POORE'S PICKS: Wildcard Weekend

Jim Poore is back with his weekly picks Column. With just four games this weekend, here's what Jim thinks will happen in the Wildcard Round of the playoffs.

 It has been an amazing NFL season once again, and every year it seems to get better and better. And now that the playoffs are here, I don't see any reason why the excellence won't continue. As usual, any team on any given Sunday can win. That's why I wouldn't be shocked if any team, with the possible exception of Cincinnati, won this year's Super Bowl. Sure, there are the favorites, especially Denver right now. But the parity is so unbelievable that anything can happen. I cannot wait for this weekend's games. Saturday can't get here soon enough. I am saying that. Imagine what the players are thinking. Let's get right to the important picks for this weekend's games.
 
As always, home team in CAPS.
 
Houston  4 1/2  Cincinnati
The Texans have totally collapsed the last month of the season. May be they weren't that good after all. I am starting to believe that Matt Schaub is not the answer at quarterback, and this will actually be his first playoff game. The Bengals are good, and they are in their second straight playoff game with Houston. Their defense is actually very good, and lately the Texans' offense has been sputtering. Something has to give. Houston has not been good lately, but there is absolutely no way they lose at home here.
Texans 23-16
 
GREEN BAY  8  Minnesota
These two teams are playing for the second straight week, but I think the results are going to be vastly different. Adrian Peterson has been incredible this year, and I like how he showed a team first attitude during the game. I think a lot of people are dismissing Green Bay. I also think that is a big mistake. I still don't really believe in the Vikings. I do believe in the Packers. I actually think Green Bay will win this one fairly easily.
Packers  27-17
 
BALTIMORE   6 1/2  Indianapolis
The Ravens get Ray Lewis back, and it could be a big emotional lift as he announced his retirement after the season. Baltimore struggled a bit near the end of the year, but I still think they can be a very dangerous team in the post season. Andrew Luck has led Indianapolis to an incredible year, but they are a very different team on the road. And the last time I checked, this game is in Baltimore. The Colts have a very bright future, and the Ravens' time could be ending. But not yet.
Ravens  20-13
 
Seattle  3  Washington
The Redskins are an underdog at home, which is unbelievable to me. That tells us the respect the Seahawks are getting, though it is absolutely deserved. They are a very interesting team. I am still not sold on the Redskins, at least not yet. I am not sure too many people are either which is why they are a home underdog. Next year could be the year we really see things take off in Washington. But that is next year. I think Seattle will win here.
Seahawks 21-14
 
Record For Week 17: 8-8 ( 13-3 without the spread )
Final Record For 2012 Season: 117-124-4 ( 143-102 without the spread )
Final Game of Week Record: 7-9
Final Stinker of Week Record: 6-10




Jim Poore has been a long time contributor to Patriots Insider with his weekly picks column. Let him know what you think. Email him here:


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