NFL Weekly Predictions: Wild Card

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Seattle @ San Francisco (-10½)

The 49ers walloped the visiting Cardinals 38-13 to close the regular season with a 13-4 record. Brock Purdy stayed hot with 3 touchdown passes, 2 to George Kittle.

"Brock was the last player taken in the 2022 NFL draft," Kyle Shanahan said. "That made him 'Mr. Irrelevant.' But as you can see by his level of play, he's determined to give that name to both Jimmy Garappolo and Trey Lance.

"If Brock can lead us to the Super Bowl championship as a backup, he'll go down as one of the biggest 'money' quarterbacks in 49ers history. Maybe he's not Joe Montana, but he can be 'Dough Montana.'"

Jason Myers' 32-yard field goal with 4:34 left in overtime gave the Seahawks a 19-16 win over the visiting Rams. Seattle got what they needed later on Sunday night, when the Lions beat the Packers, securing the Seahawks wild card playoff berth.

"I can't thank the Lions enough," Pete Carroll said. "If Dan Campbell was standing in front of me, I'd give him a big ol' bear hug. Then, I'd squeeze that big red nose of his just to find out if it honks, because like everyone, I've always been curious.

"When we traded Russell Wilson, no one thought this team would be remotely successful, much less make the playoffs. Win or lose, I'll cherish this forever. No one can take this away from me, not even the NCAA."

San Francisco rushes for 175 yards, and "The Legend of Purdy" grows, both in terms of the quarterback, and as the next prequel installment of the "Yellowstone" series.

49ers win, 30-13.

Los Angeles Chargers @ Jacksonville (+1½)

The Jaguars won the AFC South with a 20-16 win over the visiting Titans on Saturday night. Josh Allen's 37-yard fumble return with 2:51 left in the game gave Jacksonville the lead and their first playoff berth since 2017.

"Our defense showed up when we needed them to," Doug Pederson said. "It reminded me a lot of the 2017 Jaguars team that made it to the AFC championship game. Why did it remind me of that? Because that 2017 defense was awesome, and because Trevor Lawrence played like Blake Bortles.

"But let's be honest, stopping Justin Herbert will be much more difficult than stopping Joshua Dobbs. Justin may not have a degree in aerospace engineering, but he has a rocket for an arm and a head coach who sometimes seems to be lost in space."

The Chargers lost 31-28 to the Broncos in Denver to finish the regular season at 10-7 and claim the AFC's No. 5 seed.

"I've been criticized for playing a lot of my starters," Brandon Staley said, "even though we had nothing to gain with a win. Mike Williams and Joey Bosa both got dinged up, but they're probable to play. Me? I'm the first head coach to be listed on the injury report, because my decisions are 'questionable.'

"It will be cool to play in Jacksonville, where the teams' fans are maniacal, both in support of their team and in their use of methamphetamines. That's 'meth' for short. Most of our fans in Los Angeles are also addicted to 'speed,' although their 'speed' is the speed in which they leave our games early."

Jaguars win, 26-24.

Miami @ Buffalo (-13½)

Miami's defense limited the Jets to less than 200 yards of offense, and Jason Sanders' 50-yard field goal gave the Dolphins the lead. Miami added a safety on the last play of the game for an 11-6 win that clinched the final AFC playoff slot.

"I don't think it's that impressive to hold the Jets offense to under 200 yards," Mike McDaniel said. "Heck, the Jets have three quarterbacks that can single-handedly do that.

"I'm hoping Tua Tagovailoa is healthy enough to play against the Bills. Trust me, he wants to be out there. His body is saying 'yes,' but his mind is saying 'no, I don't remember my address.'"

Josh Allen passed for 3 touchdowns and Nyheim Hines returned 2 kickoffs for touchdowns, as the Bills whipped the Patriots 35-23 at Highmark Stadium.

"The game was closer than the score indicated," Allen said. "The Patriots actually outgained us 341 yards to 321. They're probably asking 'How did we lose that game?' If you let Bills legend and noted murderer O.J. Simpson answer that question, he'll no doubt reply 'the real killer was Nyheim Hines.'"

Bills win, 31-15.

New York Giants @ Minnesota (-3)

The Vikings secured the NFC's No. 3 seed with a 29-13 win over the Bears in Chicago. Minnesota built a 23-6 lead early in the third quarter and sat most of their starters the rest of the way.

