For my NFL Wild Card Week five star lock picks I am picking one game each from the AFC and NFC. First it will be Kansas City facing Houston in the AFC on Saturday, Jan. 9. It’s the first Wild Card Game of the weekend. Kansas City goes into Houston having won their final 10 regular season games. The Chiefs enter the playoffs as the hottest team in the NFL.
The other Wild Card Game where I believe that there is a lock is on Sunday when Green Bay travels to Washington. Green Bay lost to Minnesota at home in Week 17. Instead of winning the NFC North, the Packers end up as the 5th seed in the NFC.
A Closer Look At My NFL Wild Card Weekend 5 Star Lock Picks
What: AFC Wild Card Game
Who:Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) at Houston Texans (9-7)
When: Saturday, January 9, 2016
Kickoff: 4:20 PM ET
Where: Houston, TX
Stadium: NRG Stadium
Spread: Chiefs -3
Moneyline: Kansas City -185 vs Houston +160
Game Total: 40.5
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Kansas City vs Houston
Analysis: You have to hand it to the Texans. The team has a lot of fight. Before their bye, Houston sat on a 4 and 5 record. The Texans went 6 and 2 straight up after their bye in order to wrestle away the AFC South Division from the Indianapolis Colts. But, Houston’s offense has been just okay this season. QB Brian Hoyer produced a 73.1 QB rating against New England in Week 14. He was hurt in Week 15 and Week 16. In Week 17, against Jacksonville’s defense, Hoyer finished the game with a 78 QB rating.
Hoyer and the Texans face one of the best defenses in the NFL on Saturday. The Chiefs have allowed only 2 teams to score 20 points or more against them in their last 12 games. Kansas City’s defense allows an average of 329.3 total yards per game. Opponents average a paltry 17.8 points per game against KC’s defense. The Chiefs offense averages 25.3 points and 127.8 rushing yards per game. Houston has no shot.
Pick: Kansas City
What: NFC Wild Card Game
Who: Green Bay Packers (10-6) at Washington (9-7)
When: Sunday, January 10, 2016,
Kickoff: 4:40 PM ET
Where: Landover, MD
Stadium: FedEx Field
Game Total: 46.5
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Listen: Green Bay vs Washington
Analysis: The biggest disappointment in the NFL this season might be the Green Bay Packers. Sure, Indianapolis is up there and the Colts didn’t even make it to the playoffs, but the Packers were the pre-season favorites to win the NFC. Green Bay just hasn’t been as sharp on offense as so many predicted the Packers would be. It starts with QB Aaron Rodgers who failed to hit a QB rating at the century mark after Week 4 in the regular season. You can blame Rodgers lack of weapons all that you want. But, Rodgers has to take some of the blame.
It’s doubtful that Rodgers out duels Washington QB Kirk Cousins on Sunday. While Rodgers was lackluster towards the end of the regular season, Cousins turned into a veritable star. Cousins finished the regular season with 6 straight QB ratings of 100 or better: 114.4 against the Giants, 101.4 against Dallas, 104.2 versus Chicago, 153.7 against Buffalo, 120.3 versus Philadelphia and 155.1 versus the Cowboys in Week 17. Cousins and WR Desean Jackson have a great rapport. Washington now has one of the top passing offenses in the NFL. It should have no trouble taking it to Green Bay’s defense on Sunday. The DC’ers move on is my bet.