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NFL Wild Card Handicapping Tips

NFL Wildcard Weekend Match-Ups

After 512 regular season games the playoff field of 12 teams has been set. The top four teams get a chance to sit back and watch this week as the other eight will fight for the right to move on.


Below are a few inside facts and tips for each game that will help you decide which teams will survive to play again and which teams will be one and done.

Saturday, January 9th – Wild card games

4:30 P.M.

New York Jets@ Cincinnati Bengals

The last time these two teams met was last Sunday in New York, with the Jets coming away with a dominating 37-0 shutout. New York is ranked #1 in the league in total defense, passing defense, points allowed and rushing offense. Jets RB Thomas Jones is averaging 4.2 yards per carry which is exactly the same as Bengals RB Cedric Benson. Jets QB Mark Sanchez has a passer rating of 63.0 while Bengals QB Carson Palmer has an 83.6. An MRI on Chad Ochocinco’s left knee was negative and he is expected to play.

8:00 P.M.

Philadelphia Eagles@ Dallas Cowboys

Dallas has already beat Philadelphia twice this season; 20-16 in week nine and 24-0 in week 17. The Cowboy’s offense is ranked 2nd in total yards but 14th in total points. The Eagle’s offense is ranked 11th in total yards but 5th in total points. In two games, Dallas has held Philadelphia’s #1 receiver, DeSean Jackson to just five catches for a total of 76 yards. Cowboy QB Tony Romo has completed 347 passes for 4,483 yards which are both new team records. Dallas head coach Wade Phillips is 0-4 all time in playoff games, while Philadelphia head coach Any Reid is 10-7.

Sunday, January 10th – Wild card games

1:00 P.M.

Baltimore Ravens@ New England Patriots

The last time these two teams met was back in week four with New England winning in Foxboro 27-21. Patriot WR Wes Welker, who caught a league high 123 passes is out for the season with a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee. Raven RB Ray Rice has gained over 2000 yards from scrimmage this season. The Ravens defense is ranked 3rd in points allowed, while the Patriots are ranked 5th. On offense the Ravens are ranked 13th overall, while the Patriots are ranked 3rd.

4:30 P.M.

Green Bay Packers@ Arizona Cardinals

The last time these two teams met was last Sunday in Arizona with Green Bay coming up big 33-7. Green Bay leads the league in turnover ratio at +24. The Packers offense is ranked 6th overall and their defense is ranked 2nd. The Cardinals offense is ranked 14th overall and their defense is ranked 20th. Green Bay went 5-1 in their last six games, while Arizona went 3-3. Packer QB Aaron Rodgers passed for 4,434 yards and 30 TD’s, but has been sacked a league high 50 times. Cardinal QB Kurt Warner threw for 3,753 yards and 26 TD’s and was sacked 24 times.

Momentum is a huge factor in every game, but in the playoffs it becomes even bigger. If the home team can get an early edge on the scoreboard, it keeps the crowd at a fever pitch all game long making it that much harder for the visiting team to get a win. If the visitors can take the crowd out of the game early and keep them quiet, playing on the road will actually work in their favor.

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  1. TheCoach has the Bengals, who watched the Jets dig their own grave
    last week.. you can’t show a team your entire play book and expect to
    beat them the next week.

    On the other hand the Eagles are way better than they played last
    week and too good of a team to be shut out two weeks in a row (not
    that you said they would be) but it will be a close battle .. much
    closer than last week but Dallas takes the game… gotta agree on
    that one

    The loss of Wes Welker is way to much for Tom Brady and the Pats
    offence.. Baltimore will feast on Brady who has broken ribs and
    Edelman is good but the connection Brady and Welker have is evident
    … about the only thing they dont do is sleep together…

    Green Bay will dominate. the Cards are
    back in the playoffs because of theyre weak division but havn’t
    impressed me this week

    Best of luck!