It’s that time of the year once again. The NFL Regular Season has come to an end, while the NFL Playoff Bracket is finally set. There are many fascinating match-ups this year as there are seven teams that are in the playoffs this year that weren’t in it last year. In these playoffs, anything can happen and the Philadelphia Eagles demonstrated how unpredictable this league is. None of us truly know which team will come up on top, however, we have many indications of what we might see in these coming weeks.
AFC Wild Card: (6) Indianapolis Colts @ (3) Houston Texans
Last season, the Houston Texans lost their star players in Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt due to season-ending injuries. This time around, the Texans have remained relatively healthy and have secured themselves a home game for the wild-card match-up against one of the hottest teams in the Indianapolis Colts. The Texans started the season 0-3, however winning 9 straight games ultimately helped them secure the AFC South Title. The Colts surprisingly have been one of the best teams in the league these past few weeks as they have an improving defense, a strong running game, and a 100 percent Andrew Luck. The last time these two teams met, the Colts won 24-21 and with the way they have been improving each week, this game might not be competitive. The Texans have struggled with a below average offensive line and no depth at the wide-receiver position other than DeAndre Hopkins. Look out, the Colts are making their way to the Divisional Round.
Prediction: Colts 34, Texans 17
AFC Wild Card: (5) Los Angeles Chargers @ (4) Baltimore Ravens
In a rematch of Week 16’s duel which showcased the Ravens taking down the heavily favored Chargers in Los Angeles, this will be one of the more anticipated match-ups. The Ravens took care of the Chargers without much trouble, defeating them 22-10. This time around, the Chargers will want revenge and will also have extra motivation to take down the Ravens. Ever since Lamar Jackson has taken the starting quarterback role for the Ravens, there has been nothing but good results from Baltimore. The Ravens are a physical team as they have been one of the best, if not the best, defense in the league this entire season. They run the ball efficiently as they have a mobile quarterback in Lamar Jackson and can really confuse opposing defenses. The Chargers have shown the ability to win big games on the road as they have defeated both Pittsburgh and Kansas City, however, we’re not completely sure L.A. can get it done. Their team is stacked, but if quarterback Philip Rivers throws just one interception, that could spill doom for this Chargers team in Baltimore.
Prediction: Ravens 27, Chargers 24
NFC Wild Card: (6) Philadelphia Eagles @ (3) Chicago Bears
The Philadelphia Eagles have been one of the biggest surprises this season as not many expected them to make the playoffs once again. After starting the season off with a 4-6 record, most counted them out. Over the past few weeks, the Eagles have looked a like that Super Bowl squad. As soon as Nick Foles took over as the starting quarterback position due to Wentz’s injury, the Eagles have been rejuvenated and are more motivated than ever to shock the world once again. Their chemistry is striding at the perfect time, while their defense has been tremendous on this current three-game winning streak. What awaits is a Chicago Bear defense that has allowed a league-low 17.7 points per game. Chicago has been one of the best teams in the league and have just been good all season long. Nick Foles bruised his rib just last week against Washington and reports are stating that he will be ready to play. With this game being in Chicago, expect the Bears to take advantage of their home-field and get by Philadelphia with a big sigh of relief.
Prediction: Bears 24, Eagles 14
NFC Wild Card: (5) Seattle Seahawks @ (4) Dallas Cowboys
This game is probably the most unpredictable due to the fact that both Seattle and Dallas are similar in many ways. Both have solid defenses and both have a rushing attack that can carry them to victory. The Cowboys are the small-favorites in this one due to their home-field advantage as they have won their last 7 out of 8 games while Seattle has won their last 6 out of the last 7 games. Both these teams met up in Week 3 in which Seattle got the win over Dallas, however, that isn’t a very good indication of how this game will go. After all, that was 14 weeks ago and a lot has changed for both teams since then. Seattle is very capable of winning this game as they have a super-bowl winning quarterback in Russell Wilson. Wilson played his most efficient season as he led the way by throwing for 35 touchdowns while throwing just 7 interceptions. With the Cowboys being 7-1 at home for the regular season, expect the Cowboys to be extra motivated to defeat Seattle in front of their home crowd. Elliott has had a great season and will most likely have a great game against this Seattle team that has struggled to defend the run. Expect the Cowboys to win this one, but just by a small margin.
