The regular season is over and the real games will now begin. The time that many have been waiting for is finally here. The playoffs present a different type of intensity. Gone are the times when players take plays off and preserve themselves. Now is the time when players play for keeps. They can see the ending in sight and that includes their shot at a ring. But of course these games will be decided by individual and team efforts. It’s time for the General Proclamations: Wildcard Edition.
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans
- The Houston Texans have been led by defensive lineman JJ Watt. And he will show up and play well in this game. Look for him to have one sack and countless quarterback hurries in this game.
- The Kansas City Chiefs have their own tandem of pass rushers in outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. And with Houston scheduled to play this game, look for the Chiefs to get at least three sacks as a team in this one.
- The Kansas City Chiefs have been solid in the running game without Jamaal Charles. Look for them to be solid in this one, just in an unconventional way. Quarterback Alex Smith will have at least 70 yards rushing to go along with his two touchdown passes in this game.
- The score of this game will be 24-14 and the Chiefs will come out the winner.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
- Much has been made of the Steelers not having that strong a defense this year. But in this one, look for someone up front to step up. His name you may ask: Bud Dupree. The rookie outside linebacker out of the University of Kentucky will have at least one and a half sacks in this one and will be the force they expected him to be.
- The Bengals, not to be outdone, have a feared pass rusher in Carlos Dunlap. And in this one, he will get tons of pressure but will not get a sack. He will play hard and play well, but with Big Ben back there avoiding and shrugging off defenders, he will save his team a few sacks.
- The Bengals offense seemingly ran well with backup quarterback AJ McCarron in place of Andy Dalton. But the playoffs are a different animal. And in the playoffs, McCarron will have to play airtight football. But being that he is inexperienced, the Steelers will force him into that one crucial turnover that will cost the Bengals.
- This will be a close one, but the edge goes to the Steelers in Cincinnati, 28-24.
Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings
- The running game has been a staple of both teams for so long. But in this one, both teams will key on the running game, causing both the Vikings and the Seahawks to be rendered almost useless in the running game. And with Marshawn Lynch not able to play (abdomen injury), even trying to establish the Seattle running game will be harder. Look for both teams to not rush for over 100 yards as a team.
- The Seahawk defense has been known to be tough on opponents over years. Expect them to give Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater a run for his money. And with that, Teddy will have a solid day but it will be one that has him hurrying to throw the ball more than usual, as he is sacked a minimum of three times in this one.
- The Vikings front four has been playing well. But in this game, the Seahawks offensive line is playing better than they have all year. Seattle will not give up any sacks in this game.
- This will be another close one, with the road team winning again. Seattle 23. Minnesota 17
Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins
- The Green Bay Packers have been struggling to pass the ball to any of their receivers. With the combination of a bad offensive line and no separation when receivers run routes has made it a little harder for quarterback Aaron Rodgers to get some things done. Well in this one, he will have some trouble as well. Expect the veteran to let it all hang out in this one. Look for him to have at least two touchdown passes while he throws for 250 yards.
- Washington has their own gunslinger in Kirk Cousins back there at quarterback. And he has definitely been playing well down the stretch. But this is the playoffs and Kirk has never started in a playoff game before. So expect some mistakes to happen from him. And in this one, he will have one big interception that will hurt the Redskins down the stretch of this game.
- This game will be won in the trenches. Which team can protect the quarterback, run the football and pressure the quarterback best will win the game. The Redskins have the upper hand in protecting the quarterback better due to Green Bay’s offensive line issues, but Green Bay could have the upper hand in the other departments. Expect Clay Matthews to have at huge impact in this one along with Eddie Lacy running the ball for at least 80 yards for the Packers.
- This one will be a close one with Green Bay sneaking by Washington 27-24.
It’s the most wonderful time in the year for sports fans. Have fun watching the games. It should be fun to see how they all pan out.