Scottie vs. Matt: NFL Wildcard Weekend Picks

17 weeks of picking games accomplished nothing for Matty and I.  We finished the 2012-2013 NFL season with identical records, 167-88-1. I choked down the stretch of the final 4 weeks to allow Matty to have a chance.  He seized his opportunity going into the last week.  I salvaged some dignity by tying him in the final weekend. We have decided to use the playoffs as our tie breaker.  Newcomer to the blog, Rob, gave you his playoff preview earlier in the week.  Now it’s our turn.

So apparently Scottie and I have competition in the NFL picks game?  In my opinion, Rob’s equation for figuring out his season record was: Scottie’s record – 1 = Rob’s record…but that’s just a theory.  Either way, Scottie and I have laid 17 weeks of picks out for the NTCF faithful to see, and after finishing the season in a tie, we are continuing the picks into the playoffs.  That means the 2013 playoffs are for all the marbles.  Bragging rights and a free bar tab are on the line.  Let’s do it…

Bengals @ Texans

Scott: Texans

The Texans collapsed in the final weeks of the season.  If you recall I said all season they were due for a collapse.  I don’t consider the Texans elite like others were earlier in the season.  That being said, I still think they are better than the Bengals.  Which Andy Dalton shows up determines how this game will go.  I think the Texans win a close one on their home turf setting up a rematch with the Patriots in Foxborough.

Matt: Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals finished the season winning 7 of 8 games, including huge wins against divisional foes Pittsburgh and Baltimore to finish out the season.  Cincinnati’s defense is among the best in the league, and they will need to be to win a tough playoff game against the Texans in Houston.  On the other side, the Texans finished the season by losing 3 of their last 4 games, with their defense failing them in every loss, giving up an average of 31 points in those 3 losses.  Their offense wasn’t much better, only compiling an average of 12 points per game in those three losses.  I’m a big believer in the idea that the hot team normally wins early in the playoffs.  The Bengals are the hot team, and I honestly have more faith in Dalton than I do in Schaub.

Vikings @ Packers

Scott: Packers

I do not see any situation in which Christian Ponder can leave Lambeau Field with a victory.  Earlier in the year, I said the Vikings would win one playoff game.  Well, I lied.  Granted, Adrian Peterson is the MVP and will go down as one of the all time great running backs to ever put on a pair of spikes.  Peterson destroyed the Packers in both meetings this season.  I expect the Packers will place all their emphasis on containing Peterson. It will be up to Ponder to step up and make plays. Frankly, I don’t think Ponder can do it.

Matt: Packers

Adrian Peterson is a man, and no one is disputing that.  Sadly for Peterson, Christian Ponder’s play has seemed to worsen over the course of the season and I’m concerned that the Vikes won’t have enough offensive firepower to stick with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.  I expect 8 Packers in the box throughout the entire game, and if Peterson is held to under 150 yards, the Packers get the win at home.

Colts @ Ravens

Scott: Ravens

At first, I was picking the Colts in this one.  I am a sucker for the feel good story and Chuck Pagano and the Colts are exactly that.  Couple that with my love for conspiracy theories with a potential Peyton Manning vs. his former team in the playoffs looming and the Colts were the easiest pick of the weekend.  But then Ray Lewis announced he is retiring after this season.  So Sunday’s game will be Ray Lewis’ last home game of his career.  Lewis is an inspirational leader and a guy his whole team and the city of Baltimore look up.  And he kills people.  The Ravens won’t let Ray down.

Matt: Ravens

There is a ton of hype surrounding Andrew Luck and the Colts.  I’m a big believer in seeing before believing.  I’m not trusting in the Colts defense and Andrew Luck’s complimentary parts until I see it done in the playoffs against a formidable defense.  As for the Ravens, I have absolutely no faith in Flacco, but they will win in spite of him.  Ray Lewis’ retirement announcement will have emotions running high for Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, and the rest of the Ravens defense.  I can’t see the Colts D stopping Ray Rice, so the Ravens get a win at home.

Seahawks @ Redskins

Scott: Seahawks

For me, this is the most difficult matchup to pick this weekend. This is the battle of rookie quarterbacks.  If this game was in Seattle, I’d appeal to Scottie’s Law. (Seattle doesn’t lose at home).  But the game is in Washington.  Ultimately I think Seattle is the better all around team.  They have a better defense.  RGIII is also rather gimpy after suffering that knee injury 3 weeks ago.  Seattle is the hottest team in football at the present time and I believe their stellar play will continue.  Seahawks it is.

Matt: Redskins

Contrary to Scottie’s notion that the Seahawks are the hottest team in the NFL, the Washington Redskins are actually the hottest team in the league, winning their last 7 games.  The Redskins have been an offensive force as of late, scoring an average of 31 points per game in their last 4 games.  The Seahawks defense is stout, but as Scottie mentioned, they are more of a force at home than on the road.  I think the Seahawks offense will have a tough time moving the ball with a hostile Washington crowd making life very difficult for them, and the Redskins offense will score just enough to outlast Seattle.

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2 Responses

  1. For the non-believer(s)
    http://imgur.com/qHm9J

    While,166 or 167 was decent, the top ‘experts’ at ESPN and Yahoo were 8-11 games better on the year.

    Let the games begin!

  2. Scott 4-0
    Rob 3-1
    Matt 2-2

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