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Author: Pituophis Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 56  
Subject: Wild card weekend Date: 1/6/2007 10:17 AM
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Which wild card will go the farthest in the playoffs this year? We'll let our NFL.com experts debate.

VIC CARUCCI
"I think the Cowboys have the best chance to advance. Their late-season slump notwithstanding, they are capable of making enough big plays on both sides of the ball to get past the first round and even reach the championship game in a conference that has no obvious dominant team. Bill Parcells' coaching experience, particularly the success he has had in the postseason, should count for plenty. After a great run through his first six starts, Tony Romo has come down to earth. But he does have the ability to return to his earlier form as long as he can regain his focus. The Cowboys have enough talent in their front seven, such as DeMarcus Ware, to play solidly on the side of the ball that usually makes the biggest difference in the playoffs -- defense."

PAT KIRWAN
"Going very far as a wild-card team is no easy chore. The Steelers won the Super Bowl last year as a wild card, but keep in mind, the Steelers went into the playoffs as a very hot team. When I look at this year's wild-card teams, the Jets have the longest winning streak with three games in a row. They have beaten the Patriots in New England already this season, so they appear to be the team to go with, but picking them against Tom Brady makes it tough. Dallas has the worst record coming in with a two-game losing streak, but I have the feeling Bill Parcells will have them ready to win, and if Tony Romo can settle down, the Cowboys can go the furthest. But none of the wild-card teams will duplicate the 2005 Steelers."

BOOMER ESIASON
"Kansas City has the best shot because they can run the ball on anyone and they have a veteran quarterback and a reasonably decent defense that features a playmaker in Ty Law."

GIL BRANDT
"There is really not a dominant team among the four wild-card teams like Pittsburgh was last year. The Steelers were plus-15 in sack differential, plus-7 in takeaways, fifth in the league in rushing, fourth in defense, third against the run and had a point differential of +131. This year, none of the four teams has those kind of numbers. This leads me to think that it's doubtful we'll have a 10th wild-card team in the Super Bowl. If I had to pick one of the four teams to win in the first round, it would be the Dallas Cowboys. Neither Dallas nor Seattle is playing very well and I like the matchups. The Cowboys can run fairly well against the Seahawks. Furthermore, Seattle's wide receivers drop a lot of passes, which helps a Cowboys pass defense that is somewhat weak. So if I have to pick one team, I'll take the Cowboys, but I don't see any of the wild-card teams going very far overall."

MARSHALL FAULK
"I like the Chiefs based on their matchups. With Larry Johnson going against the Colts' porous run defense, I think Kansas City likes its chances. Should the Chiefs get past the Colts, they'd play at San Diego, a team that they're very familiar with in the AFC West."

ADAM SCHEFTER
"Any wild card that makes it out of Wild Card Weekend and to the divisional playoff stands a good chance of being the wild-card team that goes the farthest. It's going to be tough for each of these road teams to win this weekend, despite the fact that home teams are 10-10 in each of the past two years of the playoffs. But of all the wild cards, I think Dallas has the best chance to advance. Just a few weeks ago, we were talking about the Cowboys as a Super Bowl pick. They've regressed in the final month of the season, no question, but they still have a solid defense and running game and have a decent chance of pulling the upset this weekend in Seattle."

ROD WOODSON
"I don't think any of the wild-card teams will go past the first round because none of them were playing great down the stretch in December. I would have picked the Eagles had they not done so well that they played themselves out of a wild card and into their fifth division title in six seasons."
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