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Baltimore Beatdown's Wild Card Round predictions

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Staff predictions for each Wild Card round game this weekend.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Here's what we think with some of the writers' explanations below:


Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers

Chuck Mills: Ryan Lindley vs. a division winner worse than the 2010 Seahawks. I'm taking the Panthers. The Cardinals run defense has been lacking, especially against the read-option, the Panthers are hot right now, and Cam Newton is much better than Ryan Lindley. The Panthers end what was a promising Cardinals season. Pick: Panthers

Michael Sedjro: Carolina is streaking right now. The defense, especially the young secondary is coming together and the return of both Jonathan Stewart and the read option has stabilized their offense. Pick: Panthers

Rocky Friedman: Without a legitimate quarterback for Arizona, i think Cam Newton and the 7-8-1 Carolina Panthers should take care of business at home. Pick: Panthers

Daniel Park: My infatuation with Bruce Arians' coaching style hasn't slouched since the beginning of the season. He knows what level of intensity the defense will need to play at to stabilize his fourth quarterback's shaky confidence. Pick: Cardinals

Matthew Stevens: The Cardinals are just in a bad place right now and even though the Carolina Panthers are nothing special themselves, Cam Newton has the talent to single-handedly beat a damaged Cardinals team. Pick: Panthers

Jason Butt: Carolina has won four in a row and get a banged-up Cardinals team that's beginning to falter at home. Though the Cardinals are good against the run, look out for Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart to get going on the ground. Pick: Panthers

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers

Chuck Mills: The Ravens pass rush has gotten it's steam back and the Ravens are looking for redemption from a debacle on Sunday Night in November. Big players on both sides are injured as Le'Veon Bell for the Steelers and Eugene Monroe are likely to be questionable calls for Saturday. The Ravens secondary has been playing better over the past couple of weeks and I think that they grind out a hard fought victory in Heinz Field. Pick: Ravens

Michael Sedjro: The Steelers win it since the Ravens just don't have enough corners to stay with Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton for 60 minutes. Please, prove me wrong, Baltimore. Pick: Steelers

Brian Malan: We have "January Joe", that is all the explanation I need to give. Pick: Ravens

Rocky Friedman: Even if the Steelers had Le'Veon Bell, the Ravens rushing defense has never been the problem. I expect Ben Roethlisberger to shred the Ravens secondary apart and lead the Steelers to victory. Pick: Steelers

Daniel Park: Without Bell, this battle's one-sided like a Steelers helmet. Once the Ravens establish the ground attack -- game over. Not an easy win, no, but we're advancing to the Divisional Round, thanks to CJ Mosely's game-ending interception. Pick: Ravens

Matthew Stevens: I think the Ravens come out swinging with some new things that fans haven't seen all season long and surprise the Steelers that are without their greatest weapon, Le'Veon Bell. Pick: Ravens

Jason Butt: Played in poor conditions, this game has the makings of a classic Ravens-Steelers game. But right now, it's hard to pick against the Steelers based on what they're working with in the passing game vs. what the Ravens have in the secondary. That said, this is anyone's game and should be close throughout. Pick: Steelers

Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts

Chuck Mills: The Colts aren't playing their best football right now. The defense is mediocre, the run game is nonexistent, the offensive line is unsettled, and Andrew Luck isn't at his best. But Andy Dalton still has the playoff monkey on his back. The Bengals might score a couple touchdowns off the legs of Jeremy Hill and the defense might force Andrew Luck into making mistakes. But it'll all be for naught as Andy Dalton lets it go to waste. Pick: Colts

Michael Sedjro: Indianapolis wins thanks to home field and A.J. Green being unlikely to play. Pick: Colts

Rocky Friedman: Andy Dalton has had three attempts at winning a playoff game and failed on all three. Though he has to win one eventually, I think that Andrew Luck and the Colts will make sure that doesn't happen this year. Pick: Colts

Daniel Park: Indy knows exactly what Dalton will do. Shut down. Pick: Colts

Matthew Stevens: The Bengals are in a similar situation as the Cardinals, as they look to face the Indianapolis Lucks. Indy takes care of business against a team that is sliding in the wrong direction entering the postseason. Pick: Colts

Jason Butt: The Bengals were embarrassed by the Colts earlier this year. However, Jeremy Hill has been a beast of late and should be able to help Andy Dalton and the offense control the ball, even without A.J. Green. Pick: Bengals

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys

Chuck Mills: Even with Ndamukong Suh, it's going to be difficult to stop DeMarco Murray and the Cowboys offense. It looks like the Cowboys will win a shootout. Pick: Cowboys

Michael Sedjro: The Lions stop the run. That's all there is to it. Calvin Johnson makes enough plays to get them 17-20 points. Pick: Lions

Rocky Friedman: Tony Romo always chokes. This year is no exception. Pick: Lions

Daniel Park: Sorry Dez, headlines with Calvin Johnson's name are more enticing. The Lions learned from their loss to the Packers, and they'll make tweaks in their secondary to stop a potent offense. Pick: Lions

Matthew Stevens: Dallas will see the Lions, with the mammoth Suh in the middle of that defensive line. They'll still give the ball to DeMarco Murray with the goal of grinding out a hard fought win that Dallas has not exactly been known for in the past. Pick: Cowboys

Jason Butt: In his career, Tony Romo has led the Cowboys to 27 fourth-quarter comebacks and 23 game-winning drives. This actually ranks 17th all-time in the history of the NFL. He's accomplished that four times this season, as it is. I'm not sure where the popular public perception of Romo not being clutch comes from, but he's won plenty of times with the game on the line. He just hasn't had as complete of a team as he does this year. (Watch him choke after this defense of him.) Pick: Cowboys