NFL Wild Card game predictions.

NFL Wild Card game predictions
Here it is, the first week of playoffs and while the Jaguars aren’t in it, the best teams, are. Instead of doing an AFCS game preview, this will replace that with my NFL Wild Card game predictions.

SATURDAY 4:35 ESPN

6th Seed Colts (10-6) vs 3rd Seed Texans (11-5)

This is a home game for Houston, they have a better record and therefore should get the nod. I disagree. Indy has a better offense, slightly better defense, much better passing and about even rushing.
In the cold of January, that rushing stat would be worrisome, but the Texans play in a dome, as do the Colts. Which means, passing and defense is what will matter more – for this game.
Houston’s defense only allows 19.8 points a game, while Indy gives up 21.5. Against QB’s, Houston is 13th and Indy 16th in total QBR. I look at this number because it shows how they did in allowing completions. The real eye opener though is how many each allowed in passing TD’s and for Indy it was only 21, for the Texans is was 28.
The Colts score 27.1 a game and the Texans 25.1.
Against the rush, Houston is third in TD’s allowed, while Indy is 10th. Both teams have the same interceptions, but Houston has five more sacks. Since the Colts have protected Luck the best in the league, the big advantage goes to Indy since Deshaun Watson has been creamed the most.
Away teams tend to do far worse in the playoffs than the home teams, usually it’s because the home team earned it by being better. In this case, Indy got off to a slow start because they have a new head coach and had a rusty QB. Both are now clicking. I chose Indy by 6.

8:15 FOX

5th Seed Seahawks (10-6) vs 4th Cowboys (10-6)

Lord, I don’t like Dallas and can’t be objective when looking at stats. Nine is the number that matters. That’s how many rushing TD’s Seattle has allowed. In the red zone, they’re keeping teams out of the end zone.
Dallas’ offense is wrapped around Zeke Elliot and the run game. Take him away and stick a dagger in their heart, their defense be damned.
Seattle allows one more point a game than Dallas and that’s coming from the pass. They’re not great against it, but when it comes to tossing them, they’ve got Dallas beat by 13 TD’s.
Dallas has to find a way to keep up in scoring in order to win. They lag by 5 points per game, hence nine is the key. Nine means the Seahawks have had games with zero rushing TD’s allowed. Do that vs Dallas and you’ve got a big win for Seattle.
In my subjective view point, Seattle plays bend don’t break defense while Dallas plays more flashy, that can get them into trouble. And FYI, Seattle has more rushing TD’s than Dallas. 15 to 13. My prediction, Seahawks by 7 because Dak Prescott will be strip sacked.

SUNDAY 1:05 CBS

5th Seed Chargers (12-4) vs 4th Seed Ravens (10-6)

LA has a big thing going for them, they travel well. 7-1 to be exact which means they aren’t afraid of playing in loud stadiums, plus they have shown time changes don’t bother them, either. In their first match-up, offensive penalties killed them. This is an area to see if it was cleaned up – it’ll go to coaching.
The Chargers have to stop the run, which they’re not bad at, but they’re going to need to be great. Baltimore is number 3rd at the run TD’s, so not a good match-up.
Against the pass, Baltimore is second in QBR and LA is 9th. Both teams on total defense is top ten. Offense is where the gap is.
When it comes to points on the board, LA has scored almost twice as many TD’s. So, this game is about slowing Rivers through the air and stopping the Ravens on the ground. Kind of funny that rivers run on the ground and ravens fly through the air but each team is the reverse. Yes, I’m goofy.
In January (outside), the run game and defense, win. No one is really talking up the Charger’s run game, but they have three less TD’s than Baltimore and more yards per carry and that’s with Melvin Gordon missing time. Both defenses have given up 11 rushing TD’s.
Baltimore keeps points to 17.9 a game while LA scores 26.8. Baltimore is scoring 24.3, while LA gives up 20.6. Based on just this, LA wins by a FG in a slug fest.

