NFL Playoff Preview: Wild Card Weekend

tee polkAnalyst IJanuary 1, 2008

A quick rundown of what to expect from the first round of the NFL playoffs...


Washington Redskins vs. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks will prevail over the highly emotional Redskins in this one.

Let's be honest: Do you really think QB Todd Collins can go into Seattle and beat the Seahawks?

Of course not.

Expect Shaun Alexander to have a huge game on the ground as the Seahawks defense pressures Collins and shuts down Clinton Portis.

Prediction: Seahawks 14, Redskins 3

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

This is the game to watch this weekend.

You have two teams coming off great regular seasons, but the Jaguars will be too much for Steelers.

Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew are the best backfield duo in the NFL—to say nothing of QB David Garrard, who's been playing very well of late.

The Steelers lost Willie Parker to a broken leg, and Ben Roethlisberger has a nagging injury and will not be 100 percent. That's why Pittsburgh will lose the game.

Prediction: Jaguars 24, Steelers 14

New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Can Eli Manning go into Tampa and beat the Bucs?

No, he can't—because the Bucs defense is no joke. Manning will try to test the secondary, and Ronde Barber will have none of it.

Look for an exciting, hard-hitting game. QB Jeff Garcia triumphed in this same position last year with the Eagles. Expect him to repeat the feat as the Bucs advance.

Prediction: Bucs 20, Giants 7

Tennessee Titans vs. San Diego Chargers

With Vince Young banged up, please don't even expect the Titans to go into San Diego and beat the Chargers—because it ain't happening.

Vince's quad injury will prevent him from using his legs like he did in the 2005 Rose Bowl.

The Chargers will rely on LaDainian Tomlinson to help them advance to the next round—but if the Bolts want to go deeper than that, they'll need some big games out of QB Phillip Rivers, who's still looking to prove himself as one of the NFL's elite signal-callers.

The San Diego defense will be all over Young and the Titans offense. Look for Shawne Merriman and rising star Antonio Cromartie to make it happen for the Chargers.

Prediction: Chargers 35, Titans 10


Check back next week for more predictions and guarantees...