The 2012 NFL Playoffs are here after a crazy season that saw the Green Bay Packers do as predicted and the San Francisco 49ers surprise everyone in the NFC and earn a bye in the first week of the playoffs. The AFC went about as predicted with the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers taking the lead and a handful of other teams filling in the gaps. We have our picks against the spread for the Saturday games of the NFL Playoffs Wildcard Weekend. We'll have our picks for the Sunday games posted on Thursday or Friday.
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (-3): The Bengals (9-7) likely would be a big underdog if the Texans (10-6) had their starting quarterback available. T.J. Yates hasn't been horrible (80.7 passer rating) but the Bengals defense should be able to keep him in check. It's a lot to ask of Andy Dalton, a rookie QB, to go on the road and win a playoff game but we think the Ginger can do it. Pick: Bengals in the upset
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (-10): The Lions are a big underdog for a reason. On the road they will be facing one of the top offenses in the league with a defense that started the season strong but faded fast. Detroit has the 22nd-ranked pass defense which won't be enough to stop Drew Brees. The only question is, can Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson put up enough points to cover this line. We don't think so. Pick: Saints