2013 NFL Picks: Every Game, Wild Card Weekend

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A preview and prediction of every game on Wild Card Weekend.

A preview and prediction of every game on Wild Card Weeekend.

Here's a quick preview and prediction for every game on the NFL schedule for Wild Card Weekend.

Chiefs (11-5) at Colts (11-5)
This is a rematch of two weeks ago, when Indy stampeded Kansas City, 23–7, at Arrowhead. The Colts forced four turnovers to clinch their fifth win in their last six meetings with the Chiefs. Kansas City sat its notable starters in the season finale at San Diego, meaning the loss to Indianapolis was the last on-field action seen by the faces of K.C.’s franchise. Alex Smith, in particular, struggled with a season-worst three turnovers, second-lowest passer rating (57.6), second-most sacks (five) and third-fewest passing yards (153) of the year. Expect a heavy dose of Jamaal Charles — who had 1,980 yards from scrimmage and 19 total TDs this season — against Indy’s 26th-ranked rushing defense. Chiefs by 1

Saints (11-5) at Eagles (10-6)
New Orleans has lost five of its last six games on the road and has a 3–5 record away from home this season, with wins at Tampa Bay, Chicago and Atlanta — teams with a combined record of 16–32. Drew Brees has thrown 12 TDs and nine INTs away from the Superdome, compared to 27 TDs and three INTs in the Big Easy. But Brees does carry a 5–4 playoff record and a Super Bowl MVP into this matchup with Philly’s first-time playoff starter Nick Foles, whose split stats are impressive from any vantage point. Foles led the NFL with a 119.2 passer rating, thanks to 27 TDs and just two INTs in place of the injured Mike Vick. The league’s leading rusher also lines up in first-year coach Chip Kelly’s potent offense, as LeSean McCoy rushed for 1,607 yards and nine TDs this season. Eagles by 1

Chargers (9-7) at Bengals (11-5)
Cincinnati has made the playoffs in three straight seasons for the first time in franchise history. Now the Bengals will attempt to win a playoff game for the first time since 1990. Cincy’s previous two postseason defeats have come on the road in Houston. This time around, Marvin Lewis, Andy Dalton and Co. will kick off at Paul Brown Stadium, where the Bengals have a perfect 8–0 record this season. Cincinnati has successfully defended the Jungle against playoff teams New England (13–6), Indianapolis (42–28) and Green Bay (34–30). San Diego will be no easy out, however. The Chargers won five of their last six games to rally from a 4–6 playoff pretender to a 9–7 AFC Wild Card contender. Bengals by 5

49ers (12-4) at Packers (8-7-1)
San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick has been nearly unstoppable in two career starts against Green Bay. The dual-threat playmaker has passed for a combined 675 yards, five TDs and one INT, while tucking the ball to scramble for 203 yards and two TDs in a 45–31 Divisional Round playoff win last year and 34–28 Week 1 victory to start this season. Neither of those games was played at Lambeau Field, however. But the conference’s defending champions have been solid gold, regardless of the venue this year. The 49ers are currently riding a six-game winning streak and their only losses all season have all been against playoff-bound squads — at Seattle, Indianapolis, Carolina and at New Orleans. But Title Town has its mojo back following the hero’s return of Aaron Rodgers, a Super Bowl MVP winner in his own right. 49ers by 3

 

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