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PFT’s wild-card picks

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Well, the regular season has ended, and I finished strong with a 13-3 mark.  More importantly, I went 4-1 in the five games on which MDS and I disagreed, pushing the final margin to 11 games.

With only 11 postseason games and one agreement on the four wild-card games, he can’t catch me.

But we’ll start a new contest and re-set the clock to zero and we’ll see what happens.

I finished 170-85-1, good for 66.0 percent.  MDS ended at 159-96-1, which puts him at 62.1 percent.

Bengals at Texans

MDS’s take: The rematch of last year’s first playoff game will look a lot like the prior meeting: J.J. Watt will make big plays on defense for the Texans, and although the Bengals will keep the game close early on, the Texans’ offense will sustain long drives in the second half to put the game away. As the No. 3 seed in the AFC, the Texans will move on to a divisional round playoff game at New England — where they played their worst game of the regular season.

MDS’s pick: Texans 24, Bengals 14.

Florio’s take:  I’ve been accused of not believing in the Bengals.  I’ve been accused of not believing in the Texans.  I currently believe in one of them.  And it’s the one that finished the season strong.  The one that didn’t lose three of its last four games by a combined score of 45 points.  The one that didn’t squander two shots at the No. 1 seed.  The one with a quarterback who actually has postseason experience.  The one with an underrated defense and an overlooked defensive tackle.  Yes, Houstonians, I don’t believe that the Texans will be able to turn it around — especially since the reward for doing so is a return to New England, site of a 30-point Sunday night shellacking on December 10.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 24, Texans 21.

Vikings at Packers

MDS’s take: Six days after they played a great game in Minnesota, they’ll do it again in Green Bay. At this point, everyone knows the Vikings are going to ride Adrian Peterson, and defenses can’t stop it anyway. So that gives the Vikings a chance to put some points on the board, especially if Christian Ponder can play as well as he did on Sunday. Unfortunately for the Vikings, I don’t see Ponder playing as well at Lambeau Field as he did at the Metrodome, and I see Aaron Rodgers having a big game against the Vikings’ defense. The Packers will win this one and head to San Francisco.

MDS’s pick: Packers 34, Vikings 20.

Florio’s take:  The Packers gave up 37 points to the Vikings in a game that could have given Green Bay a bye.  Christian Ponder hasn’t lost since playing a key role in squandering a winnable game at Lambeau Field.  And with Adrian Peterson’s shot at Eric Dickerson’s regular-season rushing record coming up 27 feet short, Peterson’s next goal will be the single-game postseason rushing record of 248 yards.  Which is held, of course, by Eric Dickerson.  All this one will need is Randy Moss rubbing his butt against the goalpost.

Florio’s pick:  Vikings 30, Packers 27.

Colts at Ravens

MDS’s take: It’s amazing that the Colts are here at all after being the worst team in the league last season, but this is where I see the Colts’ great run coming to an end. Ravens running back Ray Rice will have a huge game against a weak Colts defense, and look for Jacoby Jones to make at least one big play on special teams. The Ravens will move on to the divisional round in Denver.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 28, Colts 17.

Florio’s take:  The news that Ray Lewis will retire after the postseason transformed a toss-up into a sure thing.  Which makes me very nervous.  If I’m Colts coach Chuck Pagano, here’s what I’m telling my team:  “Guys, they’re scared.  They’re not just scared, they’re desperate.  They know that we’re the better team.  So how do they close the gap?  Ray Lewis tells them he’s retiring.  I know Ray Lewis.  He ain’t retiring.  Especially if he loses.  And he will.  And they know it.”  Or something like that.  Either way, few stories in all of football are more compelling than Ray’s.  But one is Chuck Pagano’s, and the Colts won’t be deterred one bit by the knowledge that they’ll be sending Lewis into a retirement that may not take.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 24, Ravens 23.

Seahawks at Redskins

MDS’s take: The presence of Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson — the only two rookies in NFL history to record passer ratings above 100 — makes this the marquee matchup of wild-card weekend. But I think the difference will be the Seahawks’ defense, especially cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, who are going to make it tough for Griffin to find open receivers. The Seahawks beat the Redskins in the playoffs in 2005 and 2007 and will do it again.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 20, Redskins 10.

Florio’s take:   Before Week 17, we all assumed that the Seahawks would blow out any and all comers.  When the Rams managed to lose only by a touchdown in Seattle and the Redskins finished their climb from 3-6 to 10-6, the sense that the Seahawks would make easy work of the postseason field evaporated.  Though it may not fully return on Sunday, the Seattle defense will do a better job of containing the Washington offense than vice-versa, and the quarterback taken five spots after a punter will relish the opportunity to show that he can beat a quarterback with top-two pedigree.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 31, Redskins 21.

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115 Responses to “PFT’s wild-card picks”
  1. dontasemebro says: Jan 3, 2013 11:22 AM

    Yeah, Thanks for that Atlanta pick last week!

  2. jamaltimore says: Jan 3, 2013 11:23 AM

    Problem with Ravens game is you reported Lewis has already signed a contract with ESPN so your logic makes no sense. Ravens gonna blow out them colts. Luck ain’t seen nothing like M&T for a playoff game that could very well be the last time the GOAT plays in Charm City. I pitty the fools!

  3. MasMacho says: Jan 3, 2013 11:24 AM

    RGIII is the new Tim Tebow (a much better quarterback of course), leading the NFL in fluffy ESPN coverage and useless updates.

    I must admit, every time I see the matchup of “Seattle-Washington” I have to chuckle a bit.

  4. ravenator says: Jan 3, 2013 11:24 AM

    No way ravens lose. Lewis announcing his retirement was the best thing to happen. They’re going to absolutely smash the Colts. Won’t even be close, bank on it.

