Normally I’d go into a rant about what happened last weekend, but that was the end of the regular season, and the playoffs start this Saturday. I’m not interested in making excuses, talking shit on refs or any of that, because I already did that sort of thing on social media, and because I’m looking forward to the playoffs. Let’s take a look at the bracket as it stands now:
The Wildcard round consists of four games, two from the AFC and two from the NFC. I’m sure most people have enough knowledge about the game to know what comes next. Games are played in sudden death elimination mode, so if you lose you go home until next season. Green Bay travels to Washington to face the Redskins. Seattle hits the road to face the Vikings. The Steelers are facing the Bengals, and the Chiefs head to Houston to take on the Texans. Seeding is tricky, but ultimately the winners of each set of games heads to the next team on the list, those who have the first round bye — Denver, New England, Carolina and Arizona. There are bunch of scenarios and ways things can go, but here’s how I see Wildcard weekend shaking up:
Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins
Green Bay dropped the last two games of the season. Arizona convincingly stomped them, and The Vikings game came down to one shitty holding call that lead to a fumble-6 on the very next play (which shouldn’t have happened). There were still opportunities to come back but the team couldn’t pull it together. The offense has been playing like shit for most of the season (outside of those first 6 games), so this isn’t anything new. The defense has been doing great things, but they can’t exactly win the game by themselves. I don’t think we’re the weakest team in the NFC playoffs though, and I believe we can at least win this game against the Redskins, despite them doing fairly well this season. Time will tell, but I’m calling it Packers 21, Redskins 13.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Minnesota Vikings
I don’t see the Vikings being able to win this one. They were trounced by Seattle earlier in the year, and though they beat us last week, it wasn’t convincing. Adrian Peterson may have won the rushing title for the year, but he is able to be contained, as the Packers proved twice this season (40 something and 60 something yards in each game). Seattle’s defense is usually pretty good against the run too. Russell Wilson has managed to get his team into the playoffs, and no one wants to face them right now. It’s likely that they will have a harder time against Carolina (if they win this weekend) but I don’t see them losing even on the road. Seahawks 28, Vikings 14.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Steelers barely squeeked into the playoffs, thanks to the Bills handing the Jets another loss in week 17. Apparently they’re sort of hot, but the Bengals have been doing well all season. It’s yet to be seen if Andy Dalton or his backup will be starting, but either way I have little faith in the Bengals winning a playoff game. They’ve been to the playoffs several years in a row and haven’t won yet. Maybe they have a better chance with their backup? I’m not sure, but I’m going with the Steelers on this one. Steelers 31, Bengals 24
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans
The Texans being in the playoffs isn’t new, but they aren’t impressive. They still don’t have “the man” at the helm, but they did manage to lean on their defense and got into the playoffs. I still don’t have high hopes either way. Kansas City is on a 10 game winning streak, which outside of a couple of other teams is one of the best streaks this year. They’ve been hot and I’d like to see Alex Smith get some credit for that… he deserves to win some playoff games after playing for the shitty ass 49ers for so many years. Chiefs 27, Texans 17
If these games play out the way I’ve picked them, the following weekend will feature these divisional games: Green Bay vs. Arizona, Seattle vs. Carolina, Pittsburgh vs. Denver and Kansas City vs. New England. But I could be wrong and they could end up different. Time will tell. I’ll see you next week.