Gearing up for the playoff games this weekend, Scott Garceau breaks down his wild card picks as well as shares a few fun playoff facts.
Fun Playoff Facts
- There are six new playoff teams in 2016: Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, the New York Giants and Oakland.
- Since realignment in 2002, the Patriots have been to the playoffs 13 times, which is tops in the NFL. The Packers are tied with the Colts for second with 12 postseason appearances and the Seahawks are next with 11. The Ravens, Broncos and Eagles have been playoff teams 8 times.
- The four franchises with the most postseason berths in NFL history – the Dallas Cowboys (32), Green Bay Packers (32), New York Giants (32) and Pittsburgh Steelers (30) – are all in the 2016 NFL playoffs.
- For the first time since the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format in 1990, the No. 1 seed from both the AFC and NFC have advanced to the Super Bowl in three consecutive seasons. However, only 27 of the 52 (52 percent) No. 1 seeds have advanced to the Super Bowl, with 12 No. 1 seeds being crowned champions (23 percent).
- Four players in the 2016 postseason who have been named Super Bowl MVP: Quarterback Tom Brady of New England (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XLIX), quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants (XLII, XLVI), quarterback AARON RODGERS of Green Bay (XLV) and linebacker Malcolm Smith of Oakland (XLVIII with Seattle).
- Four head coaches in the 2016 playoffs have won at least one Super Bowl title – New England’s Bill Belichick (4), Seattle’s Pete Carroll (XLVIII), Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin (XLIII) and Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy (XLV). Kansas City’s Andy Reid (XXXIX with Philadelphia) and Detroit’s Jim Caldwell (XLIV with Indianapolis) have each coached teams team that advanced to the Super Bowl.
- Former Raven now Lions wide receiver Anquan Boldin has 8 TD receptions in his postseason career. With two touchdown catches, Boldin would become the eighth player in NFL history with at least 10 postseason touchdown receptions and move into a tie for third all-time. Jerry Rice laps the field with 22; Pittsburgh’s John Stallworth is next with 12, Steve Smith Sr. has 9.
- Only 2 of the 8 teams playing this weekend have all-time losing records in the post-season Houston (2-3) and Detroit (7-12). New England (29-19) and Green Bay (32-21) have the best all-time post season winning percentage (.604).
Wild Card Weekend Picks
Saturday 4:35 (ESPN) Oakland (12-4) at Houston (9-7)
In week 11 The Raiders beat the Texans 27-20 in Mexico City when Derek Carr threw 3 TD passes. With Carr and his backup now injured coach Jack Del Rio turns to Connor Cook who’ll make his first NFL start. With the Texans, poor play cost QB Brock Osweiler his starting job but a Tom Savage injury has Osweiler’s shaky hands back at the wheel.
Pick: Houston 23-17
Saturday 8:15 (NBC) Detroit (9-7) at Seattle (10-5-1)
The Lions have lost 3 straight (Giants, Cowboys, Packers) and Seattle went 7-1 at home this year as they won 10 or more games for the 5th straight season. Seattle may not be as dominant as they’ve been recently but at home I think they’ll make the 12th man happy.
Pick: Seattle 27-17
Sunday 1:00 (CBS) Miami (10-6) vs Pittsburgh (11-5)
The Dolphins crushed Steelers 30-15 in mid-October when Miami RB Jay Ajayi ran for 204 yards and 2 TD’s it was the first of 4 straight Pittsburgh losses. Things have changed, Matt Moore is now the Dolphins QB and the Steelers have won 7 straight games.
Pick: Pittsburgh 34-17
Sunday 4:40 (FOX) NY Giants (11-5) at Green Bay (10-6)
Looks like the best game of Wildcard Weekend. Green Bay behind a red-hot Aaron Rodgers needed a 6-game win streak to get in against a Giants team that’s peaking at the right time. Eli Manning has won 2 playoff games at Lambeau Field and both times the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl.
Pick: Green Bay 27-24