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NFL: The Inscriber’s Official 2014 NFL Wild Card Round Playoff Picks

NFL Wildcard logo for Inscriber article 1.3.13

After a long regular season, the 2014 NFL Playoffs are set to start Saturday to kick off Wild Card Weekend. The slate of games this weekend are the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals, and the San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers.

Some Inscriber writers have made their picks for these games, along with a quick analysis of their particular pick.

The following are The Inscriber: Digital Magazine’s official 2014 NFL Wild Card round picks.

Robert Sims (UFC, NFL, NBA, and MLB Writer)

Chiefs vs. Colts: The Colts are riding in on a three game winning streak which is the momentum needed for a deep run. They also beat Kansas City 23-7 two weeks ago and have home field advantage.”

Pick: Indianapolis Colts

Saints vs. Eagles: “Saints win because they are battle tested. Brees and company have been there and done that, and this is Foles first playoff game and inexperience could be a factor.

Pick: New Orleans Saints

Chargers vs. Bengals: “Bengals will win simply because they are at home where they are unbeaten and the Chargers struggled to beat a  second string Chiefs team to get into the playoffs.”

Pick: Cincinnati Bengals

49ers vs. Packers: “Packers get it done because the weather is on their side (below -5 without the windchill). San Francisco may not be ready, and with Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb back, behind Eddie Lacy they will control the clock.”

Pick: Green Bay Packers

Scott DelleFave (Associate Director of Content/Quality Control)

Chiefs vs. Colts: “This is the only game this weekend where the weather will not be a factor as it is inside of the roof of Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts certainly have the psychological edge as they defeated these same Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium 23-7 two short weeks ago. Alex Smith is well rested as he didn’t play last week’s season finale as it was expected since It seems like the Colts have certainly peaked at the right time and they should dispose of the Chiefs again.”

Pick: Indianapolis Colts

Saints vs. Eagles: “The Eagles will have an edge as it’s supposed to be around 20 degrees at kickoff which could give a decisive home field advantage. The Saints have yet to ever win a road playoff game in their franchise’s stoic history. Despite how potent this Saints offense is, it’s far more impressive on the fast track of the Mercedes Benz Superdome at home. The crowd will be loud, proud, and extremely hostile to say the least in the City of Brotherly Love and it will put their team over the top.”

Pick: Philadelphia Eagles

Chargers vs. Bengals: “Last week, the Chargers clinched the final playoff spot by the skin of their teeth against the back ups and third stringers of the Kansas City Chiefs. This week they have to play the red hot at home Bengals as they went unbeaten this season. They also played earlier this season in San Diego and the Bengals were the victors 17-10. This would likely be a repeat performance as the weather will hinder Philip Rivers and his offense.”

Pick: Cincinnati Bengals

49ers vs. Packers: “Despite weather will not be kind to say the least in Green Bay, Wisconsin the packers will have an uphill climb to say the least. The San Francisco defense has been relentless this year, especially their inside linebackers. Also this is only Aaron Rodgers’ second game back from a broken collarbone in his non-throwing arm and that could become a bull’s-eye for the 49ers defense throughout the game. Also quarterback Colin Kaepernick could have yet another field day against this team as he did last year.”

Matt Wagner (NBA/NFL Special Correspondent)

Chiefs vs. Colts: “The Indianapolis Colts head into their showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs playing their best football of the season, having won three straight games and four out of their last five. Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense have been consistent over the past few weeks, and their defense has been producing as well. Meanwhile, Kansas City is playing some of their worst football of the season. After shocking the NFL with their 9-0 start, the Chiefs finished the final seven games with a 2-5 record. Even though Chiefs’ coach Andy Reid rested the starters for their fifth loss in that stretch last week, Indianapolis looks to have all the momentum, while Kansas City appears as if they are in a downward spiral.”

Pick: Indianapolis Colts

Saints vs. Eagles: “In what I personally feel is the most intriguing game of Wild Card weekend, I think Philadelphia has the upper hand over New Orleans in this matchup of two of the NFL’s most prolific offenses. Even though the Eagles come from the much-maligned NFC East, Philadelphia’s offense is running like a well-oiled machine. Nick Foles has been one of the best quarterbacks in the  league since he became the Eagles’ starter earlier this season, and LeSean McCoy leads the NFL in rushing yards. Couple that with New Orleans’ road struggles this year — they have a poor 3-5 road record compared to a perfect 8-0 mark at home — and you have the makings of an Eagles victory.”

