It's Football Friday, the first Football Friday of the NFL playoffs. Wild card weekend is here and as of this time, three games could face blackouts. Come on fans...pony up and go to the game. The only sellout is in Philadelphia. Cincinnati, Indianapolis and most surprisingly (though given the weather forecast maybe smartest) Green Bay, come on man! The Stack is here with previews and predictions for wild card weekend, but first, what a game in the Sugar Bowl last night with Oklahoma upsetting Alabama 45-31 last night. The Crimson Tide were off and Oklahoma played superb offense and had a great pass rush all night long. Maybe Bob Stoops was right. Now let's get right to wild card weekend action in "the stack" for today, Friday, January 3:
Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts 4:35 PM ET NBC (Saturday)
The Chiefs are the more talented, at least well rounded team. Their defense played great the first half of the season, but it's easy to look great against some poor competition. Tamba Hali and Justin Houston will be back and should be close to 100 percent. That will be key to the Chiefs winning this game. The Colts are ready to key in on stopping Jamaal Charles. If they don't, it's going to be a long game. This is really tough to pick, but the Colts going into KC and beating the Chiefs a few weeks ago makes me leary of what the Chiefs can do. Colts finished the season strong. I think they can get by the Chiefs though I won't be surprised in the least if the Chiefs pull this one off. Maybe Adam Vinatieri will win the game.
Prediction: Colts 23 Chiefs 20
New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles 8:10 PM ET NBC (Saturday)
Saints head coach Sean Payton has playoff experience while Eagles head coach Chip Kelly does not. While that will help the Saints in some regard, the fact of the matter is that they have not played well on the road the second half of this season and in the playoffs under Payton. They lost to a 7-9 Seattle team in the wild card round a few years back. There will be points a plenty in this game. Again, this is a toss up. However, the Eagles have been playing better than the Saints have in the last month and in the elements and playing at home, I like LeSean McCoy and company to put up more points than the visitors.
Prediction: Eagles 38 Saints 31
San Diego Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:05 PM ET CBS (Sunday)
Bengals won the regular season matchup and that was in San Diego. Both teams have been dealt with plenty of injuries on the defensive side of the ball. Chargers have the more dynamic offense, but they struggled a bit last week against Kansas City's B-team. Really, the whole team did. Marvin Lewis hasn't faired well in the playoffs as Bengals head coach. Does he even have a win? No! This is the time though where I think he gets that win and hopefully Cincinnati and the greater area gets a chance to watch.
Prediction: Bengals 27 Chargers 20
San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers 4:40 PM ET FOX (Sunday)
Seems slightly unfair that the 49ers have to go to Green Bay despite the fact that they have the better record. It will be cold, no frigid at Lambeau Field on Sunday. Possibly negative degree temperatures at kickoff. That could really mess with the 49ers psyche. The Packers got lucky that the Detroit Lions fell apart down the stretch and got Aaron Rodgers back in time to win the NFC North. Why I feel as though the breaks are falling their way and they could be the team of destiny, I really don't know. But that's the way this game is going to turn out though the 49ers winning will not surprise many people in the slightest.
Prediction: Packers 27 49ers 16
Coming up Monday: Wild Card reaction, final picks record from the regular season and a BCS national championship preview.
By the way...I like Ohio State tonight over Clemson in the Orange Bowl.