Sports Outside the Beltway

January 9th NFL Wildcard playoff game predictions

Did you know the Super Bowl was played on this day in 1977? Two Super Bowl games, III and IX were played on my birthday or January 12th. Now the NFL is just getting around to their postseason on these days.

I stopped making football prognostications early in the 2008 season. Today I will carefully dip my big right toe back into those waters.

New York Jets at the Cincinnati Bengals- My childhood team against the team that because of connections my father had, I got to watch play a Super Bowl.(XVI where San Francisco beat the Bengals 26-21)

Forget that the Jets won 7 of the last 8 times these teams have met. The Bengals were almost always awful at the time of those encounters. The Jet defense is statistically the best in the NFL. Then how come did they only finish 9-7? Because they have a young error prone quarterback. The Jets killed Cincinnati last weekend. The reason- the Bengals had nothing to play for and went through the motions in a stadium they never won in even once.

The Bengals are home this week, and their defense isn’t too shabby either. Jet QB Matt Sanchez will have a rough day(He was a very underwhelming 8 for 16 last weekend) My prediction- Cincinnati 21-10.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys- Like the first playoff game this weekend, this is a rematch of a game played last weekend. Dallas defeated Philadelphia 24-0.

Dallas also won the other time these two teams met during the 2009 NFL season. Dallas has a very strong offense, second in total yards for the entire NFL. They also haven’t won a playoff game in 14 years and Coach Wade Phillips is 0-4 in the postseason.

Philadelphia is very opportunistic as seen by their plus 15 turnover ratio, 2nd best in the NFL. Also they are much better than their 6th seeding. If they had beaten Dallas last weekend, they would have received the bye this weekend.

The Eagles have never lost a wildcard game and today will be no different. My prediction- Philadelphia 34-27.

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