NFL Wildcard Week Preview

I’m back!!! As you may have noticed, we kind of went radio silent over the Xmas period. Unfortunately, I didn’t have internet down in the far corners of the UK so week 17 and all its glory went slightly unheralded.

Now, we reach the time when it counts. This is what the whole season built up to, the Playoffs. I’m going to do this week a little different. This will be my only post this week, so I’ll take a quick look at all 4 Wildcard Matchups. However, once that’s done I’ll still take a run down the Table and see where we stand at the end of the regular season, and also announce the winner of the 3 week Amazon competition run over weeks 15-17. So without further delay, let’s get into these Matchups.

Colts vs Texans

First up on Saturday night (UK Time) we’ve got a rematch of the bitter AFC South rivals with Indy travelling to Houston for the game. Houston are 2 point home favourites with the season series split at one apiece but I’m favouring the Colts here. They won the more recent matchup and would have tied the first one if Frank Reich hadn’t decided his balls were bigger than his brains. Indy started 1-5 and the Texans started 0-3, so they’re both Cinderella stories of sorts, but the Colts are one of the hottest teams in the league right now and their studs turn up against Houston. Like T.Y. Hilton, in 7 career games against the Texans, his numbers are 41 catches, 933 yards and 7 TDs. That’s insane.

Oz’s Pick: Colts.

Seahawks vs Cowboys

The other Saturday night game, (Sunday morning UK Time) has the Seahawks into Dallas to face the Cowboys. These teams both played in Week 3, a win for Seattle at 24-13 at home. Dallas are 3 point home favourites, in what isn’t predicted to be a massively high scoring game. I see a lot of similarities in these teams, both finished 10-6, both started poorly and both I had little to no faith in during the year. That last statement is still fairly true, as unless the Eagles upset the Bears, the winner of this game has to go play the Saints at home, a game I don’t see either winning. In this game though, I go with Seattle. I trust Carroll more than Garrett and Wilson more than Prescott. A fun side bet might be the Over/Under on total rushing attempts for this game, set it at 50 and I’d say the over is easily possible.

Oz’s Pick: Seahawks

 Chargers vs Ravens

Oh, ye of little faith… Yep, I didn’t think we’d do it, but hot damn I’m stoked we did. A rematch of week 16 (well almost) has LA heading into Baltimore to take on the Ravens. The 12-6 Chargers are 3 point favourites heading into Sunday against the higher seed, and they did lose that game back in Week 16. Melvin Gordon is still banged up, and they’ve lost another member of that front 7 in Jatavis Brown after the Denver game. That’s not what you want when you have to face a team that’s going to run the ball down your throat. Rivers and the Chargers offence struggled immensely last time out, and that was at their home, I’m going 3-3 in predicting upsets as I think Baltimore does it again and send my boys to Arrowhead next week.

Oz’s Pick: Ravens

Eagles vs Bears

The last of the Wildcard games, can Big Dick Nick do it? Probably not, this is the clearest looking winner with the Bears at 6 point home favourites. Chicago just has such a stifling defence, and have rediscovered the talent that is Jordan Howard. Suffocating Defence and a strong run game I expect will be the aim and looks like a clear recipe for success. For Philly, it’s not so clear. Foles is not 100% after taking massive shots in back to back weeks, and the Philly Offence has struggled against lesser defensive fronts. What a miracle run it would be, getting back to the playoffs after the looked like a shell of last years glory has been incredible, but sorry Nick, you’ve done your part, the dream ends here.

Oz’s Pick: Eagles.

Now, I realised when I started this, I promised a winner of the competition and a rundown of the table. That was until I looked at the clock and it said 10.45pm, unfortunately back to reality means back to work. So I’ll be back tomorrow night, for the Table rundown and the Amazon Prize winner.
So until then,

Ciao for now.
Oz


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