I am by no means a fashion expert. In fact, I need fashion advice. Most days, I wear a T-shirt and athletic shorts, and I am probably the worst-dressed out of all of my friends. However, when it comes to football uniforms, I'd like to think that I have an established taste. So, now I'll do my best and present to you this edition of the NFL Fashion Police.
The Patriots have a boring color scheme: navy, white, and red. Granted, those are the same colors as my Houston Texans, but honestly, the Texans wear it better. Sorry, New England.
Every time the Packers wear their white or green tops, I'm just thankful they aren't wearing their bland navy throwbacks with those puke-colored pants. I'm sure Aaron Rodgers and Co. are thankful as well. Luckily, throwback uniforms are retired in the playoffs and we won't see them until next year, where we will scream in agonizing pain one autumn Sunday when they play in bleh blue.
The Cardinals look sharp in red, but their black alternate jerseys are my favorite. They look like they mean business when they are in black, but red will have to do for the rest of the year. I am certainly not complaining, though. It's a solid look for the team and they'll hope to run it all the way to Santa Clara.
The Seahawks have the newest look among the playoff teams in the NFL, and it's a nice look. It makes the team look like a 21st-century team and they look sharp. I just hope they don't wear their grey road alternates on Sunday. It looks very similar to their white road jerseys, but the grey looks like they were scribbled on with pencil, and it doesn't look like something I would want to wear.
The Panthers haven't updated their look since they entered the league, and it's a good thing they haven't. They don't need to. The black and blue works. They look intimidating in black and they aren't a team you want to mess with. They went undefeated this season in games in which they've worn black, so that should be reason enough that you don't mess with the black-jersey Panthers.
The Steelers have a classic look. Gold and black runs through the city, and you can see it with the Pirates and the Penguins as well. Just do everyone a favor and retire the bumblebees. It may have history, but that thing has no place in today's league. It's distracting and makes them look silly at the end of the day.
The Broncos have lost their last two games in which they have worn orange in the playoffs. Both of those games were tough losses against the Seahawks in the Super Bowl and the Colts in last year's Divisional Round. If they wear orange again on Sunday, I like their chances less. The Broncos had won zero Super Bowls with their original light orange and blue color scheme, but the year they changed to their navy home jersey, they won the Super Bowl. Both of their Super Bowls were won in navy and orange, and it's the color they should be wearing for this playoff run.
As for the Chiefs, what shade of red do they really wear? I've always wondered what it is exactly. It isn't a pure red, but it's too light to be called burgundy. Somebody please describe in the comments exactly what shade of red they wear.
This weekend's games
After last week's shocking moments and crazy finishes, the Wild Card Weekend saw all four road teams win for the first time in history. Those same four teams hit the road again to face the four best teams in the NFL this season.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots, Saturday 4:35 PM EST, CBS
Kansas City looked very impressive in their 30-0 shutout of the Texans last Saturday. The Chiefs haven't lost since the Royals won the World Series back in early November. But, they have yet to face an opponent as challenging as the defending champions. The Patriots had a dismal end to the season, losing to the Jets and Patriots. In doing so, they lost home-field advantage, but they did get their bye.
The two losses at the end of the season were in large part to their injuries to many key players, including Julian Edelman, Sebastian Vollmer, and Dont'a Hightower. All of them are expected to return to action Saturday. It's a big boost for the team, and they will need all three of those players, as well as the usual suspects, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Malcolm Butler, to come up big in this game.
Bill Belichick said earlier in the week that there was no good example on how to beat the Chiefs. The Chiefs are tough to beat with a stout defense and a balanced offensive attack. The Chiefs hope that a major part of that attack, Jeremy Maclin, will be able to play. If Maclin were unable to play, the Chiefs' chances to win dramatically decrease. His 1,088 receiving yards were a team-high, and if he is off the field, the Chiefs are nowhere near as dangerous.
Even if Maclin plays, I like the Patriots here. If last week proved anything, it proved that experience matters. No team is as experienced as the Pats, and their home-field advantage doesn't hurt either.
Picks: Jeremy: Patriots 34-24. Jim Buzinski: Patriots 20-14
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals, Saturday 8:15 PM EST, NBC
These two teams met just three weeks ago, and it was the Packers' worst loss of the season, 38-8 The Cardinals followed up their best win of the season with their worst loss against the Seahawks at home. It was the last time we saw the Cardinals, as they got a bye last week. The Packers got a win against the Redskins, and are looking to get revenge on the Cardinals.
