Complete Wild Card Weekend Preview

Jan 7, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; NFL wild card logo on the field prior to the start of the 2011 NFC Wild Card Playoff game between the Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Our Beloved Chicago Bears aren’t in the playoffs, but NFL life goes on and Wild Card Weekend is almost upon us.  Let’s do a quick preview of each of the games on tap for this weekend. 

Jan 07, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks for an open receiver during the first quarter of the 2011 AFC wild card playoff game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals at Texans

Saturday, 3:30 PM CST on NBC 5 Chicago

It’s a rematch of last season’s Wild Card matchup, but this time the Texans are disappointed to end up playing this weekend.  For a big chunk of the season, the Texans were at or near the top of NFL Power Rankings, but a late season stumbled pushed them out of a first round bye into hosting the Bengals.   Texans heading in the wrong direction, Bengals defense is surging and AJ Green is special.

Prediction: Bengals 19, Texans 17

Dec 30, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh (3) kicks a field goal as time expires to defeat the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome. The Vikings win 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings at Packers

Saturday, 7PM CST on NBC 5 Chicago

In a rematch of last Sunday’s classic that kept the Bears out of the postseason and may have ultimately spelled the end to Lovie Smith’s run as Bears head coach, the Vikings head to Lambeau for the third matchup of the season.  The biggest question is whether the Packers defense will be able to slow down Adrian Peterson enough for Aaron Rodgers and the offense to come out on top.  My answer is yes.  Peterson’s remarkable season comes to an end as the hated Packers advance.

Prediction: Packers 34, Vikings 20

Sep 23, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis (52) prior to the game against the New England Patriots at M

Colts at Ravens

Sunday 12PM on CBS 2 Chicago

Ray Lewis is set to hang ‘em up after 17 seasons, paving his way to Canton.  Even coming off an injury that caused him to miss a big chunk of the 2012 campaign, he’s motivating his team by putting his retirement out there “when this run is over.” Raven teammates won’t let that run end at home against rookie Andrew Luck and the overmatched Colts.

Prediction: Ravens 23, Colts 13

Dec 30, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) hands off to Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris (46) during the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at FedEX Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA Today Sports

Seahawks at Redskins

Sunday 3:30 PM CST on Fox 32 Chicago

A battle of rookie of the year candidates Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III has all the makings of a classic.   The Seahawks are as hot as anyone heading into Wild Card Weekend.  Russell Wilson has had this team surging since driving them 177 yards on the Bears in their final two drives.  When you have rookie quarterbacks involved, I’ll go with the guy playing at home.

Prediction: Redskins 24, Seahawks 20

What are your predictions?  Who are you rooting for this weekend?

Topics: Chicago Bears, Wild Card Weekend

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