NFL Wildcard Weekend Picks

Look! Football picks on a pop culture blog!

 

This weekend, 1-4 and 1-5, is the first round of the playoffs. Now I’ll tell you who’s going to win all of the games, in spite of my massive homerism as  Colts fan.

ALL TIMES ARE IN CENTRAL, BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE I LIVE.

 

Saturday afternoon, 3:25pm Central Time: Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts

So, I have a hard time being rational about this game on either side. On the one hand, I desperately want my Colts to win, because that’s what sports fandom is. But I’m a pessimist at heart and it’s easier to watch a game expecting to lose and being pleasantly surprised when they win than expect to win and be crushed when they lose. Of course, that’s a pretty Vulcan take on things because it’s awfully hard to watch a team play after play and not care what happens to them, unless they totally screw up repeatedly right out of the gate. Also, these teams just played two weeks ago and Indy crushed Kansas City. So what I’m saying is that I’m a mess and cannot say anything straightforward about this game.

Indy has the better QB, Kansas City has the best running back in the league, and I don’t have faith in either team to win another game after this. But the Colts won handily two weeks ago and they’re playing at home, so I’m going to go ahead and pick the Colts.

Saturday evening, 7:10pm, New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

So the Saints are really good (they have this quarterback, you may have heard of him, name of Drew Brees?), and I don’t believe they can’t possibly play outdoors on the road and win (which seems to be the narrative). But stinkin’ Nick Foles is apparently really good too, as evidenced by every time I picked against the Eagles during the regular season, he would throw another eight touchdown passes in the game and start radiating a shimmering halo of heavenly light, according to the pundits. While I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Saints went in there and stomped Philadelphia into the ground, I’m still picking the Eagles.

 

Sunday early afternoon, 12:05pm, San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals

While there’s a chance that Philip Rivers will be awesome again like he was at the very beginning of the season and Andy Dalton will throw another four picks in the game, I just cannot support Philip Rivers and his whiny little pouty face without conclusive evidence that I’d be dead wrong to pick against him. The Bengals also have a pretty darn good defense (3rd in the league, and the two teams ahead of them both got first-round byes), so as long as Good Andy Dalton shows up on Sunday, I am sticking with the Bengals.

 

Sunday late afternoon, 3:40pm, San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers

There’s a limit to the number of Cinderella stories you can have in one playoffs, so it’s nice that these two recent Super Bowl winners who made it in as wildcards face off in the first round and only one narrative can make it out alive. (although, okay, fine, the 9ers are a really good wildcard and only Green Bay squeaked in by the skin of their teeth in this one. But still). Aaron Rodgers is good, yes, but the rest of the 49ers team is better. Official pick: 49ers.

 

And just for fun, before it can possibly be relevant, I will arbitrarily pick the Panthers to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. I just can’t see anyone but the Pats and Broncos in the AFC title game, and (sorry) I just feel like Tom Brady will eke out another win over Peyton Manning (and that’s coming from a Colts fan, so you can imagine how much it pains me to say it). And while I think the Seahawks are probably better than the Panthers, I don’t want to be lame and just pick the 1-seed from each conference. I reserve the right to change my Super Bowl pick every week until I know what teams are actually there.

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