My Playoff Predictions.
This is just a little something I threw together in about half an hour.
These are just my opinions and thoughts based on some notes I've been taking down for weeks, glancing over schedules, and gut feelings.
In fact, I probably am.
Statistically, predicting these things is a tough job.
If it wasn't, I'd be in Vegas with Anna Kendrick and a Ferrari.
If you disagree, feel free to comment with your opinion.
I beg that you bring facts and well structured arguments and leave the "but my favorite team didn't win" arguments for the NFL.com message boards.
Six- The Kansas City Chiefs.
Five- The Cincinnati Bengals.
Four- The AFC North Champions: The Baltimore Ravens.
Three- The AFC South Champions: The Indianapolis Colts.
Two- The AFC West Champions: The Denver Broncos.
One- The AFC East Champions: The New England Patriots.
I'm sure you have a couple of questions.
So let me explain.
Why Kansas City?
Well... Kansas City's future is in their hands.
They've got the Oakland Raiders in Arrowhead this weekend, and then they get to face both teams that are projected to be wild-card teams as of right now. I think they've got what it takes to beat both the Chargers and the Steelers, so we're looking at a 9-6 record with wins over the Dolphins, Chargers, and Steelers... All wild card competitors. The biggest red flag here is that they've lost three games straight since upsetting the Seahawks. The reality here is that they've lost three very closely contested games. If they get back to basics, there's no reason why they can't sneak into the playoffs.
Well, why Cincinnati is also asking... Why not Cincinnati?
As in, why aren't they division champions?
The Bengals have to play the Broncos and Steelers over the next three weeks, and to be honest, these Bengals have been incredibly inconsistent.
They've scored 281 points this year... and allowed 289.
That's right, they've actually been outscored this year.
Even if they managed to beat Pittsburgh, I have a really hard time seeing them outscore the Broncos.
They're sitting pretty at 8-5 with three cupcake games on the schedule.
They host the Jaguars this week, have Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Texans the next week, and get Johnny Manzfail and the Browns the week after that. The only team that even resembles a challenge on that list are the Texans, and that's only because JJ Watt is superhuman.
I think the Ravens win out, while the Bengals and Steelers lose at least one game.
It's pretty simple. They have a two and a half game lead on Houston with three games left, one of which is against the Texans, who have two tough games left on the schedule.
The Colts can clinch with a win this weekend, and with only the imploding Cowboys left on the schedule, they should have a 12-4 record.
Let's be real, they're basically already AFC West champions. And the head-to-head tiebreaker separates them from the Patriots, who probably won't lose again this year.
And unless the Bengals or Chargers pull off an incredible upset, they'll be 13-3.
Why New England?
They play the AFC East to close the year...
The Jets, Bills, and Dolphins.
I don't think Tom Brady is sweating.
Kansas City @ Indianapolis- Indianapolis.
The loss of Eric Berry really crippled the Chiefs passing game.
They just don't have the same passion or consistency on defense to beat the big teams.
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, the Colts are a very big team.
Cincinnati @ Baltimore- Cincinnati.
The Ravens secondary is just too beat up to handle explosive offenses. I was tempted to pick the Ravens because the game would be in Baltimore, but with an aging Cason and scrubs playing defensive back, they can't hope to contain the likes of AJ Green.
Indianapolis @ Denver- Denver.
The Colts are a year away from being a team that can contend. They've been too inconsistent late in the year, and have yet to really upset any of the elite teams. Peyton gets his annual playoff win and the Broncos move on.
Cincinnati @ New England- New England.
In miserable, icy New England, the reinvigorated Patriot pass rush will expose the gimmicky Bengals offense and Tom Brady will cruise to a win, likely breaking Joe Montana's record for post-season touchdowns.
Denver @ New England- New England.
It's the same old story.
Peyton chokes in the playoffs, Peyton can't play in the weather, and the Patriots are just too good in the playoffs.
Take your pick,but there were light flurries when the Broncos and Patriots played earlier this season and... well... look how that turned out.
So in my head, I see the Patriots taking home the Lamar Hunt trophy and marching off to face the NFC Champion...
Six- The Arizona Cardinals.
Five- The Detroit Lions.
