Seahawks and all!: Staff predictions for each Wild Card playoff game

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

In many ways, the NFL’s Wild Card playoff weekend is the best playoff weekend. It’s a lot like the beginning of the NCAA tournament because so many teams are alive and anything can happen. This season is especially true for Seahawks fans as Seattle somewhat surprisingly made the playoffs.

I do like how no one has really looked past this game as far as Seahawks fans go. Their opponent, the 49ers, is really good. San Francisco has a better roster than Seattle. But the fact that many 12s are just happy to have reached the playoffs is a good thing. Ask me about this in 2024 and I will probably have something else to say because Seattle should be really good by then.

But back to the overall Wild Card weekend. Seven of the quarterbacks involved have never played in a playoff game. That should make this weekend even more fun because chaos could ensue. Here is what our staff thinks.

Staff predictions for every NFL Wild Card playoff game, Seahawks included!

Chargers at Jaguars, 5:15 pm PT on Saturday

Shock! The Jaguars who are always seemingly awful found themselves about halfway through 2022. Now they are dangerous with a good young quarterback and a good young running back. This game will probably come down to Chargers QB Justin Herbert versus Jags QB Trevor Lawrence.

Todd Vandenberg: Jaguars 33 Chargers 26

Jake Luppino: Chargers 28 Jaguars 24

Andrew Bailie: Chargers 24 Jaguars 23

Michael Thompson: Jaguars 31 Chargers 27

Max Downard: Chargers 28 Jaguars 27

Karley Sibert: Chargers 24 Jaguars 21

Matt Holm: Jaguars 23 Chargers 20

Lee Vowell: Jaguars 31 Chargers 24

Dolphins at Bills, 10 am PT on Sunday

There are zero reasons the Bills should lose this game. They have the better roster and are playing at home. Plus, the Dolphins will be playing backup quarterback Skylar Thompson.

Todd Vandenberg: Bills 27 Dolphins 10

Jake Luppino: Bills 35 Dolphins 14

Andrew Bailie: Bills 35 Dolphins 13

Michael Thompson: Bills 31 Dolphins 10

Max Downard: Bills 27 Dolphins 20

Karley Sibert: Bills 35 Dolphins 13

Matt Holm: Bills 31 Dolphins 10

Lee Vowell: Bills 28 Dolphins 17

Giants at Vikings, 1:30 pm PT on Sunday

This is one of the better games on Wild Card weekend. The Vikings are probably not as good as their record and a good defense can beat them. New York has a good defense. Now the Giants just have to hope their offense doesn’t get them beat.

Todd Vandenberg: Vikings 19 Giants 17

Jake Luppino: Giants 31 Vikings 27

Andrew Bailie: Vikings 26 Giants 23

Michael Thompson: Vikings 27 Giants 20

Max Downard: Giants 24 Vikings 21

Karley Sibert: Vikings 27 Giants 24

Matt Holm: Giants 24 Vikings 17

Lee Vowell: Giants 24 Vikings 21

Ravens at Bengals, 5:15 pm PT on Sunday

Another backup quarterback game. The Ravens won’t have Lamar Jackson available, but the Bengals will have Joe Burrow. Cincinnati went to the Super Bowl last year so they know how to win in the playoffs.

Todd Vandenberg: Bengals 33 Ravens 20

Jake Luppino: Bengals 27 Ravens 17

Andrew Bailie: Bengals 27 Ravens 17

Michael Thompson: Bengals 27 Ravens 24

Max Downard: Bengals 28 Ravens 24

Karley Sibert: Bengals 27 Ravens 10

Matt Holm: Bengals 34 Ravens 24

Lee Vowell: Bengals 28 Ravens 20

Cowboys at Buccaneers, 5:15 pm PT on Monday

Tom Brady, of course, knows a thing or two about winning in the postseason but on paper, the Cowboys are a lot better than the Buccaneers. Still, there’s Brady. And the Cowboys haven’t won a road playoff game since the Clinton administration. And no, that isn’t a joke.

Todd Vandenberg: Buccaneers 13 Cowboys 9

Jake Luppino: Cowboys 34 Buccaneers 17

Andrew Bailie: Cowboys 24 Buccaneers 20

Michael Thompson: Buccaneers 17 Cowboys 13

Max Downard: Buccaneers 20 Cowboys 17

Karley Sibert: Buccaneers 21 Cowboys 17

Matt Holm: Buccaneers 31 Cowboys 20

Lee Vowell: Cowboys 24 Buccaneers 14

Seahawks at 49ers, 1:30 pm PT on Saturday

We have a separate article about this game, of course, but still. This is a Seahawks site and we like to do things in 12s. Do the Seahawks need a miracle to win? No, not a miracle. But probably a lot of luck.

Todd Vandenberg: Seattle 19 49ers 17

Jake Luppino: Seattle 20 49ers 17

Andrew Bailie: 49ers 16 Seattle 13

Michael Thompson: 49ers 24 Seattle 17

Max Downard: 49ers 31 Seattle 17

Karley Sibert: 49ers 35 Seattle 17

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Matt Holm: 49ers 27 Seattle 20

Lee Vowell: 49ers 27 Seattle 11