NFL Weekly Predictions: Wild Card

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Indianapolis @ Houston (-1½)

The Texans beat the Jaguars 20-3 and held on to the No. 3 seed in the AFC. They'll host AFC South foe Indianapolis for the right to advance to the divisional round.

"We like our chances with Deshaun Watson under center," Bill O'Brien said. "That's a safe space for him, as opposed to where he usually is — under a defensive lineman.

"But we've got to do a better job of keeping him upright. The only other quarterback used to less protection than Deshaun is Philip Rivers."

The Colts dispatched the Titans, 33-17, at Nissan Stadium and claimed the AFC's final wild card berth. Andrew Luck passed for 285 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"This season has proven that Andrew Luck is totally healthy," Frank Reich said. "I'm guessing that whatever Andrew had done in Europe was just what the doctor ordered, assuming it was, in fact, a real doctor and not a one endorsed by Tom Brady. But who knows? Maybe Andrew's shoulder was healed by magic pajamas and spirit water.

"And speaking of 'European,' I think the NFL has just ordered another drug test for the Panthers Eric Reid. Seven tests in 11 weeks is excessive. But does he have a choice? When the NFL says 'Jump,' you say 'How high?' When they say 'Pee,' you can't say 'I have to go.'"

Colts win, 25-22.

Seattle @ Dallas (-2½)

With the NFC's No. 4 seed already clinched, Dak Prescott passed for 4 touchdowns, as well as the game-winning two-point conversion, as the Cowboys beat the Giants, 36-35, at MetLife Stadium.

"We rested Ezekiel Elliott and two offensive linemen on offense," Jason Garrett said. "And 35 points surrendered to the Giants would indicate our defense was a little too rested, because they appeared to be asleep.

"We can expect a serious pep talk from Jerry Jones. It's been 23 years since this franchise won a Super Bowl, and Jerry is 76-years-old. If Jerry could just hoist that Vince Lombardi trophy one more time, the hernia he'd suffer would be a small price to pay. So, our motto for the playoffs is 'Win one for Jerry.' As the Cowboys recent playoff history can attest, winning one might even be asking too much."

The Seahawks nipped the pesky Cardinals, 27-24, and wrapped up the NFC's No. 5 seed. Seattle's league-leading rushing attack posted 182 yards and 2 touchdowns.

"I feel like we can run the ball on anyone, anyplace, anytime," Pete Carroll said. "Except New England, in Glendale, Arizona, at approximately 9:45 PM on February 1st, 2015.

"If we're going to win, we have to stop Ezekiel Elliott. I'm so worried about stopping him that I can't sleep. I haven't been bothered this much by a running back since Reggie Bush."

Seahawks win, 24-22.

L.A. Chargers @ Baltimore (-2½)

The Ravens secured the AFC North title with a narrow 26-24 win over the visiting Browns. C.J. Mosley intercepted Baker Mayfield on fourth down in Baltimore territory with the Browns driving.

"It's one thing for a quarterback to stare down his former coach," John Harbaugh said. "It's another thing for a quarterback to stare down his own receiver. Mayfield has done both. But it's obvious Mayfield will be a great quarterback in this league. He's already passed the 'eye' test with flying colors.

"We're going to follow the same game plan that allowed us to whip the Chargers just a few weeks ago. And that's to not let Joe Flacco anywhere near the ball. Joe's not used to being a backup, but he's accepted his new role with grace and dignity. People have long argued whether Joe is 'elite' or not. Well, I'm here to tell that Joe was elite then, and he's elite now. By 'then,' I mean for three games in the 2012 playoffs; by 'now,' I mean he's an elite backup."

The Chargers face the unenviable task of heading to Baltimore to face the Ravens, who manhandled them 22-10 in Week 16 in Los Angeles.

"Frankly," Philip Rivers said, "I prefer a hostile environment to StubHub Stadium. I can't even hear myself think at StubHub, because the silence is deafening. But seriously, we'd like to personally thank the fans that attended games in Los Angeles this season. And when I say 'personally thank,' I mean it, because we could.

"But we certainly haven't forgotten about how the Ravens overwhelmed us just a few weeks ago. That memory is burned into our collective 'spank bank.' But we can't let the Ravens bully us again. 'Once is enough' is something I never say to my wife, but I do say in regards to ass-whippings."

Ray Lewis gives the Ravens an inspiring pre-game speech/sermon in the locker room, causing them to miss the first four minutes of the opening quarter. Meanwhile, Stephen A. Smith chats with Rivers on the Chargers sideline and urges him to get the ball to Kellen Winslow.

In a pressure-packed playoff game, it could come down to the kicking game. And 'Justin Tucker' is the name you want to call as a head coach with the game on the line. And 'Michael Badgley' is option two when it's 4th-and-2 from your opponent's 37-yard line, down by 3 with under a minute remaining.

Ravens win, 22-19.

Philadelphia @ Chicago (-5½)

The Eagles shut out the Redskins, 24-0, and claimed the NFC's No. 6 seed, thanks to the Vikings loss to the Bears. Nick Foles passed for 2 touchdowns, and Philly will again count on him to lead their playoff charge.

"Nick's in position to play the hero again," Doug Pederson said. "Now, he suffered a chest injury in the Washington game, but we think he's going to be just fine. The team doctor examined Nick's chest and gave him the thumbs up, saying 'You're super, man!'

"If Nick leads us to another Super Bowl, then he will totally deserve a monument outside Lincoln Financial Field. And this monument of Nick will be a testament to athletes who have reached the pinnacle despite not being the most athletically-gifted quarterback, even on his own team. It will be called the 'Statue of Limitations.'

"We'll have to be at our best offensively to attack the Bears defense. That unit is extremely talented, and young. They're like the 'Antonio Brown of NFL defenses,' because they're downright childish. AB's no 'G.O.A.T.'; he's more like the 'B.O.A.T.': Baby of All-Time.' I doubt the Steelers will trade AB, but if they did, they probably wouldn't care where he went. As far as they're concerned, he could go to hell."

The Bears are hosting a playoff game for the first time since the 2010 NFC Championship Game. Chicago knocked the Vikings out of the postseason with a 24-10 win in Minnesota.

"We're thinking Super Bowl," Mitch Trubisky said. "I definitely think I can play the role of Jim McMahon. I'm a marginally-talented quarterback, and I've mooned a helicopter before.

"We're extremely confident in Matt Nagy. He's an offensive guru. In Minnesota, I hear they call an 'offensive guru' a 'whiz kid.' Not to be confused with the 'Whizzinator Kid,' which can help any pre-teen athlete pass those pesky drug tests.

"Like that '85 Bears team, we have an incredible defense. That team had a defensive player named William Perry, who was nicknamed 'The Fridge.' This year's Bears team doesn't have a player who answers to the name of a kitchen appliance, but the unit is collectively known as the 'kitchen sink,' and they're gonna throw that at Nick Foles. As such, we expect the Eagles to make a meek and quiet exit from the playoffs; when they depart, they'll say goodbye with a 'micro-wave.'"

Bears win, 19-16.

Leave a Comment

Featured Site