After Week 11 the Cardinals were 9-1 and the Panthers were 3-7-1. Now six weeks later the latter hosts the former in the opening game of the playoffs. Is it fair? Perhaps no, but are these the rules set forth by the NFL that all 32 teams agreed upon? After e-mailing representatives from all 32 teams I can now confidently say yes. The old adage states that defense wins championships, well Arizona better hope it also wins Wild Card games, because if it comes down to their offense they have no chance. Carolina had an abysmal stretch this season in which they went two months without a victory, but they've reeled off four straight wins to claim their spot in the playoffs. Apparently they've learned from their past mistakes. Just take it from Cam Newton, who earlier this season (actually) said "hindsight is 50-50."
This one's gonna be a knockdown drag-out fight. After that gets cleaned up and the appropriate suspensions are applied it should be an interesting game as well. The Ravens haven't been very impressive the last few weeks against inferior competition, so a trip to Pittsburgh may be too much to handle. But then there's the matter of LeVeon Bell's knee, and the fact that it's not working correctly at the moment. It's rare in today's NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE that an absent running back would sway my pick, but that's the case here.
Andy Dalton on Wild Card weekend. I've seen this movie before ... Oh, sorry I was just flipping through channels and Drop Dead Fred was on; I guess I just started typing out my thoughts. But anyway, Andy Dalton desperately needs a win to get over the hump and to prove to those close to him that those past playoff mistakes weren't his fault, his imaginary friend was the one wreaking all the havoc ... Sorry, DDF seeping in there again. Unfortunately I just don't see it happening for Dalton and the Bengals. Why? Because I've never seen it happen before. And I only watch things I've seen before. Hence me staring blankly at Drop Dead Fred as I type ... Oh! Fred just looked up a woman's dress! She wasn't wearing any panties! Yikes, Fred is a pretty big creep.
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