NFL 2022-2023 Wildcard Prequel

NFL 2022-203 WildCard Prequel

The Wildcard Playoff games are set:

Saturday, January 14, 2023, 4:30pm

NFC: 7) Seattle Seahawks at 2) San Francisco 49ers (-9 1/2) on FOX — A decade ago these teams were fighting for supremacy in the NFC. The 49ers are as good if not better than those teams. Their defense is just as nasty if not nastier. The Seahawks are no longer the Legion of Boom. Now they are just a plucky over-achieving team. Pete Carroll has his finger on the pulse of his team like nobody else. He has certainly helped Geno Smith. Yet the 49ers have the story of the year in Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy, who is 5-0 as a starter. This game will not be a blowout given the intense rivalry of these teams. Yet the 49ers are the superior team with the better defense. 49ers win but fail to cover


AFC: 5) Los Angeles Chargers (-2) at 4) Jacksonville Jaguars on NBC — The Jaguars were 2-6 and then Doug Pederson turned them around. Early in the season the Jaguars went on the road and throttled the Chargers 38-10. The Chargers on paper are the better team. Yet the Jaguars have momentum. Home field will not be an issue since these are both warm weather teams. Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence are both playing well. The Chargers have the better receivers and the Jaguars have the better running game.The Jaguars have a slight edge on defense. The coaching edge is not close. Pederson is much better than Brandon Staley, who frequently makes reckless gambles. The Chargers have a couple of injuries at key positions. Go with momentum. The Jaguars are peaking at the right time. Upset special, Jaguars win outright

Sunday, January 15, 1pm

AFC: 7) Miami Dolphins at 2) Buffalo Bills (-13) on CBS — These teams split a pair of nasty games. Early in the season these teams were evenly matched. Yet Tua Tagovailoa has been injured in several games this season. He is out this game, which makes it a mismatch. The Bills are still riding the wave of emotion coming from the Damar Hamlin situation. Hamlin has made a miraculous recovery, and the Bills have rallied around him. Even without those events, the Bills have the home field crowd, the cold weather against a warm weather team, an outstanding defense, and a great quarterback in Josh Allen. The Dolphins lost five straight games before eking out a 9-6 win over the reeling Jets at home to back into the playoffs. The Bills are in Super Bowl mode. The Dolphins will not be able to keep up playing a backup quarterback. Bills cover


NFC: 6) New York Giants at 3) Minnesota Vikings (-3) on FOX — The Giants are a feel-good story. Brian Daboll has turned the Giants around and gotten the most out of Daniel Jones. Saquon Barkley is running well. Yet the Giants are not built to come back if they fall behind. The Vikings have an explosive offense. Kirk Cousins can go to Justin Jefferson any time, with Dalvin Cook running to keep defenses honest. The Vikings set an NFL record by overcoming a 33-0 halftime deficit to win. The Vikings have lost a couple brutal games at home, but the Giants lack the firepower. Inside a comfortable dome, go with the speed of the Vikings offense. Vikings cover


AFC: 6) Baltimore Ravens at 3) Cincinnati Bengals (-7) on NBC — Last year the Ravens were 8-3 until Lamar Jackson got injured. The Ravens then went 0-6. This year the Ravens were 10-3 and in contention to win the AFC North. Then Jackson got hurt again and the Ravens backed into the playoffs with four straight losses. The Bengals started 0-2 before quickly turning things around. Joe Burrow has so many weapons to go to. With Jackson, this is an exciting game. Without him, this is a mismatch. The Bengals beat the Ravens by 11 last week. You can only throw in so many wrinkles with backup quarterbacks. The Ravens win with running and defense, which is tough to do when trailing. Bengals cover

Monday, January 16, 8pm

NFC: 5) Dallas Cowboys (-2 1/2) at 4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers on ESPN/ABC — The Buccaneers only went 8-9, becoming the fourth team to make the playoffs with a losing record. This was Tom Brady’ s first losing season. On paper, the Cowboys are the better team. Yet Brady is undefeated against the Cowboys, going 7-0 in that span. Home field will not matter. Neither of these teams plays in cold weather. Dak Prescott and company play well in the regular season, but often flame out in the postseason. Mike McCarthy knows offense and Todd Bowles knows defense. These Buccaneers are a shell of the team that won it all two years ago, but the Cowboys do not get the benefit of the doubt until they prove themselves in the postseason. Brady gutted the Buccaneers to the postseason and may have one more miracle left in him. Betting against him has been a fool’s errand for a long time. Upset special, Buccaneers win outright

Comments are closed.