Jeremy Conn: NFL Wildcard Weekend Picks
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Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans – Saturday, 4:30 p.m
This is my Conn-Crete lock of the week. I love the Texans in this game. First playoff game at Reliant Stadium, so you know the crowd will be pumped up. I’m not worried about TJ Yates, because the Texans will run the football with Foster and Tate. They will also play solid defense and shut down the Bengals offense. I believe in emotion and momentum, when it comes to the playoffs. The Bengals and the Bronco’s both backed into the playoffs. Andre Johnson is the wildcard in this game, if he is healthy. He could be a huge boost for this offense and create match up problems for the Cincinnati defense. If the Texans win this game, they will head to Baltimore next week. Regardless of what happens on Saturday, The Ravens will have a better idea of who they face. If the Bengals win, the Ravens will play the winner of Pittsburgh/Denver.
I have the Texans winning this game 23-13. I believe they coast in the game and it will never be in doubt.
Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints - Saturday, 8 p.m.
I don’t expect the shootout that everyone else thinks. I do think it will be high scoring, but it wont go over the total. The Lions will have a hard time stopping the Saints, but i think they could slow them down. Make them try and convert third downs and hopefully hold them to field goals. The Saints are going to blitz the hell out of the Lions, and if their running backs cant pick up the blitz’s, it will be a long night.
I like the game to be 30-23 Saints over the Lions.
Atlanta Falcons @ New York Giants – Sunday, 1 p.m
I’ll be pulling for the Giants but i have a hunch the Falcons pull this one out. The Falcons running game will propel them to victory this weekend. Too much is being made of the Giants being that team that can make a push for the Superbowl. They finished 9-7 and they are the hardest team to figure out. I believe both quarterbacks can take over a game, but I really like the fact that no one is talking about the Falcons.
I’ll take the Falcons in this game 23-17.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos - 4:30 p.m
I believe the Broncos are tailor made for the Steelers, for obvious reasons. Bronco’s love to run the football and the Steelers stop the run. Steelers have a strong defense that can get after the quarterback and the Bronco’s passing game has been less than stellar. The Steelers have solid special teams and big play receivers with Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace. We all know Big Ben has been known to extend a play, and with the speed of the Steelers receivers, that could be a huge problem. The only way I see the Bronco’s being in the game is if their defense can create turnovers and a short field for Tebow to work with. The only worry i have on the Steelers side is Big Ben. He hasn’t played particularly well his past few games.
I like the Steelers to win 20-3. Big play on under and the Steelers.