NFL Playoff Predictions

Image result for rams chiefs
Credit: via FTW – USA Today

With the playoffs starting this weekend, Fredy and I will be making our predictions on how we think the playoffs will pan out.  Feel free to come back to this page and question our football knowledge in a few weeks!

Here we go

Wild Card Round

AFC

(6) Indianapolis Colts (10-6) at (3) Houston Texans (11-5) (Saturday, January 5, 4:35 PM)

Preview: A divisional matchup to start the weekend (the Texans ALWAYS get this first game of Wild Card weekend), each team beat the other this season (the road team winning each time).  A story of strong turnarounds, Houston was 0-3 to start this season, while Indy was 1-5.  Houston went 11-2 (including winning in OT in Week 4 versus Indy), while the Colts went 9-1 to make the playoffs during the last game of the NFL season.

Predictions

Fredy: Colts 34, Texans 30

The Colts are on fire and have been battle tested the last few weeks of the season. Having faced elite defenses like Tennessee and Dallas the last leg of their schedule has toughened them up a bit and are ready to make noise in the playoffs.

Nick: Colts 31, Texans 23

Houston has a good defense, and I love Deshaun Watson, but Andrew Luck is playing MVP-level football, and I’m expecting his phenomenal play to continue in Houston.

Image result for ravens chargers
Credit: via Baltimore Sun

(5) Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) at (4) Baltimore Ravens (10-6) (Sunday, January 6, 1:05 PM)

Preview: Just like the other AFC Wild Card game, the Ravens and Chargers will face off in a rematch from a regular season game (and a great one at that).  In Week 16, the Ravens came into that funky soccer stadium and won, moving to 9-6, and having everyone and their mother’s claiming them as a dangerous playoff team.  If the Chargers had one, they’d be the number 1 seed right now… The Chargers started the season 1-2, going 11-2 to finish the season; Baltimore went 4-5 under Joe Flacco, and after an injury, rookie Qb Lamar Jackson stepped in, leading the Ravens to a 6-1 finish.  Best game of the weekend.

Predictions

Fredy: Ravens 20, Chargers 14

Rivers finally has San Diego Los Angeles in the national spotlight. However, with this great Ravens D and a mobile QB who’s on a hot streak, the Chargers look to be in trouble. The Chargers defense will keep them in the game until Rivers chokes.

Nick: Ravens 24, Chargers 19

Minus the 4th quarter of the Chiefs game, Rivers has come back down to Earth, and there’s something about the Ravens rolling into January that always scares me.

NFC

(5) Seattle Seahawks (10-6) at (4) Dallas Cowboys (10-6) (Saturday, January 5, 8:15 PM)

Preview: This is also a rematch of a regular season game, as Seattle beat Dallas 24-13 in Week 3, but that was a long time ago.  Going on a trend here of team’s who started the season slow, Seattle was 4-5, before going 6-1 to finish the season 10-6.  Dallas was 3-5, going 7-1 to finish 10-6.  Dallas had a strong defense this year, and Russell Wilson had an excellent season, and threw 14 TDs and 2 INTs during the late-season surge for the Hawks.

Predictions

Fredy: Seahawks 34, Dallas 24

How bout dem Cowboys!? Nah just kidding. Cowboys always seem to choke in situations like this. Russell Wilson pulls out too much magic for the Dallas D to do anything about it. Doug Baldwin will also look to have a good game. Zeke and Dak need to have huge games to win this one.

Nick: Seahawks 34, Cowboys 21

I’m still a bit skeptical of Dallas, and Seattle has a QB and coach with so much experience on this stage.  Every year is different, but I have faith in Wilson and the Hawks.

Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots
Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America

(6) Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) at (3) Chicago Bears (12-4) (Sunday, January 6, 4:40 PM)

Preview: Where the Bears were just outright dominate all season (thank Jon Gruden for that), the Eagles had to go on a late-season run to sneak into the playoffs.  Philly finished the year 5-1 after a 4-6 start.  In Week 15, Nick Foles came to the rescue yet again, coming in for an injured Carson Wentz.  He went 3-0 the last 3 games of the season, with two impressive wins against the 13-3 Rams and 11-5 Texans.  Each coach in this game is a former Andy Reid offensive coordinator, so expect something fun here.

