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NFL Wildcard Saturday: Open Game Thread

There are three Week 17 re-matches being played in the opening round of the playoffs. Two of those games are today, and both games will be aired in NBC. If you would like to comment on either of the games, whether it be before, during, or after the game(s), please do so here. The brief previews are after the jump.

AFC Wildcard: New York Jets vs. Cincinnati Bengals (4:30 PM) [See SB Nation Coverage Here]

The Bengals were destroyed last week by the Jets in New York. Although I give the Jets credit for a strong start to that game, the Bengals did not appear to care about the game. Just looking at their offensive formations, they didn't use any creativity (motions, shifts, developed routes, etc). The passing formations were bland, and Cedric Benson was not active.

Just about the only thing we did see last week was Chad Ochocinco challenge Darrelle Revis a few times. Revis won the battle every time, but Ochocinco also had a few drops. I can't wait to see the matchup again today, because Ochocinco has talked smack while Revis does not sweat for a second taking anyone one-on-one in tight coverage.

And then you have Braylon Edwards. I'm sure that quite a few Browns fans want the Jets to lose solely because they do not want to see Edwards advance to the next round of the playoffs. Browns fans want him to drop the game-winning touchdown pass -- I don't even want it to get to that point; I want the Bengals to be in full control of the game come the fourth quarter.

The Jets had a few schedule breaks to get into the playoffs, but they are there nonetheless. Mark Sanchez has had too many atrocious games this season that I can't imagine him looking like a superstar in the postseason. Bengals win by 10.

NFC Wildcard: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys (8:00 PM) [See SB Nation Coverage Here]

When the Cowboys destroyed the Eagles last week, it was a completely different story than the AFC matchup above. The Eagles were playing to win. If Philadelphia would've won last week, they would've had the No. 2 seed and wouldn't even have had to worry about playing this week. Instead, they lost the division to the Cowboys and slipped to a wildcard spot. All of that came after the Eagles had been one of the NFL's hottest teams during the second half of the season.

The one advantage the Eagles might have picked up last week? They didn't give the Cowboys a look at backup QB Michael Vick. I've always been under the impression that one of the reasons teams who use the Wildcat/switching QB playbook don't run it more often is because they are saving their "best" plays out of the formation for the postseason. As far as I can recall, the Eagles are the first team who uses the formation in the modern NFL to actually make the postseason. He should be active for the game, and I'm expecting him and the Eagles to bounce back.

Despite a solid performance from Tony Romo, both teams will be back and forth in a shootout. The Cowboys have one huge weakness though, and it's on special teams. It's not that the holder will choke under pressure, it's that the kickers they've had just flat out suck. Eagles win by 3.


Feel free to share your own predictions on today's games in this thread as well.