NFL Wild Card Saturday open thread

posted at 2:31 pm on January 4, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Ed: Welcome to the playoffs — and a new format for our NFL prediction threads. Jazz has been doing a lot of bragging about his record filling in for me on a few Sundays. I went 8-1 in my final week to finish the season at 55-37-1, a winning percentage that would have gotten me a playoff spot in some divisions this year. Jazz went eleventy-seven and three, or something — so now we’ll be partnering on predictions in the playoffs and in future seasons. That means, of course, that we’ll have the Steelers and Jets winning every single week, but …

Jazz: This is a great idea, since I very much enjoyed the chance to fill in for Ed this season and do some of the picks. So for that, I give him full credit. (Though if you compare our records, that may be about all he gets credit for when it comes to football prognostication.) Yes, next season will be filled with accurate predictions of NY Jets victories and hopeful calls along the same lines for the Steelers. I’m always willing to support the Steelers as long as they’re not playing Gang Green, so we can generally agree on those. As to this weekend’s playoff picture, I’ve promised not to publicly hold Ed’s somewhat … “victory challenged” predictive skills this year against him, so we’ll just write these picks of his off to youthful enthusiasm. Let’s do this thing.

Ed: All right, enough with the preliminaries — let’s get to today’s games. In the first game (4:35 pm ET, NBC), the Chiefs travel to Indianapolis to take on the AFC Central champion Colts. The Colts finished strong, beating KC on the road in week 16, but the Chiefs rested their starters last week and still nearly beat the playoff-bound Chargers. I’m picking the Chiefs to win this one on the road, 27-23.

Jazz: In the early game we find the Chiefs, who have certainly strung together a season record to be proud of. They started off 9-0, but have since managed to finish up at 11-5. That shows you the general arc of this team, and I don’t expect things to change. Plus, the Chiefs simply aren’t geared up to play in the brutal weather conditions of the Indianapolis, er… dome. So I’m taking the home team, with the Colts winning 31-17 in a relative blowout.

Ed: In tonight’s game (8:10 pm ET, NBC), the New Orleans Saints have to play in Philadelphia’s cold weather. The Eagles, at least, are hot — winning seven of their last eight with Nick Foles at QB. The Saints struggle away from the Superdome, only going 3-5 this season, and are not a cold-weather team. The line has Philly up by three, but I’ll predict a 31-21 win for the Eagles.

Jazz: For the late game, Ed has taken the Philadelphia Eagles. That would be an excellent choice if the Most Awful Fans in the League were actually allowed down on the field to pelt the Saints with ice balls, beer bottles and rocks. Unfortunately, the Iggles will be left to their own devices against one of the premier passing games in the league. The weather has already cleared in Philly, so it’s not going to be a Snow Bowl situation. The cold won’t prevent the air war from taking down the birds in a close match, so I’ll take the Saints over the Eagles in a lower scoring game, 24-14.

 

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The Eagles fans are not the worst fans they are excessively exuberant.

celtic warrior on January 4, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Wow. Where is everyone?

KCB on January 4, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Go Giants. Er, wait . . .

rbj on January 4, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Colts, Saints.

KCB on January 4, 2014 at 2:40 PM

The Saints have a chance, but I will not hold my breath. “On paper” they have a better team but their road woes this year are legendary. They did almost win one road game in the Northeast this year (at New England) but that was not in January. And they will be missing one of their very best wide receivers, Marques Colston.

The Iggles will try to shut down Jimmy Graham, but that leaves Brees’ other weapons open. Don’t know if that will be enough.

In the early game I gotta go with KC. Any Reid has done a tremendous job.

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM

KC and Saints ….

conservative tarheel on January 4, 2014 at 2:47 PM

The Eagles fans are not the worst fans they are excessively exuberant.

celtic warrior on January 4, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Back in 2012 Bleacher Report rated the 10 teams with the nastiest fans.

Philly ranked 4th. #1 was the Lions fans.

