A team that calls a dome their home is guaranteed to win the NFC Wild Card Game between the Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints, but which one?
The Lions are too young, inexperienced and crippled in the running game to go into New Orleans and upset the Saints. The Lions' inexperience has shown itself throughout the year, most often in cheap penalties and unsportsmanlike plays.
They have talent on that side of the ball, but it needs to mature a bit. The emotion of a playoff game isn't likely to reverse that trend.
The Saints are perhaps the hottest team in the NFL. Their offense has been clicking on an elite level, and the underrated running game only augments Drew Brees and the record-setting pass offense. The Lions defense has been surrendering almost 125 yards on the ground. The Saints will attack that weakness first and dismantle the Lions.
Saints 36 Lions 21.
In the other NFC playoff game, the Atlanta Falcons will visit the New York Giants. The Giants benefited greatly by being the best of a poor NFC East. Unfortunately for them, the Dallas Cowboys didn't make the playoffs. The Falcons did.
The Falcons' balanced offense and improved defense will expose the Giants as a one-dimensional offensive team. The Giants were ranked dead-last in rushing all season. Even though Eli Manning had a career year, it only camouflages the issue.
The Giants depend on getting a great pass rush from Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck. However, even with JPP having the great season he is, the Giants defense has been erratic.
The Falcons will win this game and may place Tom Coughlin on the hot seat next season.
Falcons 24 Giants 10.