Wild Card Weekend Picks
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Wild Card Weekend Picks

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The 2023-2024 NFL playoffs have arrived with some intriguing matchups on deck. Wild Card weekend is usually filled with some surprising upsets, will that be the case this year? Find out below as we break down the six games and make our Wild Card weekend picks.


Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans +2.5 (Saturday 4:30 PM EST on NBC)

Our first matchup of the weekend features two teams that many of us didn’t think would be here. The Browns have shuffled through 5 starting quarterbacks this season yet managed to finish an impressive 11-6. That is in large part due to their dominating defense which finished #1 in total team defense allowing just 270.2 yards per game.

The Texans meanwhile are playing with house money and are led by their star rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. Stroud continues his strong rookie campaign where threw for 4000+ yards, 23 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions. The lack of turnovers was the most glaring stat as Stroud plays with the poise of a seasoned vet.

This game will come down to the wire and will be low-scoring. Expect Stroud to do just enough to pull off the upset at home and continue the Texans surprising season.

Game Pick: Texans 21 – Browns 14


Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs -4.5 (Saturday 8:00 PM EST on Peacock)

Next up on Saturday night, we have a banged-up Dolphins team taking on the Chiefs in chilly Arrowhead. The weather will absolutely play a part in this matchup as temperatures as expected to be in the single digits come kickoff. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are somewhat flying under the radar but you can’t count out Andy Reid and Mahomes in the playoffs.

Miami has been struggling lately as they come in losers of 2 straight. The Dolphins offense has come back down to earth a bit and is hoping star receiver Jaylen Waddle can return as he has been missed.

It’s hard to see the Dolphins coming out victorious in this one. Miami hasn’t been a good cold-weather team as Tua Tagovailoa has struggled in these types of games. Mahomes and the Chiefs move on setting up an intriguing Divisional round matchup.

Game Pick: Chiefs 24- Dolphins 16


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills -10 (Sunday 1:00 PM EST on CBS/Paramount+)

Our first Sunday game features the red-hot Bills vs. the Steelers. The Bills wrapped up the AFC East title last week in Miami and are starting to look dangerous. This will also be a cold weather game with temperatures expected to be in the low 20s.

Pittsburgh is a heavy underdog in this matchup and rightfully so. They will be without their defensive star T.J. Watt who went down last week with a knee injury. Quarterback Mason Rudolph is set to start and he will have his hands full with this Buffalo defense.

This is a tough matchup for Mike Tomlin and the Steelers. They certainly weren’t expected to be here but just don’t have enough firepower to hang with the Bills. Look for a late backdoor cover for the Steelers in this one.

Game Pick: Bills 27 – Steelers 20


Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys -7.5 (Sunday 4:30 PM EST on FOX)

The first NFC matchup of the weekend will be in Dallas where the NFC East champions take on the surprising Packers. Dallas has been dominant at home where they posted a perfect 8-0 record. Most of those games haven’t been close with the exception of the Lions game that featured the controversial 2-point conversion.

Jordan Love and the Packers will be playing with nothing to lose as they were expected to have a down year in Love’s first year under center. It has been anything but that and Love has shown he can be the quarterback of the future in Green Bay.

The playoff atmosphere is different and with the lights on I think the Cowboys come out flat. They will eventually find their groove but expect the Packers to hang around until the end.

Game Pick: Cowboys 31 – Packers 24


Los Angeles Rams @ Detroit Lions -3 (Sunday 8:00 PM EST on NBC)

In the Sunday nightcap, we have the Matthew Stafford Bowl in Detroit. To me, this is the best game of the weekend with so many storylines to explore. Along with Stafford coming back to Detroit you also have Jared Goff looking for revenge against the team that gave up on him.

You have to be impressed with what Dan Campbell did for the Lions this season. Not only did they capture their first-ever NFC North title but they have turned this once lowly franchise into one of the best teams in the league. The Lions also feature one of the most coveted head coaching candidates in Ben Johnson. Johnson is the next great offensive mind and it looks like this is the year he becomes a head coach.

The Rams come into Detroit with confidence as they are winners of 4 straight. They are led by impressive rookie Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams who both look to be late-round steals. While I do think the Rams will hang around for most of the game Detroit will be too much at home in this one.

Game Pick: Lions 28 – Rams 21


Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Bucs +3 (Monday 8:15 PM EST on ABC/ESPN)

Finally, we end Wild Card weekend with a Monday night showdown in Tampa Bay. The Eagles, who were once favorites to win the NFC come in losing 5 of their last 6 games. They have key injuries on both sides of the ball but their defense has let this team down all year.

The Bucs are another one of the surprising teams to make the playoffs. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year in Tampa but they were able to sneak into the playoffs thanks to the lowly NFC South. They now get a home playoff game and will look to avenge a week 3 loss against the Eagles.

This game comes down to who is the healthier team and right now that’s Tampa Bay. A.J. Brown has a knee injury and is not practicing while quarterback Jalen Hurts has a sprained middle finger on his throwing hand. Philadelphia is reeling and this game will put an end to a season that had so much promise.

Game Pick: Bucs 24 – Eagles 14

Written by
Justin Fuhr

Justin is the Owner of Pro Football Mania. He is an NFL and fantasy football fanatic who enjoys analyzing data and analytics in sports.

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