Wild Card Predictions: Road Warriors?
So, will visiting teams rule the weekend? Let's make some predictions and find out:
Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) at Indianapolis Colts (11-5) - 4:35 PM ET, NBC
It's only been a few weeks since the Colts went into Kansas City and walked out with a 23-7 victory in a game that saw the Chiefs turn it over four times. Due to injuries, the Chiefs haven't been able to gain a ton of momentum heading into the post-season. Indy, on the other hand, won three in a row to close out the regular season (although two were against the lowly Texans and Jags). These two teams are essentially the same, and while I think it will go down to the wire, the Colts are in a good spot at home. Andrew Luck has a big game in leading Indianapolis to the next round. Colts 24, Chiefs 17.
New Orleans Saints (11-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) - 8:10 PM ET, NBC
In what should be the most high-scoring game of the weekend, Drew Brees and the Saints prepare to square off with Nick Foles and the Eagles. History says to pick against the Saints since they've never won a road playoff game, going 0-5 up to this point. The job Foles has done this season has been incredible, but how does he handle his first playoff game? That'll be intriguing to watch. Meanwhile, like the Saints, Brees has never won a playoff game on the road. That changes this weekend. New Orleans jumps out to an early lead and hangs on to win it comfortably. Saints 34, Eagles 23.
San Diego Chargers (9-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (11-5) - 1:05 PM ET, CBS
A part of me thinks that the Bengals will come out flat here. They've played very well over the past month or so aside from a loss at Pittsburgh, and despite having an undefeated home record this season, I worry that it may take them a while to get going. Philip Rivers and the Chargers have a ton of confidence as they're fired up to be back in the playoffs. Letting them hang around for a while would not be the smartest of moves for Cincinnati. Honestly, I think this game may be a struggle for a while. Eventually though, Andy Dalton makes a big play allowing the Bengals to win their first playoff game in 23 years. Bengals 26, Chargers 24.
San Francisco 49ers (12-4) at Green Bay Packers (8-7-1) - 4:40 PM ET, FOX
With temperatures expected to plunge to 20-below zero, all the talk heading into the game has been about San Francisco's ability to handle the weather as a west coast team. Obviously, it's going to be a factor. But, this is football and it's a playoff game -- Jim Harbaugh will have his team ready to play regardless of the conditions. Sure, it's nearly impossible to prepare for such conditions, but the Niners know what's at stake. Harbaugh's team has won six in a row and is quite simply the better team overall. Even with Aaron Rodgers back, the Packers won't have enough to hold off them off. Niners 27, Packers 19.
Who are you picking in this weekend's wild card matchups? Let us know by commenting below! For more NFL talk, follow @FanIQ or myself on Twitter!