04 January 2017

2017 NFL Playoffs Predictions: Wild Card

The NFL Playoffs have finally arrived and it has been 17 weeks in the making. 12 teams still have their dreams of winning the Lombardi Trophy intact and eight of them are in action this weekend. Which four clubs will win this weekend and which four will go home? Here are my picks for Wild Card weekend.

Last Week: 12-4
2016: 164-92
Locks: 14-3

Saturday, January 7th
Raiders (12-4) vs. Texans (9-7) - ABC/ESPN, 4:35
Oakland Raiders (1995 - Pres)Houston Texans (2002 - Pres)
If you are finding it difficult to get excited about a Connor Cook-Brock Osweiler quarterback matchup, I wouldn't blame you. Cook is expected to become the first quarterback ever to make his starting debut during the playoffs in the wake of the Derek Carr injury, while Osweiler gets another chance due to Tom Savage's concussion. I like Cook but this is such a tough situation for him to go on the road against a good defense here in the playoffs and therefore, I give the edge to Houston.
Texans 21 Raiders 14

Lions (9-7) vs. Seahawks (10-5-1) - NBC, 8:15
Detroit Lions (1970 - 2002)Seattle Seahawks (2012 - Pres)
Detroit is a club that is in seemingly every game and they can thank Matthew Stafford and a solid defense for that. And Seattle is a team that may be vulnerable considering how they finished the last month, and nearly losing to the 49ers on Sunday. But it is still tough to bet against the Seahawks when they play at home and they'll prevail here.
Seahawks 26 Lions 20

Sunday, January 8th
Dolphins (10-6) vs. Steelers (11-5) - CBS, 1:05
Miami Dolphins (2013 - Pres)Pittsburgh Steelers (1969 - 2001)
Adam Gase has done a wonderful job in his debut season with the Dolphins to get to the playoffs after a 1-4 start but without Ryan Tannehill under center, and perhaps even if he was, I don't think this will be a great matchup for them. The Steelers have not lost in a month and a half, even with a number of close calls in a row, but with how good their offense can be, and with how inconsistent Miami could be on the defensive end, I like them here at home.
Steelers 30 Dolphins 20

Giants (11-5) vs. Packers (10-6) - Fox, 4:40
New York Giants (2000 - Pres)Green Bay Packers (1980 - Pres)
Green Bay was able to practically come back from the dead to win the NFC North and to host this game as Aaron Rodgers put the team on his back to win their final six games. New York has won at Lambeau in their last two meetings in the playoffs, and only went on to win the Super Bowl each time. There aren't many defenses playing better at the moment and their pass defense is very good, making this a tricky matchup for the Packers, but I do think that Rodgers will do enough to crank out a big victory.
Packers 28 Giants 24


  1. Hi Ben
    Given Miami's start to the season it is a wonder the team made the play-offs at all. That said they were fortunate in having a relatively doable schedule - especially against the NFC West mess. Man for man the Steelers are the better team and at home in chilly weather so it is logical to give them the nod over Miami. I am still satisfied with how the season panned out and would hope our QB Moore doesn't get the wobbles on the day. Pitt should win by between 10 - 14.
    In the rest Oakland will have to rely on their rushing game to overcome Houston. There may not be many TDs in this one. Oakland by 4.
    As you predicted the Lions lost their last 3 games but slid in the back door anyway. They won't be stuffed by Seattle but they won't win either. Hawks by 8.
    The Giants at Green Bay is not easy to call because as hot as the Packers are, and although it's in Lambeau, the Giants can be very resilient. Lots of x-factors in this one and it may well go to OT. Pack by 3.
    Happy New Year.

  2. Texans will beat Oakland 24-17 Lions will shock everyone & beat Seattle 31-28 Steelers will beat Miami 35-17 & Packers unfortunately will beat the Giants 34-31

  3. Sean McDonaldell, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters will call Raiders vs Texans on ESPN/ABC, Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michelle Tafoya will call Lions vs Seahawks on NBC, Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson and Evan Washburn will call Dolphins vs Steelers on CBS and Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and Chris Myers will call Giants vs Packers on Fox.

    1. I think you mean Sean McDonough, not McDonaldell. Just so you know...

  4. I think one of the road teams will pull the upset this week, jus2to stir the pot, from business as usual.

  5. Of all the road teams in this NFL Wildcard Weekend, I look front & center at Raiders/Texans to kick off the league's second season as the likeliest game for a road team to win. While it may be asking a bit much for Raiders' rookie Connor Cook, starting for the injured Matt McGloin (left shoulder) & Derek Carr (broken leg), to get Oakland's first postseason win since 2002, I have my doubts about Houston QB Brock Osweiler. It's well documented that Osweiler got a lot of money and hasn't lived up to the investment with all those interceptions. This is a huge opportunity for #17 in Houston blue & red to earn his $$$$, but I think those interceptions could end the Texans' season.

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