There were a lot of doubts swirling around the Packers' offense, as they had only put up average performances in the latter half of the season. Doubts are still swirling after beating an average Redskins defense. A win against one of the best defenses in the league in Arizona would officially put them back into real contention for the title.
Arizona is expected to win this game, and rightfully so. The team finished second in total offense and eighth in total defense. Arizona is arguably the most balanced team in the league because of their depth. Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and John Brown have had good seasons as receivers, Calais Campbell and Patrick Peterson anchor a veteran defense, and veterans Dwight Freeney and Carson Palmer have provided outstanding leadership on and off the field that has led this team to their best regular season in franchise history.
The Cardinals are extremely scary because there are so many weapons. The only way they can lose is if every player performs poorly. It has happened before, but with the season on the line, and Bruce Arians not wanting a repeat of Week 17, will not take this lightly and will continue their historic season with a win over the Packers.
Jeremy: Cardinals 27-13. Jim: Cardinals 31-17.
Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers, Sunday 1:05 PM EST, FOX
Carolina's win against the Seahawks in Week 6 really brought attention to the Panthers. They started 5-0, but many people still weren't convinced. The road win in Seattle silenced the doubters. Eight more wins followed and they finished with their best record in franchise history at 15-1.
They face the team that has played the most playoff games since 2013, the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson is 7-2 as the Seahawks quarterback in the playoffs, and the Seahawks core is quite possibly the most experienced team in the playoff field. The Seahawks record is misleading, as five of their six losses came in the fourth quarter, one being the game against the Panthers. They almost squandered another fourth-quarter lead in Minnesota, but Blair Walsh's missed field goal sealed the victory for the Seahawks.
The Panthers were knocked out by the Seahawks last season, and by no means did they want to face them this early, if at all. This is going to be the best game of the weekend, if not the season so far. These two teams are defensive-minded with dual-threat quarterbacks, and they could not be any more alike. It's tough to call this game, but I'm going to pick the Panthers. I like the fact that the Panthers are at home, and I don't see the Seahawks being able to stop Greg Olsen, Cam Newton's top target. He scored the game-winning touchdown when the two teams last played, and if the Seahawks fail to stop him again, we'll see the same scenario play out. However, if Seattle can find a way to limit Olsen, I would be worried if I were Carolina.
Carolina won 15 games this season, but they get rewarded by facing the two-time defending NFC Champions in their first game. This game will prove that no matter how much success you have in the regular season, showing up in the postseason is what matters.
Jeremy: Panthers 20-17. Jim: Seahawks 19-16.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos, Sunday, 4:40 PM EST, CBS
This game is the most unpredictable of the four because we don't have a great idea as to who will play. This game will be decided on the health of several people. Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown did not practice Wednesday, and Peyton Manning is going to get his first start since Week 10, when he was benched after throwing four interceptions and sustaining a foot injury.
Manning is 2-3 as the Broncos' starting quarterback in the playoffs, and if he wants to avoid going 2-4, he's going to need to play a lot better than he has this season. His completion percentage was the worst it has been since his rookie season, and he posted career lows in interception percentage (5.1%) and QBR (44.96).
Thankfully, he has a good receiving corps helping him out in Demariyus Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. The rushing attack has also improved with C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman. The fourth-best defense in the league has also been instrumental in the team's success. Despite a shaky quarterback situation, this team has played well in every other phase and it has been rewarded with home-field advantage at a 12-4 record.
One of those four losses came against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The Broncos were up 27-10 before surrendering 24 unanswered points to lose by a touchdown. Antonio Brown had a huge day, with 16-189-2 against Chris Harris, Jr., one of the league's premier cornerbacks. If Brown were to get hurt, it would be a significant blow to the offense. Roethlisberger is questionable with a shoulder injury, and if he were to play, he might not be able to finish the game. I think it will be extremely difficult for Landry Jones to lead the Steelers to a playoff game on the road against Denver. However, given Big Ben's tenacity and clutch performances in playoff games, I expect Roethlisberger to find a way to play Sunday and beat Denver. Pittsburgh's receiving corps is super deep after Brown with Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant, and the Broncos have been inconsistent on offense, committing five turnovers in their Week 17 win and Peyton Manning is 11-13 in the playoffs.
Jeremy: Steelers, 31-24 (if Roethlisberger plays). Jim: Broncos 24-14.
Last week's picks: Jeremy, 2-2; Jim, 3-1.