  5. clw1906 says: Jan 3, 2013 11:26 AM

    Lol can’t wait it’s amazing over the Redskins winning streak your picks have been consistent in predicting their demise. See you next week! HTTR

  6. ravennation2013 says: Jan 3, 2013 11:31 AM

    Florio you are an idiot. There is no way that the Colts beat Ravens in Baltimore with Ray Lewis Retiring. Look for a blowout Ravens 35 colts 7

  7. logicalvoicessays says: Jan 3, 2013 11:31 AM

    ’m really fearing the Seahawks. Wilson has been the 2nd best Rookie QB this year, behind Luck. Hopefully we can have another flukey win riding on Morris back. We know we can only count on RG3 for 180 yards a pick and 1 td, if were lucky! He was 22nd this year in passing yards and 19th in TDs. A bright spot for him was the 5 ints but he’s not allowed to make any reads past his 1st progression, only dump passes and timing routes. When the leash is loosened, we will see more picks. Wilson was 9th in TDs and 23rd in yards, let’s trade lol. Finally coming clean about Rg3 feels good lol, I couldnt stand blindly defending him any longer.

  8. stoutfiles says: Jan 3, 2013 11:32 AM

    Seattle is 3-5 on the road. They lost to sad teams in Arizona, St. Louis, and Miami on the road.

    The 12th man doesn’t get to come with them to Washington. Does anyone here look at stats and realize they are a completely different team on the road?

  9. jammer88 says: Jan 3, 2013 11:33 AM

    I agree with almost all of their pics except for the Redskins/Seahawks game. Seattle is 3-5 on the road and 4 of those losses were significant because were against weak teams. The Redskins have played against much tougher defenses this year than what Seattle brings to the table. So you can take this to Vegas and make a lot of money; Redskins 31, Seahawks 17

  10. elliottcovert says: Jan 3, 2013 11:38 AM

    I think everyone is well aware of the blueprint for beating Houston at this point: shut down Foster and build a lead that forces them into obvious passing situations. Thier entire offense is predicated on the ability to run the ball well and set up the play-action pass. If you can get them to abandon the run, Schaub won’t deliver. They’re also thin at LB, so just run the ball down thier throat to maintain the lead. Smashmouth football my friends.

  11. jicjak says: Jan 3, 2013 11:40 AM

    The only sure games are the Hawks over the Skins and the Colts taking out the Ravens. GB should win at home and the Bengals should lose in Houston.

  12. chattanola says: Jan 3, 2013 11:43 AM

    Here are my picks:

    Bengals over Texans: both teams invisible but the Bengals are showing heart.

    Packers over Vikings: because (after the Saints) Packers are my surrogate team

    Colts over Ravens: Cinderella over Wicked Step Sisters

    Seahawks…Redskins…..what a stellar year for rookies. I’ll go Redskins, RGIII’s folks are New Orleanians and the Superbowl is there–great story if they can win out.

  13. racrjoe says: Jan 3, 2013 11:45 AM

    Peterson was 9 yards short or 27 feet short…just putting 27 I feel assumes people know it’s yards.

  14. eaglesfan94 says: Jan 3, 2013 11:46 AM

    I say that every division winner loses this weekend.

  15. mathomp3 says: Jan 3, 2013 11:50 AM

    The Skins have faced tougher defenses than the Seahawks? Come on…the only tough defense they faced was St Louis and Pittsburgh (no, im not counting Baltimore as tough anymore) and they lost both of those games. Oh ya, Seattle is the number 1 scoring defense in the league…

  16. macadamia2010 says: Jan 3, 2013 11:54 AM

    If the Ravens lose to the Colts in Baltimore on the heels of Ray Lewis’ retirement announcement, I will never post on this site again.

    Which is to say I’ll be posting like crazy next week.

  17. raaz227httr says: Jan 3, 2013 11:54 AM

    Seattle beating the Skins in Washington??? What are you smoking?! SeaHags come back down to earth and continue to extend their road playoff loss total! That GB game payback is gonna hurt!

  18. raiderlyfe510 says: Jan 3, 2013 11:56 AM

    All the Redskins need to do is keep Wilson in the pocket. Most of their big plays come when he breaks contain and improvises. Just keep him in the pocket and let him run that piece of crap offense as its designed.

  19. themackstrong says: Jan 3, 2013 11:57 AM

    Skin fans need to stop drinking the kool aid. Tougher defenses than what Seattle brings to the table? Who?? The depleted Cowboys, Eagles, the soft Giants, the bottom half ranked Ravens defense?? Seahawk are number 1 scoring defense, top 4 in total yards and they hit harder and tackle as good as any team I have watched. The Cards and Rams teams both ranked at least 10 spots higher than the Redskins in defense and beat us when we were playing conservative no risk football. The losses were on a final play including 49ers. All were revenged (beat downs besides Rams) and I’m looking forward to the game this weekend. Go Hawks.

  20. shemberry says: Jan 3, 2013 11:58 AM

    I am getting so tired of hearing about the Seahawks being 3-5 on the road this year and that the only reason they win is because of the 12th man.

    Yes, they were 3-5, but their biggest loss was 7 points at San Francisco. They had opportunities to win all 5 games and came up short, but they learned from their mistakes. Wilson has improved all season and this is not the same team that lost in Arizona 4 months ago, it’s not the same team that lost in Miami 6 weeks ago either.

    Denver lost to Houston earlier this season, does anyone believe the Texans could beat the Broncos now?

    Teams get better over the course of a season and Seattle has improved as much as anyone. Don’t just look at a 3-5 record, look at how they finished.

    The same should be said for Washington, this is not the same team that started 3-6, they are also much improved. It will be a great game, and should be judged on where these teams are now, not where they were in September.

  21. ruvelligwebuike says: Jan 3, 2013 12:01 PM

    What are the chances the Vikes play three perfect games in a row…especially in 15 degree weather on the road?

    They played perfectly last week at home and won on a last second field goal. Ponder throws 3 picks, Peterson gets his 160 but that’s it.

    Packers 34, Vikings 17.

  22. skins23 says: Jan 3, 2013 12:03 PM

    The Skins are going to attack Seattle on PA and between the hashes. Seattle is not a good defense vs. play action and Skins are the best in the league at it. Seattle struggled against Miami running a similar offense vs. them earlier this year. I expect a lot of PA posts and open plays for Darrel Young out of the backfield.

    Should be a great game. Cant wait to see it live.

  23. bosfaninva says: Jan 3, 2013 12:04 PM

    The retirement of the poor man’s London Fletcher will have no impact on the Ravens-Bengals game.

    The notion that a team can somehow play harder because of a factor like the retirement of a player is hilariously juvenile.

