And now to the playoffs portion of my NFL predictions. You know, for a predominantly college football blog, there has been a whole batch of sweet fuck all on college football. Ok where was I? Oh yeah…not many changes from the previous year in the NFL. In the NFC, the Skins and Vikings are replaced by the Giants and da Bears. In the AFC, not a single change. Not one. To be honest, other than the Miami Dolphins, is there another team in that conference capable of making it to the post-season? I mean, Andy Reid’s Chiefs will be improved but they were terrible last year. The Steelers are just getting older and have been bypassed by the Bengals. And don’t even get me started on the rest of the AFC teams. I think the Jets may have gone 0-16 if they were in the NFC West instead of the AFC East.
Anyway, let’s move on with the games, shall we?
AFC Wild Card
Cincinnati (3) def. Indianapolis (6) – I think the Colts will barely get in and most of that will be on sheer guts. This is a tough team. Too bad they would play one of the up-and-coming NFL teams in the Bengals. Since it’s in southern Ohio, the Bengals win easy.
Baltimore (5) def. New England (4) – The Pats must be very thankful to be in the AFC East since they will probably walk to a division title yet again (although Ryan Tannehill and the Fins may have something to say about division dominance starting next year). However, their passing game has gone from arguably the best in recent memory to mediocre in a flash. No Welker, no Hernandez, and no Gronk (for a while). The Pats will make it to the post-season but get bowled over by Ray Rice’s Ravens. Make that two not-very-close wild card games.
NFC Wild Card
NY Giants (3) def. Chicago (6) – The NFC is very intriguing this year as there are a lot of teams I chose not to make the playoffs that wouldn’t surprise me if they did (Redskins, Cowboys, Vikings, Saints, Rams). Many people thought the hiring of Marc Trestman was anywhere from odd to stupid. I think many will see Jay Cutler have a fantastic year under the QB guru, and take da Bears within a hair of the Packers for the NFC Norris crown. Unfortunately, losing out on that means they get the Giants. In the Meadowlands (or whatever the hell it’s called now). This will be the best of the wild-card games, go down to the wire. But hey, I believe in Eli! Giants in a squeaker.
Seattle (5) def. Green Bay (4) – No replacement refs this time. No ridiculous calls. Russell Wilson is more experienced. And the Seahawks are just that good. Not taking anything away from the Packers but I think the Seahawks will go into the post-season hot and continue their run in the wild-card round. Yes I realize this game would be on the “Frozen Tundra” but I see Seattle pulling away to move on.
AFC Divisional Playoffs
Houston (1) def. Baltimore (5) – The Texans win a game! The Texans win a game! A playoff game that is. Finally…FINALLY…Gary Kubiak won’t have to drown his sorrows after a divisional playoff game as his Texans will pull out a tough win over the battle-tested Ravens. The loss of Ray Lewis may show in this game as I foresee Schaub burning the Ravens’ D with short-to-medium routes and the running game getting into the secondary all game.
Denver (2) def. Cincinnati (3) – The final bit of the fourth quarter in the Broncos’ playoff loss last year was tough to watch. Like, really tough. I don’t see them allowing the Bengals to even be close in this one. Manning will come out firing and the Broncos’ D should shut down the Bengals offense fairly well in this one.
NFC Divisional Playoffs
Seattle (5) def. San Francisco (1) – A major upset? Not so fast. I see the Seahawks winning at least 11 games this year and being easily the best wild card team by a country mile. I think both games against the Niners will be close during the regular season so this won’t be as much of a shock as the standings may indicate. I just have this idea that the hype surrounding the Niners is all about the regular season and that this time doesn’t have the horses to make it back to the Super Bowl. Then again, it’s all going to come down to the Seahawks’ unbelievable offense against the 49ers’ brick wall of a defense. Low scoring, but I think the Hawks eke out the win to move on to the NFC Championship.
Atlanta (2) def. NY Giants (3) – Matt Ryan and the Falcons finally get revenge for that debacle a couple of seasons ago when the G-Men made Atlanta their bitch (well they made Atlanta’s football team their bitch). This time around, expect an aerial show of sorts with Ryan and Manning going apeshit in the air and at least one receiver catching ten balls (if not one from each team). Total opposite of the earlier divisional playoff game, this one will be high-scoring. Think along the lines of the Cards-Pack classic from a few years back.
Denver (2) def. Houston (1) – Poor Houston. They make it this far and end up as the conference’s bridesmaid. As much as I think the Texans will win their first playoff game this season with relative ease, I see them reverting to the Texans of the past couple years, looking shockingly mediocre and not having the drive to win the big games. Plus, Peyton is jealous of brother Eli and wants the same amount of rings as he has. If he doesn’t get it, he will hold his breath until he gets one (while Archie looks on in disgust).
Seattle (5) def. Atlanta (2) – Speaking of bridesmaids, Mike Smith can’t get his team over the hump…again. Then again, they will be playing arguably the hottest team in football at the time so at least they can take consolation in that. Or not…I’m guessing they will be pretty upset after losing again. At home. Yeah it’ll sting.
Super Bowl XLVIII
Denver def. Seattle – A post-season matchup with the former AFC West foes. I think the Hawks’ Cinderella-like season will come to an end here. Glass slipper and all that jazz. Peyton Manning will be too much for the Seahawks’ excellent secondary. He will finally get his second ring so he can finally stop Eli from saying “Two rings! Suck it Peyton”. Ok that looks way worse typed out. Archie would look on in disgust. And perhaps vomit.