Saturday, January 05, 2019
TransGriot 2018-19 NFL Playoff Predictions- Wildcard Weekend
The 2018 NFL season didn't result in me getting the prognostication title back, but still need to keep up my skills for when the 2019 season kicks off in September.
It's the NFL Wildcard Weekend round of the 2018-19 NFL playoffs, and time to get busy making those picks for today's and Sunday's games.
Saturday Playoff Games
#6 Indianapolis Colts (10-6) vs #3 Houston Texans (11-5) on ABC at 3:35 PM CST
The Texans completed a worst to first season and overcame an 0-3 start to capture their fourth AFC South division title in the last five years.
The Texans started a team record nine game winning steak with a 37-34 overtime win in Indy on September 30 against the Colts to get their crucial first win of the season and drop the Colts to 1-3. The Colts slid to 1-5 before they went on their own winning streak and won nine out of their last ten games. One of those wins was in Week 14 when they walked into NRG Stadium and ended the Texans streak with a 24-21 win.
In order to emerge victorious, the Texans defense needs to give our Houston homeboy Andrew Luck a very rude playoff homecoming and have him taste the NRG turf a few times while the Texans offensive line keeps Deshaun Watson's jersey clean and open holes for Lamar Miller to wreak havoc.
.It'll be close, but I'm picking the Texans to win this game and go to the next round.
#5 Seattle Seahawks (10-6) vs #4 Dallas Cowboys (10-6) on FOX at 7:15 PM CST
But that was before the Cowboys added Amari Cooper via trade to add to their Ezekiel Elliott powered rushing attack and their defense started jelling. This playoff game will also be played at Jerry World instead of the Pacific Northwest.
Seattle also comes into this game having won six of their last seven games down the stretch thanks to the NFL's best rushing attack.
It's one and done for that NFL franchise in North Texas as the Seahawks take this game to move on to the divisional round.
Sunday Playoff Games
#5 Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) vs #4 Baltimore Ravens (10-6) on CBS at 12:05 PM CST
The AFC North Champion Ravens needed their defense to step up and make a season saving play against the precocious Cleveland Browns on fourth down last weekend to capture the division crown for the first time in six years and host this game at M&T Bank Stadium.
West coast teams have to deal with body clock issues as a result of the time change and cross country travel. This plus playing against a confident Ravens team with a phenomenal defense to back up their rushing attack may be enough, despite them starting rookie Lamar Jackson in his first NFL playoff game against veteran QB Phillip Rivers who is having one of his best seasons.
I believe it will be a much closer game than the one in LA was, but because of location, location location and the Ravens already having beaten them once, think the Ravens will do so again.
#6 Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) vs #3 Chicago Bears (12-4) on NBC at 3:35 PM CST.
This is the only playoff game that isn't a regular season rematch.
But Foles is dealing with a bruised rib suffered after Jadaveon Clowney clobbered him December 23 during that 32-30 win over the Texans.
Da Bears clinched their first NFC North crown since 2010 and finished the season on a roll, winning nine of their last ten games They also have their own good quarterback in Mitch Trubisky.
As to who will win this one? As the defending champs, the Eagles will claw, scratch and fight in every second of this playoff game. But I believe the Bears will handle their business and end the Eagles attempt to repeat as champs.