The 2019 NFL Playoffs are finally upon us and thankfully the New Orleans Saints are the top overall seed in this year’s playoff field. As the Saints and Who Dat Nation enjoy the week off and the rest that comes with it, eight teams will battle it out in the Wild Card round. Let’s take a look at this week’s Wild Card matchups and see which teams will be moving on to the Divisional Round next weekend.
Last week I went 13-3
I told you so: Colts over Titans!
What do I know: Vikings over Bears?
WILD CARD WEEKEND
AFC - #6 Indianapolis Colts (10-6) at #3 Houston Texans (11-5)
Saturday, January 5th - 3:35pm CST - ESPN
This game may be tough to pick but will come down to two simple factors: Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson. These two quarterbacks will rule the day in Houston. Neither team will be effective at running the ball, and the opposing secondaries will be under siege all game long. This one may very well come down to who has the ball last. Andrew Luck will lead his team down into field goal range in the closing moments where Adam Vinatieri will kick the game winner for Indy. Indianapolis wins 29-26.
NFC - #5 Seattle Seahawks (10-6) at #4 Dallas Cowboys (10-6)
Saturday, January 5th - 7:15pm CST - FOX
This game will be an absolute grind. Don’t expect either Russell Wilson or Dak Prescott to crack the 200 yard mark in this one. This game will come down to the respective running backs in Dallas’ All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott and Seattle’s underrated Chris Carson. These two backs will carry the load and carry the day for their respective teams. The biggest factor here may be Dallas having home field, avoiding having to go on the road, especially to a place like Seattle. It’s just hard to trust Seattle away from home, especially in the playoffs. Seattle could easily take this one if a simple break goes their way, but Dallas will find a way to hold on in the end. Dallas wins 17-14.
AFC - #5 Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) at #4 Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
Sunday, January 6th - 12:05pm CST - CBS
Simply put, Los Angeles is the better team here. This may be about the most talented roster the Chargers have had in the Phillip Rivers era, one that should really have homefield advantage in the AFC this season. At 12-4, its almost criminal that Los Angeles is even playing on Wild Card weekend, on the road no less, but here we are. Why are the Chargers here? One could simply look at LA’s loss to these very Ravens last month in Los Angeles. Now Baltimore, with their top-ranked defense and second-ranked rush attack have the chance to spoil the Chargers’ season again, this time in Baltimore. The Ravens will win by forcing LA into turnovers and grinding their offense to a halt. The Ravens offense won't have to do much besides capitalizing on the turnovers and slowing things down on the ground. Baltimore gets the playoff win at home, where LA never should've allowed themselves to be in the first place. Baltimore wins 23-14.
NFC - #6 Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) at #3 Chicago Bears (12-4)
Sunday, January 6th - 3:40pm CST - NBC
Chicago should be a prohibitive favorite in this one for many reasons. Outside of passing offense, Chicago bests Philly in every conceivable category. In fact, just look at the records and any novice could see that the Bears are the better team. The game itself is even in Chicago, where Bears fans have waited eight long years to see a playoff game in Soldier Field. This game against an Eagles team that needed until the last day of the regular season to squeak into the playoffs shouldn't even be close, right? Well, don't underestimate Philly. The Eagles have basically been playing playoff elimination football for the better part of the past month and are riding a pretty hot streak right now. With last year’s Super Bowl MVP in Nick Foles back under center for Philly, the defending Super Bowl Champions come into Chicago with their confidence high and their swagger returning as well. So the question is, can Philly upset Chicago? Well, yes... but they won’t. Chicago, despite costing themselves with some turnovers, will pull out a close win thanks to a raucous home crowd and a solid defensive effort. Chicago wins 24-21.
Let’s see what the Wild Card round has in store. Here’s to a great playoff weekend! Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below!