Wild Card Weekend: Most likely road winner in Round 1?

Winning on the road in the postseason isn't easy, but it's certainly not unprecedented, either -- especially when it comes to Wild Card Weekend. In the first round of last season's NFL playoffs, road teams won three of four games. And over the past five seasons, Round 1 road teams are nearly .500 (9-11).

This weekend, four teams hit the road:

So, which road team is most likely to come away with a victory this weekend?

I know the Arizona Cardinals are facing a lot of disadvantages Saturday. They're playing on a short week. They've lost three of their last four road games. And they'll be starting a third-string quarterback in Ryan Lindley who's completed 48 percent of his passes this season and has three times as many sacks taken (six) as he does scoring tosses (two). But I still like Arizona the best of all the visiting squads this weekend, because I think the Cardinals' defense will be enough to give them the edge in what should be a low-scoring contest.

Arizona doesn't give up a ton of points (allowing 18.7 per game, fifth best in the NFL), boasts the fifth-best turnover differential (plus-8) and creates good field position. I also think putting Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson in man-to-man coverage on rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin should be something of a deciding factor. Of course I'm worried about Lindley, but sometimes you have a feel for a game, and I have a feeling this one will go Arizona's way. I'm picking two road winners: Baltimore and Arizona.

The Le'Veon Bell injury is crippling for Pittsburgh. He's the Steelers' MVP, and now he's officially out of commission for Saturday night's game -- this is huge. Plus, Joe Flacco, no stranger to playoff pressure, will have good matchups against the Pittsburgh defensive backfield. The Ravens will win a game that has more points than the typical Baltimore-Pittsburgh slugfest.

And let's pump the breaks on the Panthers. Yes, the Cardinals are starting Ryan Lindley, who, quite frankly, should be out of the league. But Arizona has the better defense. And I trust Bruce Arians over Ron Rivera in a big spot. The Detroit Lions are the most likely road team to walk away with a victory on Wild Card Weekend. The Lions have a championship-caliber defense that not only excels against the run, but also features an imposing pass rush. Detroit can control the game in the trenches and force Dallas to deviate from its ball-control approach. Additionally, the Lions' offense boasts a strong-armed quarterback with a pair of dynamic playmakers ( Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate) who will enjoy favorable matchups. Despite improved play from the secondary, the Cowboys still struggle against elite receivers on the perimeter.

Factor in Jim Caldwell's experience in the postseason, and I believe all of the signs point to Detroit walking out of Jerryworld with the "W." We know the Cardinals have quarterback issues, but their defense can lock up the Panthers' threats on the edges. Calais Campbell and crew also will make life very hard on Cam Newton. I expect a lot of blitzes from the outside and a few takeaways by the Cardinals.

Bottom line: Bruce Arians will have his team set to move on. The Bengals would be my pick as the most likely road team to win this weekend, simply because of their opponent. The Colts come into the playoffs as a mediocre squad. Their offense was inept against Cleveland, Houston and Dallas in December. The offensive line and pass rush are among the worst of any team in the playoffs. Yes, A.J. Green is doubtful for Cincinnati, but the Bengals have a strong offensive line and ground attack that can control the game.

Ultimately, these are two teams that both have a lot of issues. An upset wouldn't surprise.

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