The Musket Fire staff continues their game picks into the postseason all the way up to the Super Bowl. Wild Card Weekend is here and features many interesting match-ups. We could know who the Patriots will face today if the Cincinnati Bengals defeat the #3 seeded Houston Texans in Houston. If Houston wins, we’ll have to wait to see who wins the Steelers-Broncos game on Sunday.
So who’s moving one step closer to their Super Bowl dreams, and who’s joining 20 other NFL teams in preparing for the 2012 regular season? Let’s get to the picks!
Cincinnati Bengals at the Houston Texans (Today, 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC)
Jamie Pacheco: Bengals. Cincinnati should have beaten the Texans when they played in the regular season. With some film on injured Texans rookie QB T.J. Yates to work with this time, the Bengals’ defense should step up while the offense does enough to win a close game.
Ryan Hannable: Texans. This is probably the toughest game of the weekend for me to pick, but I have to go with the home team, the Texans. Despite playing with an injured T.J Yates at quarterback, the team has other play makers to get it done and advance in a tight game.
Detroit Lions at the New Orleans Saints (Today, 8 p.m. ET on NBC)
JP: Saints. My heart’s in Detroit but my head says the Saints. I fully expect this to be a high-scoring game, but I just can’t see the Lions pulling this game out in New Orleans. The Saints are tough at home, and that will be enough to put them over the top.
RH: Saints. After a disappointing Wild Card loss last year to the Seahawks the Saints won’t let that happen again this year, especially at home. This should be a high scoring game, and the Saints should win by around ten.
Atlanta Falcons at the New York Giants (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET on FOX)
JP: Giants. The Giants are playing at home, the defense is beginning to peak at the right time, and Eli Manning has experience winning in the postseason (unfortunately). Atlanta has been too inconsistent this season for me to think they are a reliable pick, though this game is a tough pick for me. I do feel that the Falcons are motivated to get another shot at the Saints, but I don’t think that’ll be enough to allow them to win.
RH: Giants. Fresh off of their win last Sunday night to get into the playoffs I expect the Giants to ride the momentum over the Falcons at home. I am not really on the Falcons bandwagon this year. They are too inconsistent.
Pittsburgh Steelers at the Denver Broncos (Sunday, 4:30 p.m. on CBS)
JP: Steelers. Tim Tebow has been a great story this season, but it’s going to end against the Steelers. The defense is too good to fall for Denver’s gimmicky offense with no real passing threat. I don’t think this one will be close.
RH: Steelers. I see this game being the closest of the weekend and probably the lowest scoring, but I think the Steelers experience will give them the edge on the road. The injuries to the Steelers will help Denver stay in the game, but in the end experience will prevail.