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The final week of the 2023 NFL season turned out to be a crazy one, and I'm pretty sure nearly everyone would agree with that -- except for maybe Jaguars fans, who are probably too depressed to agree or disagree with anything this week.

If you see a Jaguars fan at any point this offseason, please give them a hug.  

With Week 18 in the books, that means it's now time for the postseason, and up first, we have the playoff round that has suddenly become so predictable that even a caveman could get all his picks right. Am I overly excited that GEICO brought the caveman back? Yes. Will I mention him again? Maybe. 

Anyway, if you want to get your wild-card picks right, history says you need to do just two things: Pick against inexperienced quarterbacks and pick against the seventh seeds. 

Since the NFL expanded the playoff field in 2020, no No. 7 seed has ever won a game (0-6), which isn't great news for the Steelers or Packers. 

I don't want to pile on those two teams, but the fact that they both have a quarterback who has never started a playoff game could also be a problem. Since 2002, quarterbacks making their FIRST career playoff start in the WILD-CARD round are 15-39 straight-up, including 3-4 last year, but two of those three wins only happened because two first-time playoff starters were facing each other, so someone had to win. This year, the Packers, Steelers, Dolphins and Texans will all have a QB making his first career playoff start.

How many of these quarterbacks will I pick against? Let's get to the picks and find out. 

Super Wild Card Weekend picks

No. 5 Cleveland Browns (11-6) at No. 4 Houston Texans (10-7)

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (NBC)

We have Deshaun Watson's old team against Deshaun Watson's new team in a game that Deshaun Watson won't be playing in, which feels kind of fitting. This game is only happening because the Browns decided to make one of the five worst trades in NFL history when they acquired Watson back in March 2022. 

A big reason the Texans made the playoffs this year is because they were able to totally rebuild their franchise with the picks they got in the Watson trade. On the other hand, the Browns have had Watson for two full seasons and they've gotten almost nothing from him despite giving him a fully guaranteed $230 million contract. I think we can all agree that $230 million doesn't buy what it used to. Anyway, the Browns will be be going into this game with Joe Flacco, who does NOT have a fully guaranteed $230 million contract. Instead, he has something better: A contract that pays him $75,000 per win. 

How is that better? It's definitely not. I was wrong. Flacco would have to win 3,066 games to make $230 million. 

The fact that Flacco fell into Cleveland's lap might be the most underrated storyline of the year. This man spent the first 11 weeks of the season at his mom's house before signing with the Browns, and if there's one lesson to be learned here, it's that you should spend at least 11 weeks per year at mom's house, because look at what it did for Joe Flacco. 

In his past four starts, Flacco has thrown for at least 300 yards in each start while leading the Browns to a 4-0 record, and one of those starts came against the Texans back in Week 16. The Browns rolled to a 36-22 victory in that game, which mostly happened because Flacco diced up the Texans defense for 368 yards and three touchdowns. Although C.J. Stroud didn't play in that game, he doesn't play defense, so I'm not sure his return is going to do much to help a Texans secondary that has surrendered the 10th-most passing yards in the NFL this year. 

With Stroud on the field, this could turn into a shootout, but I don't like the chances of that, and that's mainly because the Texans QB will be going up against a Browns defense that gave up the fewest passing yards in the NFL this season. 

Also, Stroud is a rookie and rookies have historically struggled in the playoffs in the same way that a 5-foot-6 guy struggles to slam dunk a basketball: They can try all they want, but it's almost always going to end up in failure. Over the past 10 years, rookie quarterbacks are 1-5 when making their first career playoff start, with the only win coming from Brock Purdy in a game where his team was favored by 10 points (The Texans are currently a 2.5-point underdog in this game).

Over the course of NFL history, rookie quarterbacks have completed just 55% of their passes in the playoffs while averaging just 189 passing yards per game. They've also thrown way more interceptions (42) than touchdowns (33). Also, no quarterback ever taken in the top two of the draft has ever won his first playoff start (The last two to try were Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, and they both lost by double digits.) 

Stroud certainly has the talent to lead the Texans to an upset, but there's no way I can pick against "January Joe" Flacco, who is tied with TOM BRADY for the most road playoff wins in NFL history. 