  24. logicalvoicesays says: Jan 3, 2013 12:07 PM

    Oh you silly Seahawk fans. You keep going on and on about Kam-Bam this and Boom squad that, that you fail to realize how many other fanbases thought they would do something against our team in the last seven weeks and were rendered useless in the end. On this site alone Giants, Ravens and even Browns fans promised their defenses would stop us, only to be humbled at the end. Seattle is nothing at the end of the day but a poor clone and the latest team the Redskins humbled on the way to Lombardi #4. Case closed.

  25. charge1 says: Jan 3, 2013 12:09 PM

    Amazing how they continue to pick against the skins
    Hawks travel 3000 miles to 30 degree weather
    91000 very loud redskin fans
    Alfred Morris 2nd leading rusher in the league
    RG3 enough said
    Defense averaging 20pts to opponents last 5 weeks
    Kicker that just broke the record for most successful attempts.
    7 wins in a row

  26. seattle2toronto12thmanconnection says: Jan 3, 2013 12:12 PM

    stoutfiles says:Jan 3, 2013 11:32 AM

    Seattle is 3-5 on the road. They lost to sad teams in Arizona, St. Louis, and Miami on the road.

    The 12th man doesn’t get to come with them to Washington. Does anyone here look at stats and realize they are a completely different team on the road?

    Being a Redskins fan you should know that playoff teams are not defined by their first halves of the season. Redskins would be sitting at .333 if that was the case. 4 0f 5 Seattle road losses came in the first half of the season. The amount of points the Seahawks lost by? 21. Total. Add in our other loss of the season and our points lost by total goes up to the grand sum of 24. Seahawks and Redskins are both completly different teams. It doesn’t just work one way.

    jammer88 says:Jan 3, 2013 11:33 AM

    I agree with almost all of their pics except for the Redskins/Seahawks game. Seattle is 3-5 on the road and 4 of those losses were significant because were against weak teams. The Redskins have played against much tougher defenses this year than what Seattle brings to the table. So you can take this to Vegas and make a lot of money; Redskins 31, Seahawks 17

    Hope your not betting your rent money. If Tom Brady can’t put up 31 points what makes you think an injured RGIII can? I’m telling you right now you haven’t played a defense as tough and physical as the Seahawks. But you’ll find that out for yourself anyways come Sunday.

  27. oreo51 says: Jan 3, 2013 12:16 PM

    For those that point to Seattle’s 3-5 road record you should understand they were a completely different team the second half of the season. At the start of the year the team was all Marshawn Lynch and the defense. Hence, games were close and low scoring. It wasn’t until mid season Carroll allowed RW to throw the ball down field. They were being very careful to bring Wilson along slowly. Sidney Rice went to the coaches mid season and begged them to let RW throw the ball. Wilson demonstrated he can go through his progressions and pick out the best receiver. He has the full playbook now. RG3 is still throwing to his first option.

  28. skinsfan87 says: Jan 3, 2013 12:23 PM

    I think your picks of Seattle are ill advised. With the overly aggressive corners they have, i easily see bombs over the top occurring to Aldrick Robinson. The run games are evenly matched but i’ll take Alfred Morris & The born again HOGS any day over the Seattle defense. It will be a great game, coming down to a Kai Forbath kick for the win… 31-28 Redskins. HTTR

  29. seattlecoug says: Jan 3, 2013 12:29 PM

    It won’t be close. The Hawks D will make Bobby Griffin look BAD. Russell Wilson will dominate this game and the Hawks will move on to Atlanta.

    Hawks 38
    Skins 13

  30. chrismatthewsucks says: Jan 3, 2013 12:34 PM

    “I agree with almost all of their pics except for the Redskins/Seahawks game. Seattle is 3-5 on the road and 4 of those losses were significant because were against weak teams. The Redskins have played against much tougher defenses this year than what Seattle brings to the table. So you can take this to Vegas and make a lot of money; Redskins 31, Seahawks 17″

    This dude is an idiot!!! Skins beat one playoff team, nuff said.

  31. chrismatthewsucks says: Jan 3, 2013 12:35 PM

    55-14 Seahawks.. Redskins beat a bunch of scrubs this year, barely squeezed into the playoffs, seahawks always whoop them in the playoffs and it will continue this weekend.

  32. cowboyhater says: Jan 3, 2013 12:40 PM

    Not sure why the skins are even taking the field this Sunday. The vicious Seattle defense will completely dominate in this game. Their big corners, and physical safeties will knock all of our wr’s, and te’s out in this game. RG3, and Morris will not be able to get by their dominant front 7. I guess this is why they play the games…. HTTR!!

  33. sethroskull says: Jan 3, 2013 12:43 PM

    Why are Seahawks fans talking all this S? Your team sucks on the road. 90K fans will be against your team on Sunday. Your team is ranked near the bottom of the league in stopping the run the last 7 games. The Redskins DO NOT turn the ball over and are second only to the Bears in Plus/Minus with +17. With the leagues best rushing game, an offense that does not turn the ball over and the best play action passing game in football I see a trip to Atlanta for the Redskins baby. HTTR!!!! All you haters.

  34. goodellisruiningtheleague says: Jan 3, 2013 12:44 PM

    Alot of people are suddenly die hard Seattle fans… where was this enthusiam five weeks ago?

  35. xxwhodatxx says: Jan 3, 2013 12:47 PM

    Hahaha, you almost had me. The first “logical” post was way too insightful to actually be him. Nice job

  36. scoobies05 says: Jan 3, 2013 12:50 PM

    yeah bosfan…the announcement of the retirement of the greatest and most respected player in team history isnt going to inspire the ravens and their fans. ok buddy. doesnt guarantee a win but the intensity of the ravens players and the 71000 fans at the bank will be amazing.

  37. knackstermyea says: Jan 3, 2013 12:50 PM

    Peterson was 9 yards shy of the rushing record.

  38. vaphinfan says: Jan 3, 2013 12:51 PM

    Pete Carrol is the next Bill Billicheat.

  39. 13forgbp says: Jan 3, 2013 12:52 PM

    You are crazy if you think the Vikings can win a playoff game outdoors. Simply insane. They have won exactly TWO outdoor games in the last 24 months. TWO wins in TWO years. It ain’t happening.

  40. tvguy22 says: Jan 3, 2013 12:52 PM

    The Rams/49ers tie counts as a loss for both of you.

