It still doesn't feel like we've gone through 17 weeks of NFL football but apparently we have. We've arrived safely to Wild Card weekend - and unfortunately for Cowboys fans, there isn't much to get charged up for. Still, it's football and we've only got a month left of it this year. There's plenty of good match ups this week and inevitably next week and that's more than enough reason to watch right there.
Here's the picks from the SB Nation Dallas-Fort Worth staff for Wild Card weekend.
Saints (0-0) at Seahawks (0-0) - Yes, I'm pulling a Belichick and calling everybody 0-0. The Saints marched right into the playoffs, winning 11 games en route to a Wild Card berth to defend their title. It was a bit of an upset that they weren't NFC South champions, but Drew Brees' inconsistent year (22 interceptions) helped the Falcons win the division and No. 1 seed.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, were 7-9 en route to their division title, winning the de facto NFC West title game against the Rams last Sunday night. Matt Hasselbeck will be back and starting for Seattle, so at least they have that going for them.
- Charley Code: Saints - I mean, you can’t seriously pick the Seahawks can you? I’m tempted because they're at home, but that would just be a mockery of the league. Or would it? Parity. I'm over it.
- Christopher Fittz: Saints - This is the perfect game to illustrate just how horrifying this season was.
- Robbie Griffin: Saints - I agree the Saints are the likely winner, but anyone who thinks a dome team playing outside three time zones away with a loud crowd is a guaranteed win just has never followed the NFL or has an incredibly short memory.
- Maurice London: Saints - Weird stuff has happened in Seattle before but it's hard to see this game being close.
- Liam Ponting: Saints - Home field doesn't mean this much. I imagine this game will be closer than you might think initially, but the Saints should win by double digits.
- Brett Perryman: Saints - Blowout even on the road.
- JP Starkey: Saints - I am very tempted to pick the Seahawks. Drew Brees cannot turn the ball over 2-3 times in this game and still win - I don't care how bad Seattle is.
Jets (0-0) at Colts (0-0) - A rematch of last year's AFC title game, just what we've all been waiting for with bated breath. Rex Ryan didn't waste too much time bringing attention to himself and Gang Green. One thing about the Jets this year compared to last year, though: they have offensive weapons. Last year, it was pound the ball and hope Mark Sanchez doesn't turn it over. This year, with Santonio Holmes in the fold, the Jets have some playmaking ability.
The Colts limped into the playoffs in perhaps their most unimpressive fashion during the Peyton Manning era - but all that matters is getting there. Indianapolis battled injuries this year with Dallas Clark, Bob Sanders (the Nick Johnson of the NFL) and Austin Collie all out for the season. The AFC South champs would head to Pittsburgh with a win over the Jets.
- Code: Colts - I'm ready for a Rex Ryan break.
- Fittz: Colts - A rematch of a playoff game no one wanted to see from last season. This should actually be a pretty decent game, though, so I shouldn't hate on it.
- Griffin: Colts - In recent years, it's seemed than Manning has figured out defenses like these, but he's also had his receivers. I'm interested to see how this turns out.
- London: Jets - The Colts won out to make the playoffs but they faced the Titans twice, Jacksonville and Oakland in that stretch. They're not good this year.
- Ponting: Jets - Jets have lost the last 5/6 to the Colts, but are the superior team. Logic says to take Indy at home, but I'll stick with my preseason pick here.
- Perryman: Jets - The Jets are not that impressive, but I think all they really have to do here is avoid shooting themselves in the foot.
- Starkey: Jets - The Jets upset the Colts and Peyton Manning and Rex Ryan spouts off for the next week about how Tom Brady is next, and if they can beat Manning they can beat Brady. The Patriots then proceed to hang 100 points on the Jets, reducing Rex Ryan to tears of unfathomable sadness and spoonfuls of lard.
Ravens (0-0) at Chiefs (0-0) - A week ago, the Chiefs just needed to beat the Raiders to go 8-0 at home and go all Underarmor on us and protect that house for a full season. That ended when the Raiders sucked the life out of Arrowhead and made Kansas City a place where any opponent can win. Still,
New England West KC has enjoyed an excellent season with Matt Cassel, Dwyane Bowe and Jamaal Charles anchoring the offense.
The Ravens 12 win season was good enough to land them the fifth seed in the playoffs, so I'm sure Ray Lewis is all pissed off about that. Lewis and the rest of the Ravens defense will look to neutralize the Chiefs top-ranked running game.
- Code: Chiefs - Home team wins? This is a dumb pick, I know, but I think the Chefs at Arrowhead have a shot.
- Fittz: Ravens - I predicted Ravens v. Packers (Non-Cowboys dreaming division) in the Super Bowl before the season so I'm going to go down with this ship.
- Griffin: Ravens - I feel really uneasy picking two road wins, even when I think they're the better teams.
- London: Ravens - I picked the Ravens to go the Super Bowl so I'll stick with them here but Joe Flacco needs to get better.
- Ponting: Ravens - The Ravens will just overpower the Chiefs. I doubt that Chiefs offense will be able to operate at their customary level against Baltimore here.
- Perryman: Ravens - Home field is huge here, but the Chiefs roster still has to play the Ravens roster.
- Starkey: Ravens - I'd like to pick the Chiefs, but I just don't think they're a better team.
Packers (0-0) at Eagles (0-0) - The Packers someway, somehow got themselves into the playoffs after looking like they'd almost certainly miss this season after their loss to New England. They'll ride the hot wave into Philadelphia to take on a banged up Eagles team. Aaron Rodgers could have a fun day against a relatively mediocre Philadelphia secondary.
Michael Vick will look to defeat the Packers for the second time in the playoffs in his career, but he likely still won't be 100% for when kickoff comes. It will certainly be interesting to see if Andy Reid makes good on his threat to Vick that Kevin Kolb would play if Vick is hurting or ineffective.
- Code: Eagles - After last week’s Bears v Packers debacle, I now realize why my dad hates the Packers. If I see one more #4 Favre jersey (still!), I’m gonna barf. I'm picking the Eagles because I don't want to face the Packers in the 2nd round where the Bears and Brian Urlacher are waiting, eating raw beef, getting tattoos and bench pressing bull dozers.
- Fittz: Packers - Not only did I predict Ravens v. Packers (Non-Cowboys dreaming division) in the Super Bowl before the season, but screw the Eagles.
- Griffin: Eagles - Michael Vick was the first starting QB to ever beat the Packers at home in the playoffs. He's got homefield this time.
- London: Packers - Tough to pick this one. I'll give the Packers the edge with a hobbled Vick.
- Ponting: Eagles - I think Vick's injuries have started to become a bit overblown. I'll take the Eagles, although Rodgers against that secondary could pose serious problems for Philly.
- Perryman: Eagles - This seems like a very difficult call, so the game will probably be a blowout. I'm going to bet on Vick being functional and home field.
- Starkey: Eagles - If you asked me two days ago, I'd have taken Green Bay. I just think the Packers are going to end up being too one-dimensional and the Eagles will live to see another week.