Winners in Bold (9-7 last week, 143-80 in the regular season)
New York Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals: One of 3 rematches of a Week 17 game, although to say that the Bengals didn't show up last week would be a gross understatement. The weather calls for temperatures in the teens, windy, with snow flurries, so both Trojan Quarterbacks know this game is going to be about running and protecting the football. The weather conditions combined with the bitter taste the Bengals must have from last week are ingredients for a good ole-fashioned hard-hitting smash mouth game of football. Revis Island will almost surely shut down Ochocinco, but Carson Palmer will make some big plays when necessary, and the Bengals will get the ball rolling again behind Cedric Benson. The Jets showed their cards last week, the Bengals just need to stack the box early and often, and allow their fantastic corners Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall to get a couple of Mark Sanchez picks that will be the difference in this game. Logic dictates that the Bengals have no chance, but every once in a while you just have to go with your gut, and I think this is finally the year that the Bengals get that elusive playoff win.
Bengals 20 Jets 10
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys: Another rematch, as the Cowboys laid a whooping on the Eagles last weekend, and swept the season series. The Eagles were completely off their game on both sides of the ball, with McNabb turning in an absolute dud, and receivers dropping balls left and right. The Cowboys on the other hand are playing as good as anybody right now, especially on defense, posting two straight shutouts, and holding the Saints to 17 points in the Superdome. For the Eagles to have a chance, they absolutely MUST blitz and blitz often and have a game-changing turnover or two. On offense, they must find a way to get the ball to DeSean Jackson, which they did not do last week. Celek is a beast over the middle and on 3rd down, but they need to get a quick strike or two, and DeSean is the man for that. Don't expect a ton of running from either team, this is gonna be a good ole-fashioned shootout, with touchdowns scored on defense and special teams, hence my high score prediction. The Eagles will play better, but Tony Romo and the Boys are gonna get their first playoff win since Aikman.
Cowboys 35 Eagles 31
Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots: Tom Brady vs. Ray Lewis, can you really ask for a better matchup than that? Obviously the loss of Wes Welker is huge for the Pats, but the Ravens are banged up defensively, and their passing game has really struggled of late. The Patriots have to at least try and run the ball, and have had some success in the past few weeks. While you can never count the Ravens out in a playoff game, I just can't pick against Tom Brady in a playoff game at home. He's just going to find a way to win.
Patriots 23 Ravens 14
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals: The Packers are playing as good as anybody in football right now, with an explosive offense, and playmaking defense led by Defensive Player of the Year candidate Charles Woodson. Both teams are going to pass the ball...A LOT! Fitzgerald vs. Woodson might be one of the most entertaining battles we'll get to see the entire playoffs. Both teams have been inconsistent on defense prone to occasional meltdown games, but one thing that has been consistent is Green Bay's offense and Aaron Rodgers. The offensive line has gotten healthier, and given him more time to throw, but regardless his numbers all year have been outstanding, and the Pack has scored 20 points or more all but once this year, scoring 30 or more 7 times. They are definitely the most dangerous of the 4 wild card teams, and will roll in this game.
Packers 34 Cardinals 17