PFT’s 2020 NFL wild card playoff picks

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills
Getty Images

I know it’s officially now the “Super Wild Card” playoffs. Other than to make that point, I won’t call it that. (I prefer “Super Duper.”)

But what I will do, along with MDS, is make picks for the six games to be played this weekend.

Before that, we need to wrap up some loose ends from the regular season.

For Week 17, I went 14-2 and MDS went 13-3. He wins the regular-season contest, 167-91 to 164-94.

Against the spread, I went 96-1 and MDS was 8-7-1. For the year, I’m at 120-126-10 and he’s at 104-142-10.

We’ll reset everything to 0-0 and give 13 postseason games a whirl. He are the picks for the first six of them.

Colts (+6.5) at Bills

MDS’s take: Indianapolis has a strong defense, but I just think Josh Allen has too many weapons to choose from for the Colts to shut him down. Philip Rivers may play well, but in the end Allen and the Bills will make enough big plays to host a game in the divisional round of the playoffs for the first time in 27 years.

MDS’s pick: Bills 28, Colts 24.

Florio’s take: The Colts need to crank up the running game and take the full 40 seconds of the play clock as often as possible, keeping Bills quarterback Josh Allen on the sideline for as long as possible. The Bills need to crank up Allen, unleashing him as a runner — like they did last year in the playoffs — and trusting that he won’t be reckless with the ball, like he was last year.

Florio’s pick: Bills 34, Colts 20.

Rams (+3.5) at Seahawks

MDS’s take: The Rams’ defense should play well against Russell Wilson, but I’m not sure I can trust the Rams’ offense, regardless of whether Jared Goff or John Wolford is at quarterback. I like Seattle to win a close, low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 16, Rams 13.

Florio’s take: Russell Wilson is getting too deep into his career to blow a shot at enhancing his legacy on a team that quite possibly will be led by John Wolford.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 24, Rams 21.

Buccaneers (-8.5) at Washington

MDS’s take: This is a closer game than people think, as Washington’s defense matches up well with Tampa Bay’s offense. But in the end I think Tom Brady makes a big play, Alex Smith comes up short, and the Buccaneers advance.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 20, Washington 14.

Florio’s take: The key to stopping Tom Brady is to pressure him up the middle. Even then, the opponent needs to score points. Washington won’t be able to score enough — unless Chase Young has multiple touchdowns on his own.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 31, Washington 14.

Ravens (-3.5) at Titans

MDS’s take: The Ravens are coming on strong at the right time, and the Titans’ defense is highly suspect. I think Lamar Jackson will have a big game as he earns his first playoff win.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 31, Titans 30.

Florio’s take: The Ravens already have won five straight de facto playoff games. That’s the best way of turning the page on the narrative that they can’t win in the playoffs.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 27, Titans 21.

Bears (+10.5) at Saints

MDS’s take: The Saints have the best defense Mitchell Trubisky has faced this season, and I don’t think he’s going to be up to the challenge. New Orleans will win comfortably.

MDS’s pick: Saints 27, Bears 20.

Florio’s take: Another gut-wrenching exit from the postseason could be looming for the Saints. But not on Sunday.

Florio’s pick: Saints 30, Bears 20.

Browns (+6) at Steelers

MDS’s take: The Browns barely won last week, when they had everything to play for and the Steelers had nothing to play for. This week, the Steelers show they’re the better team.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 30, Browns 17.

Florio’s take: We’re about to find out how valuable a good coach is, based on the absence of Cleveland’s head coach.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 27, Browns 17.

31 responses to “PFT’s 2020 NFL wild card playoff picks

  1. I like the Rams over the Seahawks and while neither of you picked an upset, I’m going with the Bears stunning the Saints

  2. So ….. based on these picks, warm-weather Bucs head to chillywilly Lambeau to take on the bye-rested Packers the following week.

  3. Nobody really sticking their necks out on that one. I think Washington may be the team to beat. Division winners that were under .500 have won these games. Think beast mode. I wouldn’t dismiss them on this one. That defensive front could make TB12 look like it’s time to go sit on the porch and watch the kids play.

  4. Bills over Colts – Bills seem to be playing winning football possibly the hottest team right now and the Colts may not have what it takes to cool them down.

    Seahawks over Rams – can’t expect people to believe you can win in the playoffs with your backup qb or a qb that isn’t 100%.

    Bucs over Washington – Bucs have amped up their game and the Eagles had to help Washington to even get in.

    Titans over Ravens – If the Ravens don’t jump out quickly to a significant size lead (I don’t think they will) then the Titans will wear them down and out of the playoffs…

    Saints over Bears – Saints playing with a chip on their shoulder from the odd way they were put out of the playoffs the last 2 years and the Bears still need some work.

    Steelers over Browns – the Steelers didn’t look like they were really trying all that hard to win the last game and yet Browns couldn’t make a statement they would have liked to…

    Every year it seems like there is an upset… It would be nice to see the Browns get a win after such a long playoff drought… Here’s to you Brown’s fans!

  5. Both only make safe picks. What a waste. There will be at least 2 upsets, why not at least try to get them.
    Not much confidence, playing it safe.

