NFL Playoffs Wild Card Round: Staff Picks

USA TODAY Sports

With only four games to be played we actually offer up why we think each team will win this week.

Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans

John Gennaro:
The Bengals are one of maybe two teams in the playoffs that I'm not the least bit excited to watch. I'm pretty sure the Texans will win this game in boring fashion because Andy Dalton is an average QB carrying this offense on his back.

Richard Wade: The Texans are in a free fall and the Bengals are surging. I like the Bengals to win on the road.

Superduperboltman: While the Texans have looked poor as of late, I doubt they won't put together their usual dominant performance. Watching JJ Watt and Geno Atkins will be fun, but ultimately, the Bengals aren't quite as balanced and don't think they'll pull the upset. 27-23 Texans.

JK (jkvandal): The Texans backed their way into the playoffs, but this is a win or go home game. I have to go with the better QB on the better team, I'll take the Texans.

Miss Dana: If ever there was a team to get upset, the Texans are it. The Texans have dropped three of their last four games and looked bad doing it. Also, Andy Dalton and AJ Green are one of the best young passing combination I've seen in awhile. I'm going with the Bengals.


Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

John Gennaro: The Packers are at home in the playoffs and know that they can probably send 8 guys at Adrian Peterson on every play. Either Ponder has some sort of break out game (very unlike) or the Packers win big. Go Pack Go.

Richard Wade: The Vikings won last week, but that was a regular season home game. Lambeau in the playoffs will be a different beast. I like the Packers here.

Superduperboltman: The Packers probably played softer than usual last week, and will be a different team. As great as Peterson is, Ponder holds the team back. Packers will win 31-20.

JK (jkvandal): The Vikings showed us that it's definitely an "any given Sunday" league, unfortunately they are playing on Saturday this week. I'll take the Packers.

Miss Dana: Though the Packers don't have a great running game, they get a ton of passing yards while the Vikings have a crappy passing offense. I'm going with the Packers.


Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens

John Gennaro: Love the Colts team. A bunch of young kids with young legs that have gotten better as the season has gone along. They also tend to play big in big moments, especially Andrew Luck. On top of that, you really need a shutdown Cornerback if you're hoping to slow down Reggie Wayne this season, and the Ravens barely have anyone qualified to be a starting Corner in this league. I like the Colts on the road.

Richard Wade: I just can't get past this feeling that the Colts aren't really that good. They had the easiest schedule in the NFL this year. I'll take the Ravens.

Superduperboltman: Colts are a fun pick but their magical run can't last forever. Baltimore is too tough at home. 24-20 Ravens.

JK (jkvandal): Hard to go with a team that fired their OC midseason and I have to go with the better QB, I'll take the Colts.

Miss Dana: I'm going with the Ravens, but I feel a little sketchy about it. There is a lot of hype surrounding Luck, but he's not quite there yet. Flacco is a decent game manager who doesn't usually blow you away with his passing skills, but doesn't generally choke under pressure either. The Raven's running game has the one-two punch of Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, which you have to respect. Plus, they're at home.


Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins

John Gennaro: Here's the list of teams Seattle has beaten on the road this season: Panthers, Bears and Bills. That's it. I like the Seahawks a lot, but I'm not picking them to win a playoff game when they're 3-5 on the road without a tough win in the bunch. I'll pick a Redskins blowout in Washington.

Richard Wade: This, for me, is the toughest one to call. I don't think RG3 is 100%, so I'll take the Seahawks.

Superduperboltman: Their offenses are very similar. Great running attack, impressive rookie QB. Seahawks haven't been great away from home, but Washington (or Warshington as some southern guys here in the DC area say) doesn't have a defense like Seattle. Road win for the Seahawks 34-20.

JK (jkvandal): Who would have called this rookie QB matchup in Wild Card weekend back in August? RGIII didn't look to be back to full health last week, so I'll call the offenses even. Seattle's D is dominant though, so I'll take Seattle.

Miss Dana: The battle of the young QBs. This might actually be the best game of the first round. The Seahawks have been running hot and have a world-beating defense. Though the Redskins are no joke, offensively they're still a little one dimensional. I'm going with Seattle.

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