This weekend is an awesome few days of intriguing match ups. The media’s golden boy Tim Tebow is going up against the perennial favorites, Pittsburgh Steelers. 2 of the top 5 defenses will showdown in Texas. And what will be a defining moment for the NFC East champions, the Giants host the Dirty Birds of Atlanta.
Of course this isn’t an exclusively sports blog. But after watching football for the last 4 months and watching these particular 8 teams overcome injuries and inconsistency (I mean that’s why they’re wild cards right?), here are some general observations and my predictions
Bengals vs. Texans: Andy Dalton’s main target, AJ Green, is a solid candidate for Rookie of the Year. He racked up 1000+ yards on 65 targets from a fellow rookie. Although the Bengals are 5-3 on the road, those victories have come at the hands of awful teams (Rams, Titans, Seahawks, Jags, and the Browns). Those wins built them up with a false confidence going in to face the Texans at home. The Texans are a battered and bruised team. They’ve lost 2 QBs and have had to endure through Andre Johnson’s nagging hammy. 3rd stringer QB TJ Yates did lead the Texans to a victory against this team last month, but just barely. Both teams have been able to contain their opponents on the ground. The difference is that the Texans have an incredible upside with Arian Foster and Ben Tate. [Result: Texans win]
Lions vs. Saints: The Saints do not lose at home! Snubbed by the Pro Bowl voting process, Matthew Stafford is going to go into the Dome and play mad. As he should. With a record-breaking season, I’m looking at Drew Brees to redeem himself from last year’s playoffs exit. The Saints have so many options when it comes to scoring. Brees will get all the receivers, especially Jimmy Graham and hybrid wideout Darren Sproles, involved early. Stevie Wonder can tell you this will be a high scoring game with some highlight worthy TDs. I think whichever QB manages the clock the smartest will lead his team to a win [Result: Saints win]
Falcons vs. Giants: I don’t even need to discuss this match up. The Giants are finally fully healthy and playing at home. Matt Ryan is a good QB, don’t get me wrong. However, after all the critics talked their shit about whether Eli is considered elite or not, he’s the man with something to prove. I think he’ll do that very well come Sunday [Result: Giants win]
Steelers vs. Broncos: This is the definition of a wild card match up! Tim Tebow is a confounding enigma. There’s even a running joke on Twitter that Tebow’s new position should be RB. The 1 thing I’ll give Tebow is he’s a fearless QB. With his size and speed, if he sees an opening, he’ll run for the extra yardage or TD. In that respect, he reminds me of Michael Vick. Very few quarterbacks have a legitimate running game. Also, let’s be honest; a 6 game winning streak is nothing to scoff at. Yes, Big Ben is hobbling on 1 ankle. Yes, Mendenhall is out. But this is the Steelers’ D we’re talking about. With the Broncos playing at home and the media machine behind the God Son, I’m rooting for the underdog [Result: Broncos win]