It’s Wild Card Weekend, which means the 2011 NFL playoffs have finally begun. From the NFL preseason to the Super Bowl takes a solid six months these days, so to say that this year’s NFL playoffs have been long anticipated is no exaggeration. Twelve out of 30 teams enter the playoffs, and eight are in action this weekend in the wild card round, but only two will advance to Super Bowl XLV and only one will emerge the 2010-2011 NFL Champion.
NFL Wild Card Round Schedule and Scores
Saturday, Jan. 8
New Orleans 36
The Seahawks offense exploded and major underdog Seattle upset the defending Super Bowl champion Saints 41-36 in their wild card match up today. QB Matt Hasselbeck had a career game for Seattle, throwing for 272 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Seattle moves on to play in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs next weekend.
NY Jets 17
This was a great NFL football game with the Jets edging the Colts 17-16 on a last second field goal. It had been a back and forth game from the first quarter, with defense setting the tone. But it was the offenses that put on a show for the fans, with Peyton Manning driving the Colts down the field for an apparent game-winning field goal with 53 seconds left to go, and then Mark Sanchez and the Jets responding with a drive of their own and capping it with a field goal as time expired.
Sunday, Jan. 9
Sunday NFL Wild Card Preview and Picks
Baltimore at Kansas City – The Ravens visit the Chiefs in the first wild card game Sunday and this should be a good game for fans of smash mouth football. These two teams do not like each other and figure to match up strength against strength. The AFC West Champion Chiefs (10-6) are an offensive machine, putting up 349.7 yards a game of offense, and have a particularly strong running attack led by Jamaal Charles. But Baltimore can play some rough defense, and are led by perennial All Pro linebacker Ray Lewis. Something has to give here, and the word on the street is that the Chiefs might surprise.
Green Bay at Philadelphia – The Packers-Eagles game is perhaps the most anticipated match up in the wild card round this year. Michael Vick is the comeback story of the year, and the Eagles are a very dangerous team with him at the helm. Green Bay squeaked into the playoffs on the strong arm of QB Aaron Rodgers, but the Packers are no fluke and can put up points on any defense. The Eagles might win the game, but it will be down to the wire so take the Packers plus the three points if you are a betting man.
For more on the NFL, the NFL playoffs and other football stories see:
2011 NFL Playoffs – Wild Card Weekend Scores, Summaries, and Analysis
NFL Playoffs 2011 – NFL Playoff Schedule, Preview, and Analysis
Preview of 2011 BCS Championship Game – Auburn Vs Oregon
BCS Bowls – Scores, Results and Analysis for 2011 BCS Bowls
New Year’s Day Bowl Scores Including Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl Results