  41. jgava19 says: Jan 3, 2013 12:55 PM

    Colts taking out the Ravens…..money……signed, sealed and delivered.

    SO sure, i just made the deposit!

    Sorry Ravens fans, your post season ends on Sunday.

  42. 85pmart says: Jan 3, 2013 12:55 PM

    Colts – Packers – Bengals – Redskins

  43. t8ertot says: Jan 3, 2013 12:55 PM

    Bengals over Texans. Good pick Florio

  44. shzastl says: Jan 3, 2013 12:56 PM

    Why not make some picks against the spread and see how you do?

  45. rufustfireflyjr says: Jan 3, 2013 12:57 PM

    To all those who think that Seattle’s “great” defense will be the deciding factor in Sunday’s game against the ‘Skins, consider this: a staggering 9 of Seattle’s 16 games were played against teams with offenses ranking in the bottom third of the league, including two against the 32nd-ranked Cardinals and games against the 30th-ranked Jets, the 28th-ranked Bears and the 27th-ranked Dolphins. Seattle’s D is good, but their stats have been skewed by the weak offenses they have faced. Moreover, their fast, aggressive defense has been victimized by play-action and misdirection, two staples of the ‘Skins’ offense. The ‘Skins will move the ball, and will score. The question is whether the Seahawks offense will be able to keep up. I say “No.” ‘Skins – 27 Seahawks – 21.

  46. wildcatwr36 says: Jan 3, 2013 12:59 PM

    I’m with Florio on all 4 Road teams winning.
    I don’t see how this cannot happen.
    Ravens are tired and done, Texans stopped playing 2 weeks ago. The Seahawks can’t be stopped at the moment. And the Packers sound scared of getting hit this week by the MVP.

  47. rockthered1286 says: Jan 3, 2013 12:59 PM

    Oh how I love to educate Colts fans…

    Indy D has allowed an average of 33.75ppg against playoff opponents this year (Houx2,NE,Min,GB). They have the 29th ranked run D in the NFL going against pro-bowler Ray Rice. Overall 21st ranked D going against Flacco and the 10th ranked O. Colts only played 5 games against a team with a winning record this year. Baltimore? TEN. And the Baltimore D that everyone says is terrible? Ended the season as the 12th ranked D, coming all the way back from 29th at midseason. Ray Lewis, Bernard Pollard, T-Sizzle and Marshall Yanda, all set to return to action. Our starters are ALL coming off a bye week as they sat out against Cincy last week. Oh and your QB? Last 4 weeks combine passer rating under 50%. OUCH.

    BAL-34
    IND-20

  48. seattle2toronto12thmanconnection says: Jan 3, 2013 1:00 PM

    goodellisruiningtheleague says:
    Alot of people are suddenly die hard Seattle fans… where was this enthusiam five weeks ago?

    I dunno man, maybe we were in Seattle shaking the CLink for the best home field advantage in the NFL. You should probably be asking where the hell all these Skins fans are coming from.

  49. skins23 says: Jan 3, 2013 1:10 PM

    chrismatthewsucks says:
    Jan 3, 2013 12:34 PM

    This dude is an idiot!!! Skins beat one playoff team, nuff said.

    _____________________________

    Um, actually they beat 2. Baltimore and Minny. And knocked Dallas out of the playoffs and overtook the defending champions. But whatever.

    Let’s not forget one of the Seahawks wins vs. playoff teams has the biggest asterisk in NFL history.

  50. seahawkbias says: Jan 3, 2013 1:11 PM

    Just watched the Cowboy-Skin game to scout out the Skins for Sunday…. Now I can’t wait to see the national coming out party for my boys.

    Much,much better skill players than the Skins have struggled to get off the line vs our D. Aldrik Hanker-what?, Pierre (3rd WR on the depth chart at best)Garcon? Really?

    Expect the Hawks to move their safeties closer to the LOS to take away the play action slant pass, trusting their ProBowl CBs to cover the pathetic Skin WR’s.

    Hawks win 27-17

  51. crownofthehelmet says: Jan 3, 2013 1:11 PM

    The Colts will definitely beat the Ravens. Talk about the emotion of Ray’s last game all you want, but at the end of the day, the Colts are the better team.

  52. londonfletcher59 says: Jan 3, 2013 1:20 PM

    “and the Hawks will move on to Atlanta”

    Atlanta already has some Hawks. They don’t need anymore.

    What’s up with all these Seattle fans coming out of the woodwork like they’ve been here the forever? What happened to all those posts about how Ol Pete was the worst coach in the history of sports??

    I’m a Redskins fan and even I said at the beginning of the season that the Hawks were going to be better, now I’m wishing I bit my tongue. It’s going to be a good game Sunday, but I see Seattle back home drinking coffee watching the playoffs. If the game were in Seattle, as history has proven, we wouldn’t stand a chance, but yall are coming to Fedex now. Time to pay up.

  53. bigbadal21 says: Jan 3, 2013 1:21 PM

    Ray Lewis will be able to start his new job at ESPN this Monday.

  54. pizzon says: Jan 3, 2013 1:21 PM

    I dont undertand why people arent giving the Colts a shot here, Luck is everybit as good and I think better than Peyton was when he was a rookie. the Ravens secondary isnt good at all, not to mention everyone runs for a 100 yds+ now so this comes down to Ray Rice putting on his superman cap. Rice will have a big day I think but Flacco gets schooled by Luck! Colts 27-23

  55. hendawg21 says: Jan 3, 2013 1:25 PM

    Oh the Seabirds beat up on teams like Buffalo and Arizona 58 and 50 pts and then score 42 on a division opponent at home who they were all psyched up for. 150 of your team total points came in those 3 games. And I wouldn’t put too much in that victory of the 49ers heck the Giants went into SF and laid a serious whipping on them and where are the Giants now??? So you never know what you’re getting with the 49ers, you got a win you shouldn’t have against GB, just got by the Bears…I wouldn’t be talking a lot of ish Seabird fans…you may run a bit of the pistol offense like the Redskins but no one does it better than they do…

    Skins 20-13

  56. redskinfansince82 says: Jan 3, 2013 1:25 PM

    For my friend logicalvoicessays. Don’t worry pre existing conditions are covered under Obamacare!!!!

