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VOL. 44 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 3, 2020

Look for Texans, Patriots, Seahawks, Saints to advance

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Wild-Card Weekend is here and, if the way the regular season ended is any indication, we could be in for a crazy ride all the way to Miami for Super Bowl LIV.

Let’s take a look at this weekend’s games and predict who will move on to the divisional round the following weekend.

Texans 20, Bills 17

Saturday, 4:35 p.m., ESPN

The Texans rested Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins on Sunday against the Titans, and now there is the possibility of getting J.J. Watt back. That said, the Bills will be a tough out. Their defense is solid and has a knack for forcing turnovers. But Watson has much more postseason and big-game experience than Bills QB Josh Allen. That, and being at home, should be enough to push the Texans over the top.

Patriots 31, Titans 26

Saturday, 8:15 p.m., CBS

The Titans’ rejuvenated offense will probably put up a good fight. But Brady and Belichick are a tough combination in Foxboro, especially in the postseason. The Titans have to feel like they have a shot, but the New England defense has been solid most of the year – Sunday’s loss to Miami notwithstanding.

Saints 35, Vikings 24

Sunday, 1:05 p.m., FOX

The Vikings have become underachievers in the postseason in recent years, and the Saints remember how Stefon Diggs did them in a couple of years ago. The Saints are 13-3, and teams with that kind of record usually have no business playing in the wild-card round. New Orleans has had terrible playoff luck the last couple of years. They probably will take out that frustration on Minnesota this week.

Seahawks 24, Eagles 20

Sunday, 4:40 p.m., NBC

The Seahawks lost a heartbreaker to the 49ers Sunday night and now have to go on the road in the postseason. That might not be that bad, considering the once-huge homefield edge in Seattle has eroded as the Seahawks went just 4-4 at Century Link Field. The Eagles did well to win the NFC East as banged up as they have been this season.

— Terry McCormick

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