NFL Playoff Predictions- Lions Roar Staff Pick Their Wildcard Weekend Winners


It’s time for one of the most exciting weekends of the year: NFL Wildcard Weekend. In order to get prepared for what promises to be a phenomenal weekend of football, we here at the Lion’s Roar decided to get in on some of the playoff prediction fun and pick our winners for the first round of the NFL Playoffs.

AFC Wildcard:

(7) Miami Dolphins at (2) Buffalo Bills:

Sunday @ 1pm on CBS

A few months ago, this game was looking like a potential AFC Championship matchup. The Dolphins started the season hot going 3-0 with wins against playoff teams like the Baltimore Ravens and Bills, but then went on a three-game losing streak after their MVP-caliber Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa went down with a concussion. Once Tagovailoa returned back to the Dolphins’ lineup it looked like they were once again reassuring NFL fans of their status as contenders as they went on a five-game winning streak. But once again they followed their winning streak with a massive losing streak as they not only lost five out of their next six games but also once again lost their Quarterback to a potentially season-ending injury. Meanwhile, the Bills have dominated all season and after finishing their season on a seven-game winning streak they certainly look primed to make a deep run in the playoffs.

Pick: Buffalo Bills


(6) Baltimore Ravens at (3) Cincinnati Bengals

Sunday @ 8:15pm on NBC

It’s hard to look at this matchup of AFC North titans and not feel robbed of what could’ve been an all-time great playoff game. Instead of this game being an offensive firework display, it looks like it could be a bit onesided as the Ravens’ star Quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is considered by most to be a top-five Quarterback in the league, will miss the game due to a knee injury. And, considering the Bengals’ high-powered offense, the same offense that helped them make the Super Bowl last year, only had to try for one half to beat these same shorthanded Ravens less than a week ago it seems fair to assume a more locked-in Bengals team might be able to administer a beatdown on Sunday.

Pick: Cincinnati Bengals


(5) Los Angeles Chargers at (4) Jacksonville Jaguars

Saturday @ 8:15pm on NBC

Don’t look at the score from the last time these two teams played and be fooled: The Jaguars are not 28 points better than the Chargers. After a rocky start to their season which can mostly be attributed to the rib injury to Quarter Back Justin Herbert, the Chargers have been on fire. They have even played well in their losses as they’ve lost three games against Super Bowl favorites like the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers by a combined 12 points. The Jaguars, meanwhile, are products of an easy division. Although they did have some great wins to finish their season, it’s hard to be too excited about a team that barely went above .500.

Pick: Los Angeles Chargers


NFC Wildcard:

(7) Seattle Seahawks at (2) San Francisco 49ers

Saturday @ 4:30pm on FOX

The fact that this game is on at 4:30 on a Saturday should tell you everything you know about this game: it’s not going to be close. The Seahawks are a great story for this season, but the 49ers are on an entirely different level. Ever since a slow start to the season, the 49ers have been on fire and have a strong enough roster and system that they can plug in just about any backup Quarterback and still be the best team on the field by far. Although Seahawks’ Quarterback Geno Smith deserves a lot of credit for having one of the best regular seasons in Seattle’s history, it looks improbable that his magical run continues.

Pick: San Francisco 49ers


(6) New York Giants at (3) Minnesota Vikings

Sunday @ 4:30pm on FOX

The Minnesota Vikings are 8-1 at home this season and the Giants are 4-4 on the road. Although the Vikings do like to play games a little closer than they have to, which makes for a lot of unnecessarily exciting and nerve-racking games, they do have the veteran talent and personnel to get many clutch wins. Also, historically most Wildcard games are won by the team with more rush yards, and few teams in the entire NFL get more rush yards than the Vikings.

Pick: Minnesota Vikings


(5) Dallas Cowboys at (4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Monday @ 8:15pm on ABC

This is 100% the game of the weekend, and will probably be a contender at the end of the year for the most-watched television program of 2023. Although the Cowboys are the much better team, especially considering the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers finished under .500 this season, it’s hard to go against Tom Brady in the playoffs. Not to mention, Brady has never lost to the Cowboys before in his entire career. The Buccaneers average the most rushing yards per game in the entire NFL and are captained by the greatest football player ever. Pair this with the fact that the Cowboys always fizzle out in the playoffs and we might have another season of disaster on the horizon for Dallas.

Pick: Tampa Bay Buccanneers.


No matter who you’re rooting for in these NFL playoffs, we definitely seem to be promised a very exciting Wildcard weekend with some of the league’s greatest stars facing off on the biggest stage in sports. Hopefully some of these predictions are right, but no matter what happens it should be a great weekend of football.