Saturday, January 3, 2015

Corky's 2014-15 NFL Playoff Predictions Wild Card Round

The 2014-15 NFL Playoffs begin today with the Wild Card Round, four games over the next two days determine who takes the next step towards Super Bowl XLIX her in Phoenix on February 1st.

I have put together a bracket and I have made my predictions at who will win it all but I will wait until after the Super Bowl to post up my completed bracket, I don’t want to jinx the winner. Though it shouldn’t be a surprise who I picked to become Super Bowl Champions.  

Let us take a look at the collectability of each team and see if that can determine who will move on to the next round. Since the most collectible players are at the skilled positions I am mainly focusing on these players and these are just my opinion on the most collectible players. Here are the games for the Wild Card weekend, my personal predictions are bolded and some are different from my collectability predictions, which are italicized. I am trying to select a variety of cards from each player’s rookie season to display. I do not own any of these cards.

Game 1:
Arizona Cardinals at CAROLINA PANTHERS
Betting odds: Panthers favored by 5.5 points with an O/U 37.5
Carson Palmer QB (Not playing)
Larry Fitzgerald WR
Patrick Peterson DB
Cam Newton QB
Kelvin Benjamin WR
Luke Kuechly LB

There is no question that Newton is the more dynamic QB here, not to mention that Palmer will not be playing,  and while Fitzgerald ranks at the top of almost every collectors favorite Wide Receiver list it is hard for him to collectability compete with Cam Newton’s rising star (as long as he stays a winner). There are definitely collectible players on both teams but these two are head and shoulders above the rest of the two rosters.
Sadly without Palmer the Cardinals offense has become anemic and barring some freak event I wouldn't be surprised to see the Cardinals held to under 12 points. This really is tough going for the team especially considering that this may be Larry Fitzgerald's final game in a Cardinals uniform.

WINNER: Carolina Panthers
Game 2
Betting odds: Steelers favored by 3 with an O/U 46
Joe Flacco QB
Justin Forsett RB
Terrell Suggs LB
Ben Roethlisberger QB
Le’Veon Bell RB
Troy Polamalu DB
Big Ben has had an amazing career, including two Championships, so his cards have maintained a solid pricing where Flacco is streaky. During the 2012-13 Playoffs he went through the roof and played some amazing ball which ended with a Super Bowl trophy and huge contract but he has since dropped back to Earth price-wise. Forsett has had a resurgence in Baltimore but Bell had a slightly better season and everyone loves Polamalu and his hair. This is a close one but, begrudgingly, I go with Pittsburgh to win.

WINNER: Pittsburgh Steelers

Game 3:
Cincinnati Bengals at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Betting odds: Colts favored by 3.5 points with an O/U of 48.5
Andy Dalton QB

AJ Green WR

Giovani Bernard RB
Andrew Luck QB
Reggie Wayne WR
T.Y. Hilton WR

The Bengals are a mysterious team, they have been hot and cold this year more than anyone and that really effects their collectability. One thing though is even on their best collectible days Dalton and Green will never compete with the value that Luck alone brings to the table. Toss in the future HOFamer Wayne and the young superstar Hilton and the Colts take this game.

WINNER: Indianapolis Colts

Game 4:
Detroit Lions at DALLAS COWBOYS
Betting odds: Cowboys favored by 6.5 points with an O/U of 48
Matt Stafford QB
Calvin Johnson WR
Golden Tate WR
Tony Romo QB
Dez Bryant WR
Jason Witten TE
With Detroit it has gotten to the point where Stafford is no longer the QB of the future, he is an average QB at best even with Megatron and Tate. The Cowboys have the over-rated Romo, the over-reacting Bryant and the unstoppable Whitten. As much as I dislike the Cowboys they do have more collectible players (even though they have not proven to be the Super Bowl winners that Jerry Jones seems to think he has every year) and I do think that Romo may actually get a second playoff win.

WINNER: Dallas Cowboys

I will follow this up each Friday as the playoffs progress.

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