NFL Wildcard Weekend + CoachUp Contest!
One of the best weekends of the entire year is upon us, CoachUp friends -- the NFL Wildcard Round! While the favorites like the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers are taking a much needed week to regroup, eight teams will face-off starting tomorrow for the right to move on towards eternal glory.
Generally speaking, we know what we're getting out of the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals, the two other teams that received byes this week, but the best part of this round is seeing what teams like the Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Kansas City Chiefs can do on the big stage. So, in the spirit of one of our favorite two-day spans in the entire sports calendar, we're doing our entire What to Watch entry on the four games!
Even better, anybody who successfully predicts the winners of the four games on our Facebook (without editing), will get a $10 CoachUp credit* -- so get your thinking caps on!
WHO YA GOT? NFL WILDCARD WEEKEND EDITION
Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Satuday, 4:30 PM
Believe it or not, a playoff match-up being helmed by Alex Smith and Brian Hoyer is actually one of the marquee showdowns of the weekend. The Chiefs, who looked sunk at 1-5 when Jamaal Charles tore his ACL in October, tore off 10 straight wins and look in good shape to win their first playoff game since 1994. Opposing them is JJ Watt and the fearsome Houston defense. Watt, one of the NFL's Golden Boys, has the ability to change an entire game on his own accord. Paired with DeAndre Hopkins, who finished third in receiving yards behind Antonio Brown and Julio Jones, the Texans could easily surprise some people. The Chiefs and Texans played waaaaaay back in Week 1 -- the Chiefs won 27-20, but it'll be a whole new game on Saturday.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Saturday, 8:15 PM
It's too bad that these two teams will be operating at less-than-full strength coming into this clash of Division Rivals. With Le'Veon Bell and Andy Dalton both shelved for their respective teams, there may not be as many fireworks as usual. But, with AJ Green, Antonio Brown, Jeremy Hill, and Martavis Bryant, there's plenty of scoring prowess to go around. Since these two teams already play twice a year, there will be no love lost when they face-off again. In Week 8, the Bengals won 16-10 in Pittsburgh and in Week 14, the Steelers won 33-20 in Cincinnati -- so, basically, this game is a total toss-up.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, 1:15 PM
Yeah -- we know, the Seahawks drubbed the Vikings in December by a 28-7 final -- but the playoffs are a different animal entirely. Sure, Marshawn Lynch is back and fully healthy and Doug Baldwin looks like one of the best receivers in the league, but it's tough to bet against Adrian Peterson on his home turf. Peterson, who finished leading the NFL in rushing yards for the third time in his career, has been a force to be reckoned with alongside Teddy Bridgewater. At the freezing TCF, the Vikings will look to freeze the birds and get revenge on that Week 13 loss.
Green Bay Packers vs. Washington, Sunday, 4:40 PM
And, finally, we'll wrap up the weekend as Washington hosts the stumbling Green Bay Packers. After starting off 6-0, the Packers have looked like a simply average team, but can you really count out Aaron Rodgers? If Eddie Lacy can get things back on track and Devante Adams doesn't drop 13 passes a game, the Packers will have a great shot of moving on. On the other side of things, Kirk Cousins has been one of the NFL's top quarterbacks in the second half of the year and Jordan Reed has emerged as a quality tight end. If Washington's three-headed monster at running back gets things right on Sunday, it could be a long day for the Packers. So -- we ask again:
WHO YA GOT? Head to our Facebook to play Who ya got? Comment with your 4 teams. Get them all right and win $10 towards a CoachUp coach!