The 2012 NFL playoffs are only hours away with four games on tap for Wild Card weekend. The Texans are hosting the Bengals and the Lions are traveling to New Orleans for Saturday's games and Sunday has the Falcons playing the Giants and the Broncos hosting the Steelers.
Eight SB Nation bloggers representing the eight teams playing this weekend weighed in on their team's game, including their picks for the contest. There's a lot of confidence in this group -- only one blogger picked their team to lose.
Here's the complete 2012 NFL playoffs schedule. And below our SB Nation's bloggers picks for Wild Card weekend.
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans, 4:30 p.m., NBC, Saturday (Full coverage)
Cincy Jungle: Much like their Week 14 contest earlier this year, Cincinnati and Houston will use their respective power rushing offenses against two of the league's top defenses. A low scoring affair between two unlikely teams that largely resemble each other, determined by a field goal within the final 10 seconds of the game. Bengals win, 20-17.
Battle Red Blog: Texans players have been playing the "No Respect" card all week, so I see a Houston team playing with something to prove. They'll protect the ball and give their home crowd something to cheer about. Texans win, 20-13.
SBNation.com pick: I've been going back and forth on this all week, more so than any other game on the schedule. In the end, I think the Bengals pull it out. The Texans have lost three in a row and they're starting a quarterback with even less experience than the Bengals' Andy Dalton. Bengals win, 20-17.
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints, 8 p.m., NBC, Saturday (Full coverage)
Pride of Detroit: As much as I'd like to say the Lions will pick up their first playoff win since 1992 and only their second playoff win since 1957, I don't see them upsetting the Saints at the Superdome. I do think it will be a closer game than most expect, but I believe the Saints will win and advance to the divisional round of the playoffs. Saints win, 37-31.
Canal Street Chronicles: Prediction? Pain. Seriously though, Saints make Detroit's long awaited playoff appearance brief. Saints win, 42-27.
SBNation.com pick: If this game were in Detroit or at a neutral location, I'd be tempted to go with the Lions. But the Saints are almost unbeatable at home and they're riding an eight-game winning streak. I expect that to continue. Saints win, 41-31.
Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants, 1 p.m., FOX, Sunday (Full coverage)
The Falcoholic: I predict the Falcons will win. It will be a close, thrilling game, but the Falcons will force a couple of timely turnovers and leave New Jersey with the victory. Falcons win, 27-24.
Big Blue View: A close game but the Giants pull it out. Giants win, 31-27.
SBNation.com pick: The Giants are a little inconsistent for my taste but I think they have a recipe for success. Assuming Eli Manning has a good outing and the Giants defensive line continues to get pressure, I see New York winning. Giants win, 24-20.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos, 4:30 p.m., CBS, Sunday (Full coverage)
Behind The Steel Curtain: The Steelers offense has been dormant as of late, but I think they finally break out and play a complete game on that side of the ball. And without two or three turnovers from the Steelers offense, I can't see Denver being able to muster scoring drives on Pittsburgh's defense. Steelers win, 28-10.
Mile High Report: I never pick against the Broncos, but I know just how big of a challenge this game is. For all publicity Tim Tebow gets, he is a young quarterback still learning his way. Since 2010, the Broncos are 5-16 without Tebow at quarterback and 7-4 when he starts. That's something. If the Broncos can avoid the big turnover and convert some third downs this game could be interesting come the fourth quarter. The Broncos are playing with house money. No one expected them to be here, and even fewer think they have a shot on Sunday. All the pressure is on the Black and Gold. With Ben Roethlisberger clearly not himself, the Broncos need to unleash their pass rush and force Ben into some mistakes. If that happens, it's anyone's game. Broncos win, 13-10.
SBNation.com pick: This game should be easy to explain, really. The Broncos overwhelmingly favor running the ball and the Steelers are a top 10 run defense. Tim Tebow's inabilities in the passing game finally end the Broncos season. Steelers win, 17-6.