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Friday, January 4, 2013
Friday Forecast: wild-card predictions

By Jamison Hensley

I picked both games correctly last Sunday for my first perfect week since Week 11. Way to end the regular season strong. But it's a new season with the playoffs (although these games will still count in my season record):

Bengals 20, Texans 13: The Bengals haven't won a playoff game in 22 years, but this is about recent history. Cincinnati has won seven of its past eight games, with its only blemish being a one-point loss to the Cowboys. The Bengals have allowed 12.8 points on average in the second half of the season and they get a faltering Texans offense. As long as Andy Dalton doesn't turn the ball over, the Bengals will celebrate a monumental victory for the franchise.

Ravens 34, Colts 20: While I went with the hotter team (Bengals) in my other prediction, I'm taking the struggling one here for a few reasons. This game is in Baltimore, where Joe Flacco has won 17 of his past 18 games against non-divisional opponents, including playoffs. This is the first playoff game for Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, who has turned the ball over frequently (18 interceptions and nine fumbles). And this comes just days after linebacker Ray Lewis announced his retirement, which will be a rallying point for the Ravens.



Week 17 record: 2-0. Season record: 31-18 (.632).

Bengals 23, Ravens 17 (my prediction: Bengals 20, Ravens 13)

Steelers 24, Browns 10 (my prediction: Steelers 24, Browns 6)