Talk about out the frying pan and into the fire, but that shouldn’t be too tough for a Cook…yeah ok, I’m done. It really is though for the former Spartan. He was cruising along behind a great QB, who even wasn’t slowed down by a dislocated finger. Then boom, you’re up kid. It’s definitely thrown a wrench into the AFC playoff picture. As always, I will not be picking the Lions (see 30 years of hurt). Let’s go!
Raiders @ Texans (Line: Texans -3.5)
I think this will be a close one, but without Carr, I’m not sure the Raiders can do it. This is not so much a knock on the Raiders, but more so how great Houston has been at Home this season (7-1, +28) even with Osweiler under Center. Their Defense is just that much better at Home, and I see them doing what they’ve done all year in Houston.
Dolphins @ Steelers (Line: Steelers -10)
This one is a no-brainer. While Matt Moore has looked good filling in for Ryan Tannehill, we’re now talking Pittsburgh, in the playoffs. The Dolphins did beat the Steelers in Miami this year, so there is a hope they learned something, but it’s a big mountain to climb. Steelers have a playoff-seasoned QB, starting at Home, on a seven-game winning streak. Steelers move on.
Giants @ Packers (Line: Giants +4.5)
This is a tough one. Both teams have looked good this year, albeit in different ways. The Packers have been streaky, starting slow and now on a six-game winning streak. The Giants have been up and down, but also handed the Cowboys two of their three losses this season. I liked the Giants from the start of this one, and I still do. I don’t know why, but for once I am going with my gut. Giants move on.
This is a bit of a meh first round on paper minus the Giants-Packers. However, I think it will be better when its played out. Just because the Texans are better at Home doesn’t mean they’ll run away with it, and that’s a big line for the Steelers to cover. I think it will be more entertaining than it looks.
As for my Lions? Well I am being optimistic, but also a realist. The Seahawks are banged up, and haven’t looked great recently. However, the Lions are the Lions. They’re on a three game skid, tanked the division, and in true Lions fashion already announced their coach is coming back, regardless of the outcome of the playoffs. So 49-0 and Caldwell is coming back! Gee wonder why that “Same Old Lions” saying won’t go away?!