In-Depth Preview: NFL Wild Card Weekend

Round One...Fight!

AFC Wild Card Games:

Chargers @ Ravens

We’ve got a week 15 rematch of one of the better defensive performances I have seen all season. The Baltimore Ravens defense has proved they are a force in this league, ranked 3rd against the rush and 5th against the pass. The Chargers managed only 10 points in their last meeting.

Although I find it hard to say the the Ravens are the better team, they have the better style of play. Baltimore has been running the same style of smash mouth football since the early days of Ray Lewis. They play great defense and run the ball a lot. Since Lamar Jackson took over as the starting quarterback, the Ravens have gone 6-1, while running the ball more than anyone else in the league.

With Melvin Gordon coming back, Los Angeles is going to have a much needed boost to their own running game. Before going down with an injury late in the season, Gordon was leading all running backs in total touchdowns. Having him in the backfield will take a lot of pressure off of Philip Rivers and allow him to throw down field.

Colts @ Texans

For my money, I would be awarding Andrew Luck the MVP trophy. Coming off of a debilitating shoulder injury in the offseason, he proved once again why he was a number one overall pick back in 2011. Injury or not, Luck still had the second most pass attempts in the league, leading the Colts to a 10-6 season.

Now as much as I love Luck, the Texans just have the overall better team. They flat out have more stars on defense and offense: Deshaun Watson, JJ Watt, Deandre Hopkins... to name a few. I think this Houston team is the biggest threat to the Kansas City Chiefs. They can score with their offensive weapons and pressure the quarterback on defense. The Colts have too many young players without playoff experience to keep up.

NFC Wild Card Games:

Seahawks @ Cowboys

This is going to be the best Wild Card game. Two evenly matched teams built in the same mold. Seattle and Dallas are run first offenses with Russell Wilson and Zeke Elliot. And both teams rely on great defense. The linebacking core of the Dallas Cowboys is the strongest in the league; they have enough speed to cover receivers if needed. While the Scheme the Seahawks run has been working for years. Even with all the new pieces on defense, head coach Pete Carroll maintains his team’s edge. I think this game is going to come down to one man, Dak Prescott. Dak is going to need to take care of the football and take some deep shots down the field for the Cowboys to pull this one off.

Eagles @ Bears

The Philadelphia Eagles are probably the most interesting team coming into the 2019 NFL playoffs. The reigning super bowl champions are the wild card entry which means they face possibly the best defense in football. Khalil Mack and the Chicago defense have been putting up numbers that surpass even the ‘85 Bears. And yet, Nick Foles has been playing outstanding football since taking over as the starting quarterback. He’s looking like every bit the super bowl MVP.

This is going to be interesting. I have been saying all season that I don’t believe in Mitch Trubisky and I stand by that. The only the Bears win is if the defense has an all time game. Defense and special team are going to need to score at least one touchdown. I just can’t see this Chicago offense doing much in the playoffs.

Betting mastermind. Didn't have the height or talent for sports but I can talk and pick them like a champ.

Twitter: @MatthewSulla