Back on the blog…finally
We’ve made it to the NFL Playoffs, my second favorite professional playoff tournament of the year. It was quite the Week 17 and 2013 season that should set up a wide open playoff this year, but then again, who really knows…
Here’s how the seedings and matchups worked out:
1) Denver Broncos
2) New England Patriots
Wild Card Weekend:
#3 Cincinnati Bengals vs. #6 San Diego Chargers
#4 Indianapolis Colts vs. #5 Kansas City Chiefs
1) Seattle Seahawks
2) Carolina Panthers
Wild Card Weekend:
#3 Philadelphia Eagles vs. #6 New Orleans Saints
#4 Green Bay Packers vs. #5 San Francisco 49ers
Prediction of Wild Card, Divisional Round, Conference Championships, and Super Bowl:
AFC Wild Card:
#3 Bengals defeat #6 Chargers 24-17
Should be close as they played 17-10 early in the year with the Bengals winning in San Diego. This one is in Cincinnati, where the Bengals play very well. The defense will be a little too much for Philip Rivers and the Chargers, and Andy Dalton does just enough for the Bengals to win by 7.
#4 Colts defeat #5 Chiefs 27-10
I see Indianapolis taking control early and maintaining a strong hold on this one throughout. The Colts went to Arrowhead in KC and won 23-7 earlier in the year, and I do not see much changing this week. The Chiefs are by far the most overrated team in this year’s playoffs. Do I think the Colts are very good? No, but I think that Chiefs are much worse.
NFC Wild Card:
#3 Eagles defeat #6 Saints 33-28
Should be a relatively high scoring one in Philly as both have explosive, potent offenses with defenses that have been shaky at times. I think the Saints road woes are overblown, but the fact remains that they went 3-5 on the road this year. Chip Kelly continues to lean on McCoy to carry the load and Foles to make plays downfield, while the Eagles defense makes plays when they have to.
#5 49ers defeat #4 Packers 28-24
This was the most difficult game to pick with Rodgers seemingly healthy for the Packers. The 49ers have continued to play solid, physical defense all year, which should be able to pick up some stops against Green Bay. Getting Crabtree back in the offense has been huge for Kaepernick and the 49ers. Packers defense will do all it can to give the offense a chance, but it won’t be enough.
AFC Divisional Round:
#1 Broncos defeat #4 Colts 35-20
Peyton goes out and thoroughly dominates his former team. Denver offense will simply be too much for the Colts defense to handle, while the Colts struggle to run the ball and fall behind very early. Being one dimensional, throwing the ball downfield early will spell the end of Indy’s season.
#2 Patriots defeat #3 Bengals 24-20
Early in the year, New England plays its worst game of the year and loses to Cincinnati 13-6 with the ball in Tom Brady’s hands to tie the game. Tom will be able to move the ball against the defense this time around, just a matter of getting in the end zone. Andy Dalton will struggle, but should be able to put 20 points together against this solid, but unspectacular Patriots defense.
NFC Divisional Round:
#5 49ers over #1 Seahawks 20-17
This NFC West, defensive struggle will come down to the final plays, but the 49ers will find a way to win. Neither team should score 30 against these defenses. Although the 12th man helps the Seahawks, Seattle’s lack of offensive playmakers will hurt, while Kaepernick and his weapons will prevail.
#3 Eagles over #2 Panthers 31-20
Chip Kelly’s offense will be back in top form after a win against New Orleans. The magic run for the Panthers will end on their home field as the Eagles will come in and move the ball up and down the field on the “vaunted” Carolina defense. Kelly’s Eagles will expose the overrated Panthers secondary and McCoy will continue to make plays, even against a terrific run defense. The Philadelphia defense keeps making things happen when it counts most.
AFC Championship Game:
#2 Patriots defeat #1 Broncos 35-27
This will be another high scoring game with the record breaking Broncos and the ever-improving Patriots. The defenses will step up and make a few plays, but this one will come down to which offense will execute, and I’ll take Tom Brady in this situation over Peyton Manning. The best coaching performance by Coach Belichick continues and the Patriots punch their ticket to New York for the Super Bowl.
NFC Championship Game:
#5 49ers defeat #3 Eagles 27-24
A tight game from kickoff until the final whistle. The team that makes plays in the 4th quarter will win this one, and the experience on the 49ers sideline will push them over the top to end Coach Kelly’s remarkable first season in the NFL. Kaepernick continues to make it happen and score points for San Francisco, and they will get the chance to avenge the Super Bowl loss last year.
Patriots defeat 49ers 27-20
I won’t get into my utter disgust for the Super Bowl being playing in New York here in this post, look for that closer to the game.
This New England team just seems to be the right team to win the Super Bowl this year. If the millions of dollars on the Injured Reserve haven’t stopped them yet, I don’t see it happening. Matt Patricia gets this defense ready to play and compete with a very complete, balanced 49ers offense. Tom Brady cements his place as the “Greatest of All-Time” with another Super Bowl win…and Skip Bayless will rejoice as his adopted team proves him right, as he always is.