NFL Wild Card preview

NFL Wild Card preview

Carson Field, Sports Editor

The NFL playoffs start this weekend with the four Wild Card matchups. On Saturday, the AFC playoffs start when the Chiefs face the Texans and the Steelers face the Bengals. In the NFC on Sunday, the Seahawks face the Vikings and the Packers face the Redskins.

The first game on Saturday, the Chiefs vs. the Texans, is not the most exciting playoff matchup. The Texans have struggled offensively this season and are more of a defensive team. The Chiefs, on the other hand, are arguably the hottest team in the NFL.

The Chiefs are riding on a 10-game winning streak, which I don’t expect to end this weekend. The Texans defense is not bad, but I don’t think they’ll be strong enough to stop the Chiefs’ offense. This game has a chance to get out of hand with the combination of the Texans’ weak offense and the Chiefs’ strong defense.

The second AFC matchup, the Steelers vs. the Bengals, could be more interesting. The Bengals are the three-seed in the AFC, as they had a strong season, while the Steelers had a slow start to the season, but ended the season very hot.

One question that all Bengals fans are asking is whether or not they will be able to get their first playoff win since 1991. The Bengals have been able to make the playoffs for five years in a row, but have not won one of those games, disappointing the Cincinnati fanbase. To lower the Bengals’ 2016 playoff chances, starting quarterback Andy Dalton is out for the Wild Card round, and AJ McCarron will be the starter.

On the other hand, the Steelers are coming into this game as one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They have had great success passing the ball with veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and success on the ground game with backup running back Le’Veon Bell. With the Bengals’ solid defense, I expect this to be a close game, but I think the Steelers will end up winning this game, despite not having home-field advantage.

The NFC playoffs start with the matchup between the Seahawks and Vikings. This is a very intriguing matchup, as the Seahawks won the last matchup between the two 38-7. I don’t expect this matchup to be that lopsided however. The Vikings have played well since the blowout, led by star running back Adrian Peterson, who was the regular season rushing leader.

The Seahawks started the season off rough, as they had a record of 2-4, which was tied for last in the NFC West. The entire team, the defense and offense, have improved tremendously since their rocky start to the season. The main key to this game is the Vikings’ rushing game, if they can move the ball on this stellar Seattle defense, then they will have a good chance to win. However, I don’t expect Peterson to have a great week, which will ultimately lead to a close game won by the Seahawks.

Finally, the late game on Sunday is the Packers facing the Redskins. This can be an intriguing matchup because these teams have had opposite seasons. The Packers started the season 6-0, went on a slump losing six of their last 10 games. The Redskins, on the other hand, started the season 2-4, but ended the season winning seven of their last ten games.

This should be a close game because the Packers are a more talented team, but the Redskins are a hotter team currently. Young quarterback Kirk Cousins has had a fantastic end to the season, as the has the highest QBR since week seven. Formerly known as the best quarterback in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers has had a disappointing season, which has ultimately cost the Packers a few wins. This will be a close game, but the way the Redskins have played recently will lead them to victory against Green Bay.

Wild Card round projected scores


Kansas City 20, Houston 6

Pittsburgh 28, Cincinnati 17


Seattle 24, Minnesota 21

Washington 27, Green Bay 20