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Kansas City should win, but the recent change in trajectory doesn’t paint a confident picture. As for the Eagles/Saints game, I’m going to throw it to the Eagles. They can do the work of knocking out future Carolina opposition.

Also, gonna make the early call for the Chargers.

nobar on January 4, 2014 at 2:50 PM

I’ve got an Obillion dollar bill in my pocket that says Dallas will find a way to lose tonight.

BobMbx on January 4, 2014 at 2:59 PM

My heart says KANSAS CITY!

My head says they’ll choke like they do every freakin year.

Rogue on January 4, 2014 at 3:02 PM

As long as the Packers don’t win the NFC – I’m happy with whomever wins.

gophergirl on January 4, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Colts & Eagles today. Keeping it safe.

22044 on January 4, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Geaux Saints! :) :) :)

Theophile on January 4, 2014 at 3:11 PM

GO CHIEFS!!!! (and Eagles)

missouriyankee on January 4, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Pittsburgh will win!

gerrym51 on January 4, 2014 at 3:22 PM

I’ll go out on a small limb and predict the home team will win all 4 Wild Card tilts this weekend.

fortcoins on January 4, 2014 at 3:25 PM

My heart says KANSAS CITY!
My head says they’ll choke like they do every freakin year.
Rogue on January 4, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Here’s hoping they break free of their legacy and manage not to choke tonight!

JadeNYU on January 4, 2014 at 3:31 PM

I’ve got an Obillion dollar bill in my pocket that says Dallas will find a way to lose tonight.

BobMbx on January 4, 2014 at 2:59 PM

You must be in Colorado choomin’ up a storm…./
;)

dentarthurdent on January 4, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Here’s hoping they break free of their legacy and manage not to choke tonight!

JadeNYU on January 4, 2014 at 3:31 PM

I know what you mean. My Saints have never, ever in their 46 years won a playoff game on the road (the Superbowl is a neutral site, so it doesn’t count as on the road).

Theophile on January 4, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Alex Smith has the where-with-all to pull off an upset tonight, but think it’s the Bengals that will end up in the Super Bowl.

New Orleans beats both the Eagles and the Seahawks and then comes to Candlestick for one more memorable game. The 49ers then hand the Saints another humiliating loss and go on to defeat the Bengals in the SB………for the third time!

Go Niners!

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Pittsburgh will win!

gerrym51 on January 4, 2014 at 3:22 PM

The Ste(a)lers were robbed!

Hehe.

Hot Gas on January 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Well, at least the Broncos’ lousy defense won’t cause us to lose THIS weekend…..

dentarthurdent on January 4, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Since CBS is airing both games, will Costas finally be consistent on his “Redskins r racists” and call out Kansas City?

I know, cue the laughter.

nobar on January 4, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Colts and Eagles. Both home teams.

The Chiefs are headed downhill, and the Saints simply can’t win on the road.

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Just turned on the pregame show on ABC and there was Bob Costas.

So I turned it off.

fogw on January 4, 2014 at 4:17 PM

I won’t go 4 for 4 but I’m rooting for all the road teams: Chiefs, Saints, Chargers, & 49ers.

Bitter Clinger on January 4, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

The Niners will have to win on the frozen tundra in Green Bay, and then “at” Carolina in order to reach the NFC championship game.

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Saints on the road, in Philly, where it’s freezing cold.

Buh-Bye Brees.

fogw on January 4, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Does anyone realize that Drew Brees for his playoff career has a passer rating of 103.9, the second best in NFL history?

And Nick Foles has never played a playoff game.

Being certain that the Eagles will prevail is akin to predicting
a newcomer is going to win the Oscar over Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, or Angelina Jolie.

technopeasant on January 4, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Since CBS is airing both games, will Costas finally be consistent on his “Redskins r racists” and call out Kansas City?

I know, cue the laughter.

nobar on January 4, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Just turned on the pregame show on ABC and there was Bob Costas.