"Don't let our 13-4 overall record and 8-1 home record fool you," Kirk Cousins said. "We are not invincible. We're not even 'con-vincible,' because no one thinks we're legitimate. We're using that doubt as motivation. We think we're a force to be reckoned with. Some people think we're a farce to be reckoned with.

"The outcome of this game probably hinges on quarterback play. Other than his ability to run a sub-five second 40-yard dash, I think Daniel Jones and I are pretty similar. We both have decent arms, have practically never won a big game, and are both whiter than Rex Ryan's teeth."

With the NFC's sixth seed already locked up, the Giants sat many of their starters and lost 22-16 to the Eagles in Philadelphia.

"I think it was smart to sit our starters," Brian Daboll said. "I don't know what Brandon Staley was thinking. Obviously, if you have starters that should be sitting, you should do what my good friend Juvenile says and 'Back That Azz Up.'

"I thought our backups looked impressive. If they can hang with the Eagles starters like they did on Sunday, then they probably could have beaten the Cowboys by 20.

"We think we match up well with the Vikings, because we're also an average team. And, just like the Vikings, if we win this game, we're gonna get smashed in the divisional round."

Giants win, 27-24.

Baltimore @ Cincinnati (-6½)

The Ravens lost 27-16 to the Bengals in Cincinnati and will now face them again in the wild card round.

"Lamar Jackson won't be anywhere near 100%," John Harbaugh said. "Mind you, I'm not talking about his health; I'm talking about his desire to be in Baltimore next year.

"If Lamar is healthy, our offense can bring their 'A' game. If he's not healthy, then we're 'F'd.'

"We'll need a great effort from our defense to keep us in the game. If our defense can keep the Bengals from scoring more than 20 points, and Justin Tucker can kick at least six field goals, then we have a chance."

The Bengals enter the playoff as the AFC's No. 3 seed and take on the Ravens for the third time. The teams split in the regular season, with the Bengals winning the finale 27-16.

"AFC North games are intense in the regular season," Joe Burrow said. "When they happen in the playoffs, you can dial up the intensity well past a Spinal Tap '11.' It's like if a regular season Ravens/Bengals game is a strip club, then a playoff Ravens/Bengals game would be that same strip club, but with Pac Man Jones in it."

Bengals win, 27-16.

Dallas @ Tampa Bay (+3)

The Cowboys looked unprepared in a 26-6 loss to the Commanders at FedEx Field. Dallas is the No. 5 seed and will face the Bucs, who beat the Cowboys 19-3 at AT&T Stadium in the season-opener.

"I'm baffled as to why we played so poorly," Mike McCarthy said. "It's head-scratching. And if we repeat that effort against the Bucs, it's going to be 'head-rolling.'

"But maybe we were just sandbagging, part of an elaborate scheme to make the Bucs underestimate us, as well as make Jerry Jones worried to the point that he says something patently and characteristically stupid, thereby taking the focus off of our pathetic performance against Washington. And, unlike the Cowboys, you can always count on Jerry to come through."

The Bucs had little to play for, and Tom Brady took a seat in the second quarter as Tampa lost 30-17 to the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Brady played long enough to break his record for completions, besting his 2021 record of 485 with 490.

"I'm doing things at 45 years of age that most would consider impossible," Brady said. "But I like to think I'm an inspiration to many. Like, for example, if not for me, would a 45-year-old woman have the confidence to date Zach Wilson? On second thought, I'm embarrassed if I had anything to do with anyone wanting to date Zach Wilson.

"We finished the season with an 8-9 record while scoring 45 fewer points than our competition. It was enough to win the NFC South. Even more amazing, it's enough to have the Cowboys shaking in their boots. And Jerry Jones, right on cue, has given Mike McCarthy a vote of confidence. Translation: Jerry is 100% behind McCarthy, and McCarthy is 100% standing on the edge of a cliff.

"I've never lost to the Cowboys. And I don't plan to start on Monday. And I'll take great pleasure in seeing the chaos that takes place in Dallas after a loss. Their fans will raise a stink that would put the old farts of that old fart Jerry Jones to shame."

Bucs win, 23-21.

Leave a Comment

Featured Site