I will be the first to admit that I did not have a very successful NFL Wild Card Weekend in terms of picking winning teams.
Hey, you win some and you lose some.
I correctly picked just one winner among the four games last weekend, as the Seattle Seahawks saved me from putting up a big fat goose egg thanks to their win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Buffalo Bills blew a chance to win their first playoff game since 1995 when the Houston Texans rallied from a 16-0 deficit and won in overtime. The Minnesota Vikings also needed OT to knock out the New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans slayed the dragon by eliminating the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
The divisional round starts Saturday afternoon when the San Francisco 49ers host Minnesota followed by Tennessee in Baltimore to face the Ravens. On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs host Houston, and later on Seattle visit the Green Bay Packers.
The Niners, Ravens, Chiefs and Packers are all favoured to win, but as we saw last weekend the favourites don’t always come out on top.
Four teams are coming off a bye week, including San Francisco, who takes on a talented Vikings team that is coming off an emotional overtime win in New Orleans.
If Minnesota hopes to knock off two 13-win teams in back-to-back weeks, QB Kirk Cousins will have to play lights out against the 49ers elite defence. I will lean on San Fran’s D. 49ers 27, Vikings 24
After dethroning the defending champs last weekend, the Titans go up against the No. 1 overall team in the National Football League. Baltimore went 14-2 in the regular season, won seven of their eight home games in 2019 and boast the top scoring offence in the league.
As good as Tennessee running back Derrick Henry has been playing, beating QB Lamar Jackson and the Ravens at home is too much to ask for. Ravens 31, Titans 17
Fresh off their overtime thriller against Buffalo, the Texans trot into Kansas City where star quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have been waiting. K.C. is the fresher team, thanks to the bye, and have won their last six games. Houston beat the Chiefs in their Week 6 matchup at Arrowhead Stadium after rallying from a 17-3 deficit in the first quarter. Kansas City is a much-improved team since then and will roll to victory. Chiefs 35, Texans 20
The final game on the slate should be the tightest one. Seattle did not look overly impressive in beating Philadephia last Sunday and find themselves at Lambeau Field against the Packers. The Seahawks are 8-1 on the road this season (including their playoff win in Philly last week), but Green Bay, like K.C., is playing their best football at the right time and they are 18-5 at home, all-time, in the playoffs. Packers 24, Seahawks 20
If these predictions come to fruition, the top four teams in the NFL will be left standing for championship weekend.
However, if last weekend was any indication of how this year’s playoffs are going to go, then I shouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch.