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APC NFL Wild Card Picks: Bears and Seahawks to advance in NFC

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Based on the totals of our writers’ predictions, APC narrowly expects three road teams to pull off victories this weekend.

Dallas Cowboys v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The first round of the NFL postseason kicks off this weekend, as eight teams square off in Wild Card games. In the AFC, there is one matchup of divisional rivals in Saturday’s first game before a 12-4 team goes on the road Sunday afternoon.

The NFC sees four teams in action that all have recent playoff history with the Green Bay Packers in some manner. The Seahawks and Cowboys both played postseason games against Green Bay in 2014, with a divisional round rematch in Dallas in 2016. Chicago hosted the Packers in the 2010 NFC Championship, two rounds after the Packers beat Philadelphia in the Wild Card game.

As always, 13 APC contributors submitted their picks for the four contests, and each game gets a breakdown along with our pick, which features the margin by which that team was selected.


Indianapolis vs. Houston

The point spread on this game is just one point in favor of the Texans, so naturally APC is split closely on the result of the first game of the weekend. This should be both a good quarterback matchup, with Andrew Luck and DeShaun Watson, and a good defensive game since both teams rank in the top ten of DVOA. Interestingly, the road team won both matchups this year, with the Colts winning 24-21 at NRG Stadium in week 14. There’s plenty of reason to believe in a rejuvenated Andrew Luck and a suddenly-quite-good Colts defense that quietly finished 10th in the NFL in points allowed and DVOA.

APC’s Pick: Colts (7-6)

Seattle vs. Dallas

Dallas is 21st in overall DVOA, thanks to a glum offense. The passing game is better since they acquired Amari Cooper, but the Seahawks’ defense found a way to be an above-average unit despite all the changes in the offseason. Still, the Seahawks struggled to beat the Cardinals at home on Sunday, as Arizona stifled Russell Wilson. Seattle won the regular season meeting in week 3, 24-13 at home.

APC’s Pick: Seahawks (10-3)

LA Chargers vs. Baltimore

These teams met just two weeks ago in LA, with the Chargers having a chance to pull ahead of the Chiefs for the top seed in the AFC. Instead, Baltimore’s defense smothered the Chargers, scoring a late insurance touchdown after Lamar Jackson hit on one big pass play to give Baltimore a third-quarter lead. Philip Rivers will need to perform far better than he did in that game, when he threw for just 181 yards and two picks on 37 attempts. A healthy Melvin Gordon should give LA the ability to stay more balanced on offense, provided they don’t get in an early hole, but Baltimore knows the blueprint to winning this game.

APC’s Pick: Chargers (7-6)

Philadelphia vs. Chicago

The Eagles got some help from the Bears last Sunday, as Chicago beat Minnesota to open the door for Philly to make the postseason. Nick Foles is hot again and has completed a ridiculous 77% of his passes in three games since Carson Wentz suffered a stress fracture in his back. Doing that against the top-ranked Bears defense is a different story, however, as they are allowing just a completion rate of just 61.3% on the year and a passer rating of 72.9. It should be a little on the mild side at Soldier Field on Sunday — in the high 30s with no precipitation — but the matchup should favor the Bears’ running game and defense.

APC’s Pick: Bears (9-4)


Here are our full individual picks for this weekend’s games:

2019 Wild Card Picks

Game Tex Jason Peter Kris Bob Jon M Jordan Matub Mike Paul Shawn Wendi Zach APC Pick
Game Tex Jason Peter Kris Bob Jon M Jordan Matub Mike Paul Shawn Wendi Zach APC Pick
IND @ HOU HOU IND HOU IND IND HOU IND IND HOU IND IND HOU HOU IND (7-6)
SEA @ DAL SEA DAL SEA SEA SEA SEA DAL DAL SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA (10-3)
LAC @ BAL LAC BAL BAL LAC BAL BAL BAL BAL LAC LAC LAC LAC LAC LAC (7-6)
PHI @ CHI CHI CHI CHI PHI CHI CHI CHI CHI PHI PHI PHI CHI CHI CHI (9-4)