Predictions

Fredy: Eagles 21, Bears 16

Trubisky sucks. I’ll say it again. Trubisky sucks. Philly is as scrappy as ever and have momentum on their side with amazing wins to get into the playoffs. Nick Foles contract with the devil isn’t up yet and he should capitalize now!

Nick: Bears 27, Eagles 14

The Bears have won 8 straight when Trubisky starts, and their defense is just so dominate; they’re built for a playoff run.  Sorry Nick Foles


You have now entered the Twilight Zone. Remember, the 1 seed faces the lower of the 4/5/6 seeds that move on, while the 2 seed faces the higher of the 3/4/5 seeds that move on.

Divisional Round

AFC

Fredy’s matchup: (6) Indianapolis Colts (10-6)at (1) Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) (Saturday, January 12, 4:35 PM)

Prediction: Kansas City 38, Indianapolis 35

Colts and Chiefs have history. Back in 2013, the Colts made a comeback down 38-10 to pull a 45-44 win. The tables have turned 5 years later with the Colts playing at Arrowhead Stadium. Mahomes is coming off an MVP-type season but has a choking factor to him in big games. The Colts have a decent defense and the Chiefs are missing a top weapon for them. It doesn’t look like any magic is happening at Arrowhead… but those demons will be exercised (Andy Reed + Exercise = ???). Chiefs baby!

Nick’s matchup: (6) Indianapolis Colts (10-6) at (1) Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) (Saturday, January 12, 4:35 PM)

Prediction: Colts 41, Chiefs 35

The Colts are getting hot at exactly the right time, and winning close games in bunches.  Stopping Mahomes and this offense is no small task, but two hot teams in December (Chargers, Seahawks) figured out how to beat them, and I’m leaning towards a similar outcome here. Mahomes will have his time, just not this year.

Fredy’s matchup: (4) Baltimore Ravens (10-6) at (2) New England Patriots (11-5) (Sunday, January 13, 1:05 PM)

Prediction: Ravens 29, Patriots 16

The Patriots are giving up the 6th most QB rush yards in the league during the regular season and most out of anyone in these playoffs. Mobile QBs have torched the Patriots in the past and now, the run first Lamar Jackson will showcase his skills against the very normal Patriots while the Ravens defense will expose the flaws in the Patriots offense.

Nick’s matchup: (4) Baltimore Ravens (10-6) at (2) New England Patriots (11-5) (Sunday, January 13, 1:05 PM)

Prediction: Patriots 27, Ravens 24

My bias may be clouding my view, and I might come to regret this pick the second the game starts, because this Ravens team is exactly the type of team that gives New England fits in the playoffs… but I can’t do it.  Hopefully Brady & co. take advantage of the time off here.  Remember, Pats are 15-1 versus teams they did not play in the regular season, and 11-0 versus rookie QBs at home.

NFC

Fredy’s matchup: (5) Seattle Seahawks (10-6) at (2) Los Angeles Rams (12-4) (Saturday, January 12, 8:15 PM)

Prediction: Rams 24, Seahawks 23

Rams are a legit team with too many weapons for Seattle to cover. Goff isn’t the best QB by any means but what his weapons do is poetic. The Seahawks will scrap their way to a close game but a big game from Gurley will keep Seattle from winning the game.

Nick’s matchup: (3) Chicago Bears (12-4) at (2) Los Angeles Rams (12-4) (Saturday, January 12, 8:15 PM)

Prediction: Bears 21, Rams 17

The Bears are built for the playoffs, and already have a formula for beating the Rams.  The Rams only scored below 23 points once this season, and it was against Chicago in Week 14; they only scored 6.  Sean McVay is a smart man, but if the Bears can do half of what they did against Goff in Week 14, they’ll have the edge in this game.  Fun fact: this is the first divisional round game in LA since 1991.

