Published on December 31st, 2013 | by Sam Chimenti0
NFL Playoffs 2013: Wildcard Weekend
The 2013 NFL Regular Season is over, and now the playoff brackets have been set, it’s time for postseason football. The Playoffs will begin, as usual, with the always entertaining “Wildcard Weekend.” Here are my picks for the “Wildcard Weekend” games…
Chiefs vs. Colts: Chiefs
This match-up between two of the leagues best young teams should be a good one. The Colts and Chiefs just played in Week 16 in Kansas City, with the Colts winning in impressive fashion 23-7 on the road. This time around, however, the game will be played in Indianapolis with the stakes much higher and the chance to move on and play the AFC favorite Denver Broncos in Mile High. Although I’m a big Andrew Luck fan and I’m amazed at how well of a job he has done at QB for the Colts in his first two seasons, I think he and his offense will struggle against a suddenly healthy Chiefs defense that is expecting to have both Pro Bowl outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston back in the starting lineup. That means trouble for a weak Colts offensive line, and I think sacks will have a huge outcome on this game. Expect RB Jamaal Charles to have a successful day against a porous Colts run defense that gave up an average of 125 rushing yards per game during the regular season, and the Chiefs to come away with big road playoff win in Indianapolis.
Saints vs. Eagles: Eagles
If you think the Chiefs and Colts game will be entertaining, just wait till these two teams go at in Philly on Saturday Night. In a match up between two high octane offensives, expect to see a lot success from both teams QB’s in this one. But what will be the deciding factor in this game is the running game, where the Eagles have the clear advantage thanks to LeSean McCoy, who I believe will (just like Jamaal Charles) have a huge game, both running the ball and receiving it. This match up will feature a lot of offense and not so much defense, which is great news for the Eagles because they have a better O then the Saints.
Eagles win this one in exciting fashion.
Chargers vs. Bengals: Bengals
This should be an interesting game. Going into week 17, everybody thought we would be seeing either the defending super bowl champion Baltimore Ravens or the young Miami Dolphins take on the Bengals in the Wild Card round. But losses by both the Ravens and Dolphins, bad reffing, and a exciting overtime win sends the San Diego Chargers into the playoffs at a record of 9-7. Although the Chargers come into this game with loads of confidence after having won their last 4 games of the regular season, nobody can beat the Bengals on their turf, not even the high octane offense of the Chargers led by MVP candidate Philip Rivers. Home field advantage, Philip Rivers getting sacked at least 4 times, and AJ Green’s big day help the Bengals win their first playoff game since 1990 and move them on to the divisional rounds to take on the Patriots.
49ers vs. Packers: 49ers
Easily the best match-up of “Wildcard Weekend” is the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers. The Packers soared into the playoffs on Sunday with a incredible finish in Chicago to win the NFC North. With less then a minute to go in the game, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers eluded a nasty Bears blitz and hit a wide open Randall Cobb who ran in the remaining five yards for the touchdown with 38 seconds left and the rest is history. On the other side, the Niners come in after an impressive week 17 win against their arch rival Arizona Cardinals in Arizona, where both the Niners offense and defense looked in playoff form. The Niners have never won in Lambeau field during the playoffs, a drought I predict to end on Sunday, as Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers will come away with their first ever playoff win in Green Bay and move on to play the surprising Carolina Panthers in Carolina, hoping to keep alive their goal of going to their second straight Super Bowl.