    We Got this! Skins are built for the playoffs. We’ve been in do or die wars for 7 weeks now.
    And no disrespect to the Seahawks their a good team but they haven’t faced RGIII yet. Usually teams that face him for the first time seem to have problems. The second time in the case of NFC East they still couldn’t beat us.

  57. coolzog says: Jan 3, 2013 1:27 PM

    “What are the chances the Vikes play three perfect games in a row…especially in 15 degree weather on the road?

    They played perfectly last week at home and won on a last second field goal. Ponder throws 3 picks, Peterson gets his 160 but that’s it.

    Packers 34, Vikings 17″

    The Vikings were hardly perfect last week. The defense did a terrible job in the last 3 quarters(aside from the one forced fumble), they let Green Bay score on almost every drive.

    If the defense picks up their game a little bit, then the offense won’t have to be perfect to win the game.

  58. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 3, 2013 1:36 PM

    scoobies05 | Jan 3, 2013, 12:50 PM EST
    yeah bosfan…the announcement of the retirement of the greatest and most respected player in team history isnt going to inspire the ravens and their fans. ok buddy. doesnt guarantee a win but the intensity of the ravens players and the 71000 fans at the bank will be amazing.

    As much as I hate some of the raven trolls, I am going to get chills watching a much deserved “moment” when a city gets to show their love for a player. It’s deserved enjoy it….then the players have to decide it on the field . Best of luck!

  59. schmitty2 says: Jan 3, 2013 1:37 PM

    As a Rams fan I admit I was very nervous when they came to Seattle to face that punishing defense. but I think everyone..even Hawk’s fans can admit that if they play like they did against the Rams..they just might not go to far in the playoffs IMO

  60. jziii says: Jan 3, 2013 1:42 PM

    Dunno if the Vikes can win, but I did notice that the Packers defense didn’t seem too eager to tackle AP in either of the two previous games when/where it was significantly warmer than it will be at Lambeau on Saturday night. I wonder how much they’ll want to take him on in 10-degree weather?

    Also, the Vikings came very close to beating the Pack at Lambeau a month ago, and might well have if Ponder had played like anything other than a lovesick junior high schooler. He’s been wearing the big boy pants ever since, though, so I guess we’ll just have to see…

  61. djstangcougar says: Jan 3, 2013 1:42 PM

    Life long Seahawk fan here and I’m really looking forward to this game. It will be interesting to see whos defense shows up on Sunday and it will make all the difference in the game. I respect the Skins and would not put it past the home team to pull this out, I just think the Seahawks defense, that plays with a lot of emotion, will bring it HARDER. Good luck and may the best team WIN!

  62. jrmbadger says: Jan 3, 2013 1:43 PM

    I hope its Seahawks @ Packers for the NFC championship game with Guns Hochuli as referee.

    It would give the Pack a chance for payback for the Fail Mary.

  63. hendawg21 says: Jan 3, 2013 1:52 PM

    Well the difference is the defense may have recently starting practicing against the pistol since they run a small version of it, but come Sunday they’ll get pardon my pun a good birdseye view of the entire offense for which i’m sure like most other defenses aren’t totally prepared for…unlike most of the pass happy offenses the seabirds have faced all year which plays into their defense this will be a different matchup because the Redskins offense is 51% run, the Redskin receivers are pretty damn good downfield blockers so those big corners etc., that they keep bragging about will have their hands full, and i’ll bet Bob gets 2 rushing TD’s himself…

  64. rg3sus says: Jan 3, 2013 1:53 PM

    I love all the disagreement on this site when it comes to weekly picks. Espn constantly agrees with itself taking some
    Of the fun away from the picks. That said, I wish a least one of you had picked my redskins to win this week. I watched every skins game this year and about half of the hawks games. I think the skins have a better chance than they’re getting credit for. Hail!

  65. oaktown49er says: Jan 3, 2013 1:55 PM

    Alright Hawks and Skins fans, you guys are talking a lot of trash, I think they are both very good teams, but one has to lose. It’s easy to predict a win but to come back here after the game and say you were wrong will be a lot harder.

  66. acer007 says: Jan 3, 2013 1:58 PM

    When seattle faced the rams the first time it was earily in the season RW was and still is learning how yo play in the NFL. The second time seattle faced the rams RW had 15 games under his belt. He just keeps improving.

    Now “schmitty2″ I’m not sure which seattle-rams game you were watching last sunday but if you check the papers you will see that seattle beat the rams by 7 points, in my book that’s enough to win any game. Don’t expect them to win all thier games by 45+ points, there good but not that good.

  67. tdoe89 says: Jan 3, 2013 2:08 PM

    Good thing the replacement refs aren’t in the playoffs seattle wont be able to throw a game winning interception

  68. tjh9985 says: Jan 3, 2013 2:10 PM

    I hope its Seahawks @ Packers for the NFC championship game with Guns Hochuli as referee.

    It would give the Pack a chance for payback for the Fail Mary
    —–

    Payback for what? Seattle didn’t make the call.

  69. rjwh23 says: Jan 3, 2013 2:12 PM

    While I don’t see Ponder having a great game in 20 degree temps at Lambeau, I think the conditions will be right for Peterson to run for 200+ yards. Just like the Packer victories over the Bears led to the firing of Smith in Chicago, the Vikings could spell the end of Capers in GB if they leave with a win.

  70. Ponder This says: Jan 3, 2013 2:20 PM

    ruvelligwebuike says:Jan 3, 2013 12:01 PM

    What are the chances the Vikes play three perfect games in a row…especially in 15 degree weather on the road?

    They played perfectly last week at home and won on a last second field goal. Ponder throws 3 picks, Peterson gets his 160 but that’s it.

    Packers 34, Vikings 17.
    ________

    They played perfectly last week? They did a terrible job tackling on defense and special teams. They gave up a ton of passing yards. This was a very uncharacteristic defensive performance. They didn’t need a perfect game to beat the Packers, but this week they will fix the things they did wrong. I’d say the Packers played about as well as they can last week and still lost.

  71. holdmydih says: Jan 3, 2013 2:30 PM

    So a 3-5 regular season road record automatically means you can’t win on the road in the playoffs? The 2010 Packers were 3-5 on the road and they went on to eventually win the Super Bowl after winning all of their playoff games on the road. I know it’s painful for many of you haters to accept, but the Seahawks are a very good football team that will earn your respect over the coming weeks. SEA 24 – WAS 7

  72. seattlecoug says: Jan 3, 2013 2:31 PM

    Bobby Griffin, Alfred Morris, London Fletcher, Mike “the rat” Shanahan….. there is your 10:30am tee time on Monday. Season over, Hawks roll….

