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- Wildcard Weekend

Chris Pokorny January 8, 2005
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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It is wildcard weekend in the NFL, and the playoffs will be officially underway! Every game has a storyline behind it, and this round has been dubbed "re-match" weekend by many, as all of these teams have faced each other this season already. While Pittsburgh, New England, Atlanta, and Philadelphia can sit back and relax this week, they will have some tough competition next week. Let's start out with the Saturday games.

St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks
This season, the Rams have beat the Seahawks twice, why not do it again? Although I'm not basing my decision because of this, I believe the Rams have the advantage heading into this game. Both of these teams have a lot of talent, but wickid things just seem to happen. Throughout the season, Bulger and Hasselbeck were out often. Both teams would collapse in seemingly winnable games. Both coaches were taking heat from the media. Now, last week, Shaun Alexander complained about not getting the rushing title by one yard. Although things are claimed to be "patched up", you have to believe that's just an attempt to make things seem fine heading into the playoffs. What I like about Mike Martz - although his gameplan is often crazy - is that he's willing to take chances. He may completely abandond the running game or he may utilize it. Whatever he chooses to do, the Rams have the talent and depth at running back and receivers to beat Seattle's defense. This game should definitly come down to the end, but the Rams can pull it out. How about an overtime game in this one? Rams win 32-27.

New York Jets vs. San Diego Chargers
The Jets started out so well, but I just haven't seen a spark in them this year that will get them to the next level. The fact that Pennington hasn't done well in big games, I can't see the Jets going too far in the playoffs. The only negative for the Chargers in this game is that they lack the experiance. Their three main weapons on offense most of the season - Brees, Tomlinson, and Gates - have never been in the playoffs. They have been consistent enough all season however, that I don't think the pressure will get to them. The Chargers have an excellent run stopping defense, which should be a tremendous match-up against Curtis Martin, the man who won the rushing title. Pennington's best shot at keeping the Jets in the game is to have completions downfield to Santana Moss. This will be an exciting night game, but it looks like the Chargers will move on to face the Steelers. Chargers win 24-14.

And now, the Sunday games...

Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers
The Minnesota Vikings don't deserve to be in the playoffs because of how much they choke over and over again. They simply can't win the games that they are supposed to win. The only reason the Vikings will stay in this game is because they have had the Packers number somewhat this season. Both games were very close, ending in 34-31 wins for the Packers. Green Bay has a lot more momentum heading into the playoffs than the Vikings do, and will have the Lambeau Field weather that everyone can enjoy. Michael Bennett will get the start for the Vikings, who has done good against Green Bay in the past. Randy Moss has not been making a major impact in games lately, which always seems to be the downfall for Minnesota. If Moss doesn't have a lot of touches, the Vikings can't win. Green Bay can shift coverage to cover Moss, but the "X" factor could be Culpepper's running ability. Farve won't let his team down, and he will make the throws to win the game. Packers win 34-24.

Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts
How depressing would it be if Manning played such a well season, only to collapse in the first round? That's not going to happen. Manning destroyed the Bronco's last year, and will do the same thing this time. Having Harrison, Wayne, Stokley, James, Pollard, and Clark is nearly unstoppable to cover since Manning is always on target. Champ Bailey has been getting picked on lately, so Manning shouldn't have a problem toying with him. The differance from last year to this year will be that the Bronco's offense won't collapse. Plummer will find ways to put points on the board against a Colt defense that gives up too many points. This game will seem very odd, since both teams faced each other just last week. Manning and the Colts win 40-28.

That's it for this weeks playoff predictions. if my picks come true, then next weeks games would look like this:

San Diego Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots

St. Louis Rams vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons

I'd pay to see any of those games live.

-Chris Pokorny

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