The NFL's Wild Card Playoffs begin at 4:30 PM EST this afternoon! For whatever reason, I'm far more excited than usual for the start of the playoffs this year. I'm obviously a Buffalo Bills fan first and foremost, but I love getting the opportunity to watch good teams play for keeps - and I especially like the fact that we're going to see some different teams than usual today.
Feel like making some predictions, Rumblers? I know I do. This is your open thread for today's games, your predictions for today's games, and anything else playoffs-related.
Arizona, as poorly as they've played over the stretch run this season, is going to be a tough out at home. But the NFL playoffs are about doing two things well - running the football and playing solid defense. Arizona's D will be fine, but they can't run the ball. Atlanta can. If Atlanta can find a way to keep Arizona's solid offense from scoring quickly to open the game, the Falcons should win easily. If they can't, they'll win the hard way - on a comeback behind their rookie quarterback.
Prediction: FALCONS 27, CARDINALS 20
Familiar Faces: Falcons DT Jason Jefferson, SS Lawyer Milloy, LS Mike Schneck, LB Coy Wire; Cardinals OL Mike Gandy.
These are two of the hottest teams in the NFL. The Colts have won 9 straight after starting 3-4, while the Chargers won 4 straight to close their season with an AFC West Division championship - with a giant assist from our Bills. This game is a lot tougher for me to call than I expected it would be. The Chargers beat the Colts in Indy last season in the divisional playoffs, and they always play well at home. In the end, however, I just like the Colts' running game better, and Peyton Manning will always trump Philip Rivers.
Prediction: COLTS 29, CHARGERS 24
DT John McCargo None, but it was a close shave.