Friday, January 06, 2017

2016-2017 NFL Picks: Wildcard Weekend

Regular Season: 164-88-2

Saturday, 1/7
Oakland @ Houston: Houston
Detroit @ Seattle: Detroit

Because of the four division format, there are bound to be occasions where a Wildcard team has a much better record than a division winner, and this is the case with Oakland (12-4, Wildcard) and Houston (9-7, AFC South Winner). There are also times when the Wildcard team is a heavy underdog to the Host. But rare is the occasion when both of these scenarios are true. The Oakland Raiders are now without their quarterback, Derek Carr, who broke his leg in Week 16. In a must-win game in Week 17, the Raiders had their second string QB knocked out of the game, and they looked helpless against a Denver team that fell short of expectations this season. Houston is, itself, a weak team, but things don't look good for the Raiders. Meanwhile, I think this is the season that Stafford proves he's a better QB than he gets credit for, and finally pulls out a big road win, the first for Detroit since 1957.

Sunday, 1/8
Miami @ Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh
New York (NFC) @ Green Bay: Green Bay

Pittsburgh picked the right time to go on a roll, having won 7 in a row to close out the season. After a great 4-1 start, there was a rough 4 game patch where they lost every game they played, which started with a loss in Miami. But they are in Pittsburgh now, where the Steelers have beaten everyone but the two top seeds, New England and Dallas. Green Bay finished strong as well, although the Giants are one of those tricky teams that seem to excel just when you count them out. But they aren't a dominant team, and Green Bay at home with icy temperatures... The Pack is back.

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