4:40 NBC

6th Seed Eagles (9-7) vs 3rd Seed Bears (12-4)

The Eagles are the feel good team this season, once Nick Foles came in and won. The difference between this season and last is one, teams have now seen enough of him in this offense to know him and two, da Bears.
When it comes to consistency, I’ll take Foles over Mitch Trubisky, but Matt Nagy has found a way to scheme around him and it works. Plus, Chicago has 50 sacks. I don’t think Nick or that OL is ready for Khalil Mack.
Where the two teams are equal is on defending the pass for the score. Both have allowed 22. This opens the door for the quarterbacks to have a decent day provided they don’t get creamed, first. However, Chicago has intercepted the pass an amazing 27 times, needless to say, that’s very bad for Foles. His mental game must be on high alert.
Foles’ total QBR is ranked lower middle, Trubisky is ranked third. Which shows he makes plays even in his inconsistency and that’s what matters. Not to mention, Nick has bruised ribs – against a team with 50 sacks. I’m not seeing a happy ending for the fairytale.
Philadelphia has done better as the season wore on, their defense found its legs, but they’re not a top team and on the road in Chicago, I predict da Bears by 14. This is my one blow-out game.

AFCS Week 6 Preview – TV areas, stats, injury reports, reffing crews and QB charts.

Included below are the TV areas, stats, injury reports, reffing crews and QB charts in this AFCS Week 6 Preview. Add it all up and maybe it helps you pick a winner or at least get a feel for our enemies.

The first map is for the 1:00 games, if you’re interested. There may be a mistake though because further down is the map for the Jags game and it doesn’t match up for the areas they show for the Denver game, both of which are at 4:25.

Image result for tv viewing chart for week 6 nfl

Bills (2-3) vs Texans (2-3) 1:00 CBS

The Bills are pin the nose of the donkey. Who knows what is going to be a hit and what’s not? This game may come down to which quarterback survives. These two have been sacked a combined 40 times.

Last week, a doctor was listening to Deshaun’s heart and breathing. If I were the parents of Josh Allen, I’d be worried about the 22 sacks he’s taken, too . Both teams have dished out a lot of them, but not as many as they’ve allowed.

Referee Crew

ref crew

Injury reports

Obviously the health status favor the Bills, every player was full. I’m envious, they could win just from these.

texans injury report week 6

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Passing Charts

NexGen doesn’t add rushing charts unless a QB has done a few. Watson is running for this life. Hey, Jets, Watson will pass, a lot and run a bunch, get your track shoes out.

deshaun watson passing charts

Dear Houston, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Bills are a run-first team (even though they’re mediocre at 3.5 yards a carry). That’s where you need to beat them. Since the Texans kill in the run game with only one allowed score and 3.4 yards per carry, it’s going to be a long day for the Bills, if Allen is off.

josh allen passing charts

Houston is tied for 14th against the pass for yards, but when it comes to allowing passing TD’s they’re way down at the bottom at 28th. They’re also third worst at QB rating, so this is a chance for Allen to show more.

Buffalo is tied at 11th for giving up passing scores, 18th for yards. Based on that, Watson should have a good day (if he survives it). In addition, Buffalo has given up 5 rushing TD’s. Bottom line, unless Watson is hurt, it’s tough to see the Bills winning, healthy roster or not.

Colts (1-4) vs Jets (2-3) 1:00 CBS

Not sure what to say about this match-up. The Jets aren’t good, but Indy is an ER waiting room on a Saturday night.

Referee Crew

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Injury Reports

Did you think, good God, do these lists end? Cody (who made them) said he got writer’s cramp – I can see why. Truly don’t know how the Colts have a chance unless the Jets just roll over and play dead.

Passing Charts

Clearly the veteran, Andrew Luck, is far and beyond rookie Sam Darnold, but I post these for readers to see trends.

andrew luck passing chart

What’s to note is Darnold is at 60% which is pretty good for a rookie, especially with few weapons. You can also see that his coaches don’t quite trust him, yet. 22 attempts with 3TDs – they may want to open things up a bit against Indy – if any team should be tested, it’s the Colts.

sam darnold passing charts

Indy’s defense is ranked 22nd total, 26th against the pass for yards, but tied for 11th in allowing score. Against the run, they’re ranked 18th for yards, but 22nd for scores. So, the Jets need to pass down the field and run it in for touchdowns.

The Jets are mid pack in giving up yards and TD’s against the run. Something to note – Denver has a really good run game and they still lost, so not sure how much that matters since Indy’s game plan is for Luck to throw until his arm falls off.

