NFL Wild-Card Weekend Picks

Russell Wilson and Teddy Bridgewater

For the fourth straight season, the New York Football Giants aren’t part of the playoffs. It’s sad and depressing and just plain sucks. When I was downtown on Broadway watching the Giants’ parade roll by through the Canyon of Heroes, I didn’t think nearly four years later I would be waiting for them to return to the playoffs. But here we are in January 2016 and Super Bowl XLVI feels like it happened forever ago.

The Redskins will represent the NFC East in the playoffs this year and for the second time since the Giants’ last playoff game with the Eagles and Cowboys also having won the division during the Giants’ four-year drought. The playoffs will once again go on without Eli Manning, but with Kirk Cousins and Teddy Bridgewater and Brian Hoyer and Alex Smith and A.J. McCarron. The playoffs will once again go on with the New York Football Giants.

The regular season was a success with a record of 134-117-5. Last season, the picks season came down to the Super Bowl, which I entered with a .500 record and finished one game under .500 after Pete Carroll’s costly decision that cost me my picks season, actual money, the Seahawks their second straight Super Bowl and ended the Patriots’ decade-long championship drought. No matter what happens over the final 11 games, this will have been a successful picks season. The only thing left to do is try and correctly pick every single postseason game.

HOUSTON +3 over Kansas City
The whole world is on the Chiefs and that’s part of the reason I’m picking the Texans. But the other reason I’m picking the Texans is that they have the best two players in the game on their team in DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt. Even if Hopkins having a big day relies on Brian Hoyer being able to be at least an average quarterback, I’m confident in the Texans at home against an Andy Reid playoff team that has been on too good of a run for Reid or the Chiefs or any team that was once upon a time 1-5.

I’m the least confident of all the games in this pick because I don’t trust the 9-7 Texans, who won a weak division, and because I wouldn’t trust Hoyer to tell me what time it is let alone to bank on having a good day. Wait a second? Why am I picking the Texans again?

CINCINNATI +3 over Pittsburgh
Two weeks ago, the Steelers played a must-win game against the Ravens, whose season ended in September, and they lost. They lost to Ryan Mallett in a game that would have cost them a chance to go to the postseason if not for the Jets putting together the most Jets performance of all time in Buffalo. So thanks to the Jets losing to the Bills and the Steelers barely getting past the Austin Davis Browns in Week 17, the Steelers are back in the postseason.

The Bengals might be the most complete team in the entire league, and that’s even with A.J. McCarron at quarterback over Andy Dalton because really how much of a drop off is there between the two? McCarron has eluded to the idea that he thinks he can have a Tom Brady-like career as a low-round draft pick that takes over for an injured quarterback and goes on an extended run and it’s not that far-fetched of an idea. He has the offensive pieces around him to beat the Steelers’ weak defense and he has the defense backing him to contain the Steelers’ high-powered passing game. McCarron won’t need to do anything spectacular to beat the Steelers, he just can’t ruin the game by thinking he needs to.

MINNESOTA +5.5 over Seattle
It was just a few weeks ago that the Seahawks went to Minnesota and embarrassed the Vikings. But in that game, the Vikings’ defense was missing four starters that will all play on Sunday.

Last season, I was an honorary 12 for the Super Bowl after being in attendance for the NFC Championship Game in Seattle, mainly because I wanted the Patriots to lose. And the Patriots should have lost, if not for Pete Carroll. But since that decision on the goal line in the Super Bowl, I have made a vow to against the Seahawks and root heavily against them and for the implosion of their team personnel, including Carroll and Russell Wilson. (That is unless they play the Patriots again in the Super Bowl.)

As I have said many times, my girlfriend is a Vikings fan (from Los Angeles), so it’s hard for me to not root for them. They have also covered for me more than any other team this season. With the Giants out of the playoffs, I’m now an honorary Viking. Let’s Go Vikings!

WASHINGTON -1 over Green Bay
Aaron Rodgers single-handedly cost me my first chance at a fantasy football championship and thousands (yes, thousands) of dollars. I didn’t like him before for his cockiness and his stubborn backing of fellow scummer Ryan Braun and I certainly don’t like him after he failed to improve my bank account. It pains me to root for an NFC East rival in the playoffs, but I have no choice.

Last week: 6-10-0
Season: 134-117-5