About Those Playoff Picks...
During the preseason, I made my picks for the 2013 playoffs and it looks like I might've been off just a little. By that I mean I was totally wrong on many of my picks. Now that the playoffs are here I will pick my winners all the way Super Bowl XLVIII.
Wild Card Round-
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles Winner: Philadelphia Eagles
I believe the Saints will put up a good fight in the cold of Philly but the Eagles offense is too hot to be stopped right now. I think Lesean McCoy will have another big game and he'll be the difference in the game. McCoy will keep Brees on the sideline and with the Eagles passing game hitting the big passes at the right time, the Eagles should be able to stay ahead of the Saints.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers Winner: San Francisco 49ers
Aaron Rodgers gave the Packers a huge boost in his comeback last week at Chicago and he will do his part against the 49ers tough defense, but I think Frank Gore and the 49ers play smashmouth football and beat Green Bay in the bitter cold of the frozen tundra.
San Franciso 49ers at Seattle Seahawks Winner: San Franciso 49ers
This will the toughest game of the 49ers season, but I think they'll be able to pull off the massive upseat against their arch-rivals. San Francisco has that team of destiny feel to them and it doesn't hurt that they're ridiculously hot at the right time, just like the Ravens last year and many of the other recent Super Bowl winners. The difference in this game will be Kaepernick, who will have a big game and carry the Niners to a win.
Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers Winner: Philadelphia Eagles
The Panthers will be tough in Cam Newton's first trip to the playoffs, but I think his inexperience in the big dance will be his downfall against a hot team with an even hotter offense. I believe Nick Foles will make the big throws needed to win and Lesean McCoy will run wild for another big game that puts the Eagles back in the NFC Championship.
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles Winner: San Francisco 49ers
Two hot teams collide for the right to play in the Super Bowl on a cold night in Philly, but the Niners defense is the difference here where they'll be one of the only teams to withstand the Eagles offensive attack. A tough pass rush and good coverage will frustrate the Eagles all night long as the ball gets put in Nick Foles' hands. McCoy gets nullified in this game while Frank Gore runs through the Eagles defense as the Niners grind one out in late January as they punch their ticket to the Super Bowl.
Wild Card Round-
Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts Winner: Indianapolis Colts
The Chiefs just haven't been the same team since starting 9-0. Their defense is weaker, and while their offense has scored more points, it wasn't enough as they stumbled to a 2-5 record in their last seven games. The Colts come in to this game hot, winning 5 of their last 7. The Colts offense has found the spark they lacked earlier in the season as they've put the ball in Andrew Luck's hands. He's playing very well and I think he'll be the reason the Colts get their first playoff win in the post-Peyton Manning era.
San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals Winner: Cincinnati Bengals
This is the year the Bengals break through and win their first playoff game under Marvin Lewis. Andy Dalton has a big game and will out-duel Phillip Rivers. The Bengals will get a big stop late in a high scoring game. Rivers will do everything he can, but I think the hot streak ends in Cincy as the the Bengals get the big win.
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos Winner-Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning has a massive game and puts the Broncos over his old team. In a rematch of their mid-season battle, the Broncos fix their mistakes and take the down Colts despite a furious effort from Andrew Luck, who I believe will put on a terrific playoff performance. The Broncos defense shows up when it needs to and helps seal the win for Denver.
Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots Winner: New England Patriots
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady take care of business again as they get a decisive win against the Bengals. I don't believe this game will be very close and I definitely think that Tom Brady could easily throw 4 or 5 touchdowns. Chandler Jones will frustrate Andy Dalton all night and will cause him to throw some ill-advised interceptions that will give Brady some easy opportunities for easy touchdowns. Patriot haters will unfortunately have to deal with them in the AFC Championship game AGAIN.
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos Winner: Denver Broncos
In an epic duel between two the greatest quarterbacks of all time, I believe Peyton Manning will get the better of his arch-rival this time around and the Broncos will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Both quarterbacks will match each other touchdown for touchdown, both defenses will suffer, and both QB's will put on a fourth quarter performance that will be the stuff of legend. However, I think Peyton will get the ball last and will throw his way into his third Super Bowl. Unfortunately for Tom Brady, he'll have to live with another playoff disappointment as he continues his quest for that elusive fourth championship.
Super Bowl XLVIII-
San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos Winner: San Francisco 49ers
The Niner's defense frustrates Peyton all night long despite his best effort, which will see him make some plays on their defense to keep the game close almost all the way through. The difference maker here will be Kaepernick, who I believe will be the MVP with a great performance throwing and running all over the Broncos defense. Frank Gore also has a big game that helps get the win for San Francisco. Peyton will keep the game tight, but not tight enough as the the Niners pull away in the fourth quarter. Even though I'll be rooting for Peyton to get his second ring, I think the 49ers are this year's hot team that goes on that big Super Bowl run leading them to a championship.