  6. Same picks? How risky. There is at least one upset up there. Lil biased here but I like my Colts in a close one. Also could see Henry getting hot again for Tennessee.

  7. Going to be an NFC West slug fest. I like the Hawks to pull off a close win. Field goal as time expires. 13-10

  8. Bills 21 Colts 13 A close game with a lot of running yards I think will be decided by a turnover from Rivers.

    Seahawks 38 Rams 17 I think the Rams are severely outmatched.

    Bucs 24 Washington 20 Look for Gronk and a late pick thrown by Smith to be the difference.

    Titans 41 Ravens 35 High scoring game decided by Henry.

    Saints 30 Bears 7 The blowout game with Kamara returning.

    Steelers 23 Browns 10 No Coach equals no victory.

  9. Picking all the favorites is like Michael Irvin making his lock of the week whoever played the Jets every week.

  10. Pundits radically overestimating the Ravens and grossly underestimating the Titans. As a Bills fan, I would rather they play the Ravens. They don’t scare me a bit. The Titans terrify me. As they should every team in the league

  11. “Seahawks 38 Rams 17 I think the Rams are severely outmatched.”

    I have no dog in this hunt, but the Rams haven’t given up 38 points all year. And you think they will in a playoff game against a Seattle offense that has looked pretty sad for the last month? I don’t think so.

  12. Colts will shock Bills, and 28-20
    Seahawks over Rams 20-13
    Bucs over Washington 30-17
    Ravens over Titans 31-28

  13. If you are a professional gambler you look to see what your edge percentage is which is sort of the rate you will grow your bank role while betting. You need an edge percent of at least 7% and a big bankroll to make a living. Florio’s Edge% is -6.8% which is far higher than most and MDS was -19.25 which is awful. Hope no one was taking his advice. Mine for all of 2020 last year was 0.06%. I grossed $500 (which I lost on daily leagues).

  14. Bears went to OT with the Saints (and Foles starting) but NO was missing Thomas.

    I’ll take my Bears AND the points 😉

  15. My picks, ordered by “most confident” to “least confident.”

    Saints over Bears – “Any given Sunday” and all that, but the Bears aren’t beating the Saints. I’m so disinterested in this game I’ll be watching the Nickelodeon broadcast out of curiosity.

    Bills over Colts – The Colts are a solid team but the Bills are head and shoulders above them.

    Seahawks over Rams – Too many uncertainties surround this Rams team and I expect to see a Wilson in the playoffs that is closer to early-season form than late-season fom.

    Bucs over WFT – The Bucs are better and that’s why I’m picking them to win. WFT has a legit defense though and I wouldn’t be shocked if they caught the Bucs with their pants down. I think it’ll close.

    Browns over Steelers – The Steelers are a better team from top to bottom and they demonstrated that in Week 17… but it would be very Steelers to drop one at home against a COVID-plagued team in the wild card round. I’m going with my gut and picking the Browns.

    Titans over Ravens – I think these two teams are really evenly matched. Ravens are hot but I’m picking the Titans. This is definitely the one I’m most excited to watch, I really like both Lamar and Tanny.

  16. There’s usually an upset, I think the Colts or WFT could based on their strong defenses. The Giants defenses were the real MVP’s in those SB upsets.

    I’d be most surprised if Cleveland beat the Steelers out of any possible upset.

    I don’t think anyone will mention “defacto playoff games” if Baltimore loses. Jackson is still very young and will likely win many playoff games, but the narrative won’t (and shouldn’t) change until he gets some playoff wins.

  17. Ravens have lost their two last games against the Titans and yet both the experts predict them to lose. Interesting.
    And enough with the Ravens having won ‘5 playoff games’ by closing out the season against exactly one team with a winning record, Cleveland. And they gave up 42 points in that loss, so that shouldn’t inspire confidence that they’re ready to break Jackson’s playoff losing streak.
    Hard to disagree with most of the other picks. Don’t think the Colts or Washington have enough offence to win their games, and the Browns and Rams have some serious injury/health issues with their teams. And though the Saints won’t be coming into their game against Chicago firing on all cylinders, the questions about how in tune they will be with Kamara, Thomas and Brees having missed games, it’s difficult to imagine the Bears playing mistake free football or taking advantage of any of the miscues that New Orleans might have.

  18. I remember last year in a Houston when Josh Allen looked like a deer in the headlights. Maybe he’s grown but this run they’re on came from largely beating crappy teams. The Chiefs beat them at home, putting up 245 yards of rushing. Watch the Colts do the same. If the Bills win they will probably win on their defense and Rivers inaccuracy .

  19. Cleveland Browns in the playoffs just doesn’t sound right, doesn’t feel right. LOL.

  20. How can Pete Carroll not being wearing a mask during most of the games that have been televised recently without getting a fine? He has it around his neck and occasionally pulls it up, but most of the time his nose is exposed transmitting whatever to those around him. Just asking.

  21. Well, you’re both at 2-1 so far. Interesting it’s 2 road teams and 1 home team. I wonder what Sunday’s games will bring.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.