NFL “Wild Card” Playoff Games This Weekend

AFC Conference

BUFFALO (10-6) at HOUSTON (10-6) 3:35 p.m. Saturday at NRG Stadium
in Houston, TX. (ABC and ESPN)—This looks to be an even-Steven game on paper
with both teams coming into this loser-go-home event with equal records and with both
teams coming off losses to weaker opponents they already beat earlier in the season. I
like the Texans in this game, not only for their home-field advantage, but also for the way
they finished the season, minus Sunday’s season-ender. My Projected Score—Houston
23-Buffalo 17.
TENNESSEE (9-7) at NEW ENGLAND (12-4) 7:15 p.m. Saturday at Gillette
Stadium in Foxborough, MA. (CBS)—The Patriots don’t appear to be Super Bowl
favorites this season, but it’s a sure bet Head Coach Bill Belichick will whip them in
shape for the playoffs and ageless quarterback Tom Brady will lead them to a hard-fought
victory Saturday night. My Projected Score–New England 27-Tennessee 21.
Bye week for Baltimore (14-2) and Kansas City (12-4).
NFC Conference

MINNESOTA (10-6) at NEW ORLEANS (13-3) 12:05 P.M. Sunday at the
Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. (NBC)—The Saints have been red-
hot, especially in the Superdome with quarterback Drew Brees having a record-setting
season. Minnesota lacks a good rushing attack which will hurt immensely. My Projected
Score–New Orleans 45-Minnesota 27.
SEATTLE (11-5) at PHILADELPHIA (9-7) 3:40 p.m. Sunday at Lincoln
Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. (Fox)—This should be quite a great matchup with
the Eagles having the home field advantage while the Seahawks have the better
quarterback and head coach. Don’t be surprised if this game goes right down to the wire
with Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson having one of his patented winning drives as
time is running out. My Projected Score–Seattle 27-Philadelphia 24.
Bye week for Green Bay (13-3) and San Francisco (13-3).
Bowl Games This Week

Belk Bowl 11 a.m. Today at Charlotte, N.C. (ESPN)—Virginia Tech (8-4) over
Kentucky (7-5).
Sun Bowl 1 p.m. Today at El Paso, TX. (CBS)—Arizona State (7-5) over
Florida State (6-6).
Liberty Bowl 2:45 p.m. Today at Memphis, TN. (ESPN)—Kansas State (8-4)
over Navy (9-2).
Arizona Bowl 3:30 p.m. Today at Tucson AZ. (CBSSN)—Wyoming (7-5) over
Georgia State (7-5).

Alamo Bowl 6:30 p.m. Today at San Antonio, TX. (ESPN)—Utah (11-2) over
Texas 7-5).
Citrus Bowl Noon Wed. at Orlando, Fla. (ABC)—Alabama (10-2) over
Michigan (9-3).
Outback Bowl Noon Wed. at Tampa, Fla. (ESPN)—Auburn (9-3) over
Minnesota (10- 2).
Rose Bowl 4 p.m. Wed. at Pasadena, Calif. (ESPN)—Wisconsin (10-3) over
Oregon (11-2).
Sugar Bowl 7:45 p.m. Wed. at New Orleans, La. (ESPN)—Georgia (11-2) over
Baylor (11-2).
Birmingham Bowl 2 p.m. Thursday at Birmingham, Ala. (ESPN)—Cincinnati
(10-3) over Boston College (6-6).
Gator Bowl 5 p.m. Thursday at Jacksonville, Fla. (ESPN)—Tennessee (7-5)
over Indiana (8-4).
Idaho Potato Bowl 2:30 p.m. Friday at Boise, Idaho (ESPN)—Ohio (6-6) over
Nevada (7-5).
Armed Forces Bowl 10:30 p.m. Sat, at Fort Worth, TX. (ESPN)—Tulane (9-
6) over Southern Mississippi (7-5).
Lending Tree Bowl 6:30 p.m. Monday at Mobile, Ala. (ESPN)—Louisiana-
Lafayette (10-3) over Miami (Ohio) (8-5).