Thomas B. Shea
With 12 teams in the playoffs and four Wild Card games this weekend, Baltimore Beatdown makes it's picks for the three games, but will wait until Friday to post its preview & pick on the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Indianapolis Colts.
In the meantime, the Baltimore Ravens will know who and where they will play next weekend before they play on Sunday afternoon. The two games on Saturday feature one from each conference and the winner of the early game will decide who the Ravens opponent will be after they dispatch the pesky and surprising Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Texans over Bengals (Saturday, 4:30pm ET, NBC): While every Ravens fan will be rooting for Cincinnati to keep the hopes alive for a home AFC Championship Game in Baltimore, this just ain't going to happen. While Houston has played pretty pedestrian football over their last five games (2-3) and losing their final two, I just can't see them losing this game, a repeat of last year's playoffs first round match-up. The Bengals might have won their last three and were 6-2 on the road in the regular season. However, they have not been impressive and barely beat the Ravens reserves last week at home.
Packers over Vikings (Saturday, 8pm ET, NBC): Minnesota may have gone into Lambeau Field and won last week in a game they needed to win to make the playoffs, but to expect them to do it two games in a row a week apart seems a bit far-fetched to me. However, anytime you have a game-changer like Adrian Peterson, anything is possible. At the same time, Aaron Rodgers and his deep receiving corps could have a lot to say about this and with the chips on the line, Green Bay should be able to use that frozen tundra to their advantage and celebrate a few more Lambeau Leaps than the Vikes.
Seahawks over Redskins (Sunday, 4:30pm ET, FOX): I was, and honestly am still on the fence with this one. While I like Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris and Pierre Garcon, I just do not have faith in the Washington defense at all. On the other side, I love what Russell Wilson has done coming out of nowhere and believe he should be the NFL Rookie of the Year. Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch might be the hardest player to bring down in the league. However, it's the Seahawks defense which impresses me enough to think that while they are a much better team at home with their "12th Man" behind them, they have improved enough on the road to be the more complete team and win.
Last Week: 11-5
Season Record: 164-92-1
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