NFL Picks - Wild Card Round


Kansas City @ Houston

These teams met all the way back in Week 1. I like to imagine that at the coin toss before this game one team's captain will look at the other's and say, "We started this thing together, might as well finish it together." Then they'll grasp hands Predator style, oblivious to the fact the verbiage of that sentence means that they've just unwittingly agreed to end both of their seasons. I mean "finish it together"? What were you guys thinking? The ref would have no choice but to cancel the whole game at that point. So, hopefully they don't say that, as cool as it might initially sound. Really it wouldn't make much sense for either team to forfeit considering how well they've been playing over the last few months. The Chiefs have won 10 in a row, while the Texans have won 7 of their last 9 with a quarterback cavalcade. It's a shame that the run has to end for someone here, but as I already stated, in all likelihood it will for one team, and only one team. I'll go with Kansas City because, well, I think they're better.

Chiefs 20-16

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati

Another year, and another Wild Card game for the Bengals, their fifth straight. And, as I'm sure you're aware, Cincinnati has lost in the each of those first round games the previous four seasons, unless, of course, you've been living under a rock. And if that's the case, please come inside, I have blankets and hot cocoa for you. Just sit right down and we'll call your family, they're probably very worried. Can I get you anything to eat? I have a few different types of soup; do you have a preference? Hell, anything that doesn't have worms in it would probably be fine for you at this point, right? I'm sorry, that joke was terribly crass. I in no way was trying to make light of your former predicament. Let's change the subject. Playoff pariah Andy Dalton will likely be unable to start for the Bengals, leaving them with AJ McCarron under center. Of course, the perfect scenario would be McCarron establishing a lead for Cincinnati before an injury forces him to exit the game, and Dalton to enter. You can probably guess what happens next, Dalton and the Bengals collapse and the city of Cincinnati collectively boos for the next eight months. A time during which Andy Dalton will wish he could just crawl under a rock and die ... Oh my God, I'm so sorry, it just slipped out.

Steelers 24-17


Seattle @ Minnesota

Before we get to my thoughts on this game let's get some insight from the man who will call it for NBC, the unrivaled Cris Collinsworth:

CriColl wasn't lying about that Freezer Bowl, in fact, Sunday will be its 34th anniversary. Here's the full info. The weather and the reequipped Vikings defense should make this game closer than the last time the Seahawks traveled to Minnesota. However, it would take a cold day in hell, not a sub-zero day in Minneapolis, for me to pick against Seattle.

Seahawks 27-16

Green Bay @ Washington

I've heard multiple NFL pundits debate this week over whether they'd rather have Aaron Rodgers or Kirk Cousins as their starting quarterback right now. The answer is Aaron Rodgers. Anybody who says otherwise is just a contrarian or Cousins' parents (note: in this case "Cousins' parents" does not refer to your aunt and uncle). Now, who's team would I rather have right now? That's the debatable issue. The Packers are clearly in a bit of a funk as they enter the playoffs without the NFC North title to their name for the first time since 2010. Of course, they won the Super Bowl that season, so this may not be the worst situation for them to be in. Meanwhile, Washington has won four in a row and boasts an impressive 6-2 home record. However, a closer look at their schedule reveals that they're 0-2 against playoff teams. It's not so much the fact that they lost both of those games, it's that they only played in two of them. Conversely, the Packers are 3-4 in such contests this season. I think Green Bay's difficult schedule and recent playoff participation will provide the experience necessary for them to edge the home team.

Packers 26-23

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