Colts vs Texans-
Pick: Texans win 31-27
The Colts starting o-line is finally taking the field again since week 11’s game against Tennessee giving Andrew Luck increased protection in the pocket. He’s going to need the increased protection as he faces Houston’s formidable defense. However, Hilton who has posted over 100 in both of Indy’s game vs the Texans isn’t 100% which will most likely hinder the Colts offense. Additionally the Texans offense has been showing up big time since week 4. Lamar Miller has shown time and again to be threatening in the backfield. Additionally, Deshaun Watson is a great dual-threat quarterback being able to scramble and throw dimes. Finally, with a fantastic receiver like DeAndre Hopkins, who’s had fantastic catches this year and shows no signs of slowing down, the Colts will have to be on their toes to contain this Texans offense. Both the Colts and Texans are on a hot streak, which should provide a high-caliber wild card game I think the Texans will be able to edge out the Colts and move on the Patriots.
Seahawks vs Cowboys-
Pick: Seahawks win 30-24
The Seattle Seahawks won the last three times they’ve played Dallas, in 2015, 2017 and September of 2018, at the same time they held the Cowboys to 12, 13 and 13 points in each game respectively. This proves, in recent times, the Seahawks have found the Cowboys number and even been able to contain Zeke, at least well enough to win the game. Additionally the Seahawks can easily wear the Cowboys defensive line down with the power of running back Chris Carson. This bodes extremely well for Seattle as, with the Cowboys defense worn, it gives them even stronger odds. Their later runs will have increased success due to the tired defensive line, and they will have a better chance in the air with some Cowboys secondaries being slightly drained, but mainly with increased pocket protection for Wilson. Finally, the Seahawks beat out the Cowboys in another vital category- experience. The Seahawks team consists of some, by now, playoff veterans such as Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin which plays a helping hand. On the other side of the snap, the Cowboys have a lot of faces leading their offense that have little to no playoff experience such as Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper
Chargers vs Ravens-
Pick: Ravens win 27-24
The last time the Chargers and the Ravens met, in week 16, the Ravens sacked Phillip Rivers four times and got eight hits. The Ravens defense has been on a tear meaning the Chargers o-line will have to stay on their toes and fix any holes in their blocking. Rivers will have to be able to stay on his toes as well and watch out for the blitz. While the Chargers did a good job containing Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson back in week 17, limiting him to only 38 rushing yards, his versatility still presents a big issue for the Chargers defense. He’s proven to be a great quarterback, presenting a big aerial-threat but give him space and he could perhaps do even more damage on his legs. The Chargers defense also did a good job containing the Ravens run game though with multiple impressive running backs at Baltimore’s disposal they could easily tire San Diego’s defense by constantly switching their backfield up and using fresh legs. A big note to make is two of the stars of San Diego’s offense, Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen, both played with injuries in their earlier matchup versus Baltimore. The Ravens were able to a good job containing the Chargers offense and won by two scores in week 17 yet, as the Browns proved in week 17, a lot of damage can be done to Baltimore in the air . The Chargers will have a healthier Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen meaning they should be able to put more pressure on Baltimore’s defense. However, Baltimore still has one of, if not the, best defenses in the league right now and a hard hitting offense, so I believe Baltimore will win this rematch, though not by much.
Eagles vs Bears-
Pick: Bears 27-20
The Bears defense has been tearing through offenses since their acquisition of Khalil Mack and they aren’t demonstrating any signs of slowing down. If the Bears can get pressure on Eagles quarterback Nick Foles they might be able force some turnovers as Foles most likely won’t be 100% after suffering bruised ribs. Even if Foles steps on the field 100%, the Bears defense has done a great job even against the most talented of offenses, so they should be able to contain the Eagles receivers and Nick Foles without much difficulty. The Bears are also going to need a solid performance from Mitchell Trubisky. He’s been fairly inconsistent this season, but has been playing well again in the past few weeks. The Bears also have solid receiving options and a good run game. As long as Trubisky can avoid turning the ball over and be able to hit easy, open passes the Bears can rely on the other aspects of their team, mainly their defense, to get them a win. In games where Trubisky has avoided turning the ball over Chicago has gone 3-0 which bodes well for them. One last helpful factor for the Bears is that they face an average defense with the Eagles. The Bears extremely talented defense gives them the edge they need to beat the Eagles.