Wild Card Weekend is in the books and it took a miraculous comeback by the Colts to at least get me to a 2-2 record for the day. Honestly, I was really surprised about the #6 seeds coming through.
New Orleans Saints (11-5) at Seattle Seahawks (13-3)
Saturday, 3:35 PM CST, Fox
Line: Seahawks -8, O/U 46
Let’s call this one the Midget Bowl, as it’s the first playoff matchup of QB’s listed at 6’0″ or less since 1978. The first matchup of the weekend offers another rematch from earlier this season. Just about a month ago, the Saints went to Seattle and got spanked 34-7. The Saints broke their playoff road curse with a 26-24 win in Philadelphia. They’ll take a step up in class in caliber of opponent and difficult places to play this week in a trip to Seattle.
The Seahawks earned the home field advantage through a terrific regular season and it will come in handy against the Saints. Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” secondary could be the key to slowing down the Saints’ biggest weapon, Jimmy Graham, who was limited to just 3 catches for 42 yards in their Week 13 matchup.
On the other side, the Seahawks will use their proven formula of mixing up Marshawn Lynch with Russell Wilson’s effective passing game. Percy Harvin’s second return from hip issues could provide an added dimension to an already lethal Seahawks offense.
Prediction: Seahawks 27 – Saints 20
Indianapolis Colts (11-5) at New England Patriots (12-4)
Saturday, 7:35 PM CST, CBS
Line: Patriots -7.5, O/U 52
The Patriots welcome the Colts after Andrew Luck led the second biggest comeback in playoff history, overcoming a 38-10 deficit to rally to a 45-44 win over the Chiefs last weekend. Meanwhile, the Patriots come off another first round bye and get ready for Tom Brady’s eleventh playoff run. Despite sustained success, the Patriots haven’t won the Super Bowl since 2004. Is the end of the Belichick – Brady dynasty in sight?
This season has felt out of sync for the Pats. Between the Aaron Hernandez murder case to everything that comes with Gronk, Brady and the Pats offense hasn’t been able to get off the ground with their usual efficiency.
The Patriots and Colts have been regular participants in the postseason, but this is the first time that the new-look Colts, behind Andrew Luck, square off with Brady and the Pats.
It’s a pretty evenly matched game, so I’ll take the hotter team coming in.
Prediction: Colts 27 – Patriots 24