Playoff Predictions for Wildcard Weekend

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It's nearly time for the start of the 2008 playoffs which means it's time for our first round of head to head competition in playoff predictions! 49ers cornerback Nate Clements and center Eric Heitmann go head to head with their thoughts and selections for Wildcard Weekend. Heitmann even goes so far to give a point spread!

Washington at Seattle, Saturday, 1:30PM PST

NATE CLEMENTS

I'm going to go with Washington. They are another team playing really good football right now. I think they won their last four games to make it to the playoffs and I'm sticking with them. Just from looking at football all across the league, I believe they're playing really good football right now and are one of the hotter teams entering the playoffs. They lost their quarterback but their third guy has come in and is undefeated so I don't think they lost much off a beat. It'll be a close game, a good game. Seatttle is at home which is a tough place to play and Mike Holmgren will have that offense clicking but I am sticking with the Redskins.  

ERIC HEITMANN

I have to go with the NFC West here. I do believe Seattle has been playing well lately and may be coming into the playoffs a little under the radar. They still have powerful offensive weapons at their disposal and an aggressive defense that flies to the ball. Washington has played tough all season, and this will be the closest matchup of the first round, but in the end I believe the Seahawks will take this one. Line…Seattle by 1

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh, Saturday, 5:00PM PST

NATE CLEMENTS
I'm going to say Jacksonville. They've proved they can play in that type of climate up in Pittsburgh and deal with a tough environment. They have the two headed monster with Fred Taylor and Maurice Drew Jones. David Garrard is definitely an efficient quarterback, so I'm going with them because of their running attack and the fact that Pittsburgh lost one of their key players in Willie Parker. I think that will really hurt them in this game.

ERIC HEITMANN

This is a tough one. I think that this game will be remarkably close. In the end I believe Jacksonville will have a slight edge with its powerful rushing attack and the consistent play of David Garrard. When the Steelers are hitting on all cylinders they can be unstoppable, but they are a little banged up going into this game. Line….Jaguars by 3

New York Giants at Tampa Bay, Sunday, 10AM PST

NATE CLEMENTS
I think this one will be a close one and I have flipped my final decision a few times. Having played both these teams I think it's going to be a close one. There are a lot of variables though in this one. If New York plays with the same intensity they brought for the Patriots, they could pull it out, but they might come out flat. Plus, a lot of it will be predicated on how Eli Manning plays , how he handles the pressure, and how efficient he's going to be. He played very well last week, but that Tampa defense is extremely stout against the pass. On the other side you've got Jeff Garcia who is pretty mobile and I think he'll be able to deal with that Giants pass rush, plus he played against them with the Eagles last year. I think he'll use that experience and help Tampa pull this one out.

ERIC HEITMANN

The New York Giants certainly lost a tough one last week. They played extremely well and showed resolve as they came so close to defeating what could be the greatest team in NFL history. I believe they will show that some force this week against Tampa. I do know Jeff Garcia will give them a run for their money. His scrambling ability and big play potential on the move is the best in this league and that will serve him well against those top end pass rushers from the Giants. I think that the Giants will still be able to maintain control and pull this one out. Line…New York Giants by 7

Tennessee at San Diego, Sunday 1:30PM PST

NATE CLEMENTS

I'm going to go with San Diego. They are hot right now. I think they won the last 10 out of 12 games. They are pretty much on a roll and one of the hottest teams entering the playoffs. They are at home, and they've got LT. I know there's been talk about their last game. I remember seeing some of the gripes about dirty play, so these two teams might not like each other too much, but I'm sure cool heads will prevail. I think if Vince Young plays, it'll be a closer game than if it's in the hands of Kerry Collins. That's not to take anything away from Collins, but I think with a healthy Vince, he brings a different element. He knows how to win in clutch situations. Either way, I still give the edge to San Diego.

ERIC HEITMANN

San Diego has really come on strong down the stretch heading into the playoffs. With Norv Turner's offense and the aggressive style of the Chargers defense, they are going to be hard pressed to let this one slip by. No one can deny the big play potential that lies in Vince Young, but in the end I believe San Diego is going to prevail. Line…San Diego by 5.

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