It is opening "wild card" weekend in the NFL playoffs, and it's time to pick winners. In an effort to put my money where my mouth is, I bet $5 on the following 4 teams to win this weekend. Picking the favourites seems either too easy or too obvious, so I've picked two underdogs to win. My Super Bowl pick is the Denver Broncos. We will probably see 3 of the 4 winners this weekend go on to lose next weekend.
1) Green Bay Packers defeat Minnesota Vikings 24 - 17:
Adrian Peterson had one of the greatest seasons in the history of football, the sad part being that rest of the team isn't very good. Barry Sanders incredible talent never took his team on a deep playoff run. That kind of workload, taking that many hits, running with a team on your shoulders, takes a heavy toll on a human body. Maybe Peterson is not human. That argument has merit. However I have to believe that he's going to run out of gas and I have to take the Packers because Aaron Rodgers has been here before and we know he can win.
2) Indy Colts defeat Baltimore Ravens 21-17:
Common sense tells me that Baltimore is going to win this game. There are so many reason to take the Ravens, all of them convincing. However, I'm going with the team with the coach who beat cancer this season. I'm not betting against karma. If Joe Flacco is who we think he is, then give me Andrew Luck and the cancer surviving coach.
3) Cincinnati Bengals defeat Houston Texans 24 - 21:
If I saw this prediction a month ago, I would have told myself that I'm nuts. Cincinnati? Yet the Bengals have been trending up while the Texans have been falling apart. This is a matter of picking the hot hand. Houston has some talented players, but it is hard to pick a team described over the last month as terrible (when compared to how they started the season). AJ Green might be the best wide receiver in the NFL.
4) Seattle Seahawks defeat Washington Redskins 27 - 21
The biggest difference between these two teams is defense. The Redskins D has not been very good, while the Seahawks D has been one of the best in the league. Sure the Hawks are on the road, but to me there is little doubt who is the better team. Marshawn Lynch is a beast and Russell Wilson seems to get better with every game.