Big Ben Tuesday: Super Wild Card Weekend Preview – Rating the Match-ups, Fun Subplots.

STAMFORD, CT – I’d like to break up the #NFL with some Michigan v Washington thoughts, but it’s on too late. (Michigan won). So let’s get back to the NFL, and some fun Super Wild Card match-ups.

Cleveland at Houston

Subplot: Old Flacco vs Young Stroud.

You have got to love the opening match-up of off-the-couch Joe Flacco vs the star rookie CJ Stroud. No one saw the Texans here but CJ has been spectacular. Flacco too has been phenomenal down the stretch.

Houston is ahead of schedule, but they might be happy just to be here. The Browns have the better D and will move on.

The Pick: Browns

Miami at KC

Subplot: Tyreek Revenge Game

Tyreek returning to his old stomping grounds is enough to tune in here. Two stumbling teams, with the Chiefs struggling to find their offense and the Dolphins reeling from blowing the division.

As much as any team, the Chiefs have the pieces on defense to slow down the Cheetah. The Dolphins will need to mix it up on offense. Tua is not playing well and Reid and the Chiefs have the experience and the home field… AND some guy called Mahomes.

The Pick: Chiefs

Pittsburgh at Buffalo

Subplot: Two Teams Back From the Dead

The Steelers were 7-7 and coming off brutal losses to the Cardinals, Patriots, and Colts. They turned to beleaguered third stringer Mason Rudolph. Season over right? Wrong. Rudolph led them to three straight wins and the last playoff spot. Amazing.

The Bills were also in trouble at 6-6 after a tough loss against the Eagles. They fired their OC, went to more of a ball control strategy, and reeled off six straight to win the AFC East and grab the two-seed.

I wouldn’t underestimate the Steelers here. The Bills have been winning ugly and I wouldn’t be on the cover. But the Bills have a much more complete team and should get it done.

The Pick: Bills

GB at Dallas

Subplot: New Kid vs the Chokers

Another fun one with the upstart Packers against the perennially underachieving Cowboys. The Packers again may have pulled off the seamless QB transition to Love. He goes against Dak Prescott, carrying a load of early playoff exits on his back.

The Packers looked dead after losing to the Giants, but they rallied. This won’t be an easy out but the Cowboys are tough at home. Dak should play well here.

The Pick: Cowboys

LA Rams at Detroit

Subplot: Stafford’s Return

The Monday night tilt has the best subplot of the week, with Matthew Stafford returning to his long time home in Detroit. It also has a ton of offensive firepower on both sidelines.

The Lions still have plenty of weapons, even without LaPorta. Both defenses are not great, this one should have some points. It’s gonna be a close one, but the home team will pull it out.

The Pick: Lions

Philly at Tampa Bay

Subplot: Beat-Up QBs

Ben Whitney

I feel like both teams got the best possible draws here. Philly looks like they’re out of gas and just want to go home. But Mayfield is banged up too, and the Bucs needed some help from the refs to get by the lowly Panthers without scoring a TD.

The Eagles are favored in this one, surprisingly. I’m not sure how they’re favored against anyone after that performance against the Giants, and the injuries to Brown’s knee and Jalen’s finger.

The pick: Bucs

That’s it for me. Come back tomorrow for “The Ward – who is often Angry.

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About Ben Whitney 396 Articles
Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.