NFL Wildcard Weekend 2017 is just hours away from kicking off. That means it’s time for Sportsandswag.com NFL Wildcard Weekend 2017 picks. There are storylines aplenty in these NFL Playoffs, but one of the bigger ones this weekend will be the Pittsburgh Steelers ‘Three B’s’ finally together for a playoff game. Le’Veon Bell, has never played in playoff game. The fact that the ‘Three B’s’ are healthy and available make the Steelers a serious threat to reach the Super Bowl. But, before they can have thoughts of Super Bowl 51 dance in their head, they have to beat the Miami Dolphins. A team that dominated them earlier this season in Miami. NFL Wildcard Weekend 2017 should be fantastic. Now, onto the picks!
GAME OF THE WEEKEND
GIANTS (+5.5) at PACKERS
Eli Manning is 2-0 in playoff games at Lambeau Field. That is stunning stat, despite it being in only two games. If, the Eli is to make it 3-0, the Giants defense will have to stand tall. Much, like it did in those previous two wins on the ‘Frozen Tundra’.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of six straight, the Packers season has gone from a complete disappointment to a season where many believe they can reach the Super Bowl. For that to happen, or just to beat the Giants, the defense has to continue to step up their play. It would also be nice if either of these teams could find a running game. Both teams rank near the bottom of the NFL in pass defense. They also rank near the bottom running the football.
The team that defends and runs the ball a little better will win this game, and possibly be quite dangerous for the Cowboys or Falcons down the road.
My Pick: Take Eli and the G-Men to cover the 5.5 points, but lose a thriller. PACKERS 27-24
ROAD underDOG of the WEEK: OAKLAND RAIDERS
RAIDERS (+3.5) at TEXANS
This time last year, Connor Cook was recovering from the beatdown that Alabama put on his Michigan State Spartans in the College Football Playoffs Semifinal. That was the last time Cook started a game. That changes today when Cook and the Raiders travel to Houston to face the Texans. On the surface, this has to be advantage Texans. However, that just may not be the case.
The Raiders are no doubt going to miss Derek Carr, no matter the outcome of this game. Carr, presents the Raiders best chance at success going forward, and is their franchise QB. But, for the Raiders to be successful against a Texans team that leaves a lot to be desired, especially offensively, he may not have to do much. Cook, played all four years at Michigan State, and was good at protecting the football. Doing that and making a couple of plays along the way could very well be enough to send the Texans home early, again.
My Pick: RAIDERS straight up over the Texans, 20-16
DOLPHINS at STEELERS (-10.5)
Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi had his way with the Steelers defense in a stunning 30-15 regular-season victory. Ajayi, pounded the rock for 204 yards. It was one of two games Ajayi rushed for 200 yards or more. For that reason, the Steelers have to have revenge on their minds. But, don’t get it twisted. The Dolphins are a dangerous team, even with Matt Moore at QB. Ryan Tannehill, went down to injury, but Moore has filled in nicely.
The Steelers can’t look past these Dolphins, and I don’t think they will. Big Ben, AB, Bell are together for a playoff game, for once, and will be hard for anyone to stop.
My Pick: 10.5 points is a lot in a playoff game. Look for this one to be close into the 4th quarter. But, in the end STEELERS pull away 34-20.
LIONS (+8) at SEAHAWKS
Neither team comes into this game exactly on fire. The Lions have lost three in a row, effectively fumbling away the NFC North to Green Bay. The Seahawks split their final four games, but the losses came in blowout fashion at Green Bay, and also at home to disappointing Arizona.
Matthew Stafford, was in the MVP conversation until recent weeks, but still could present problems for a Seahawks D that has been a bit subpar at times. At least, to their standards anyway. The Lions defense can also create problems for Russell Wilson and company.
Of course, at times the Seahawks offense has been pretty good creating problems for themselves.
Which ever team gets out of it’s own way is likely to win this game. While, I don’t have much confidence in either one of these teams tomorrow or going forward……..
My Pick: Take the LIONS to cover the 8 points, but lose a heart-breaker. SEAHAWKS find a way 26-22.
All in all, I like the road teams except for Miami to at least cover. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the Lions and Giants find a way to win straight up. Regardless, this should be an exciting weekend of football! Thanks for visiting SportsandSwag.com and reading NFL Wildcard Weekend 2017 picks! Feel free to comment and please follow and like Sports & Swag on social media.