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Mikey's Crystal Ball: Wild Card Weekend

Last Week: 12-4

Season Record: 165-91

Wow, is the regular season really over? After several months of making us worry that there may actually not be a season, we had one. We also had about a week of free agency and the only game that wasn't played was the Hall of Fame game. After that, it was a blur, but a wild season with a lot of great stories. I also moved my picks from a blog that wasn't getting much readership, to this one, which has many more readers (thanks, Ed!). So I appreciate you guys hanging here with me, and to make things more fun for the postseason, Sean Kerr and I are going to have competing picks. Sean's picks will be posted a bit later today. With that, here we go.....

Cincinnati at Houston--So TJ Yates (shoulder) practiced and Andy Dalton (stomach flu) did not. But both will probably play Saturday, and even though the Texans stumbled into the postseason by losing three in a row, I like their chances for the first playoff game in franchise history. I also feel their chances to win the game are in inverse proportion to any playing time for Jake Delhomme. Texans 19, Bengals 16

Detroit at New Orleans--You might think of wide open offenses and maybe a points explosion a la the Detroit/Green Bay game last Sunday. But these teams actually played on December 4 and it was a downright defensive battle (31-17 New Orleans, add sarcasm font). But when I think of the Lions and Saints, I think of one word--chippy. Between Jim Schwartz and Gregg Williams, there will probably be orders to hit hard and play dirty as much as two defenses can within the rules....or slightly outside of the rules. Saints 37, Lions 34

Atlanta at NY Giants--This is our first trip to the wild card round in four years, and the first time playing Atlanta in over two years. If there is one glaring difference in the two teams, it's that Atlanta has some semblance of a running game with Michael Turner (17th overall), and, amazingly, the Giants have the worst rushing offense in the NFL. I felt like we could reverse our recent bad play against Dallas at home last week and I was right, and I feel confident that the good Giants will show up this Sunday as well. Giants 31, Falcons 27

Pittsburgh at Denver--Just like Houston, the Broncos limped in, backed in, and stepped in it the last few weeks of the regular season. And logic says that if the Chiefs can neutralize Tim Tebow, the top ranked Steelers' pass defense can as well. However, nothing about Tebow is logical. So while I try and balance myself on this long limb, humor me and allow this pick....Broncos 17, Steelers 16