NFC Contests SHOULD Be Better Games On Wild Card Weekend

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The National Football League Playoffs as a whole have not disappointed in recent history – except for those games where teams I like lose, and teams I dislike win – but let’s remove the bias and unanimously agree on this one.

The NFL playoff games feature pretty good football.

This year, however, one conference on this always-interesting Wild Card weekend, clearly stands out with better match-ups. You don’t have to look any further than the quarterback comparisons to realize where I am coming from.

NFC QUARTERBACKS BRING PROVEN SUCCESS

In Seattle’s game at home we have Russell Wilson against Matt Stafford and the Lions to go alone with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers facing Eli Manning and the New York Giants. I believe that is a combined four Super Bowl rings – with Matt Stafford and the Lions front office simply focusing on improving the 0-8 all-time record in the Wild Card round according to www.pro-football-reference.com. This group of guys doesn’t need to be elaborated on. We know who they are, we know what they can do and let’s be honest – we are looking forward to these two games.

I’m not sure how many MVP awards they have between them between their respective Super Bowls and regular seasons throughout their careers, but if you include team MVP as an award to it as well the total will reach double digits easily.

AFC BLOWOUT?

In the AFC, however, there is…let’s just say a little less playoff clout? Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers owns all the hardware with two Super Bowl rings, but what do these other clowns of the AFC bring to the table?

The Steelers host Matt Moore of the Miami Dolphins in what could very well be an Antonio Brown festival. Sidebar, to clarify – it’s Matt Moore the FOOTBALL player who backs up starter Ryan Tannehill – not the pitcher for the San Francisco Giants (formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays). Matt Moore the football player (again not the pitcher…sorry, it’s still funny), apparently went to Oregon State, so some of the readers out there may know more about him than I do. He started 12 games in 2011 for the Dolphins and was average at best, but that was about it. They drafted Tannehill. Being in the playoffs WAS that reason, and now we are here in irony land…Enter Moore.

AFC CRAPSHOOT

As for the other train wreck this week, The Oakland Raiders are on their third-string quarterback, rookie Connor Cook while the Houston Texans don’t have much to brag about either by throwing out there high-priced, free-agent Brock Osweiler, who was benched a few weeks ago in favor of Tom Savage, who got hurt to give Osweiler the job back. Phew. And that was the condensed QB storyline for this game. (On an unrelated note, I don’t believe Tom Savage stars in adult films in the off season, but he has a solid name for it if Osweiler can win the job back.)

In short, Osweiler has a lot to prove and can easily earn his job back with a win. Cook has nothing to lose. The rookie out of Michigan State has had all season to watch and learn from the success of once MVP-candidate Derek Carr. I know he is heavily praised within the organization and is arguably the most-promising, young, third-string quarterback in the league. (I don’t feel like looking up third-string quarterbacks for every team in the league, so let’s play it safe with ‘arguably the best, promising young one.)

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME PREDICTIONS

I traditionally don’t like to make these – primarily because I am extremely passionate with my opinions and almost always incorrect. Especially with the wild card round – it literally is a wild card every year. Having said that I will attempt to jinx the Steelers by picking them in a blowout. I hope Le’Veon Bell doesn’t read this and assume I am promoting marijuana use for him again. Because I said blowout.

Anyways, I will say Steelers 31-10. It’s never going to be close. They handle the Jay Ajayi situation on defense and Antonio Brown goes nuts for like 150 yards.

Houston and Oakland will be a horrible game. I will say 13-9 Oakland. Thankfully, they have a healthy Latavius Murray. He will run for 130 and score the game’s only touchdown.

VARSITY GAME PREDICTIONS

The Seahawks at home are always fun to watch. They play insane and I don’t know what their fans do while tailgating in the parking lot beforehand, but it certainly isn’t what I used to do while tailgating with my friends. I heard on the local news here in Portland that the Seahawks are installing one of those earthquake device thingy-s again (apparently, I was only half-paying attention to the news) to see if the stadium can be loud enough to cause an earthquake.

Can you not cause the megaquake that will demolish us all? Thanks.

It will be a good game and I have confidence in the Seahawks despite their occasional really, really, really ugly games this year. I Like Seattle 27, Detroit 17. Jimmy Graham scores and so does Thomas Rawls. The defense scores a touchdown somehow on a play that will be the game changer. Detroit falls to 0-9 in the wild card round.

Rodgers versus Manning. I bet the NFL ratings people are upset this is only a Wild Card match-up, but it will certainly have a NFC Conference championship feel when both teams take the field.

I like the Packers at home, but it’s close. Let’s say 30-27. The game will be tied and Rodgers will have to make a crazy drive with very little time on the clock to set up a field goal. I haven’t checked weather conditions for any of the games, but Lambeau Field in January is never pleasant. That seems to never be an excuse for the losing team though.

FINAL WORD

I’ve already rambled a lot about useless stuff, so I’ll get to the point. My projections are always wrong, so fear for your lives Seahawks fans. You’re welcome, Osweiler, and maybe Eli can beat Tom Brady in the Super Bowl again? I wouldn’t complain.

Go ‘Hawks, go Ducks, Go Beavers!

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About Author

Hello friends of the Pacific Northwest! I am still learning the ways of the west coast sports, but I have quickly grown fond of many of your sports team and I really enjoy writing about them all! I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania – not Philadelphia. 95% of the people I meet in Oregon assume I’m from Philadelphia. I went to college in Miami, Fla., moved to Denver, Colo. Before moving to Jamestown, N.Y. (south of Buffalo) where I was a sportswriter for the local newspaper for three years. I got involved with the YMCA and was a youth sports director for six years at several different branches. Working with kids is fun…and I enjoy it, but writing sports stories is usually more fun – unless I don’t have a topic to write about in mind. Then playing basketball with third graders is way more fun. I have evolved into a Blazers fan, and am a HUGE fan of Terry Stotts. I like the Seahawks and the Ducks. The Mariners are cool too. Baseball is my favorite sport and my favorite teams are the Miami Marlins, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Heat and the Indianapolis Colts. (When you grow up with a bunch of Steeler fans, you have to be a rebel and I really liked Marshall Faulk) I look forward to learning and writing about the sports scene here in Washington and Oregon. Go Blazers, Go Ducks, Go Mariners, Go Hawks! And I guess those Beavers, Timbers and Hops are floating around somewhere too.

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