The NFL playoffs are here, and it's time to get into some postseason NFL picks and score predictions. A crazy NFL season was capped off with an unreal finish in Week 18 and we now know what some of these matchups will look like in the Wild Card round.
The 49ers and Ravens clinched the top overall seed in their respective conferences heading into Week 18, but there was obviously a lot to get figured out behind those two teams. After all the dust settled on Saturday and Sunday, let's take a look at each Wild Card matchup and project not only this week's winners, but every game thereafter in the 2024 NFL playoffs.
Wild Card NFL picks and score predictions
(5) Cleveland Browns @ (4) Houston Texans
With all of the injuries they've had to take on this season, I can't say I blame the Cleveland Browns for sitting players in Week 18 against the Cincinnati Bengals. And they got smacked by the Bengals.
The Browns have had to deal with a ton of adversity this year, but they’ve found ways to endure. And more than just keep their heads afloat, the Browns have legitimately been one of the best teams in football and their offense has somehow taken things to the next level with the arrival of veteran Joe Flacco, who has become a journeyman late in his NFL career.
Shoutout to Flacco for being ready to go and coming in right away, getting to know Kevin Stefanski’s offense, and running it exceptionally well. The Browns look like they’re going to be a legitimate threat in the AFC playoff race with the way Flacco has been playing and the way that defense has played all year.
The Houston Texans are obviously going to hope that the Browns aren’t really all that dangerous, but rookie CJ Stroud is going to face a brutally tough test in his first NFL playoff start. And it should not come as a surprise to anyone that Stroud was able to help turn that Texans ship around this season. Stroud will inevitably be named Offensive Rookie of the Year after what he accomplished this season, especially after what we saw from him in a do-or-die situation against the Colts. What a performance.
As far as this matchup, I think I’m liking the Cleveland Browns and that defense. The Texans won’t be going down without a fight, by any means, but the Browns have been so hot lately and I think that defense is going to give teams a lot of fits.
Prediction: Browns win 24-22
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