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NFL Wild Card Predictions

The Patriots are coming off a very disappointing loss in a must win game at Gillette Stadium against the Dolphins.  With a victory over Miami, New England would have achieved the number two seed and a highly coveted first round bye.  Even with all of this being said, Tom Brady will still guide his team to victory over old friend Mike Vrabel and the Titans. Even though Brady isn’t having a great season, he always turns into an entirely different animal come playoff time. He’ll count on big games from Julian Edelman and James White just like he did in their last Super Bowl run. Derrick Henry holds the crown of the NFL’s leading rusher, but the Pats lead the league in allowing a minuscule 77.2 opponent’s rushing yards at home. Their secondary is also no slouch as Stephon Gilmore will look to shut down offensive rookie of the year candidate AJ Brown. 

The Buffalo Bills will go into Houston and come out victorious against the Texans. Buffalo arguably boasts the hottest defense in the AFC.  Leading this group are Tre’Davious White, (having an All-Pro type season) and Tremaine Edmunds leading the team with 66 tackles. It’s very easy to forget about the growth of Josh Allen with the success of their defense. Since week 7, Allen has accumulated 21 total touchdowns and only 2 interceptions.  The run game has also been solid as Devin Singletary has averaged 5.1 yards per rush since replacing Frank Gore to be the team’s lead back. 

Saints coaches, players, and fans want to forget the last time they met Minnesota in the playoffs. Case Keenum’s throw to Stephon Diggs followed by the missed tackle from Marcus Williams will be entrenched in their minds forever.  However, they will get their much sought after chance of revenge. I believe the Saints will indeed get revenge on the Vikings. Drew Brees and the Saints offense have been on fire, scoring at least 34 points in each of their last 4 games. Michael Thomas broke Marvin Harrison’s record for receptions in a single season with 149.  With Xavier Rhodes having a down year, the Vikings secondary hasn’t been as great as in recent years. Look for Drew Brees to have a huge game and Michael Thomas to once again exceed the 100 yard plateau on Sunday.

The Seahawks and the Eagles will meet at Lincoln Financial Field for the finale of Wild Card Weekend.  Many believe that the Eagles only made the playoffs by virtue of a weak division. The 9-7 team has more injured starters than one could possibly fathom, which include Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffrey, and Brandon Graham.  The Seahawks are fairly healthy if you exclude the running back position. Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, and CJ Prosise have all gone down with season ending injuries. This led the team to sign two old friends in Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin.  Lynch ended up in the end zone during his first game back from retirement this past Sunday against the 49ers. I expect Russell Wilson and the Seahawks to march into Philadelphia and pick up a victory. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf should have their way against a depleted Eagles defense.

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