Predictions for 2018-19 NFL Wild Card Round
(3) Texans (11-5) vs (6) Colts (10-6)
The Texans welcome back the Colts for the first AFC Wild Card game. In both of their previous meetings this season, the score has been tight. Houston won the first meeting, winning 37-34 in OT, and the Colts won the second meeting, winning 24-21. This match-up can be viewed as a flip of a coin, but I don't see this game being as close as the other two. Texans QB Deshaun Watson has been improving this whole season, and J.J. Watt is finally fully healthy for a Houston playoff run. Indianapolis has also rebounded form a rough start of the season, but mainly due to QB Andrew Luck returning from injury. This is going to be a great football game, but I believe that the Texans will edge out Indianapolis in Houston.
Prediction: Texans 24 Colts 13
(4) Ravens (10-6) vs (5) Chargers (12-4)
Out of the four games this weekend, this one intrigues me the most. You have the Baltimore Ravens who are 6-1 since Lamar Jackson took over as quarterback due to Joe Flacco getting injured. Their defense was always spectacular, but their offense struggled with Flacco at times due to the lack of a run game. Now their running game is as good as their passing game, even with starting RB Alex Collins getting placed on IR December 1 with a foot injury. Then you have the LA Chargers who would be a conference champion if they didn't share the AFC West with the one seed Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers are getting TE Hunter Henry back from an ACL tear back in May. Both teams are red hot going into the wild card game. I would consider this game's caliber as more of a AFC Divisional game, maybe even the AFC Championship. I have a weird hunch about these new Ravens, but I know the Chargers can beat anyone on any given day.
Prediction: Ravens 31 Chargers 17
(3) Bears (12-4) vs (6) Eagles (9-7)
The Sunday NFC match-up is between the surprising Chicago Bears vs the surging Philadelphia Eagles. I am happily surprised that the Eagles are in the playoffs again but mainly for the irony of it all. Just like last season, Nick Foles has taken over at QB for the Eagles due to starting QB Carson Wentz getting injured. It has been reported that Wentz will not return at any point of the playoffs, so the organization will have to count on Foles for another miracle postseason run. Foles did look spectacular in his little game-time leading up to the playoffs. It is just so amusing that they are in the same situation again. I have to admit though, the Bears appear to be real contenders for the NFC. QB Mitchell Trubisky has started to show his true potential in Chicago, and the defense is seriously unreal. I would love to see some Philly magic but I don't see it happening.
Prediction: Bears 28 Eagles 10
(4) Cowboys (10-6) vs (5) Seahawks (10-6)
The final Wild Card game this weekend is an interesting case of either taking the favorite at home, or the team that has a reputation for postseason success. The majority of football fans would pick the Dallas Cowboys in this scenario. The Cowboys won the NFC East by one game, but the news around the organization makes it feel like they just missed the playoffs. There is a rumor going around the Dallas organization that if Head Coach Jason Garrett does not have postseason success this time around, he will be fired. For Seattle, they have been a totally different team since RB Chris Carson was introduced fully into the system. Carson in my opinion is a near-perfect mix between a power-back and speed. This is a great game for a great league, and for whichever team that wins I cannot wait to see what they can do in the NFC Divisional round
Prediction: Seahawks 17 Cowboys 3