Mike’s NFL Wild Card Weekend Predictions

Oakland Raiders @ Houston Texans

I like the Texans in this one for one reason: the Raiders are without Derek Carr. If Derek Carr was not injured, the Raiders might be favorites to make it to the AFC Championship game and challenge the New England Patriots. Connor Cook is making his first career start for the Raiders against a struggling Texan team. This is a huge game for Brock Osweiler, who received a huge contract from the Texans during the offseason. He might not play great, but he will do enough to win against a Raiders team who looked disinterested in their week 17 matchup against the Denver Broncos. I don’t envision the winner of this matchup winning more than this game in the playoffs, but in football you play the games for a reason. I’ll say Texans 14, Raiders 6.

Detroit Lions @ Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks over the past few seasons have always been tough in the playoffs. This certainly is not the same team we’ve seen in the past, but they should be just fine against a Lions team that has lost 3 in a row heading into the playoffs. With the whole Lions team riding around quarterback Matthew Stafford, this will be tough as he continues to play through an injured finger on his throwing hand. Plus, going to Seattle is never easy. I expect the Seahawks to make some noise in the playoffs, but don’t sleep on Matthew Stafford. I’ll say Seahawks 24, Lions 17.

Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers

This is the first time Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown have all been healthy for a playoff game for the Steelers. That is lethal. This team should have no problem against the Dolphins led by backup quarterback Matt Moore. Regardless, this season has been a success for the Dolphins, considering they started the season 1-4 and are now in the playoffs sitting at 10-6. They did beat the Steelers in the regular season, but Roethlisberger got injured in this game. The Steelers are riding a 7 game in streak, and are playing great football. The Steelers have their eyes set on challenging the New England Patriots for the AFC title, and I think they have a shot. No team can be taken lightly in the playoffs, and I don’t think the Steelers will slip up. I’ll say Steelers 28, Dolphins 17.

New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers

Two of the hottest teams in the NFL, this matchup should be the best of Wild Card Weekend. Two Super Bowl MVP’s facing off, the biggest question in this game is who is tougher to beat, the Giants secondary or Aaron Rodgers? I’m going with Aaron Rodgers, because he has been playing some of the best football of his career over the Packers’ 6 game win streak to end the season. The Giants definitely have a shot. Their defense is making a case to be the best in football, and if they win this one watch out. I just think the Giants offense has not been playing well all year, and it could hold them back in this one.  If the Giants play their game and make it low scoring, they have an excellent shot. If the game becomes a shootout, unless Eli Manning goes off, forget about it. I think the winner of this one may very well represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. I’ll say Packers 24, Giants 20.

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