It’s time for the playoffs once again! Here are my quick predictions on today’s games.
OAKLAND (5) VS HOUSTON (4)
This is going to be awful. The Houston Texans are not that good of a team but they make the playoffs because their division is awful. The Oakland Raiders on the other hand have played some really improved football but are without Derek Carr and has looked terrible since his injury.
Houston has to turn to Brock Osweiler, who has been the starter for most of the year. He is very inconsistent and the running game for the Texans is suspect. There isn’t much about this team that can get the team hyped. DeAndre Hopkins had a down year and part of it is due to inconsistent offensive play. Rookie Will Fuller is unpredictable (even when healthy) and tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz seems to be the only offensive weapon the Texans are using well. Without J.J. Watt, defensively the Texans are still suspect in what they can do
Oakland on the other hand has Defensive Player of the Year candidate Khalil Mack running a defense that is decent but still isn’t top level just yet. The biggest concern, however, is how Connor Cook can run the offense with such limited experience as a rookie. The running game needs to be their biggest weapon to help set the tone for the Raiders offense. If the Texans can get pressure on the Raiders’ strong offensive line, then Cook is going to have a long day with Clowney in his face.
I don’t predict this to be a high-scoring game but with the Raiders lacking their leader at quarterback, they might just struggle offensively throughout the game.
TEXANS WIN 17-13
DETROIT (6) VS SEATTLE (3)
The Detroit Lions have had a pretty good year but they are going to run into the buzzsaw that is the Seahawks. The Lions have had Matthew Stafford looking pretty good most of the season but still unsure he can come up big in the playoffs. Additionally, the team has been ravaged by injuries in the running game and their passing game to their top receivers hasn’t been all that great. Marvin Jones, Anquan Boldin and Golden Tate have to make a big splash in this game to give the Lions a chance, who enter the playoffs on a three-game losing streak.
Defensively, the Lions will have to contend with a Seahawks team that is looking strong. Jimmy Graham is starting to look a little like his old self. Russell Wilson still isn’t the same with his knee injury but as long as the offensive line can keep him upright, Wilson can make the offense move with ease. Still, it’s a big test for Seattle despite the overwhelming odds in their favor. Expect the Lions to hope to attack early through the air, which means the Seattle secondary has the chance to make a statement right from the get-go.
This won’t be a blowout but the Seahawks’ veteran leadership will provide them the timely plays and overcome potentially an early deficit before putting it away early in the third. Playing at home is a huge benefit and expect the home crowd to be as loud as they always are.
SEAHAWKS WIN 24-16