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Breakdown: Wild-card weekend

Metro takes a look at the four Wild Card matchups. Plus, gives you our picks.

Saints (11-5) at Seahawks (7-9)
Sat., 4:30 p.m. (NBC)
Line: SEA +10
Pick: Saints 41, Seahawks 14

Running on empty
The Saints are all sorts of banged up, playing on just six days' rest after 2,100 miles of travel and have only won one road playoff game in 44 years. What’s it all mean? They’ll only win by 27.

Player to watch: Julius Jones, RB, NO

Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory were placed on?IR this week, and Reggie Bush still isn't able to pick up short yardage. Look for Jones, who the Seahawks gave up on, to pound his former team on Saturday.


Jets (11-5) at Colts (10-6)
Sat., 8 p.m. (NBC)
Line: IND -2.5
Pick: Colts 34, Jets 20

Not strong enough
Rex Ryan is 1-5 all time versus Peyton Manning, including a loss in last year’s AFC title game. The Jets once attacking and ferocious, just don’t have a strong enough pass rush.

Player to watch: Dominic Rhodes, RB, IND
Now in his third tour with the Colts, Rhodes got more and more of the workload out of the backfield down the stretch in the regular season. He’ll be a go-to guy around the goal line.


Ravens (12-4) at Chiefs (10-6)

Sunday, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Line: KC +3
Pick: Ravens 23, Chiefs 16

Ravens are for real
Matt Cassel is the only quarterback in the AFC playoffs with no postseason experience, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis has one foot out the door and Baltimore has won wild-card road games in each of the past two years.

Player to watch: Ed Dickson, TE, BAL
Todd Heap’s been in and out of the lineup nursing injuries. Dickson, one day before his beloved Oregon Ducks play for a BCS title, should do some damage over the middle a team that has just one win over a team with a winning record.


Packers (10-6) at Eagles (10-6)
Sunday, 4:30 p.m. (FOX)
Line: PHI -2.5
Pick: Packers 37, Eagles 33

Back-and-forth affair
Expect offensive fireworks in the best game of the weekend. Both quarterbacks will put up points, but the Packers have more playmakers on defense. Aaron Rodgers finally gets his first playoff win.

Player to watch: Erik Walden, LB, GB
Opposite Clay Matthews, Walden recorded 11 tackles and 2 sacks in last week’s win over the Bears. An October waiver wire pickup, he'll be all over the place chasing down Michael Vick.

 
 
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