Category Archives: Wild Card

NFC Wild Card Playoff: Why the Panthers could beat the Saints for first time

The NFL Playoffs will feature an excellent contest between two NFC South teams. The Panthers vs Saints game is sure to bring together fans and newcomers alike. These two teams had a great regular season and want to advance in the NFL Playoffs. There are factors that keep both teams in the running so far. Wait to see what offensive weapons they have on display going forward. That could keep these teams in the discussion for Super bowl contenders.

NFL Playoff Schedule, Sunday Football Games

Buffalo Bills vs Jacksonville Jaguars at 1:05 PM ET, EverBank Field, TV CBS

Carolina Panthers vs New Orleans Saints at 4:40 PM ET, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, TV – FOX

 Why The Panthers Could Win:

 Carolina made a notable trip to the Super bowl recently with effectively the same time. Cam Newton excels as the teams young QB and leader. Head coach Ron Rivera has plenty of options at his disposal. It will be up to their defense to limit scoring opportunities. That could be a deciding factor in Panthers vs Saints.

The Panthers, who are also making their return to the playoffs after a year away, hope that their own star quarterback Cam  Newton can pound the ball into the Saints line and then dump off to Devin Funchess or Greg Olsen, keeping the Saints D on its heels and the Saints offense on the sideline. This team was good enough to hand the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots rare losses, so perhaps they have what it takes to at last break through.

 Why The Saints Could Win:

 The Saints are proud to have Drew Brees as their QB. His leadership and throwing ability has been proven time and time again. The Saints also topped the Panthers in their last meeting. The team won a Superbowl in 2010 with Drew Brees starting at quarterback. They will have the advantage of playing at home in the playoff game. Head coach Sean Payton is back on the sidelines and remains confident. The Saints also have a duo of great RBs with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara.

Winning this matchup was a main reason the Saints won the first two games. In Week 3, a 34-13 victory, the Saints had 149 rushing yards on a 5.5-yard average per carry. In the Week 13 rematch, a 31-21 win, the Saints gained 148 yards on a 5.3-yard average per carry.

These two teams have surprised audiences before with their playing style. They boast high power offenses that will surprise people in any game. Panthers vs Saints may be the most high profile game of the week too. A win could position either team for a Superbowl bid. Fans will show up on both sides to show their support. Expect a close game that hinges on defense on both sides of the ball.

Falcons advanced from the wild-card round with a methodical 26-13 victory over the Rams on Saturday night. Where the Saints will play next week if they win Sunday against Panthers? The NFL re-seeds after the first round, and the sixth-seeded Falcons are headed to play the No. 1 seed Philadelphia Eagles next Saturday, leaving the Saints-Panthers winner to make the trip to Minnesota.

The Tennessee Titans overcame a 21-3 first-half road deficit, plastering the Kansas City Chiefs for 19 second-half points to swipe a 22-21 upset win at Arrowhead Stadium. The 18-point comeback tied for the second-largest on the road in NFL playoff history.

 

NFL Playoffs: 2018 Wild Card Games Prediction

 The National Football League’s 2018 playoff picture was beginning to get more unpredictable by the week. And while analysts thought they had the best answers for both the AFC and NFC divisions’ wildcard teams, every Sunday the answers seemed to change. Now comes the best part where the teams for the Wild Card AFC and NFC divisions have been chosen and they are set to play. While the home teams will get a certain advantage from the crowd, each of these teams have a special way to win. So for the eight teams within the AFC and NFC wildcard race, who will win the ultimate prize of being able to play the division leaders?The eight teams include: Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. But which of these teams hold the stronger advantages in the AFC and in the NFC and why?

The AFC Wildcard Teams

 The four AFC wildcard division teams include: the Kansas City Chiefs who will play the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars who will play the Buffalo Bills. While the the Chiefs have a better overall record than the Titans, they both rate low when it comes to scoring touchdowns. The Chiefs do however, have a 4 game winning streak, which could give them the confidence to believe that they can win. For the Titans however, their advantage point will be a poor Chiefs secondary unit which can be beatable by the Titans if their quarterback Marcus Mariota has a successful throwing game. By all accounts, the Kansas City Chiefs should be an odds on favorite to win this one as stopping quarterback Alex Smith, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce and running back Kareem Hunt may just be too much for the Tennessee Titans.

 And what about the Jacksonville Jaguars who get to play the Buffalo Bills? What will be the outcome of this game? The Jacksonville Jaguars have the better record by 1 game and they also have home field advantage. But will this be enough to carry them over the finish line or will the Buffalo Bills have a sweet surprise waiting? The Jacksonville Jaguars have a strong defense that has been talked about by the analysts all year. However, if the Buffalo Bills can force Jaguar quarterback Blake Bortles into some bad decisions, they may find themselves with an upset. That being said, with the home field advantage, the unbeatable defense and the inconsistency of Buffalo Bills Blake Bortles, the odds on favorite for this one will be the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The NFC Wildcard Teams

 The NFC division is by far the toughest in the National Football League. And with three great teams in the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints in the NFC South, the battle will be like winning the Super Bowl. With the Atlanta Falcons heading to face the Los Angeles Ram, the home court advantage goes to the Rams. Atlanta’s secondary will have to protect Matt Ryan to give the outstanding weapons from the Falcons team a chance. An unprotected Matt Ryan will mean trouble for the Falcons. Also, Atlanta Falcons defense will have to step up. There is an old saying that says,” defense wins football games”. Matt Ryan will have to be at his best as Atlanta is not the best road team. Julio Jones will have to bring his star power and Devante Freeman must have an excellent running game. Matt Ryan must show versatility with his weapons which will help in confusing the Rams defense. Both teams have great records with the Rams having a 1 game advantage. But Atlanta does have a 1 game winning streak coming into the wildcard game which may boost their confidence. Overall, Atlanta Falcons, with their high flying offense and superior weapons should prevail in this one. Also, the Atlanta Falcons should be hungry to get back to the Superbowl and prove their worthiness to win it all.

 When it comes to the quarterbacks for the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers, they don’t get any more elite than Drew Brees and Cam Newton. That being said, the Saints will have to work on their defense and secondary unit to protect Drew Brees. He has minimized his throwing and depends more on the running game. So an unprotected Drew Brees could spell disaster for the New Orleans Saints. And let us not forget about the Carolina Panthers defense that he will be matched up against. This defense has been getting better and better throughout the year. Both teams have an 11 win and 5 loss record and both teams have a 1 game losing streak coming into the playoffs. And while Cam Newton is a superstar in the quarterback position, nobody has been in more pressure situations than Drew Brees. It is after all what makes him special and well, Drew Brees. And the Saints will be playing at home where they do the most damage. The Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore should be able to contain Cam Newton, leaving the New Orleans Saints as the odds on favorite to win this one. This will be the third meeting for the Saints and the Panthers and the Saints are 2 wins and 0 losses against the Panthers while putting up an incredible thirty points on each occasion. Also, the Saints have a home field advantage where their cornerback Marshon Mattimore should be able to stop Cam Newton on the New Orleans Saints home field.

 All in all, the action between these 6 wildcard teams should be a showstopper. With lots of action from teams that are familiar with playing each other, the playbook for each team will have to be uniquely special. Each team knows the other so well, that adjustments will surely have to be made. Whoever wants it more will be the team that will have the ultimate victory. And while the odds on favorites have been chosen, with these matchups, anything is possible. All of these teams have been invited; now let’s see who wants to devour the other more.