NFL First Round Playoff Picks

Adam Bremner
Staff Writer

Now that the NFL’s roller coaster of a season has concluded, the playoffs hang in the balance and provide some compelling first round matchups. Here are previews and picks of the wild-card games.

AFC

#6 New York Jets (11-5) vs. #3 Indianapolis Colts (10-6)

At Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend, the Colts host the second-best showdown of the weekend as nearly polar opposite teams face off. The Jets go into Indianapolis as a shaky team that have finished the season much weaker than they started. After a 9-2 record, New York lost 3 of its last 5 games, two of which were extremely embarrassing; the 45-3 pounding against the rival Patriots and the 10-6 defeat to the unimpressive Dolphins. Since the team relies heavily on the running game, quarterback Mark Sanchez has appeared unsure at times, which has contributed to bad offensive performances. Regardless, the Jets were close last year to advancing to the Super Bowl and have experience under their belt. However, so does their counterpart in Peyton Manning and the Colts, who again won the AFC South and are riding a four game win streak. Despite injuries to recievers, Manning has led the most prolific passing game in the league and are poised to face a Jets defense that was torched by the Bears two weeks ago.

Pick: Colts win, 35-31

#5 Baltimore Ravens (12-4) vs. #4 Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)

Widely considered a fluke after their 3-0 start, the Chiefs persevered to win the AFC West, going worst to first. With 164 yards per game, Kansas City’s rushing attack is tops in the league and have yet to be slowed down. Now the Chiefs are a great story for the NFL, but barring an unforeseeable upset, the Ravens are too well coached to go down in the first round. Linebacker Ray Lewis will have the team ready for anything the Chiefs throw at them and Baltimore’s balanced offense should outlast the Chiefs’ talented D.

Pick: Ravens win, 24-10

NFC

#5 New Orleans Saints (11-5) vs. #4 Seattle Seahawks (7-9)

Yes, a team with a losing record is in the playoffs. And yes, the seeding means absolutely nothing. With only 7 wins, the Seahawks triumphed in the NFC West (aka NFC Worst), perhaps the most inferior division in the NFL’s history, and will go on to face the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. The Saints, on the other hand, played in the most competitive division in the NFL and are a team that knows what it takes the win. Playmakers like Reggie Bush and Marques Colston are too much for a team that in all honesty does not belong in the playoffs.

Pick: Saints win, 35-13.

#6 Green Bay Packers (10-6) vs. #3 Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)

Thanks to the Packers in week one, the Eagles discovered that Michael Vick still had what it takes and some extra. In that week one game, the Packers were victorious, 27-20, despite being the first victims of Vick’s soon tear through the NFC. This time, the 10-6 squads clash again in the most anticipated contest of the weekend, where two very entertaining teams will attract football fans everywhere. A constant between the teams has to be their abilities to score the ball at will, at any instance during the game. However, Vick’s and running back Lesean McCoy’s athleticism on Philly are so explosive on the ground that nearly no defense can stop them. It will be an ultimate gridiron battle, but the the Eagles have too many assests, including home field advantage.

Pick: Eagles, 38-31.