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NFL3Its early January and you know what that means in the NFL, Wild Card Weekend. Four games will decide the games played by the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, and Green Bay Packers. The NFL season was a great one and we are not expecting anything less. Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos still writing chapters to thier cinderella story, the Texans prove they are no longer the little brother team in Texas, and the Detroit Lions make the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans

The Houston Texans are playing for the first time in the playoffs, but their injuries are going to show in thier game play. TJ Yates has a seperated shoulder in his non throwing arm, Forster is not going to be 100 percent and niether is Andre Johnson who is still nursing a hamstring. The Texans played at Cincinnati in week 14 where Yates threw for 300 yards, went 26 for 44, threw two touchdowns and one interception in a 20-19 win, also being thier last win of the regular season. They also have Wade Phillips, who coached the Dallas Cowboys to thier first playoff victory in over a decade. Despite this the Bengals have the advantage because they are a healthy team, and thats a major factor in the playoffs. Unless Johnson can play healthy, the Bengals are gonna come out of Houston with a win.

Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints

This is expected to be a high scoring game with both Stafford and Brees throwing for over 5000 yards this season. The Saints are out to redeem themselves of an upset in the hands of the Seahawks last season. The Saints are 8-0 at home, with one of those wins being against Detroit in a 31-17 week 13 win. The only thing is Suh wasn't playing that game. He was still serving a two game suspension for the Tanksgiving incident against the Packers. The Saints are going to come away with the win in New Orleans and they will make another run at the Super Bowl.

Quarterback   Year       Passing Yards Playoff Result                   
Dan Marino 1984 5,084 L 38-16 Super Bowl
Drew Brees 2008 5,069 didn't clinch birth
Kurt Warner 2001 4,830 L 20-17 Super Bowl
Tom Brady 2007 4,806 L 17-14 Super Bowl
Dan Fouts 1981 4,802 L 41-38 Division Round

*top five season passers prior to 2011

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos

Not much to talk about this game and the favorite is clear. Pittsburgh. Yes saftey Clark is out, running back Mendenhall is out for the entire playoffs, and Big ben is limited mobility with a high ankle sprain, but if Tim Tebow is the quarterback and the Steelers are the defence he's up against, there is no contest. Recent history does debate that the team with a .500 record or lower has won in playoff games. The last five teams to come into the playoffs with a .500 or lower record, four have gone to win the wild card game. Last year the 7-9 Seahawks knocked off the defending Super Bowl Champs Saints, the 8-8 Chargers beat the Colts 23-17 in overtime. And in 2004 both the Vikings and the Rams posted 8-8 records and went on to beat the Packers and the Seahawks. But the Steelers shouldn't worry about Tebow who threw 60 yards last week completing 6 of 22 passes in a 7-3 loss against the Chiefs. I'm not expecting the Steelers to go far unless Big Ben can get healthy, but they are going to come out of Denver on top.

Atlanta Falcons @ NY Giants

We have seen what the Giants have done last week to the Dallas Cowboys, and what they did the week before to Rex Ryan's Jets. The Giants seem to have every team scared since we have seen this kind of playing back when they beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and they are at the top of thier game at the right time because I can see them being a serious threat to anyone in the NFC and the AFC champion. They are tied for 3rd in sacks in the NFL with 38, Manning was just shy of 5,000 passing yards not to mention he is hard to bring down, and is a Mannings. The Giants are gonna take a victory aways from Matt Ryan and the Falcons.

Hope everyone enjoys Wild Card Weekend and I'll see you all next week for the division round.