Bengals at Texans: The Texans finished the 2012 season slumping, going 2-3 in their last 5 games, and losing the #1 seed. The Bengals finished hot, going 4-1 and playing themselves into the playoffs. The Texans won’t be able to get much done through the air against the Bengals, but Arian Foster should be able to get it done on the ground. That and homefield should get the Texans past the Bengals, but I suspect their ride will end immediately after.
Viking at Packers: Adrian Peterson is a beast, no doubt, but I do not see the Vikings beating the Pack two weeks in a row, particularly not at Lambeau in January, and even if Greg Jennings would rather play inside. Packers.
Colts at Ravens: This week, Ray Lewis has announced that he’s retiring after this season. He also announced that he’ll be playing in the playoffs. And Joe Flacco hasn’t exactly been lighting it up recently. And Andrew Luck has. But the Ravens still have Ray Rice, and the Colts have a rookie QB and a defense that is putrid against the run. And there is NO WAY the team lets a wildcard loss be Ray-Ray’s last game. NO WAY. Ravens.
Seahawks at Redskins: This is a VERY INTERESTING matchup. Two dynamic rookie QBs. Two powerful running games. Two teams no one expected to see in the post-season this year. The Redskins are on fire going into the playoffs, winning their last seven games. The Seahawks are on fire going into the playoffs, winning their last five, including hanging 42 points on the #3 defense in the league. The NFL honchos chose wisely in putting this game on Sunday at 4:30. It should be excellent. The Seahawks should definitely go to the air against the Skins, who are almost dead last against the pass. But both of these teams have made their bones with their ground games. And if it’s true that offense wins games and defense wins championships, I’m going to have to go with the Skins, who are better against the run than the Hawks.