Big Al’s NFL Picks – Wildcard Round

NFL Playoffs are here and the wildcard teams square off this weekend.  Should be a great ride.

The year has gone so fast. The final 12 teams are in the playoffs trying to get to the Super Bowl and they look to be rather crazy – starting this weekend with the wildcard match-ups.  The Dolphins against the Steelers. Aaron Rodgers’ Packers against Odell Beckham Jr. and the G MEN. Connor Cook??? and the Raiders.  Even without Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, or Matt Ryan playing this weekend should be fun to watch. I finished the year at 60% and here are my pick for the four games.

(Home Team in CAPS)

HOUSTONimages-1 over Oakland – This should be a defensive game.  The Texans have one of the best defenses in the NFL.  Their problem is their QB.  A bad $72 million dollar QB is a terrible look. Their offense will have to rely on running back Lamar Millar. They should be able to run against Oakland. Connor Cook starts due to no Derek Carr or Matt McGloin. Can Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree make plays for the young QB? Their offensive line will have their hands full.  They key will be if Khalil Mack can dominate the game.  Don’t see the rookie QB pulling it out in his first start.

SEATTLstaffordE over Detroit – The only people that think the Lions can come away with the upset in Seattle are Lion fans.  Even without Megatron this year, Stafford has had a very good regular season. Winning in Seattle will be a huge task. Seattle is without Earl Thomas, but I expect the Legion of Boom to slow down the Lions passing game. Without a passing game, they have nothing.

GREENimages BAY over Giants – Green Bay gets to play at Lambeau Field which is never good for the visitor team. Rodgers said “run the table” and the Packers won the final six games. That’s what’s up! He has balled out to be considered a legit MVP candidate. The Giants will be bringing a superb defense. Even without Jason Pierre-Paul, Landon Collins had led the team to elite status. Eli and the offense looked regular in the regular season, but the playoffs are different. Clean slate. Don’t be shocked if RB Paul Perkins has a day running the ball. The Packers will have to keep people in coverage to help on Beckham. Plus, a good running game keeps Aaron Rodgers off the field. Eli always shows up Om the postseason? But for the record, this is not 2007 or 2011. They will need to score touchdowns.  If I was a Packer fan, what would concern me Odell and a lack of rushing attack, which they made need in the weather.

benPITTSBURGH over Miami – The Dolphins beat the Steelers earlier in the season. Tannehill has been ruled out, so expect Miami to Jay Ajayi to get a lot of work. Roethlisberger, Bell, and Bryant have led the Steelers to finish strong. If they play well gain they win this game.The key for Miami will be to stop two of the three.  So I expect them to play coverage and let Bell get busy.  The Steeler D has been better and healthier the last month, so that should make it harder for Ajayi to put in work. Should be a good one to wtach.

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