Dr. J's NFL Outlook for Wild Card Weekend

<b>Regular Season Totals: 153-87</b><br><br> Not bad overall during the regular season, but the real money winners pick it right come playoff time. This week has some solid matchups that should have football nuts glued to the tube. Tennessee faces off with Baltimore, and Dallas will see Carolina on Saturday and Seattle, with Mike Holmgren, faces Green Bay at Lambeau and Denver is in Indianapolis on Sunday.

January 3rd, 2004

Tennessee at Baltimore

The Ravens are the only team in football to have more yards rushing than passing this season, which actually plays into the hands of the Titans who have the league's #1 rushing defense. It will mean that the Ravens will have to mix their offense up a bit with the hot, but untested Anthony Wright along with big back Jamal Lewis. For the Titans, they will have to spread the mighty Ravens defense out with 4 and 5 WR sets to move the ball. Steve McNair should be healthy for the playoffs and ready for the Ravens. Titans will win the game 24-14.

Dallas at Carolina

Both the Cowboys and Panthers have come a bit down from their early season successes, mainly due to their struggles on offense. Even with a healthy Stephen Davis, can the Panthers run on the NFL's #1 defense? The Cowboys will have to rely on their patchwork offense that needs to be just efficient enough to keep the score down and out of the other team's hands. It's been a great run for Bill Parcells and the Cowboys, but I think their run ends here. I'm going with the Panthers to win 17-3.

January 4th, 2004

Seattle at Green Bay

So Mike Holmgren gets yet another shot at his old team at Lambeau Field, too bad for him that he catches them at their very best. The Packers have rolled over their last three opponents by a combined 110-31 with ol' pro Brett Favre leading the way. And while the Packers will probably use Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport to pound away at the Seattle defense, I would imagine Favre will have plenty to do with the Packers advancing to the second round. Packers win big 35-17.

Denver at Indianapolis

Can Tony Dungy fix his defense that gave up 227 yards on the ground to these very same Broncos just two weeks ago without Clinton Portis? He'd better hope so if the Colts are going to advance in the playoffs for the first time in Peyton Manning's career. Mike Shannahan rested just about everyone that matters to his team on Sunday against the Packers and still may have questions about Portis' availability. Regardless, the key will be the Colts defense to stop the Broncos running machine and give the ball to Manning and the offense as often as they can. This will be a close one, but I'm picking the Colts to eek by the Broncos 31-28 on a FG by Mike Vanderjagt in the final minute of play.

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Many thanks again,
Dr. J

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