3’s and 5’s are Wild for Wildcard Weekend

The 5th seeds are the real wildcards as they're primed for upsets over the 4th seeds.

Quick Hits for the NFL

Quick Wildcard Analysis

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

The Baltimore Ravens are anxious for their rematch with the Patriots, regardless of the setting. Their previous game resulted in a 27-21 Patriot win, thanks in large part to a dropped pass by Raven wide receiver Marc Clayton. Meanwhile, New England is ready to keep their home-winning streak alive. If you know me, you know that I’m a reformed New England sympathist, having completely one-eightied from previously hating them. I also have a soft spot for the Ravens, who boast one of the coolest color combinations in all of sports history. I won’t go into extensive detail for this matchup, but let me say that I like New England to win for three reasons:

1. Tom Brady is not healthy, but he’s still the best quarterback on the field. The guy is battle-tested, hoisting 3 Lombardi trophies, and being 8-0 at home in the playoffs. Even if Wes Welker is out, Brady and Belichick will make it work, at least for one week.

2. Joe Flacco has been rather skiddish this year. After starting off hella strong, he fizzled down the stretch, going some four games without throwing a touchdown. Terrible. Look for Ray Rice to take advantage of an aging New England defense, but Flacco is not going to have a great game tomorrow. Look for his woes continue as Belichick will unleash some post-season secrets he has yet to unveil, giving Flacco something he’s never seen before, even after last season’s deep playoff run.

3. Fred Taylor should play a big role in the running game. The Patriots have all but given up on Laurence Maroney, whose name I won’t even embolden due to a lack of respect, and that leaves Taylor left to clean up his carries. The Ravens defense, while still hard-hitting, is susceptible to the deep ball, while they do a great job of attacking screens. Look for the Patiots to get a boost out of Taylor’s performance as he will take some pressure off Brady, making the passing game even more effective.

Patriots win, 27-17.

Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

I don’t have nearly the amount of rationale for why the team I select will win this game, mostly because it’s such a unique matchup. I will say that the #5 seeds are wild in both conferences. I’m picking the 5th seeded Jets and the 5th seeded Packers to win on the road in the opening round of the playoffs. Those wildcard teams will likely lose in the round, at least the Jets will, but the Packers could be here to stay. Their quarterback is really, really good, and he’s just waiting to insert himself into the top 5 quarterback debate, which he is currently lacking the hardware and win-totals to prove. Inexplicably, their defense has improved since losing two pro-bowl players, and they are performing at an extremely high level. Dom Capers has to get a lot of credit for turning Charles Woodson into a DPOY candidate, moving him around to use all his strengths and veteran savvy. Green Bay is easily the hottest team in the NFC, even moreso than my Cowboys or Philly’s Eagles.

Look for Aaron Rodgers to pick on Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie, who is currently battling a sore knee, and isn’t really all that great a cover corner. He can hit him with the ageless wonder Donald Driver, or the speedy youngster Greg Jennings. The Packers are no longer one dimensional either, as they have developed a two-headed running attack in the past month that will be difficult for the Cardinals to stifle. I like the Packers in this one, and most likely in their next one, too. Ugh. I’m disgusted at myself like Kobe was in his press conference after admitting adultery. I hate the Packers, but they are pretty damn good this year. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.

Green Bay wins 33-30

Let’s go Cowboys!


4 Responses to “3’s and 5’s are Wild for Wildcard Weekend”

  1. Fred Says:

    Ugh, I’m pulling for all the losing teams from your predictions.

  2. Fred Says:

    Yay I’m 3 for 4 on my predictions, stupid Bengals 😦

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