Fredy’s matchup: (6) Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) at (1) New Orleans (13-3) (Sunday, January 13 4:40 PM)

Prediction: Saints 27, Eagles 20

It’s gonna be a slobberknocker folks! I fully expect Philly to come out with everything they have. But playing at the Mercedes Dome is something else. It’s similar to playing the Celtics at the old Garden in the 80’s where magic is pulled out of the home teams ass almost every night. The Saints at home are nothing to play with and with Drew Brees and Michael Thomas looking virtually untouchable at home, I expect the Saints go marching into the next round off an interception to seal the game.

Nick’s matchup: (5) Seattle Seahawks (10-6) at (1) New Orleans (13-3) (Sunday, January 13 4:40 PM)

Prediction: Saints 35, Seahawks 24

Home-field advantage turns out to mean everything (New Orleans is 5-0 at home in the playoffs under Sean Payton), as the best team in the NFL this season get one step closer to a Super Bowl appearance.


More chaos to follow

Championship Weekend

NFC

Sunday, January 20, 3:05 PM

Fredy’s matchup: (2) LA Rams (13-3) at (1) New Orleans Saints (13-3)

Prediction: Saints 26, Rams 23

I always wonder how Goff would do under the bright lights like the ones on during the Championship games. I see this game as a learning experience for the young Rams team that have a core group for the next few years. Brees will be knocked around a bit and it’ll be close, but an Alvin Kamara-Brees last drive will give them a field goal to make it 3 and keep the Rams out of reach with clutch defense. Brees will be on his ass with Donald chasing him around but Kamara is a good weapon and Thomas as a WR is even better. But the Saints march right into the Super Bowl.

Nick’s matchup: (3) Chicago Bears (12-4) at (1) New Orleans Saints (13-3)

Prediction: Saints 30, Bears 23

I am really 50/50 on this one, because the Saints have had their most trouble against elite defenses this season (Ravens, Cowboys), albeit, on the road…. Ultimately, I think the Bears will make the Saints fight for this one, as it will come down to the final quarter, but Brees and Payton will not lose at home here.

AFC

Sunday, January 20, 6:40 PM

Fredy’s matchup: (4) Baltimore Ravens (10-6) at (1) Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)

Prediction: Ravens 23, Chiefs 21

As close as they get. the Ravens like the hard way don’t they? They have an elite defense with a QB who can run on any defense. The Ravens come back with the old run it and hope the defense plays elite type team that we’ve been missing the past couple of years. Ravens are good for football!!! The Chiefs have no defense and almost lost to the corpse of RG3. But the Ravens will redeem their late season loss to the Chiefs and figure out a way to stop Mahomes. The playoffs are a different animal and the Ravens will dictate the tempo of the game and go back to the Super Bowl.

Nick’s matchup: (6) Indianapolis Colts (10-6) at (2) New England Patriots (11-5)

Prediction: Patriots 33, Colts 24

Although Gillette is Luck’s house of horrors (he’s 0-6 versus the Pats during his career, 0-4 at Gillette, and two of those losses were in the playoffs), but this game would be a lot closer than people think.  However, since 2001, the Pats are 9-3 against teams they beat in the regular season; expect that to become 10-3.


Super Bowl LIII

Sunday, February 3, 6:30 PM; Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

Image result for drew brees super bowl
Credit: Sports Illustrated

Fredy’s matchup: (4) Baltimore Ravens (10-6) vs. (1) New Orleans Saints (13-3)

Prediction: Saints 31, Ravens 17

This is where Drew Brees will thrive. A dome and playing close to New Orleans? Shittttt give him the trophy now! The Saints will come together and swing the momentum their way the second half with too many weapons on the field. Jackson will come close to glory but mental errors on all sides of the ball for the Ravens could do it for them. Saints will parade through New Orleans once again!

Image result for tom brady super bowl
Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Nick’s matchup: (2) New England Patriots (11-5) vs. (1) New Orleans Saints (13-3)

Prediction: Patriots 31, Saints 28

This would go down as one of the best QB matchups in Super Bowl history.  Since 2001, every Pats Super Bowl has been a one-score game, and I would expect nothing less here.  An all-out legacy game for each QB and coach, this matchup would mean so much, but I see Brady winning his 6th… and if he does, this will be he (and Gronk’s) final game, and maybe Bill’s too.  How’s that for a hot take?


All times listed in Eastern Standard

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