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Non-Texan Take: Wild Card Weekend Preview


Cincinnati @ Houston: Sat., Jan. 07, 4:30 PM ET NBC

The teams meet for the second time in less than a month. Houston won the last meeting in Cincinnati without their best player. The Bengal defense has regressed since star cornerback Leon Hall was placed on IR in November. While Houston’s defense hasn’t looked as good in recent weeks due to Wade Phillips’ absence, he’ll be back on the sidelines Saturday.

Pick: Texans

Detroit @ New Orleans: Sat., Jan. 07, 8:00 PM ET NBC

Certainly a game that will make the sports bettors hesitant, the Detroit Lions return to the playoffs for the first time since January 2000 to take on a Saints team that was shocked by the Seahawks in the first round last year. Don’t expect New Orleans to take this game lightly, as Drew Brees is white-hot, and Detroit hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record all season.

Pick: Saints

Atlanta @ New York Giants: Sun., Jan. 08, 1:00 PM ET FOX

Another game that should be tight in a suddenly stacked NFC. Atlanta has one of the most underrated defenses in the league, while the Giants have one of the most overrated. The public may be leaning towards New York more than they should, but Atlanta is the more balanced team. Home field or the good side of their inconsistencies could help the Giants take this game, but the Falcons are the better team.

Pick: Falcons

Pittsburgh @ Denver: Sun., Jan. 08, 4:30 PM ET CBS

The string of easy matchups, and likely the wins, seems to be coming to a close for Tim Tebow and his Broncos. A loss to New England didn’t shock the world, but to follow it up with a blowout defeat at the hands of the Bills and a loss to the Chiefs when Denver had a chance to control their own destiny doesn’t bode well. The Steelers look poised to make a run should Ben Roethlisberger get back to 100%.

Pick: Steelers