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Matt Loede's NFL Wild Card Picks

by Matt Loede, NFL Gridiron Gab

Time for playoff weekend, and here we go with our first round picks for the Wild Card weekend. For the first time in forever, the road teams are all favorites. Here we go with our picks for the Wild Card Round.

Atlanta (-1) at Arizona

I love the Falcons running game in this one, and think that if they can get going against the Cards defense, they can control this game. Arizona needs to strike quick and get the fans in the game. Kurt Warner has playoff experience, and can get his troops that have made the postseason for the first time settled down. I don't like though how bad the Cards have played for most of the second half of the season, and think it catches up to them here and the Falcons move on to play the Giants in round two. Atlanta 27 Arizona 21

Indianapolis (-1) at San Diego

The Colts are the hottest team in the league, and they head to San Diego where they won back in late November 23-20 on a last second field goal at the buzzer. Now with newly crowned MVP Peyton Manning, they head back to the coast, and I think they should be road team number two to take care of business. Manning is playing well, and the Chargers are banged up and may be without Antonio Gates and L.T. is not going to be 100 percent. Philip Rivers will keep them in the game, but in the end, the Colts move on. Indianapolis 31 San Diego 21

Baltimore (-3) at Miami

Maybe the toughest game to call, as both these teams have a lot of good, and some bad about them. The Ravens have a defense that put the Dolphins to bed early in the season, while the Fins seemed to have gotten better since then. Joe Flacco isn't playing like a rookie, but the Dolphins need to pressure him and force some mistakes. Chad Pennington is a vet that can make some plays, but I think in the end this is a low scoring game that the Ravens win with their defense. Baltimore 16 Miami 10

Philadelphia (-3) at Minnesota

Donovan McNabb has a very solid record in first round playoff games, and I think that they realize they are not going to run on this good Vikings D. They are going to have to throw, and McNabb knows that and will do it to his good core of pass catchers. Brian Westbrook is going to be a key out of the backfield. As for the Vikings, Adrian Peterson has to hang on to the ball, as turnovers are going to be the death blow of the Vikings offense. Tarvaris Jackson is rumored to be the starter in 2009, and he can cement that with a win here. Won't happen. This Eagles are going to take care of business, making it 4-0 for the road teams. Philadelphia 23 Minnesota 14

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