So I turned it off.

fogw on January 4, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Just in case someone’s not finding the game, it’s actually on NBC.

fortcoins on January 4, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Saints record on the road in playoffs, 0-4.

fogw on January 4, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Colts in a landslide.
Saints in a squeaker up in a very cold Philadelphia tonight.

P.S. Much like Jazz always picks the Jets and Ed always picks the Steelers, I’ll never favor the hated Beagles.

simkeith on January 4, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Colts. Eggles.

BKeyser on January 4, 2014 at 4:45 PM

FLY, EAGLES FLY…!!!!

JohnGalt23 on January 4, 2014 at 4:48 PM

gophergirl on January 4, 2014 at 3:05 PM

I really want the Packers to win.

GO PACKERS …

conservative tarheel on January 4, 2014 at 4:50 PM

I see 1-1 in your futures. As BKeyser said, Colts and Iggles, with the NFL getting rid of the division champ advantage next year.

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2014 at 4:53 PM

The Eagles fans are not the worst fans they are excessively exuberant.

celtic warrior on January 4, 2014 at 2:38 PM

And Obamacare is just a little glitchy.

Sorry CW, Eagles fans have a track record of bad behavior. They even once booed Santa! And it isn’t just football- The Phillies “bat day” went infamously badly.

Happy Nomad on January 4, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Andrew Luck is a very, very special player. He’s going to go down as one of the greatest.

GOPRanknFile on January 4, 2014 at 4:59 PM

I really want the Packers to win.

GO PACKERS …

conservative tarheel on January 4, 2014 at 4:50 PM

I don’t really care who wins the game but I’m happy it’s being held at Green Bay. I like to see the idiots in single-digit temps spelling out bare-chested messages to the world. ;0

Happy Nomad on January 4, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Impressive opening drives for both teams.

fortcoins on January 4, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Saints on the road, in Philly, where it’s freezing cold.

Buh-Bye Brees.

fogw on January 4, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Saints record on the road in playoffs, 0-4.

fogw on January 4, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Actually the Saints road record in the playoffs is 0-5. Losses in recent years at SF and Seattle, and in 1990 and 2006 at Chicago. The 5th road loss was in 2000 at Minnesota.

In the playoffs against Philly, the Saints are 1-1. Both of those games were played at the Superdome.

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2014 at 5:03 PM

New Orleans beats both the Eagles and the Seahawks

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

How are things in Denver? (cough)

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Ha, Chiefs have to settle for a field goal.

rbj on January 4, 2014 at 5:08 PM

…Go LIONS!!!…

KOOLAID2 on January 4, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Ugh, the Colts have a problem in their secondary.

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Ugh, the Colts have a problem in their secondary.

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 5:19 PM

You would think the secondary’s job would be made easier with the injury of Charles. Just goes to show how bad that secondary really is.

GOPRanknFile on January 4, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Colts in a landslide.
simkeith on January 4, 2014 at 4:36 PM

So far, the landslide is going the other way….

dentarthurdent on January 4, 2014 at 5:32 PM

How are things in Denver? (cough)

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2014 at 5:04 PM

If “the best defense is a good offensive”, the Broncos would be in good shape – but I don’t think that phrase applies in football….

dentarthurdent on January 4, 2014 at 5:34 PM

The team in the NFC nobody wants to play: Green Bay, with Aaron Rodgers back.
The team in the AFC nobody wants to play: San Diego.

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 5:34 PM

So far, the landslide is going the other way….

dentarthurdent on January 4, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Disaster so far for the Colts. They give up two huge pass plays, then turn it over.

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Saints beat Eagles as in No. 2 NFL passing offense against last place pass defense

Kermit on January 4, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Since when did the Colts trade for Tony Romo?

rbj on January 4, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Does anyone realize that Drew Brees for his playoff career has a passer rating of 103.9, the second best in NFL history?

technopeasant on January 4, 2014 at 4:30 PM

All well and good, but we’re worried about his QB rating this year, and on the road he’s only had one game where his QB rating was over 100. That was a win at Chicago.