The pick: Browns 23-20 over Texans
Record picking CLE-HOU games this season: 
Record picking Browns games this season: 12-5
Record picking Texans games this season: 4-13 (Worst record picking any team)

No. 6 Miami Dolphins (11-6) at No. 3 Kansas City Chiefs (11-6)

Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET (Peacock)

This game will mark the first time in NFL history that a playoff game will only be available via streaming. That means that if you want to watch this game on Saturday night, you'll have to subscribe to Peacock or tweet at me and ask me for my Peacock password, which I might actually give out, depending on how much I've had to drink (And there's a very good chance I'll have had something to drink because Saturday is my birthday. Happy Birthday, me!)

I'm not sure what Peacock's viewing demographics are, but I think I can safely say that their subscription numbers for women in the 18-34 demographic are going to shoot up at least 7,000% on Saturday night because every Taylor Swift fan who has ever lived is going to want to watch this game in hopes that they get to catch a glimpse of Taylor. 

Also, anyone who likes revenge games will also want to watch because this involves Tyreek Hill's first trip back to Kansas City. Yes, these two teams did play earlier this season in a game that the Chiefs won 21-14, but that was played in Germany, where revenge games don't count, as we all know. 

This has actually been a wild season for the Chiefs, who have somehow flown under the radar over the past month. When you're the defending Super Bowl champion, it's hard to go into the playoffs with a chip on your shoulder, but it feels like the Chiefs will be going into the postseason with a chip the size of Missouri on their shoulder. 

The Chiefs offense has struggled this year, but they're still the Chiefs, and they're still the reigning champs and it wouldn't be surprising at all to see them go on a big run this postseason. 

OK, now that I've gotten all of that off of my chest about the Chiefs being disrespected, I'm going to give you my pick in the game. As I mentioned, these two teams played back in Week 9 and the Chiefs won even though Patrick Mahomes threw for under 200 yards. A big reason the Chiefs won is because their defense absolutely shut down Tua Tagovailoa, who threw for just 193 yards. If the Dolphins are going to win this time around, Tua is going to have to play a nearly perfect game, and I'm not sure that's going to be possible because this game is going to feature his personal kryptonite: cold weather.

Actually, it's not just Tua's personal kryptonite, It's pretty much the entire team. Since the start of the 2017 season, the Dolphins are 0-10 when the kickoff temperature is below 40 degrees, which is not ideal this week.

The forecast for Saturday is currently calling for a kickoff temperature that will be under 15 degrees. The problem for the Dolphins is that there's no way to simulate that kind of weather in practice unless they rent a football field-sized freezer, but I don't think that exists. 

Over the course of his career, Tua has made four starts when the temperature is under 45 at kickoff, and he's gone 0-4 in those games. We're not even talking 15 degrees here; we're talking 45 degrees, which is practically beach weather in places like Canada. 

In those four losses, Tua has had a passer rating of just 71.8 while completing just 55.5% of his passes, which are both well under his career averages of 97.1 and 66.9%. He's turned the ball over five times in those games, compared to just four TD passes.

Tua's favorite weapon is Tyreek Hill, and if the Chiefs proved anything in the first meeting between these two teams, it's that they know how to slow down Hill better than any other team in the NFL. If this game were being played in Miami, I'd think about picking the Dolphins, but since it's being played in the arctic circle, I have no choice but to take the Chiefs.   

The pick: Chiefs 20-17 over Dolphins
Record picking MIA-KC games this season: 1-0
Record picking Dolphins games this season: 13-4
Record picking Chiefs games this season: 12-5 

No. 7 Pittsburgh Steelers (10-7) at No. 2 Buffalo Bills (11-6)

Monday, 4:30 p.m. ET (CBS)

The Steelers got stuck with the dreaded seventh-seed. When it comes to the NFL playoffs, that is pretty much the kiss of death. Since the NFL playoff field expanded to 14 teams in 2020, there have been six games involving a seven-seed and not only has the seven-seed gone 0-6 in those games, but they've lost them by an average of 12.2 points per game.

Even if I throw that piece of information out the window, there is one thing I can't throw out the window and that's the fact that the Steelers won't have T.J. Watt, who suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain in Week 18. 

Usually, when I pick against the Steelers, it's because I have no faith in their offense, but this week, I think it's their defense that's going to let them down. Watt has been with the Steelers since 2017 and any time he's missed a game, it's pretty much been a kiss of death. If you're scoring at home, that's two kisses of death for the Steelers in one game, which feels like too many kisses of death to overcome. 

