The NFL Winter Classic

It’s here!  NFL Playoffs!  Just the other day it felt like the opening night kickoff between the Broncos and Panthers took place.  Fast forward to the 2016-17 playoffs and both previous Super Bowl teams aren’t in the postseason and first time that has happened since the 02-03 season when the Bucs and Raiders failed to make the final 12 after their Super Bowl 37 encounter.

Wild Card weekend. Some teams are hot and dangerous and other teams have no business being in the playoffs.  Starting with the latter, the AFC South is the most pathetic division in all of sports and no team from there should be granted the opportunity to play a 17th game.  In this case the Texans are back in the playoffs.

Last year you might remember Houston put on a good show defecating themselves by getting destroyed by the Chiefs 30-0.  I would have predicted the same score IF Derek Carr was at QB for the Raiders.  But for the first time ever a quarterback’s first ever start will take place in the playoffs, the Michigan St. star Connor Cook will have the pressure of Oakland and 12 long years of the Raiders being the butt of jokes on his shoulders and arm.

Moving on to Seattle, a team that should have it figured out by now heading into the playoffs has been somewhat inconsistent to their standards in the Seahawks.  Russell Wilson and the Hawks lost their first ever game by more than 10 points this season and it was a 28 point blowout at the hands of the hottest team in the NFC, the Packers.  They will host the Lions who once again fell short of taking the NFC North crown for the 23rd year in a row.  But Detroit has shown resilience all year beating 4 teams with a winning record (which matches their total in 7 previous seasons)!!  EIGHT 4th Quarter comebacks from Matt Stafford and the Lions just can’t be overlooked.

Onto Sunday, the Steelers will host the Dolphins. Two very talented running backs in this one, Le’veon Bell might be the best in the league and Jay Ajayi in Miami had a career season running for 200 yards in three seperate games!  Earlier in the season the Fins doubled up Pittsburgh 30-15 down in South Beach but now it’s January and in Pennsylvania. Ajayi will need to be a superstar in this game for the Dolphins to pull off the upset.

Finally, the most intriguing matchup of the Wild Card,  the G-men will travel up to frigid Lombardi Ave and take on Green Bay.  The Pack are on a tear that rivals the Patriots hot streak. Aaron Rodgers called his shot after a primetime Redskins defeat saying his team could run the table to end the regular season and they did just that winning their final six games.  The Giants played spoiler last week and beat those same Washington Redskins last week and have been lights out defensively in the 2nd half of the season.  Odell Beckham and Jordy Nelson are definitely that stars but I believe whichever #2 and #3 receivers are better in this game will make the plays to win the game.

Texans 17 Raiders 13

Seahawks 27 Lions 20

Steelers 30 Dolphins 17

Giants 27 Packers 26



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