings.
-The Saints will have Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas back for this game, which is a huge boost for the offense.
-The Bears offense runs through RB David Montgomery, unfortunately for them the Saints are the fourth best rush defense in the league.
There’s little to no question here, the Saints are going to destroy the Bears as Drew Brees tries to make one last run at the Super Bowl before retiring.
Saints Win 33-20
(6)Browns vs (3)Steelers:
The Browns have made the playoffs for the first time in 18 years, so congratulations Browns fans. But, for some reason, Cleveland can’t have nice things, as their Head Coach contracted Covid and will no longer be able to coach the game. The Browns are also missing some key players due to Covid.
-The Browns and Steelers have faced off twice this year, the series is split 1-1.
-The Browns were barely able to beat the Steelers backups last week, winning 24-22.
-The Steelers offense is bottom 10 this year in terms of yards per game, and are outside of the top 10 in terms of points per game.
-The Steelers are the number three defense in terms of yards per game allowed.
-The Browns will need to rely heavily on their RBs, but the Steelers are the number three defense in terms of rushing yards per game allowed.
While it’s great to see the Browns finally make the playoffs, I don’t think they get further than this game. While the Steelers are nowhere close to being a top five team in the playoffs, the Browns have too many injuries and Covid issues for me to believe they’re going to win this game against a tough Steelers defense.
Steelers Win 27-21
Those are my wild card weekend predictions! Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments. As always, enjoy some football this weekend!