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2016 NFL Wildcard Playoffs: NFC Sunday

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The postseason continues with the NFC taking over today.

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The AFC wild card game Saturday featured one blow out (Yes, I picked Houston to win...), with Kansas City slapping the Texans off of the post season page - 30-0. The next game was a tough, crazy, rain drenched affair. (Yes, I got the winning team right, but I blame the weatherman, who said... Never mind...) Pittsburgh and Cincinnati played tough as nails AFC North football down to the literal wire. Thirty penalty yards in the closing seconds of the game provided the Steelers a win. Not sure Vontaze Burfect is a "dirty" player, but learning to harness his obvious passion for the game may be something he'd like to work on? The Steelers never gave up, and "Big Ben's" heroics can't be denied in a tight 18-16 win...

On to NFC Sunday!

NFC Wild Card: Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings (NBC, 1:05pm ET)

The Seattle Seahawks travel to Minnesota to face a red hot Vikings team. They knocked the crown off  perennial NFC North champion Green Bay, and carry some momentum into this game. They need it, since the December 6th meeting between these two teams ended up with the Vikings getting pillaged - 38-7, at home...

Seattle's running back cupboard is kind of bare, with Marshawn Lynch not making the trip this week to the frozen North. By the way, "FROZEN" is the key word here:

... Wind Chill Advisory now in effect until noon CST today... * wind chill values... 25 to 30 below... but improving during the late morning as winds diminish and temperatures rise. - Weather Underground

Bud Grant is smiling right about now... Playing outdoors - in winter - while the Vikings' new stadium is being built was something I looked forward to seeing. I'm not sure today's players feel the same way? The turf will seem more like granite, and tackling is going to hurt just a bit more than usual. No, I won't get into game ball air pressure at these temperatures...

All eyes will be on the quarterbacks in this contest. Teddy Bridgewater needs to show he can take over a game. A nice season so far for the second year signal caller, he really hasn't done anything remarkable. On the other side, Russell Wilson has exploded into the quarterback who can change a game. His early 2015 season was pretty lackluster, but he's suddenly found his rhythm. He's spreading the ball around, and wide receiver Doug Baldwin has been red hot. He's having a career year: 78 reception/1069 receiving yards/14 touchdowns, with a 13.7 YPC.

My Pick: Seattle wins in a bruising game: 33-27

NFC Wild Card: Green Bay Packers at Washington (FOX, 4:40pm ET)

The team I'm most shocked to see in this post season is Washington. A team that's exemplified "dysfunction" over the past few years has suddenly gelled behind the anti-RGIII: Kirk Cousins. This team is hard to figure out? On paper, they have a stable of running backs that should be the team's mainstay every week. Instead, Cousins has been flinging the ball around the field. Tight end Jordan Reed has been a flat out star, with Cousins feeding him the ball regularly. The Packers need to bottle up Reed, or this could very well be an upset in the making...

Green Bay hasn't looked very "Green Bay" this season. They seem out of sync since Jordy Nelson went down early in 2015. Aaron Rodgers hasn't found his Nelson doppelganger, and if they hadn't signed James Jones - one of the better story lines of 2015 - they may very well have missed the post season altogether. The running back position for the Packers has been a thorn in their collective sides. Eddie Lacy is FAT. He looks fat. He plays fat. He runs like he just finished a Thanksgiving feast every Sunday. James Starks has stepped up, but he's been nagged by titchy, painful injuries. If #FatLacy can get going today, Green Bay wins this one. But I'm more inclined to think he'll try to eat the ball...

My Pick: Washington keeps doing what its been doing. Defying the odds, they top the Packers: 31-17

Enjoy the games! I'll be in the thread all day, so if you'd like to ask questions, throw them my way. There may even be a "Bar Break" or two? If you ask nicely, I may share some of my Cheetos recipes with you...