Who's ready to get wild?
Here's a refreshing realization. Other than Rex Ryan sticking his foot in his mouth (creative jokes only, please) regarding the "coaching" abilities of Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, there hasn't been much off-the-field drama heading into wild-card weekend. For fear of jinxing that last statement, I'm here to take a quick look at all four games and offer my predictions. Feel free to bust out your own crystal ball in the comments section below.
New Orleans at Seattle: The talk has quickly shifted from whether 7-9 Seattle should be entitled to play postseason host to whether the Seahawks can actually win. We love our David over Goliath (or Rocky over Ivan Drago, in my case), but here's the reality: The Seahawks are near the bottom of the league in most offensive and defensive categories. Their starting quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck, has eight interceptions (and only two touchdowns) in his last four games. Seattle is the only playoff team with no Pro Bowlers. I'm sorry Seattle, but it's hard to envision any scenario other than Drew Brees and company lighting it up and Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams having a field day.
Winner: Saints (I know, I know, I'm going out on a limb here)
Jets at Colts: The good news for the Jets is they play better on the road (6-2, regular season). The bad news is they have little momentum entering this game, especially from the sore-shouldered Mark Sanchez, who was coming into his own at this time last year. The Colts' injury decimation and some underachieving postseasons aside, Peyton Manning has his grove back, and the Jets' best (and only?) shot at a "W" is to pound the ball on the ground and keep No. 18 off the field.
Baltimore at Kansas City: The crowd noise will be as deafening in Kansas City as it is in Seattle, but at Arrowhead, fans may have reason to cheer past the intros. The most intriguing battle here is the Chiefs' NFL-best rushing attack vs. the Ravens' top-five rushing defense. Whether Joe Flacco can find his long-lost mate, Anquan Boldin, should also play a factor. But watch out for USC's best NFL quarterback. Matt Cassel and the Chiefs have been mighty underrated all season.
Packers at Eagles: This sets up to be the wild card granddaddy of them all, featuring evenly matched teams oozing with talent. No other game so perfectly fits Newtonian Law. For Michael Vick the rusher, there's Clay Matthews. For Michael Vick the passer, there's Charles Woodson. For Aaron Rodgers the passer, there's a finally healthy Asante Samuel. You get the point.