    We should already be discussing the Hawks beating up on Matt Ryan…..

  73. skinsaneasylum says: Jan 3, 2013 2:32 PM

    Seahawks over Redskins? I don’t think so…

    I mean, just look at the seeding to see who will win. The Redskins are the 4th seed to the Seahawks 5 seed. Enough said.
    ;) HTTR

  74. bosfaninva says: Jan 3, 2013 2:32 PM

    “doesnt guarantee a win but the intensity of the ravens players and the 71000 fans at the bank will be amazing.”

    1. NFL players should be at peak intensity for a playoff game regardless of who is retiring. It’s not like the Colts won’t be expecting maximum effort from the Ravens.
    2. M&T Bank Stadium is always very loud.

    Bottom line: The Ravens are simply not playing well right now, but they have a good home field advantage. Should be a close game.

  75. ruvelligwebuike says: Jan 3, 2013 2:37 PM

    “They played perfectly last week? They did a terrible job tackling on defense and special teams. They gave up a ton of passing yards. This was a very uncharacteristic defensive performance. They didn’t need a perfect game to beat the Packers, but this week they will fix the things they did wrong. I’d say the Packers played about as well as they can last week and still lost.”
    ———————

    That was the best game Ponder has ever played. They never turned the ball over. They got 196 out of Peterson despite having him dead to rights in the backfield several times. They held the Packers offense to six PLAYS in the first quarter.

    The Packers blew coverages, had two easy picks get through, killed themselves with penalties (Tramon’s led directly to a TD), they tackled HORRIBLY, and were completely out of sync the entire first half.

    I know they black out the Packer games in the Twin Cities, but you have to seen enough Packer football to realize that they didn’t play very well. Rodgers going 28/4o for 350+ is pretty normal.

  76. tjh9985 says: Jan 3, 2013 2:37 PM

    Good thing the replacement refs aren’t in the playoffs seattle wont be able to throw a game winning interception

    —-

    That is so clever and original.

  77. bullcharger says: Jan 3, 2013 2:44 PM

    skins23 says:Jan 3, 2013 1:10 PM

    chrismatthewsucks says:
    Jan 3, 2013 12:34 PM

    This dude is an idiot!!! Skins beat one playoff team, nuff said.

    _____________________________

    Um, actually they beat 2. Baltimore and Minny. And knocked Dallas out of the playoffs and overtook the defending champions. But whatever.

    Let’s not forget one of the Seahawks wins vs. playoff teams has the biggest asterisk in NFL history.

    ————————————–

    Seattle were first in points against with 15.3 per game and 9th in points for, coming up big toward the end of the season dropping 50s on some teams. Historically point defense is an indicator of playoff success and combine that with the scoring ability, I think Washington are over matched. Also, since Seattle is favored by 3 on road, that would be about a 9 point favorite at home. That means the consensus is that Seattle is the better team. Washington can win it, but you have to admit that Seattle is a formidable opponent.

  78. musicman495 says: Jan 3, 2013 2:49 PM

    Fearless Prediction: Vikings will be knocked out of playoffs again, blame Saints and officials.

  79. schmitty2 says: Jan 3, 2013 2:51 PM

    acer007 says:Jan 3, 2013 1:58 PM

    When seattle faced the rams the first time it was earily in the season RW was and still is learning how yo play in the NFL. The second time seattle faced the rams RW had 15 games under his belt. He just keeps improving.

    Now “schmitty2″ I’m not sure which seattle-rams game you were watching last sunday but if you check the papers you will see that seattle beat the rams by 7 points, in my book that’s enough to win any game. Don’t expect them to win all thier games by 45+ points, there good but not that good.

    The game I was watching would be the one just 4 whopping days ago where the Hawks were supposedly going to destroy the Rams. Those Rams got 6 sacks on your possible ROY qb. The vaunted Hawk d got ZERO sacks on Bradford and got 1 int with 30 seconds left in the game. My point being was that the Hawks will have to play a LOT better than that to go far in the playoffs

  80. musicman495 says: Jan 3, 2013 2:51 PM

    seattle2toronto12thmanconnection says: Jan 3, 2013 1:00 PM

    goodellisruiningtheleague says:
    Alot of people are suddenly die hard Seattle fans… where was this enthusiam five weeks ago?

    I dunno man, maybe we were in Seattle shaking the CLink for the best home field advantage in the NFL. You should probably be asking where the hell all these Skins fans are coming from.
    ——————————
    Uh, the Redskins have sold out every game since 1968. I think that was before there was a Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Pilots, or Starbucks.

    And in case you missed it, the best home field advantage in the NFL – thanks to artificially engineered crowd noise – is not much use ON THE ROAD.

  81. joedskins1959 says: Jan 3, 2013 2:54 PM

    Someone said Skin fans drinking koolaid? Seven in a row so we will keep on drinking it!!! I like cherry.

  82. jgava19 says: Jan 3, 2013 2:58 PM

    SO what…..say what you want about the Colts run defense……same story in 2006 and then shut em all down in the SuperBowl run. So much for “educating Colts fans”

  83. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Jan 3, 2013 3:00 PM

    Seriously doubt the team from where? (Seattle) will be able to stop Mike Shanahan’s run game. This, I predict will be the difference. That and their awful road play (Toronto game notwithstanding).

    Seahawk fans! Feel that knot in your stomach? That sliver of doubt creeping in? That’s called intuition! You know you’re goin down!

  84. judsonjr says: Jan 3, 2013 3:02 PM

    Why do people saying Ponder played well last week? He played better than the previous GB matchup, but still threw 2 or 3 bad balls that could have been picked.

  85. thetokyosandblaster says: Jan 3, 2013 3:07 PM

    Ponder This says:
    Jan 3, 2013 2:20 PM
    ruvelligwebuike says:Jan 3, 2013 12:01 PM

    What are the chances the Vikes play three perfect games in a row…especially in 15 degree weather on the road?

    They played perfectly last week at home and won on a last second field goal. Ponder throws 3 picks, Peterson gets his 160 but that’s it.

