The playoffs are here. The regular season is over and now, every team still standing is 0-0. Will the Cardinals make a surprise run to win the Superbowl in their home stadium? Will the Steelers and Packers have a re-match? Will the Bengals and Lions make the Superbowl in the smallest-market Superbowl in NFL history? It all starts this week! Here are my picks.
Bengals @ Colts. Marvin Lewis is 0-5 in his career in playoff games. The only coach worse than him is Jim Mora. Jim Mora once coached the Colts and ranted about the playoffs. The Bengals tend to respond well and come to play after losing a game. Will that carry over? Who will choke more in the postseason? Andy Dalton or Andrew Luck? One Andy has to win. Ultimately this is going to be an extremely close game. Yes, the Colts blew out the Bengals in the regular season, but if the Bengals establish the run early and often, they have a chance to win this game. Even better if AJ Green plays. How many straight years can the Bengals make the playoffs and lose in the first round? Even a broken watch is right once in a while, and I'm going to give the Bengals a chance to forget the ghost of playoffs past. Final score, Bengals 28, Colts 23. Jeremy Hill goes over 100 yards again.
Ravens @ Steelers. Why are the Ravens in the playoffs? They're a very mediocre team, as bad as or worse than the Panthers. Yes, Joe Flacco is a good quarterback in the playoffs...the playoffs are the ONLY time Flacco is a good quarterback. Know who else is an outstanding quarterback in the postseason? Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers are accustomed to playing on wildcard weekend and making a run to the postseason, and Pittsburgh is the better team as a whole. Steelers win at home, 35-14, even without Le'Veon Bell. Ravens go home.
Cardinals @ Panthers. WHY ARE THE PANTHERS HOSTING A PLAYOFF GAME WITH A 7-8-1 RECORD?!?!?!?!?!?! The Cardinals have played 4 quarterbacks this year. That's almost 1 QB per Carolina victory. The Panthers have started 2. Carolina has some good luck and good karma on their side. Cam Newton survived a bad accident pretty much unscathed, and the Panthers defensive line coach bought Christmas gifts for an entire family after their gifts were stolen. If Carson Palmer were playing, this game would be a lock for the Cardinals, but Ryan Lindley is not the answer, and the Panthers win at home, 21-12.
Lions @ Cowboys. The good news? Tony Romo is not the holder for the Dallas Cowboys field goal unit. The better news? The Lions appear confused about the Cowboys roster; Golden Tate didn't even know who Cowboys Safety Barry Church was when asked about him in an interview. Hopefully Tate was joking, but if not, they're going to be in for a long day. They still might be. Ndamukong Suh isn't a good enough player to stomp the entire Cowboys offense into submission. Matt Stafford is 3 and 31 against teams with a winning record, and 0-17 against teams with a winning record on the road. That doesn't bode well for his chances against the Cowboys. Even if Romo has a bad game, I expect Stafford to struggle as well, and the Cowboys have more weapons than the Lions. Dallas wins, 28-27.
Cardinals @ Panthers so Carolina didn't have a winning record. well good news for them is that as a starter Lindley has 2 tds and 11 INTS. The Cardinals should be starting Logan Thomas and take the chance. The Panthers are hot and will roll over the cardinals. Panthers advance 27 - 17.
Ravens @ Steelers: I truly belive the Ravens with Flacco are as good as Arizona with Lindley. But now it's postseason time and Flacco seems to shine in the post season. These two teams know each other better then any other AFC team. The Steelers won last week to take the AFC north but I don't think they are the best team in the AFC North. I worry about them without Bell carrying the ball. I am going to take postseason Flacco to win this thing. Ravens win 31 - 27.
Bengals @ Colts: Revenge is the target for Marvin Lewis. Andrew Luck is one of the most overrated QBs in the game. The Colts are looking to win here at home against a team they beat this year already. The Bengals will be smart if they run the ball. Jeremy Hill lately is untouchable. I am going to take Cincy to win in Indy, 34 - 31.
Detroit @ Dallas Well the NFL did what they can to keep ratings. They let Suh play even though he should truly be suspended 3 games for being a repeat offender. The league didn't only take away his suspension they fined him 70 thousand dollars? That's less then Lynch got for walking away from the Media!!!!! But as Mike said earlier Stafford is 3-31 against teams with winning records and 0-17 against them on the road. Romo is playing amazing and Murray is playing at hall of fame level. Dez is going to be the X Factor and I believe you will see him shine. Dallas gives the bird back to the league for letting Suh play. Cowboys win 27 - 21.
Cardinals @ Panthers - Cardinals win on the road, 17-13.
Ravens @ Steelers - Joe Flacco is a great QB in the postseason, so I'm going with the Ravens. Baltimore wins, 24-21.
Bengals @ Colts - Colts win, 27-24.
Lions @ Cowboys - Dallas wins, 21-14.
Sports give us as the human race something to cheer for and support and give hope to all of us.