As poor as Indy is against the pass, they’re among the best at not allowing big plays. In fact, they’re first at that – 38 yards was the longest. Considering last week, Darnold was bombs away against the Broncos, it could be interesting to see how that ends up.

Where the Jets have a chance to win is on defense, believe it or not. They have 14 sacks, 7 interceptions and Luck’s Oline will be his undoing. Edge goes to NY.

Jaguars (3-2) vs Cowboys (2-3) 4:25 CBS

Referee Crew

(once again, we get a crew with newer guys)

ref crew jags

Protect Bortles, win the game. It’s that simple. Jacksonville has a third team starting LT (which is why Ereck Flowers was signed) and the other four on the OL have been on the injury report for the last three weeks.

Blake Bortles doesn’t release the quickly and when he does get it out fast, it’s often wobbly. He’s not a QB who can toss a beauty downfield while his feet or legs are wrapped up. Good Blake needs time.

Injury Reports

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Sigh. The “good” news is Dallas isn’t in any better shape and Lawrence being iffy should help against a pass rush.

Passing Charts

blake bortles passing charts

dak prescott passing charts

Oiy. Dear Jamal Charles, #DUUUVAL begs you to do good things so Bortles doesn’t have to throw 61 times. And really, there were like 70 passing plays called (sacks, penalties included) which is absurd.

Jacksonville and Dallas are ranked very close with 17.2 and 19.2 points given up a game; however, when it comes to yards given up, Jax is first and Dallas at 8. When it comes to giving up passing scores, Jax is first and 4th for least QB rating.

Basically, when it comes to passing, Jax is King, stopping the run is where they slip and why stopping Ezekiel Elliot is a must. The Jags are giving up 100 yards average a game, to the rush, but same as TD’s for passing – only three.

Dallas has allowed four rushing TD’s, and six passing. If the line can give Blake any kind of time against Dallas’ tied for 7th sack rate, he could do well. If not for last week, this would be a confident win for Jax. Best guess is the first drive for the Jags will say the day we’re in for.

The game may boil down to Zeke vs Jags’ DL because Dallas is 4th in rush. Stop him, could be game over because Prescott hasn’t shown he could do well against a secondary like Jacksonville’s.

See all that red? That’s who will be watching this game. The blue is for the Ravens/Titans. Jags must win this game.

Image result for tv viewing chart for week 6 nfl

Ravens (3-2) vs Titans (3-2) 4:25 CBS

This could be a good game or a snooze fest. In some areas each are very good and in others, fairly bad.

Referee Crew

ref crew ravens

Injury reports

week 6 ravens injury report

About even with injuries for both teams, neither looks great for their defenses.

week 6 injury report titans

Passing Charts

joe flacco passing chartsmarcus mariota passing charts

Joe Flacco is passing the ball everywhere, but not getting a lot of traction with 8 total TD’s, however; injured Marcus Mariota has three. Not sure this is a good match-up for Tennessee.

Tennessee and Baltimore are very close in passing defense (5/6). Against the rush, the Ravens are kicking it, allowing only two TD’s and 3.9 yards per carry. Considering that Tennessee is a run-first team, that’s not great for them. The Titans have only allowed one TD, 4.4 yards per carry.

In passing, Flacco is 9th vs the 27th ranked Titans. Will say though that their stats aren’t good at painting the picture because they had Blaine Gabbert and an injured Marcus, who is looking better.

In rushing, 15th (Titans) and 25th (Ravens). This game will come down to the Ravens stopping the Titans’ rush because while Marcus is doing better, don’t think he he’s ready for a Raven defense and their 15 sacks, especially with both their tackles having been on the injury report.

This could be a low scoring good defensive game to watch and rushing wins the game. (Go Ravens)

AFCS Week 6 Friday Injury Report – Game status, too.

On Fridays (with Sunday games), teams typically have walk-throughs, so it’s usual to see players have upgraded statuses on Fridays. Here’s the AFCS Week 6 Friday Injury report, Game Status

Bills (2-3) vs Texans (2-3) 1:00 CBS

Buffalo may be the healthiest team in the NFL. This alone could give them the edge, especially since their safeties were full go’s.

If the Texans lose and Bill O’Brian wants to save his job, he should say his team was too banged up. Truthfully though, if they can’t protect Deshaun Watson, that answer will be valid.