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Wildcard Crystal Ball
It's deja vu all over again with the NFL playoffs
Well, folks, the NFL postseason is upon us and, as a special treat, we have six rematches headlining Wildcard Weekend. Here is the full schedule, including TV listings and broadcaster pairings; team standings; team and individual statistics; and the updated injury report.
Let’s make some picks.
Today, at 4:30 pm ET on Fox, I like San Fran (13-4) to topple visiting Seattle (9-8), even with rain in the forecast.
The Niners have beaten the Seahawks twice this season and you can count on SF head coach Kyle Shanahan to come up with an extra wrinkle or two to keep an opponent at bay. It looks like the end of a very successful season for the surprising Hawks.
On NBC at 8:15 p.m., I’m rolling with host Jacksonville (9-8) against the Chargers (10-7). The Jags struggled offensively last week but I believe coaching is amplified in the postseason and love Doug Pederson’s playoff experience.
In Sunday’s 1 pm game on CBS, I see Buffalo (13-3) taking down Miami (9-8) before the western New York faithful. The Dolphins’ quarterback situation is tough with the rookie, Skylar Thompson, getting another start. That’s not optimal against the Bills defense at Highmark Stadium.
At 4:30 pm on Fox, Minnesota (13-4) squeaks past the Giants (9-7-1) in Minneapolis. I think there’s a legitimate chance of an upset here, but I also think it’s time that we put the “Kirk Cousins isn’t a clutch player” narrative to rest. The man leads all NFL QBs with eight game-winning drives this season - a preposterous figure - and has become a true clutch performer.
In the nightcap tomorrow evening - 8:15 pm on NBC - I love Cincinnati (12-4) against the Ravens (10-7) in lovely Ohio. THE GURU is riding shotgun on the Joe Burrow Express and, though the seat is a little tight, I don’t think this freight train can be stopped. Shotgun on a freight train? I know, I know.
Finally, on Monday night, I’m taking Dallas (12-5) over Tampa (8-9) at 8:15 pm on ABC. The Cowboys have been better than the Bucs for most of the season and, as much as Dak Prescott & Co. struggled last week, I think they right the ship Monday night. It could be tight, but it’ll be Dallas for the win.
One last thing: I’m sitting at 167-102 (.621) after a 12-4 (.750) week. But this is where the rubber meets the road.
Enjoy the games and God bless!