    Packers 34, Vikings 17.
    ________

    They played perfectly last week? They did a terrible job tackling on defense and special teams. They gave up a ton of passing yards. This was a very uncharacteristic defensive performance. They didn’t need a perfect game to beat the Packers, but this week they will fix the things they did wrong. I’d say the Packers played about as well as they can last week and still lost.

    —–

    Lol

    If both teams play their best games, the packers win by at least three TDs.

    Watch football once.

  86. beastmode5150 says: Jan 3, 2013 3:10 PM

    Redskins fans, please come on the post game recap and don’t make excuses for the loss. I will if the skins win.

    Hawks 24
    Skins 16

  87. rockthered1286 says: Jan 3, 2013 3:16 PM

    pizzon says:
    Jan 3, 2013 1:21 PM
    I dont undertand why people arent giving the Colts a shot here, Luck is everybit as good and I think better than Peyton was when he was a rookie. the Ravens secondary isnt good at all, not to mention everyone runs for a 100 yds+ now so this comes down to Ray Rice putting on his superman cap. Rice will have a big day I think but Flacco gets schooled by Luck! Colts 27-23
    ______________________________
    Ravens secondary is actually better than the Colts: Indy allows 238.6ypg through the air while Baltimore allows 228.1ypg passing. They have the most respected FS in the game in Ed Reed back there, they’ve been without Pollard for a month who is now back, and they’ve managed to play without pro-bowl caliber CB Webb for the past 10 games. BAL has also allowed the 2nd LEAST pass TD’s this year-15. Colts-23. BAL also has a top 5 redzone Defense. Shall I go on?

  88. cwillz13 says: Jan 3, 2013 3:19 PM

    logicalvoicessays… YOU’RE AN IDIOT

    logicalvoicessays says: Jan 3, 2013 11:31 AM

    ’m really fearing the Seahawks. Wilson has been the 2nd best Rookie QB this year, behind Luck. Hopefully we can have another flukey win riding on Morris back. We know we can only count on RG3 for 180 yards a pick and 1 td, if were lucky! He was 22nd this year in passing yards and 19th in TDs. A bright spot for him was the 5 ints but he’s not allowed to make any reads past his 1st progression, only dump passes and timing routes. When the leash is loosened, we will see more picks. Wilson was 9th in TDs and 23rd in yards, let’s trade lol. Finally coming clean about Rg3 feels good lol, I couldnt stand blindly defending him any longer.

  89. Andre's Johnson says: Jan 3, 2013 3:22 PM

    Houston
    Seattle
    Baltimore
    Green Bay

  90. rockthered1286 says: Jan 3, 2013 3:26 PM

    pizzon says:
    Jan 3, 2013 1:21 PM
    …not to mention everyone runs for a 100 yds+ now…
    _____________________________
    Actually, in the past 8 weeks the Ravens have only allowed 2 backs to break 100yds- Morris had 129 for the Skins and Moreno has 115 for the Broncos. Other than those 2 games the Ravens haven’t allowed a 100+ yd back since they played Cleveland in week 9 when Richardson has 105. On top of that they’ve held 3 leading backs to under 50 yards in the same span.

    Humble pie… delicious.

  91. axespray says: Jan 3, 2013 3:49 PM

    Christian Ponder played to a level he doesn’t consistently reach …

    Tramon Williams/Casey Hayward played their worst game of the season – usually they’re shutting receivers down…

    Weather + Ponder’s wobbly passes + Dom having 2 games worth of film on what worked and what didn’t.

  92. soytureyna says: Jan 3, 2013 4:06 PM

    I kind of agree with BOTH assessments of the Vikings at GB game. We’ll either kick their ass or lose by 3 points. I wonder which team will show up. Go Pack Go!

  93. jgava19 says: Jan 3, 2013 4:18 PM

    So, Rock the Red……..wow, ten whole yards less a game. Might as well not even play the game now. And we already know that Flacco is not the big game QB that he thinks he is.

    Colts 23-20.

  94. jgava19 says: Jan 3, 2013 4:27 PM

    Forget season numbers. It’s all about now. Last three games for Redzone Defensive rankings (TD’s), guess whose ranked #1 with a 20% opponent success rate? If you said Colts, you are correct.

    Guess who’s ranked 21st? If you said Ravens, you are correct.

    Should I go on?

  95. jgava19 says: Jan 3, 2013 4:30 PM

    Oh, forgot to add that in the last 3 games, ravens, in the defensive redzone, have given up a TD 62.5 % of the time.

    Impressive.

  96. deltaoracle says: Jan 3, 2013 4:37 PM

    Randall Cobb has more yards this year than Peterson; having him back should be huge for the Pack. The other side of the coin is that someone besides Raji has to be willing to tackle Peterson. Would be nice if the Packers could get a lead. Mini is a much different team when they are playing from behind.

  97. coolzog says: Jan 3, 2013 4:45 PM

    “Randall Cobb has more yards this year than Peterson; having him back should be huge for the Pack.”

    Kick return yards are hardly comparable to yards from scrimmage.

  98. notwhoyouthinkitis says: Jan 3, 2013 4:46 PM

    The Ravens lost to the Steelers when Charlie Batch, the Steelers’ 3rd string QB, started. That says it all.

  99. wildcatwr36 says: Jan 3, 2013 4:51 PM

    Living in Wisconsin, I have figured out that Packer Fans really are “dumb”. I thought it was just the ones in Minnesota and North Dakota. Turns out most of them have no conceived notion that there are 30 other teams that are in existence that week and they just don’t put teams together to play the glorious “Packers”

    I have seen them beat their kids into cheering for that team. Crying 3 year olds that want to wear something else besides a “G” on their cloths. The children that have the freedom to choose, choose other teams. It is cult like.

    What is being said is that the Packers played about as well as they could have last week. That is true. The Vikings made more mistakes than the Packers. That is true. And the Vikings still came away with the “W” That is also true.

  100. coolzog says: Jan 3, 2013 4:57 PM

    “Lol

    If both teams play their best games, the packers win by at least three TDs.

    Watch football once.”

    Actually, we watched it twice this year, both games the Pack came nowhere close to beating the Vikings by three TDs.

    As I’m sure you learned from being 15-1 to one-and-done, it doesn’t matter what you’re “capable” of, it matter what you actually do.