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2014 at 6:14 PM

As long as the Packers don’t win the NFC – I’m happy with whomever wins.
gophergirl on January 4, 2014 at 3:05 PM

You’re green with envy. Wear gold – the combo will look good on you.

Green_Bay_Packers on January 4, 2014 at 6:24 PM

The Chiefs are headed downhill, and the Saints simply can’t win on the road.

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 4:15 PM

If this is “headed downhill”, I sure hope my Niners are headed in the same direction tomorrow.

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 6:28 PM

If this is “headed downhill”, I sure hope my Niners are headed in the same direction tomorrow.

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Yeah, go figure. After beating the Chiefs in Kansas City and holding them to 7 points, the Colts totally collapse against them at home.

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 6:31 PM

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 6:31 PM

And, if the Chiefs play this soft in the second half this might look like that Houston Buffalo game years back….(Houston gave up a 32 point lead and lost)

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 6:34 PM

And, if the Chiefs play this soft in the second half this might look like that Houston Buffalo game years back….(Houston gave up a 32 point lead and lost)

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 6:34 PM

I remember that game.

The Colts will need to force some turnovers to get back in this. Oops – the Chiefs just turned it over! Man, I’m glad I don’t predict NFL games for a living.

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 6:39 PM

The Chiefs are headed downhill, and the Saints simply can’t win on the road.
TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 4:15 PM
If this is “headed downhill”, I sure hope my Niners are headed in the same direction tomorrow.

I have tickets for tomorrow’s game.

During the ice bowl in 69 one person died of exposure.
Several were treated for hypothermia.

The fans unplugged Dallas’s electric heaters several times by reaching over the front rail

The packers are giving away free coffee and got chocolate during the game tomorrow.

Green_Bay_Packers on January 4, 2014 at 6:49 PM

…Go LIONS!!!…

KOOLAID2 on January 4, 2014 at 5:10 PM

And take the Red Wings with you.

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Green_Bay_Packers on January 4, 2014 at 6:49 PM

I’d settle for a few hot brandies in that coffee. Have fun tomorrow.

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Green_Bay_Packers on January 4, 2014 at 6:49 PM

I remember that game well. Bart Starr won it by sneaking the ball over with a few seconds left. Dallas, with guys like Don Meredith and Dan Reeves, put up a good fight against one of the great Vince Lombardi teams.

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Fifteen minutes and the sportswriters don’t have a clue how to write this one up……

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Wow, the worm has turned!

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 7:27 PM

As long as the Packers don’t win the NFC – I’m happy with whomever wins.

gophergirl on January 4, 2014 at 3:05 PM

As a Packer fan, I’d be rooting for the Bears to win it all if they had beat us in week 17. NFC North pride, and I’d rather lose to a winner than a loser.

NbyNW on January 4, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Let’s go Colts, you can do this!

Selfishly, I want them to win as it will be the biggest comeback in playoff history, from a 28 point deficit at half, thus eclipsing my Oilers blowing a 21 point lead over the Bills some eons ago.

TXUS on January 4, 2014 at 7:46 PM

omg…

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Luck is GREAT. Just wow.

GOPRanknFile on January 4, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Day-um this is a crazy game.

rbj on January 4, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Huge call on the intentional grounding…

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 7:58 PM

I don’t really care who wins the game but I’m happy it’s being held at Green Bay. I like to see the idiots in single-digit temps spelling out bare-chested messages to the world. ;0
Happy Nomad on January 4, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Hey! I resemble that remark

Green_Bay_Packers on January 4, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Betting Luck either gets a TD on this drive, or an INT.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 4, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Burning a TO at the 2:00 mark? Almost as bad as having a late lead and throwing the ball, aka a Cowboys special.

rbj on January 4, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Once again, Andy Reid earns the name “CHOKE!”

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2014 at 8:02 PM

How bout dem Colts. Never a doubt in my mind.

tommyboy on January 4, 2014 at 8:02 PM

This was a comeback for the ages…

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Burning a TO at the 2:00 mark? Almost as bad as having a late lead and throwing the ball, aka a Cowboys special.

rbj on January 4, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Reid is an NFC Least veteran.

