NFL Wild Card Picks - Sunday Games

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NFL Wild Card Sunday Games

All times Eastern

Click here for Saturday games.

Sunday, January 10

1:05 pm (ESPN) Baltimore Ravens (-3, 55) at Tennessee Titans - A rematch of a week 11 meeting between these two at Baltimore, won by Tennessee, 30-24, in overtime. This game is about mental and physical toughness as the Ravens and Titans are two of the hardest-hitting teams in the league and there's plenty of bad blood between them, so it's likely to be a penalty-fest and maybe a slug-fest at some point.

The Ravens defenders have to deal with hard-running Derrick Henry, who won the rushing title for the second straight season and amassed 2027 yards, becoming the eighth back to top the magic 2000 mark. Tennessee achieved home field on a bank-shot 37-yard field goal off the foot of rookie Sam Sloman at the buzzer in the Titans' 41-38 win over arch-rival Houston, taking the AFC South.

Tennessee went 4-2 after that win over Baltimore, while the Ravens finished in flying fashion, winning their last five for a wild card. This could easily go either way, but Tennessee stunned Baltimore in the divisional round last season, 28-12. Titans may be living in the Ravens' heads, rent free.

Coin Flip: Baltimore

Prediction: Titans 33 Ravens 27

4:40 pm Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (-10, 47) - Chicago backed into the playoffs, losing to Green Bay in week 17, 35-16, and made the playoffs as a wild card only because the Rams toasted Arizona. Midseason, the Bears lost six straight, so it's something of a miracle that they're even in the playoffs.

New Orleans won the South division going away with a 12-4 mark, edging out Tampa Bay by one game. Drew Brees missed four games, but the Saints won three of them with Taysom Hill behind center. They're better with Hill in the role of corkscrew, dangerous at multiple positions.

In week eight, the Saints won, 26-23, in overtime at Chicago, but the teams seem to have gone in different directions, New Orleans going 7-2 since that game, while the Bears finished up 3-5 over the same span. New Orleans has too much talent, experience and coaching savvy to lose this game and they're likely to win it by a ton.

Coin Flip: New Orleans

Prediction: Saints 38 Bears 20

8:10 pm (NBC) Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6, 47 1/2) - Cleveland edged Pittsburgh, 23-22, in the final game of the season, earning a wild card, while the Steeler played that game without starting QB Ben Roethlisberger, as they had already wrapped up the division.

Ealier in the season, the Steelers dusted the Browns in Pittsburgh, 38-7, and the Browns just can't seem to get past this division rival. One problem for Cleveland is their inability to slow down Pittsburgh's offense. The Browns yielded 26.2 points per game in the lower third of the league, while the Steelers were among the best, giving up, on average, 19.5 points per outing, third best in the NFL.

Both teams are adequate, offensively. Pittsburgh ranked 12th overall in scoring, at 26.0. The Browns were at #14, scoring 25.5 points per game. Taking Big Ben's experience and accuracy into account and the idea that the Browns struggled to make the playoffs and may be just happy to be there, the Steelers deserve a huge edge, especially at home, where they were 7-1, tied with Buffalo, Seattle, and Green Bay for the best home mark.

Coin Flip: Cleveland

Prediction: Steelers 31 Browns 21

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