Four- The NFC South Champions: Atlanta Falcons.
Three- The NFC East Champions: The Philadelphia Eagles.
Two- The NFC West Champions: The Seattle Seahawks.
One- The NFC North Champions: The Green Bay Packers.
"WHAT?! BUT THE CARDINALS ARE TOTALLY THE NUMBER ONE SEED RIGHT NOW, ARE YOU CRAZY?"
Am I crazy? Yes.
Are my picks influenced by my insanity? Only when I pick the Raiders.
I have the Cardinals dropping two of their last three.
The loss of Carson Palmer totally derailed their season, and against teams like St. Louis and Seattle, I don't know if Drew Stanton can hold up.
Two losses is enough to take them out of the championship hunt and into the wild card.
Detroit could have easily been the Number One seed this year. Losses against teams like Buffalo and Arizona were killer. A win over the Packers in Week 17 would be astronomically huge and completely ruin this article, but I have a hard time imagining a dome team getting the upset in snowy Lambeau. Regardless, the talented front seven and explosive offense are enough to get this team the highest spot reserved for "at large" teams.
It was either the Falcons or the Saints and of the two, at least the Falcons were mildly consistent.
The NFC South champ won't have an impressive record, and it really comes down to which team screws up less in their week 16 match-up.
The Falcons get in on a technicality and nobody ever talks about expanding the playoffs every again.
Because the Giants and Redskins are awful, and the Cowboys are doing what the Cowboys do in December. The Eagles have a significantly easier schedule remaining, and can wrap this spot up with a win over the Cowboys this week.
The best secondary in the NFL gets Colin Kaepernick, Drew Stanton, and Shaun Hill to end the year.
Tell me how they're supposed to lose again?
As I'm predicting the downfall of the Cardinals, the Seahawks are gladly jumping back into Division Champion status, and praying desperately that the Packers lose another game so all NFC contenders have to go to Century Link.
Why Green Bay?
Unfortunately for Seattle, the Pack is on a roll.
With the Bucs and the Bills separating the Packers from their week 17 showdown with Detroit, it's hard to see them dropping a game. They're still riding high after destroying New England and Atlanta over the last couple of weeks, and look to lock down the NFC.
Arizona @ Philadelphia- Philadelphia.
In a rematch of a game from much, much earlier, the Eagles find themselves in a good position.
They get the Cardinals, without Carson Palmer, IN Philadelphia, right around the time that Nick Foles returns. The Eagles dink and dunk and exploit all over the Cardinals.
Detroit @ Atlanta- Detroit.
The Falcons have no business being in the playoffs.
Their division "championship" is fraudulent and the Lions prove exactly why as they enjoy traveling to another dome and lighting up the scoreboard.
Detroit @ Green Bay- Detroit.
In a rematch of their week 17 match-up, the Lions travel back to Green Bay for a shootout with the Packers. Historically speaking, when teams play twice in a row, the team that won the time before rarely wins again. That's twice as true when you talk about Divisional opponents. I think the Packers are a little overrated this year, and maybe the Lions expose that as Aaron Rodgers has a rough day in the snow... Totally contradicts what I just said, doesn't it?
Philadelphia @ Seattle- Seattle.
Foles or no Foles, we saw what the L.O.B. did to the "explosive" Eagles offense IN Philadelphia... It doesn't get any easier with the dreaded 12th man in house. The Seahawks outmuscle the Eagles and shut them down on defense.
Detroit @ Seattle- Seattle.
Finally, the match-up everyone wants to see.
Calvin Johnson versus Richard Sherman.
Get. Your. Popcorn. Ready.
I think it would be a good game, very back and forth, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Lions held the lead at points. The Hawks could see many 3 and outs trying to run the ball against that fearsome front four. There'd be tons of pressure on Russell Wilson, figuratively and literally.
But when you're a team that absolutely needs to pass the ball to score, and you're facing off against a team that loves taking the ball away... It gets ugly eventually.
3 and outs are rough, but they're much better than turnoves.
So in my head, I see the Seahawks repeating as NFC Champions and heading to Arizona to face off against Tom Brady and the Patriots in the "U Mad Bro-wl"