Prediction: Cowboys 31, Seahawks 24
AFC Divisional Round: (6) Indianapolis Colts @ (1) Kansas City Chiefs
This game will be one of the more entertaining games in the post-season if it does indeed happen. The Colts are one of the hottest teams in the league now and the Chiefs are one of the best teams in the league. The Chiefs have shocked many this season as they were expected to just be a six to eight win team. After all, they gave away veteran quarterback Alex Smith, who had been consistently performing well with Kansas City. However, after many disappointing post-seasons with Smith, the Chiefs decided to move on with their quarterback for the future in Patrick Mahomes. Before the season had started, reports stated that Mahomes threw many interceptions and poor passes in training camp and just did not look ready for the season. He definitely proved us wrong and will most likely win the MVP award as he threw for 50 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Colts are a team that can beat the Chiefs due to their style of play. They run the ball efficiently and play tough defense. This will definitely be a fun game to watch, but at the end of the day, the Colts’ road to Atlanta will probably come to an end in Kansas City. The Chiefs are more rested and prepared coming into this game and we should expect them to advance.
Prediction: Chiefs 35, Colts 27
AFC Divisional Round: (4) Baltimore Ravens @ (2) New England Patriots
Coming off of a big win against the Los Angeles Chargers the week before, the Baltimore Ravens will be riding high as they enter New England to take on Tom Brady and the Patriots. The Patriots have been one of the most interesting teams this entire season. Every year, it seems to be the same story. It’s always about Tom Brady aging and whether or not this will be the year the Patriots dynasty will come to an end. But the same thing happens every time. The Patriots answer back and tend to appear in the AFC Championship at least year after year. New England has had a quiet but successful season as they were able to capture another AFC East Division Title and a bye-week for the post-season. In their path is a Ravens team that will have a ton of momentum. In this specific match-up, we can expect Lamar Jackson to give the Patriots a run for their money. At the end of the day, Jackson is still a rookie and can still make rookie mistakes. The Patriots always adjust defensively as they take their opponents strength away. New England will take Baltimore’s run game and work around their defense. Especially with this game being in New England, expect the veteran team in New England to take this one.
Prediction: Patriots 26, Ravens 17
NFC Divisional Round: (4) Dallas Cowboys @ (1) New Orleans Saints
In what will be an intense match-up to see, the Cowboys will be traveling to New Orleans to take on the heavily favored Saints. The Cowboys defeated the Saints in a shocking upset in Dallas earlier this year, however, we should fully expect the Saints to have extra motivation this time around. With this game being in New Orleans, a tough place to play, Dallas will most likely crumble and fall short to their dreams of advancing to the Super Bowl this year. With Patrick Mahomes most likely winning the MVP Award, quarterback Drew Brees will want to prove the doubters wrong and will not stop until he captures his second super bowl win. The Saints have been great throughout the entire season and many speculate whether or not this team could’ve won it all last year if the Minneapolis Miracle hadn’t occurred. Many will say that the Saints are not defeating their opponents in convincing ways nowadays and could be a one-and-done team. Their defense has stepped up and have shown the ability to win without their offense carrying their team to wins. With Dallas being the hotter team entering this one, Dak Prescott will have to live up to the hype and prove doubters wrong. Defeating the Saints in New Orleans during the playoffs is almost impossible and expecting Prescott to lead the way for a Dallas win is not realistic.