Watt has missed 11 games in his career and the Steelers have gone 1-10 in those games. When he's on the field, you have to account for him at all times, but when he's not out there, the Steelers defense falls apart. When Watt is on the field, the Steelers have only surrendered 19.8 points per game in his career, but when he's not out there, that number has shot up to 26.3

Also, the Steelers have averaged more than twice as many sacks per game (3.3 to 1.5) when Watt is on the field versus when he isn't. If there's one player the Steelers couldn't afford to lose for this game, it's Watt. 

The only way the Steelers will win this game is if Mason Rudolph pulls out a miracle, but after winning three straight games to end the regular season, he has to be out of miracles by now. Right? RIGHT?!?! 

The pick: Bills 27-17 over Steelers
Record picking Steelers games this season:
Record picking Bills games this season: 14-3

No. 7 Green Bay Packers (9-8) at No. 2 Dallas Cowboys (12-5)

Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET (Fox)

I've spent the past 48 hours thinking about it and I still have no idea how Green Bay made the playoffs this year. Back on Nov. 13, the Packers were sitting at 3-6, which was tied for the sixth-worst record in the NFL. At that point in the season, I thought for sure they were just going to bench Jordan Love and then hold some kind of fan raffle to decide who would be their starting quarterback for the rest of the season. 

Although the fan raffle certainly would have been exciting, the Packers decided to stick with Love over a random fan, and that gamble paid off. Over the the final eight weeks of the season, Love has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. 

The Packers QB threw 18 touchdowns compared to just one interception over the final eight weeks, making him just the sixth QB in NFL history to throw 18 or more TD passes with one pick or less over the final eight weeks. Love has been on fire, but advancing to the next round of the playoffs won't be easy and that's mostly because the Packers are going to have to get past a very familiar face: Mike McCarthy.

Five years ago, the Packers fired McCarthy in part because his offense had gotten stale, which is kind of ironic, because McCarthy is now calling plays for the highest-scoring offense in the NFL. Both of these offenses have been extremely good this season, which means this game will likely come down to how well each defense plays, and if that's the case, I feel like I have to take the Cowboys, who have had one of the best defenses in the NFL all year.

Also, let's not forget that the Cowboys have been unbeatable at home this year. The Cowboys have won 16 straight games at Jerry World, and that includes going 8-0 so far this year. Not only are they winning, but none of these games are even close. In their eight victories, they've won by an average of 21.5 POINTS PER GAME.

On the other hand, the Packers went 1-5 on the road this year against non-divisional opponents, and their only win came on a last second field goal against the Panthers. If the Packers can run the ball, they should be able to keep this close, but there is no team that Mike McCarthy wants to beat more than the Packers and he will be pulling out all the stops to make sure that happens. 

The pick: Cowboys 31-24 over Packers
Record picking Packers games this season:
Record picking Cowboys games this season: 11-6

No. 6 L.A. Rams (10-7) at No. 3 Detroit Lions (12-5)

Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC)

For the first time in 30 years, the Detroit Lions will be hosting a playoff game. And now, there's only one thing standing in the way of the Lions getting their first playoff win in more than three decades: Matthew Stafford. 

This is like if you invited your ex to your wedding and she shows up with Brad Pitt as her date and that's all anyone wants to talk about. You get overshadowed on your own wedding day, which is happening here: The Lions are hosting a postseason game for the first time since January 1994, but the main storyline this week is definitely going to be Stafford's return. It's also my favorite storyline of Super Wild Card Weekend. 

Stafford will get to start a playoff game in Detroit, which is something he NEVER got to do during his 12 seasons with the Lions. Detroit went to the playoffs three times with Stafford, but all three of those games were played on the road. Also, this will be Stafford's first game IN Detroit since being traded to the Rams back in March 2021. 

As much fun as Stafford's return is going to be, it feels like all the pressure this week is on the Lions. For one, they're the higher seed and they're favored to win. 

Also, Jared Goff is going to be facing a ton of pressure, and that's because he'll be facing a team and a head coach that traded him away because they didn't want him anymore. There is no one on the planet who understands Goff's weaknesses more than Sean McVay, which could put the Lions in a tough spot. There's a reason McVay wanted to move on from Goff, but the flip side to that is that you have to think there's no one Goff would love to beat more than McVay and the Rams. 

