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NFL Wild Card Part II: The NFL Stars Come Out to Shine

Round 1 got off to a rough start, but Round 2 of Wild Card weekend offers some safer bets.

NFL Wild Card Part II: The NFL Stars Come Out to Shine

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

As we told you yesterday, we didn’t end the regular season how we wanted.

But the postseason is a new beginning for us all and we’re ready for the luck to come back on our side.

Regular Season = 135-118-2

Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8)

Last Matchup = Tampa Bay won 28-22 at Philadelphia in Week 6.

It’s Tom Brady in the playoffs, so I feel confident in a Tampa Bay win.

Here’s my issue. The Bucs will be without both Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II for this game. This means their lead back will likely be Le’Veon Bell who is averaging 22.5 rushing yards over his last 19 games.

That feels like it could pose problems for the Bucs to run out the clock effectively in the 4th quarter. My fear of a late Philly touchdown to cut this to a one-score game is motivating my pick.

The Pick = Philadelphia

San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys (-3)

Last Matchup = Dallas won 41-33 at home in Week 15 of 2020 season

EVERYONE seems to love San Francisco here. But you can call them Happy Gilmore and I’m Shooter McGavin because I’m not on board!

Jimmy Garoppolo was great leading the 49ers to their big win in Week 18. He also has a significant thumb injury that will require offseason surgery. I really don’t like taking that situation on the road, even with the questions about Dallas’ coaching.

Side note – As the Turf’s resident uniform meshing expert, I cannot wait to watch this game.

The Pick = Dallas

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs (-12)

Last Matchup = Kansas City won 36-10 at home in Week 16

How much do we need to cover here? The Chiefs scored 57 touchdowns this season while the Steelers scored 34.

Despite the Chiefs early season struggles they look to have recovered their scoring proficiency. The Steelers barely got into the playoffs and you could definitely argue if they even should be here.

Here’s one interesting thing though. This is likely Ben Roethlisberger’s last game, and throughout his career he’s been part of many postseason disappointments. The loss to the Tebow-led Broncos in 2011 and then to Jacksonville in 2017 come to mind quickly.

So what if for his absolute final act Roethlisberger leads Pittsburgh to Kansas City suffering a similar heartbreaking loss?

Yeah, I don’t buy it either.

The Pick = Kansas City

Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams (-4)

Last Matchup = Los Angeles won 30-23 at Arizona in Week 14

The Rams started 7-1, lost three in a row and then closed out the season 5-1.

The Cardinals started 7-0, then went 2-2 and closed out the season 2-4.

Arizona is (potentially) getting JJ Watt back which could be huge for the defense and overall team morale. The Rams also have a ton of pressure on them to win a Super Bowl after all the draft picks they’ve traded away.

I am making this decision based on the coaches, and I’m just not sure Kliff Kingsbury is good yet.

The Pick = Los Angeles

Enjoy the final group of Wild Card games, and good luck!

Terry is from Massachusetts and is a passionate fan of the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins. He also will admit he only pays attention to Syracuse basketball when they're good. If there's a Twitter trade rumor even remotely associated with one of his teams, he's likely fallen for it. Finally, he believes 100% that if the Celtics had beaten the Heat in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals they would have swept the Thunder in the Finals.

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