The road to Super Bowl LI officially begins tomorrow. Today I break down the four wildcard playoff games in both the NFC and AFC.
Raiders vs Texans: Saturday, January 7, 2017
The Oakland Raiders have made the playoffs for the first time since 2002. However, they come into this matchup with the Houston Texans on a negative note. MVP candidate Derek Carr is out of the remainder of the season after he suffered a broken fibula injury against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 16. Stepping in for Carr will be rookie Conor Cook out of Michigan State University. Cook is no stranger to playing on the biggest stage, but which Conor Cook will the Raiders have under center tomorrow?
The Conor Cook that led the Spartans to a thrilling Big Ten Conference Championship victory or the guy that could not move the football against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the semi-final round of the college football playoffs last season? With that being said, I believe that the Houston Texans will do just enough to leave NRG Stadium with a victory over the Raiders this Saturday.
Texans over Raiders
Lions vs Seahawks: Saturday, January 7, 2017
The Seattle Seahawks and the Detroit Lions finished the 2016 regular season on a sour note. Both teams had opportunities to secure the 2nd seed in the NFC Playoff Picture which is currently occupied by the Atlanta Falcons. The Seahawks will be the team that bounces back in this football game due to their ability to play at a higher level once the postseason starts.
Seahawks over Lions
Dolphins vs Steelers: Sunday, January 8, 2017
Back in Week 6, the Miami Dolphins steamrolled the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 30-15. The win over the Steelers is what elevated the Dolphins to a serious threat in the AFC. Tomorrow night they meet up once again, but the Dolphins will be without quarterback Ryan Tannehill who suffered a partially torn ACL against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14. Even if Tannehill was the Dolphins starting quarterback in this contest, I believe the Steelers would still win this football game.
Steelers over Dolphins
Giants vs Packers: Sunday, January 8, 2017
“I feel like we can run the table” “R.E.LA.X ” are statements by Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. Those remarks have changed the entire outlook of the Packers season. The “R.E.L.A.X.” comment catapulted the Packers into the NFC Championship Game against the Seattle Seahawks back in 2014. What will be the result of Rodgers latest comment “I feel like we can run the table?”
The Giants may have one of the best defenses in the National Football League right now, but they are facing the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL right now. It may not be pretty, but Packers will be moving on to the divisional round of the playoffs when it’s all said and done.
Packers over Giants
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