2012 NFL Wild Card Playoff Picks: No Vikings Upset Coming?
Michael and Tom both finished the regular season with a nice 11-5 week 17. That, of course, leaves Michael ahead by four full games, 56-24 for him and 52-28 for his rival. Tom can close most of the gap this weekend; they disagree on three of the four wild card games this weekend. He needs a sweep to have any realistic chance to top Michael.
Here’s how they see Wild Card Weekend shaking out:
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
MICHAEL: These two teams met last year in the Wild Card Round, a game in which the Texans won 31-10. The Texans were hot earlier this season, but have lost three of their past four games. Meanwhile, the Bengals enter this game on a three-game winning streak. I like the Bengals in this game, avenging last year’s loss. BENGALS 23-17
TOM: Both teams have shown great strengths and considerable weaknesses as well. Neither has a top-tier quarterback. Therefore I’ll just take the home team. TEXANS 17-14
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
MICHAEL: These two teams split their regular season series, and it all comes down to this third matchup to determine who gets bragging rights in the NFC North this offseason. Though the Packers defense simply can’t stop Adrian Peterson, I don’t think the Vikings defense will be able to hold back Aaron Rodgers, who, snow or no snow, won’t let his team go one-and-done in the playoffs two years in a row. PACKERS 31-21
TOM: Losses late in the season can be a good thing. The Pack were already in; a bye would have been nice, but they’re in good shape and they have Aaron Rodgers. PACKERS 33-12.
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
MICHAEL: The Colts are one of the hottest teams in the playoffs, winning five of their past six games. Though they aren’t a great team, they simply just win. However, this will likely be Ray Lewis’ last home playoff game and I see the Ravens rallying around one of the NFL’s all-time greats. RAVENS 20-17
TOM: I usually love a home team in the playoffs but I’m rooting for Luck to meet Peyton Manning and I think he’s good enough to get it done. I’m not buying the Ray Lewis factor. After this loss, the Ravens will be in rebuilding mode. COLTS 27-12
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins
MICHAEL: This is going to be a great game. Two of the league’s most exciting teams to watch, especially because of rookie quarterback sensations Russell Wilson of the Seahawks and Robert Griffin III of the Redskins. I’m going with the Seahawks because I believe their defense has the ability to slow down RG3, while Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch will be in “beast mode.” SEAHAWKS 24-20
TOM: I really do love Russell Wilson. I believe, I really do. I would like him in a different spot this weekend, but he draws fellow rookie phenom Robert Griffin III. This city belongs to RG3; this game belongs to the home team. REDSKINS 27-17