Pick: Philadelphia Eagles

Chargers vs. Bengals: “The Cincinnati Bengals have been a formidable team all season, however they have to face a red hot, hungry Chargers squad on Sunday. San Diego has finally started to come into form, winning four out of five to close out the season. Philip Rivers is beginning to look like his old self, rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen has been a huge difference maker, and Ryan Mathews removed the bust label, having the most consistent season of his pro career. The main question is whether San Diego’s defense will be able to slow down Cincinnati, and although it will probably be a close game all the way through, I think San Diego can pull the victory out at the end.”

Pick: San Diego Chargers

49ers vs. Packers:   The Packers will close out Wild Card Weekend by hosting the 49ers on the Frozen Tundra at Lambeau Field — literally. The temperature at kickoff will be -5 and it is only expected to get colder throughout the course of the game. That just means San Francisco will have to rely more on their running game, a task which they are more than capable of accomplishing through both the read option and giving the ball to running back Frank Gore through a more conventional route. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was rusty last week against the Chicago Bears and as long as San Francisco can slow down power running back Eddie Lacy, I think the 49ers’ secondary can handle Rodgers.

Pick: San Francisco 49ers

Charlie DiSturco (MLB/NBA/NFL Special Correspondent)

Chiefs vs. Colts: “The Indianapolis Colts will look to get deep into the playoffs with Andrew Luck at the helm for the second time in as many years. However, ever since Reggie Wayne went down, the Colts have struggled against teams over .500. With the Kansas City Chiefs defense able to shut down opposing number one receivers, Luck will have to look towards weaker options, which will ultimately end up hurting the Colts. The Colts defense has also struggled against the run, which will allow Jamaal Charles to have another great game, contributing to the Chiefs win.”

Pick: Kansas City Chiefs

Saints vs. Eagles: “The Philadelphia Eagles have been phenomenal ever since Nick Foles became their starting quarterback. After winning a close game against the Romo-less Dallas Cowboys, which led to the Eagles being named the NFC East Champions, they will have to face a far more talented team in the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have struggled on the road, but the Eagles won by a two-point margin against Kyle Orton, proving their defense cannot stop weak offenses. The Saints defense have held opposing quarterbacks to 194.1 passing yards, proving they could stop any quarterback, including Foles.”

Pick: New Orleans Saints

Chargers vs. Bengals: “The San Diego Chargers are not real playoff contenders. They clinched the playoff spot after Andy Reid sat most of his starters. The Cincinnati Bengals defense has played phenomenal this year, ranked fifth in opponent’s passing yards and rushing yards. The Bengals are undefeated at home, and will keep that streak alive, defeating the Chargers for the second time this year.”

Pick: Cincinnati Bengals

49ers vs. Packers: “The Green Bay Packers are back and with both Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb both healthy, the Packers will become the elite offense they were to start the season. While their record shows that the Packers are 8-7-1, they are 6-2 when Rodgers plays the entire game – and undefeated at home. Even with the San Francisco 49ers having a 6-2 record on the road, they will be no match for Rodgers and the Pack.”

Pick: Green Bay Packers

Sam Lefkowitz (NCAA/NFL/NBA Lead Writer)

Chiefs vs. Colts: “The Chiefs defense is one of the best in the NFL, and it should be able to get to Andrew Luck many times during the game. I like the Chiefs strong defense and power run game to overpower the Colts. Andrew Luck will not be able to overcome the strong pass-rush from Kansas City.”

Pick: Kansas City Chiefs

Saints vs. Eagles: “The emergence of second year quarterback Nick Foles at the quarterback position has given the Eagles a home-field playoff game this season. Foles played incredibly efficient, passing for 27 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions this year. Despite this, the Saints are a more well-rounded team with a stronger defense and equally efficient offense. Head coach Sean Payton knows how to win a playoff game and this experience will be helpful when facing first-year coach Chip Kelly.”

Pick: New Orleans Saints

Chargers vs. Bengals: “The Bengals have one of the strongest defenses in the NFL. The Chargers should have difficulty scoring in Cincinnati. This should not come as much of a surprise since San Diego barely defeated a Kansas City team composed mostly of backups last week.”

Pick: Cincinnati Bengals

49ers vs. Packers: “The Bengals have one of the strongest defenses in the NFL. The charges should have difficulty scoring in Cincinnati. This should not come as much of a surprise since San Diego barely defeated a Kansas City team composed mostly of backups last week.”

 


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]

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