  101. thetokyosandblaster says: Jan 3, 2013 5:00 PM

    @wildcat,

    Packers > Vikings

    That is also true.

    Packers 31, Vikings 17.

  102. seattle2toronto12thmanconnection says: Jan 3, 2013 5:31 PM

    musicman495 says:Jan 3, 2013 2:51 PM

    seattle2toronto12thmanconnection says: Jan 3, 2013 1:00 PM

    goodellisruiningtheleague says:
    Alot of people are suddenly die hard Seattle fans… where was this enthusiam five weeks ago?

    I dunno man, maybe we were in Seattle shaking the CLink for the best home field advantage in the NFL. You should probably be asking where the hell all these Skins fans are coming from.
    ——————————
    Uh, the Redskins have sold out every game since 1968. I think that was before there was a Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Pilots, or Starbucks.

    And in case you missed it, the best home field advantage in the NFL – thanks to artificially engineered crowd noise – is not much use ON THE ROAD.

    Uh, not a single team in the NFL has sold out their entire stadium since 1968.

    And you don’t think the NFL would investigate the Seahawks for artificial noise? Oh, thats right they did. Still the loudest stadium. And where did I say we were bringing our noise on the road?

    If you don’t have anything intelligent to say, just don’t talk. Glad you guys finally got a quarterback, too bad all the bandwagoners have to come out so tough trying to prove their fanhood after years of rooting for the Pats or Ravens.

  103. thetokyosandblaster says: Jan 3, 2013 5:48 PM

    coolzog says:
    Jan 3, 2013 4:57 PM
    “Lol

    If both teams play their best games, the packers win by at least three TDs.

    Watch football once.”

    Actually, we watched it twice this year, both games the Pack came nowhere close to beating the Vikings by three TDs.

    As I’m sure you learned from being 15-1 to one-and-done, it doesn’t matter what you’re “capable” of, it matter what you actually do.

    —-

    And you, smart one, nailed it right on the head.

    The Packers haven’t played nearly their best football in either game vs the Vikings, while ponder played what will probably be his best game ever.

  104. dukeearl says: Jan 3, 2013 6:44 PM

    Green Bay team and fans need to get over it.
    The game was not lost on the “fail mary”.
    The game was lost in the first half when Rodgers was dirtnapping as Seattle sacked the QB 8 times.

    Officials made bad calls against both teams.

    I am glad that it motivated the NFL to bring the regular officials.

  105. nicepak381 says: Jan 3, 2013 7:46 PM

    Pats fan in waiting. I think The Ravens are back on track and will defeat The Colts. Congrats to Indy on a great season. The rest are tough calls, but I have to pick The Packers at home, especially since they last last week; averages. I sincerely hope The Texans defeat The Bengals because I would rather see them in two weeks, than The Ravens; but I don’t know who has the edge here. The Seahawks/Redskins game is the most intriguing game of the week and I think it will be close. I’ll pick Seattle because they seem to be the healthier team and that’s big this time of year, but winning at Washington, in front of those great fans, is no easy task. Let’s hope for some good officiating and some great competition.

  106. dtrb10 says: Jan 3, 2013 11:45 PM

    I am very impressed with my Vikings. They have a promising future and a new stadium being built. I know they will be ready come Saturday night but whatever the outcome, me as a Viking fan would be fine if they lost but I don’t think a Packer fan could say the same thing. We were 3-13 last year.

  107. fallingsnow34 says: Jan 4, 2013 1:57 AM

    I’m just desperate to remember what lucky Vikings shirt I was wearing last weekend!

  108. gavriloprincip33 says: Jan 4, 2013 3:53 AM

    But I didn’t see predictions for the Cowboys vs. Jets SB?

  109. jgava19 says: Jan 4, 2013 8:31 AM

    Ravens are back on track???? How so?

    Unless losing to Bengals gets you back on track.

    We know you’re a Ravens fan.

  110. dalc4life says: Jan 4, 2013 9:03 AM

    Really Redskin fans… You beat up on a depleted Dallas defense by running the ball (over and over) and passing little bubble screens n slants. Good luck against a healthy defense. You will need it. NFC EAST was not good this year.

  111. dcviking says: Jan 4, 2013 9:53 AM

    @deltaoracle -

    You have hit it on the head. In order for Minnie to keep the game close and have a chance to win, Minnesota must be able to run the ball, and pass only as needed. In short, they can’t get behind big early.

    The biggest advantage that the Packers have is their ability to score quickly by simply running their normal offense. As was witnessed last week, even with Green Bay down early by more than 1 TD, their was no sense of panic or urgency, they calmly got back in the game.

  112. jeffesky says: Jan 4, 2013 10:36 AM

    As I hawks fan I am scared of RG3 and the skins are playing very well. Hawks better show up or it could get ugly. If we are steady and composed and our guys play thier assignments I think we have a real shot. The Skins scare me more than any other team in the NFC. Atlanta on field turf in the dome,GB we destroyed Rogers, sure we got a gift at the end but on the drive that GB went up 12-7 Cam Chancellor got flaged for destroying (legal hit period)a guy which was just as bad of a call. Thus (that was 3rd n long) Hawks would have won 7-6. The Niners we pounded,Vikings ran for 200 yards on us and we still beat them by 10 points. Skins are the real deal. GO HAWKS!!!

  113. kingpel says: Jan 4, 2013 7:19 PM

    The Seahawks are a better team, but how much will homefield be worth to the Skins? I am thinking the Redskins will win by a field goal. 20-17.

  114. theskinsman says: Jan 4, 2013 8:02 PM

    Seahawks are for real, seems most ‘experts’ are picking them to win.
    The Redskins are underrated,and I see them pulling out a thriller at home. They have been playing good football and have home field. Go Skins!

  115. jspam414 says: Jan 4, 2013 11:45 PM

    Since when is Fed Ex field a home field advantage? Last time I checked the foreskins went 5-3 at home this year. While this is a winning record it definitely does not constitute a great home field advantage. Another thing is Pete Carroll has seen this offense a few times since it is a college offense. Pretty sure he can handle it.

    This ain’t Dallas
    Or the Giants
    Or the Iggles

    Think the winner spanks the Falcons next week. The winner will be the Seahawks. 27-13.

    Drive hom safely.

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