The Goff versus Stafford battle will be the first QB matchup in postseason history between two starters who are both facing their former team. I would love to see the Lions get their first playoff since since 1992, but here's the problem: They can't stop the pass. 

The Lions are surrendering 247.4 passing yards per game this year, which is the sixth-worst number in the NFL, and that's definitely not a good thing when you're getting set to face a Rams offense that should be fully healthy. The Rams have only had eight games this season where Stafford, Kyren Williams, Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua all played. In those eight games, Stafford threw 18 TD passes compared to just three interceptions and the Rams averaged 28.5 points per game while going 6-2. 

The Lions haven't won a playoff game since January 1992, and if they were playing any other team, Stafford would almost certainly be cheering for them to win, but now, he's going to cause more suffering for this fan base. The Lions are the only team in the NFL that has NEVER won in the wild-card round, and I don't think that drought ends this year. 

The pick: Rams 27-24 over Lions
Record picking Rams games this season:
Record picking Lions games this season: 11-6

No. 5 Philadelphia Eagles (11-6) at No. 4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-8)

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN)

If I had to rank all six wild-card games based on watchability, I'm not even sure I'd put this one on the list. We have an Eagles team that's totally imploding going up against a Buccaneers offense that's falling apart, and you know what, now that I'm saying all of this out loud, this game might be so bad that it's actually good. This is classic train-wreck television!

On one hand, you have the Eagles, who were sitting at 10-1 heading into the month of December, but then proceeded to lose five of six games to end the season. I'm not exactly sure what the issue is in Philadelphia, but I can think of a few: Their defense has been bad, their offense is struggling and the players don't seem to really trust the coaching staff anymore. That sounds like the recipe for a total collapse. 

If the Eagles were playing anyone else, I would automatically pick against them, but the Buccaneers are the one team they MIGHT be able to beat. Over the past two weeks, the Bucs offense has completely disappeared. They had a chance to clinch the division title in Week 17, but they only managed to score 13 points in a loss to the Saints. One week later, they managed to score exactly nine points against the worst team in football (Panthers). 

These teams are both headed in the wrong direction, and when that's the case, it's almost impossible to make a pick. The Eagles are 5-1 this year when they rush for 140 yards or more, but I have a hard time seeing them hit that number against a Buccaneers defense that surrendered the fifth-fewest rushing yards in the NFL this year. 

The Eagles have hit rock bottom so many times this year that they're basically living there, and if you're living at rock bottom, I can't pick you to win. 

The pick: Buccaneers 23-16 over Eagles
Record picking PHI-TB games this season:
Record picking Eagles games this season:
Record picking Buccaneers games this season: 9-8

Last Week 

Best pick: Last week, I predicted the Falcons would score exactly 17 points in a loss to the Saints, and guess what happened? The Falcons scored exactly 17 points in a loss to the Saints. Now, did I know that Jameis Winston was going to go completely rogue by calling an audible so the Saints could score a touchdown from victory formation on their final offensive play of the game? Of course I did. If there's one quarterback on the planet who would go rogue so his team could score a TD while leading 41-17 with under 90 seconds left to play, it's definitely Jameis Winston. 

The best part of the entire situation is that the touchdown by the Saints caused Arthur Smith to absolutely lose his mind. 

That meltdown means that Smith's final act as the coach of the Falcons was to cuss out another team's coach. If I ever get fired by an NFL team, that's how I want to go out. 

Worst pick: Going into Week 18, the Bears had absolutely nothing to play for and they were going up against a Packers team that had everything to play for, so naturally, I did the smart thing and took the Packers. Just kidding. I did the dumb thing and took the Bears and I have no idea why. I will be spending the entire offseason trying to figure out why I made this pick, so if there's no newsletter from mid-February through August, that's why. 

If you're wondering what newsletter I'm talking about, it's the NFL newsletter here at and I'm in charge of it. If you want to regularly hear my incessant ramblings, then you can sign up by clicking here

Picks record

Straight-up in Week 18: 9-7
Final 2023 regular season record SU: 164-108

Against the spread in Week 18: 7-9
Final 2023 regular season record ATS: 137-125-10

Straight-up: 9-4
ATS: 7-6

You can find John Breech on Facebook or Twitter and if he's not doing one of those things, he's probably watching the GEICO caveman commercial for the 97th time this week.