Wild Card Weekend Predictions

Kevin TrahanAnalyst IDecember 30, 2008

The playoffs are finally here and soon, a new NFL champion will be crowned. Let's take a look at the opening round of NFL playoff action.

Indianapolis Colts vs. San Diego Chargers

This game is pretty much a no-brainer.

You have two teams who started off the season slowly; one who is quite possibly the hottest team in football and one who got in because they play in a horrible division.

The Colts have been hard to beat lately and shouldn't have any trouble beating the lowly Chargers. The Indianapolis defense has been lights out during the second half of the season while Philip Rivers and LaDainian Tomlinson haven't been themselves. Peyton Manning has really found his stride and Joseph Addai is catching on as well.

Without Shawne Merriman, this Chargers defense just isn't the same and the Colts' offense will have a field day in San Diego.

Prediction: Indianapolis 34, San Diego 13

Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins

What a turnaround Miami has made, 1-15 to the playoffs is a tremendous feat. But sadly, the Dolphins' run will probably come to an end in the first round of the playoffs.

This will be a battle of two mediocre quarterbacks, Joe Flacco and Chad Pennington and two pretty good overall offenses, but this game will come down to defense, and nobody does defense like the Baltimore Ravens. The birds from Baltimore have a shot to go a long way in the playoffs with their outstanding defense.

Prediction: Baltimore 23, Miami 7

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Eagles are the hottest team in the NFC after blowing out their rival Cowboys 44-6 to end the year.

Donovan McNabb has answered his critics after being benched early in the year. There are no more "fire Donovan" chants in Philly anymore.

Meanwhile, the Vikings have put together an impressive season of their own after falling to third in the NFC North early in the year. This game will come down to momentum though, and that is all on the side of Donovan McNabb and his Philadelphia Eagles.

Prediction: Philadelphia 38, Minnesota 21

Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals

The bottom line is the Cardinals don't deserve to be in the playoffs, but like their AFC West counterparts, they got in because they play in a terrible division.

Kurt Warner pads his fantasy football stats, but on the field, in real life, he can't make the big places when he needs to.

Also, Arizona's lack of defense may cause a few problems. The Falcons are much better than expected and will probably lose after the first round, but Matt Ryan and the birds should get a pretty easy win in Arizona.

Prediction: Atlanta 27, Arizona 20