Prediction: Saints 38, Cowboys 24
NFC Divisional Round: (3) Chicago Bears @ (2) Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams have been one of the biggest, if not the biggest headlines all season long as they were heavily covered during the off-season due to their acquisitions on star players like Aquib Talib, Ndamukong Suh, Brandin Cooks, Marcus Peters, and Dante Fowler Jr. With the Rams demolishing every team in their path for most of the season, their expectations are set high. However, when elite teams have an off-night or struggle from time to time throughout the course of the regular season, many begin speculating whether or not they can truly compete and win in the post-season. The Bears will most likely come off a win against Philadelphia and will have the utmost confidence to take down the Rams once again. Rams Coach Sean McVay and the Rams fell short last year in which would be a disappointing ending, however, this time around, they’ll make sure that it doesn’t happen again. With the Rams wanting revenge on the Bears from their loss to them earlier this season, expect the Rams to make a run for the Super Bowl and the Bears are just another obstacle. This team is getting healthy as the days progress and it’s coming at the right time.
Prediction: Rams 21, Bears 17
AFC Championship Game: (2) New England Patriots @ (1) Kansas City Chiefs
In the past few seasons, this match-up in the playoffs would always favor the New England Patriots. After all, the Chiefs were known to choke and to never really have any playoff success. This time around, the Chiefs are revamped with Patrick Mahomes leading the way. The Chiefs’ offense has changed and Coach Andy Reid has implemented more deep passing plays into this system to further expand the playbook. This also allowed Mahomes to play at his best level and playing in Kansas City will give the Chiefs the advantage over the Patriots. The Patriots could very well win this game, however, dynasties eventually come to an end. This doesn’t mean that the Patriots will lose and fall next year. This is just implying that the Chiefs are the new up-and-coming team and are ready to take over this league for years to come. With the Chiefs having an elite offense throughout the entire season, it won’t be tough to get the fans involved. This game could go either way, but it just seems that the Chiefs are the better team this time around will most likely head to Atlanta to participate in the Super Bowl.
Prediction: Chiefs 41, Patriots 35
NFC Championship Game: (2) Los Angeles Rams @ (1) New Orleans Saints
The Saints defeated the Rams in New Orleans earlier this season, but it wasn’t in the most convincing fashion. They went up big, but later choked the lead. At the end of the day, New Orleans won and this time around, they will once again be favored to win the game. Defeating Drew Brees and the Saints in New Orleans during the playoffs is no easy task. The Rams are one of the most balanced teams in the league as they have an aggressive offense while having a good enough defense. What this ultimately comes down to is the Jared Goff and Drew Brees match-up. Goff has played some good football for a good portion of the season, however, he has struggled in some of these games as well. Goff doesn’t have as much experience as Brees obviously and Brees has this advantage. The Saints are clicking on all cylinders and no quarterback in the NFC outside of Russell Wilson can really give the Saints a run for their money in New Orleans. It’ll be tough for Goff to outplay Brees in this game. With the fans being rowdy supporting their Saints, it’ll probably spell doom for the Rams.
Prediction: Saints 38, Rams 30
Super Bowl 53: (1) Kansas City Chiefs vs. (1) New Orleans Saints
This potential Super Bowl match-up is must watch TV obviously. With second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes most likely taking home the MVP Award away from Drew Brees, Brees will have an opportunity to have the last laugh by defeating the Chiefs in Atlanta to capture Brees’ second super bowl ring. Both the Chiefs and Saints have been playing fantastic football this entire season and this will be a very offensive game with many touchdowns and possible 2-point conversions. The two best quarterbacks in the league this year will be going for ultimate supremacy as they both have a lot to prove to the world. With players like Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, and Marshon Lattimore, we can fully expect these teams to reach at least 30 points. The Saints hadn’t made an appearance in the Super Bowl since defeating the Indianapolis Colts in 2010 and the Chiefs haven’t made it to the Super Bowl since 1970. This match-up will ultimately be decided by the two best quarterbacks in Mahomes and Brees. Brees has more experience in this league and we can expect Brees to outplay Mahomes and get the last laugh. Watch out though, this could go either way.
Prediction: Saints 37, Chiefs 33