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2014 at 8:03 PM

KC had a very good year considering how bad they were last year

Green_Bay_Packers on January 4, 2014 at 8:03 PM

If this is “headed downhill”, I sure hope my Niners are headed in the same direction tomorrow.

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 6:28 PM

So do I. Of course, a couple hours made all the difference.

GO PACK GO!

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2014 at 8:04 PM

And, if the Chiefs play this soft in the second half this might look like that Houston Buffalo game years back….(Houston gave up a 32 point lead and lost)

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 6:34 PM

You nailed it.

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Well, Go Colts!

esr1951 on January 4, 2014 at 8:07 PM

*sigh*

Rogue on January 4, 2014 at 8:07 PM

The Colts were down 38-10 and then proceeded to outscore the Chiefs 35-6.

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 8:08 PM

So do I. Of course, a couple hours made all the difference.

GO PACK GO!

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2014 at 8:04 PM

You’re just plain mean…..Steve! :)

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Sometimes I hate being right….

Rogue on January 4, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Don’t expect the 49ers to have a defensive meltdown like KC just did. Rogers is going to have “real linemen” in his face all day.

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Well that was a helluva surprise – quite the game.
I really didn’t think the Colts had it in them to make that comeback – and I didn’t think KC would choke that bad in the 2nd half…

dentarthurdent on January 4, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Don’t expect the 49ers to have a defensive meltdown like KC just did.

After Hilton torched them all night, I couldn’t believe that KC was playing him in pure zone coverage the last two drives.

tommyboy on January 4, 2014 at 8:24 PM

NBC can’t have any sports event without it being polluted by Bob Costas.

He ruined the Major League Baseball Network too.

Moesart on January 4, 2014 at 8:30 PM

Ed: I’m picking the Chiefs to win this one on the road, 27-23.

Once again history proves nobody ever lost money betting the opposite of Ed’s picks.

tommyboy on January 4, 2014 at 8:30 PM

dentarthurdent on January 4, 2014 at 8:18 PM

I’ll never forget when Houston gave up a 32 point lead to Buffalo and the heroics of Frank Reich in the second half. They fired Houston’s defensive coordinator the next day, and while interviewing the new one, a reported asked, “what are you going to look for in your defense next year”. “One that can hold a 32 point lead” was the answer, almost as “classic” as the game.

Rovin on January 4, 2014 at 8:34 PM

How bout dem Colts. Never a doubt in my mind.

tommyboy on January 4, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Heh, when it was 38-10, I was ready to throw in the towel.

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Heh, when it was 38-10, I was ready to throw in the towel.
TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 8:36 PM

I remember the year the Colts won the Super Bowl we were down 21 points at the half to the Pats in the AFC Championship game. Perhaps an Omen?

tommyboy on January 4, 2014 at 8:40 PM

tommyboy on January 4, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Well, ya never know. What’s next for them? At Denver?

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 8:48 PM

My Bad, it’s Pierre Thomas out for the Saints, not Marques Colston.

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Well, ya never know. What’s next for them? At Denver?

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 8:48 PM

It depends on who wins the Chargers-Bengals game. If the Chargers win, the Colts face the Patriots. If the Bengals win, the Colts face the Broncos. Denver faces the lowest seed remaining.

GOPRanknFile on January 4, 2014 at 9:04 PM

Kind of a defensive struggle in Philly. This definitely favors the Eagles.

TarheelBen on January 4, 2014 at 9:40 PM

…I can’t help it…I see all these teams rebuild themselves over the decades…and here I am all those decades after January 1st…I have to scream again…GO LIONS!!!

KOOLAID2 on January 4, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Let’s go, Los Santos!!!

TXUS on January 4, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Colts, Saints.

KCB on January 4, 2014 at 2:40 PM

KCB on January 4, 2014 at 11:22 PM

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