This weekend is Wild Card Weekend in the NFL. There are some pretty good games, and a couple of real yawners. Let’s dial into it and make some picks for this first weekend in the NFL Post Season.
Tennessee @ -8 Kansas City – Marcus Mariota leads the Titans into Kansas City on Saturday for the first of 4 games this weekend. Tennessee has in my opinion drawn the toughest card in the first weekend. Kansas City comes into the game winners of 4 straight games with an offense that is once again clicking. The offense has performed better since Andy Reid gave up the play calling and Alex Smith’s play has improved. To me, they are going to be an extremely difficult out for the Titans. Actually, difficult for anyone at this point. The defense is playing back to the level they did early on the in the season. The Titans on the other hand backed in after losing 3 of their last 4 games. They finished 9-7 and although Mariota has thrown for over 3000 yards, he has more interceptions than he does touchdowns, 15-13 not to mention Running Back Demarco Murray is out with injury. The defense is solid but not great right now. They look and play like a team that is limping into the playoffs. Kansas City is an 8 point favorite and they cover. 31-12.
Atlanta @ -5 Rams – Rams come in with running back Todd Gurley playing the best football of the season and in his career. Jared Goff has had a better year than Matty Ice for Atlanta. Goff has 8 more touchdown passes and finished with just over 4000 yards for the season. The defense is led by Aaron Donald and they have been stout for most of the season. They finished the season 11-5 And were winners of 4 of their last 5 games coming into a contest with the 49ers in the final game.That game turned into a mess for the Rams as they would start their backups and lose the game. Something I dont think you do with young players. The Falcons on the other hand have disappointed all season long although They won 3 of their final 4 games. The offense has not performed like they expected either. Inconsistent at best. With that said, the Falcons have the experience where as the Rams are learning how this whole Playoffs thing works. The starters sitting in the final game I believe will be a problem for the Rams. As for a prediction I do not think the resting of players helps a team like the Rams. Those starters need playing time so I believe the Falcons cover and win. 24-19…. Falcons with the upset.
Buffalo @ -8.5 Jacksonville – The Bills backed into the playoffs also as they would get a Cincinnati win over the Ravens to sneak them in. The Bills also lost McCoy to an ankle injury during the game, but he is not listed on the injury report. The team will be led by Tyrod Taylor which means…. we are really not sure what we will see. With Taylor, life really is like a box of chocolates. YOu never really know what Taylor your gonna get. Jacksonville is second in the league in total defense and is giving up only 16 points a game. They are in fact yielding 117 yards per game in rushing yards which could open the door for Buffalo. I am not convinced Taylor will perform well enough to win, but I believe they will cover. Jacksonville lost their last two games including a shoot out against the 49ers and a 15-10 loss to Tennessee. Jacksonville can be very dangerous if they get beyond this game. Buffalo is a Cinderella Story. Buffalo covers, but comes up short. 26-22.
Playoff News and Notes
Carolina @-6 New Orleans – The Saints come in winners of the NFC South but with the same record as the Panthers. Saints are looking for their third win this season against the Panthers. That’s not that easy to do, although it happens more times than you would think. I said 2 weeks ago I do not trust the Panthers and Cam Newton to win big games this season. Newton is not a big game quarterback and Drew Brees is. That to me is the difference in the this game. The Saints will not cover, but they will win 31-26.
I believe the most dangerous team in the AFC right now is Kansas City because they are streaking and playing their best football offensively on the season. The defense has been better in the last several games as they are looking more and more like the team in the beginning of the season. They are also the only team that has and luck against the Patriots.
Drew Brees just surpasses 70k yards passing. That is just a huge number, especially when you consider that Ben Roethlisberger, who has had all the offensive weapons for a long time now, has just over 50k.
LeSean McCoy has more yards rushing in the last 6 years than any other running back in football. He just surpassed 10k for his career. And is 4th in the league in rushing. But if you look as his numbers, he has better numbers in the games they lost, then the games they won which means as important he is, the whole games essentially comes down to Tyrod Taylor.
Jared Goff has the better stats of the two quarterbacks in the Atlanta/Rams game. Although that is the case, Matty Ice has more experience and in the playoffs, been there done that matters.