Seahawks and all!: Staff predictions for each Wild Card playoff game
By Lee Vowell
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
Matt Holm: 49ers 27 Seattle 20
Lee Vowell: 49ers 27 Seattle 11