Hopefully, nobody took our advice and let it ride on the Rams to beat the Seahawks last week. Now, we can at least guarantee you that these playoff picks won’t be any worse. With Wild Card Weekend getting underway in less than 24 hours, check out our first round predictions, complete with some semi-coherent analysis.
If Seattle wins this game, then forget it. But really, folks, there is just no way that’s happening. You can refer to our NFC Worst post to see how bad the Seahawks are numbers-wise. Sure, they beat the Rams. Big deal. St. Louis was 1-15 last year. Now Seattle faces the defending champs. The Saints may not create many turnovers, but they’ve allowed the fewest passing touchdowns in the NFL this year. So, Seattle should exploit New Orleans run defense, right? Well, if they had a running game, then sure. Unfortunately, the Seahawks average a measly 3.7 yards per carry. Even though the Saints don’t have many running backs left, they probably won’t need any. Seattle has an awful pass defense, and the Saints have Drew Brees. Need we say more?
Professorial Prediction: Saints- Straight Up and Spread (-10)
This one should be a good game. The two teams will likely exploit each others’ weaknesses- the Jets by grounding and pounding against the Colts 25th ranked run defense, and the Colts by attacking a Jets secondary that has given up 24 passing TDs (they gave up just 8 last year). The Jets have a better record, but have had an awful lot of close calls this year. Indy has had some themselves, but they’ve also got Peyton Manning to bail them out. If there’s a weakness in your defense, Manning will find it. With unimpressive depth in their secondary, the Jets better look out.
Professorial Prediction: Colts- Straight Up and Spread (-2.5)
Ravens. This one is the lock of the weekend. Take a look at the Chiefs schedule. They have played just one playoff team this season, losing 19-9 to Indy. Oops…They also beat the Seahawks 42-24. Like that matters… Anyway, K.C. hasn’t exactly dominated their cupcake schedule, losing twice to the Raiders, and getting blown out by the Broncos and Chargers. Matt Cassel has had a nice year, but this is his first taste of the postseason, and the Ravens are on the other side. Even without Ed Reed for six games, Baltimore has allowed the third-fewest points in the league. They also post a top-ten run defense, and have given up just five rushing touchdowns all year. That doesn’t bode well for Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones.
Professorial Prediction: Ravens- Straight Up and Spread (-3)
The Pack have looked pretty good in their final few games, while the Eagles have struggled. Look for Aaron Rodgers to have a big game in this one. Philly has given up 31 passing TDs this year, and considering how the Packers don’t have a running game, Rodgers will put up nice numbers by default. Both teams have opportunistic defenses, but the advantage should go to Green Bay, because they can get to Michael Vick. The Eagles have given up 50 sacks this year, second-worst in the entire league. Clay Matthews leads a squad that’s taken down the QB 47 times. Sure, Vick will make some plays and, if they so choose, Philly can run it with McCoy. Still, it won’t be enough.
Professorial Prediction: Packers- Straight Up and Spread (+3)