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What We’ve Learned From The NFL (Wildcard Weekend Playoff Preview)

by Cade

My first thought...

Another NFL regular season is in the books.  The playoffs start this weekend and there aren’t too many overwhelming surprises as to who made the cut.  The exceptions being Green Bay, San Diego and some would say, Carolina.  It’s a miracle that the Packers made the playoffs with their star-quarterback, Aaron Rodgers recovering from a busted collarbone for seven weeks.  He looked good during the final week of the regular season.  Hosting San Francisco at Lambeau this weekend should play to the Pack’s advantage as temps will hover around zero at kickoff with a wind-chill factor of -20.  San Diego heads into Wildcard Weekend with the AFC’s worst record for a playoff team at 9-7 from the conference’s best division.  Credit new coaching in SoCal for the Charger’s rebound season.  Carolina was playing better than anyone to close out the regular season.  But, they were not on anyone’s playoff radar at the beginning of the year.

Secondly...

It’s a shame that a ten-win team like Arizona didn’t make it into the dance.  Bruce Arians has done an exceptional job down in the desert for the Cardinals.  To get ten wins during your first year as a head coach is no small feat.  I imagine individuals within that organization are sick that other teams with seven, eight, or nine wins made it in and they’re still sitting on the sidelines.

Thought number three…

Playoff prognostications!  Andrew Luck has the Colts positioned to make the playoffs for years to come.  But, I don’t think they’ll win a playoff game this year.  I expect Kansas City to upset Indianapolis on the weekend’s first matchup Saturday.  The nightcap features New Orleans at Philadelphia.  Considering that I have the Saints going to the Big Game, they’ll win this one on the road over the Eagles.  Sunday’s matchups have San Diego at Cincinnati and San Francisco at the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  This game will be the one that people will start to know Cinci's Andy Dalton.  The chemistry that he has with his receivers is incredible.  With the home crowd behind them, the Bengals will beat the Chargers.  In the Midwest, it’s hard to imagine a football team from California playing well in the cold, snowy conditions we’ll see Sunday in Green Bay.  A fully-recovered Rodgers will propel the Pack to victory in a low-scoring affair.

Finally…

My Super Bowl XLVIII prediction.  Please understand that this feature could change each week depending on what teams do on any given Sunday.  As it stands now, I’m still sticking with my picks of The New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos in the big game this February in the Meadowlands.  I understand that the popular pick in the NFC are the Seahawks after they slayed the Saints in Seattle a few weeks ago.  But, I believe Drew Brees has the edge over Russell Wilson because of his playoff experience.  The playoffs are a different animal and I’ll bet on a guy that already been there and done that.

Agree or disagree?  Feel free to comment below or hit me up on Twitter.  @cade1037 

*image courtesy of: Pixabay.com