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2015 NFL Playoff Predictions.
1. The New England Patriots.
Wow. Talk about a team that is coming home to a made bed. The first seed is essentially wrapped up, they don't play another good team in the regular season, and the AFC quarterback roster is hilarious.
Who's starting in Houston again?
I'm not saying it's almost a lock, but...
2. The Denver Broncos.
The Broncos are a team that started out really hot, and have since fallen apart. They have a very potent defense with several talented defensive backs and pass rushers. It's the offense that really brings this team down. Young QB, Brock Osweiler has shown moments of brilliance this year, but he also isn't ready to be a franchise quarterback capable of carrying a team deep into the post-season.
3. The Cincinnati Bengals.
You can't tell me that the loss of Andy Dalton isn't crippling this team. Part of what made them one of the AFC's best teams was the explosive versatility of this team. The Cardinals have been a really good team this year, and they should still be competitive, even with AJ McCarron at quarterback.
4. The Houston Texans.
The AQ of the playoffs, the team that just barely makes it in. This team hasn't even printed their playoff tickets yet. There's still a chance that the Jaguars and Colts can win this division, but... the Texans are in control of their own destiny.
However, this team is a lame duck. Their offense is wildly inconsistent, and with JJ Watt being injured, I can't see this team competing against the next team on this list.
WC. The Kansas City Chiefs.
At one point in the season, I had pulled the plug on the Kansas City Chiefs.This was a foolish, foolish mistake. They've won eight games in a row, and with only the Browns and Raiders remaining, there's a good chance they end on a good note. With a powerful defense and a really versatile offense, the Chiefs will go exactly as far as Alex Smith can take them.
WC. The Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Jets still have the Patriots and Bills on the schedule, and the Steelers are red hot right now. Their defense is very hot and cold, but their offense has hit another gear. Receiver Antonio Brown is my pick for Offensive Player of the Year. The Steelers are getting hot late, and they just beat the Broncos last week.
The Pittsburgh Steelers at The Cincinnati Bengals.
Winner- The Pittsburgh Steelers.
I mean... We just saw this matchup. The Steelers are still missing LeVeon Bell, but even at 75%, they're still deadly on offense. They made the dangerous Broncos defense look completely pedestrian.
The Bengals won't be the same team that they were during the season, and even then... the Steelers won in dominating fashion.
The Kansas City Chiefs at The Houston Texans.
Winner- The Kansas City Chiefs.
This game could be really interesting. Both teams are really good on defense! The only difference is the impotence of the Texans offense. You can really only force DeAndre Hopkins the ball so many times and still expect to see any results.
The Chiefs force plenty of turnovers and don't lose many of their own, and I think that would be enough to get them a win IN Houston as both away teams advance in the playoffs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers at the Denver Broncos.
Winner- The Pittsburgh Steelers.
I mean... we just saw this match-up...
It's not like either team will look drastically different in four weeks, and that's assuming that Brock Osweiler will look like a shadow of himself in the post-season.
I think the Steelers advance to the AFC Championship.
The Kansas City Chiefs at The New England Patriots.
Winner- The New England Patriots.
The Chiefs defense might be able to pull of a historic upset here. They have the tools on defense to really get after Tom Brady and force him to take some risks down the field.
So why am I picking New England?
Because it doesn't matter if you pressure Brady.
I'm sorry, it doesn't. Sure, he's not at 100%, but... this is Tom Brady we're talking about.
I'd take Tom Brady at 60% on some plays over Alex Smith any day.
The Pittsburgh Steelers at The New England Patriots.
How ironic is it that the season ends exactly where it started, with the Pittsburgh Steelers traveling to New England to face the Patriots in primetime.
This is truly incredible.
How many times has this happened?
Well, since the NFL started hosting a primetime kickoff game in 2002, this would be only the second time.
Oddly enough, the first time was last year, when the Seattle Seahawks hosted the Green Bay Packers in the opener and the NFC Championship.
Obviously, I'm going to take the New England Patriots.
As red hot as the Steelers are, the evil empire known as the Patriots are immune to momentum. The Steelers are good enough to outplay most teams, but their coaching is not up to par. They've made some god awful decisions this year, and while they might be able to outplay the Patriots, they won't be able to outcoach them.
AFC Champions- The New England Patriots.
1. The Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers have all but locked up the number one seed and will likely go undefeated when all is said and done. They have the best turnover ratio, lead the league in rushing, and have no problem getting to the passer.
2. The Arizona Cardinals.
The Arizona Cardinals aren't really great at anything, but they're good at everything. They can produce big plays in every phase of the game, and can go toe to toe with any team in the league.
3. The Green Bay Packers.
The Packers are still the Packers, but... they're not the elite team they've been in years past. Their defense struggles mightily against the pass and the run, and their offense doesn't produce consistently. They're desperately missing Jordy Nelson and while they can compete, it's hard to see them beating the hotter teams.
4. The Washington Redskins.
The Houston Texans of the NFC. Someone had to win the division, and it just happened to be the Redskins. Do you like that?
The Eagles could still win it, but I don't trust Sam Bradford, and I think the Redskins defense is good enough to wrap up the season and probably get eliminated by the next team.
WC. The Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks were always going to bounce back, it was only a matter of time. They were dominating the turnover ratio early on in the season, blowing a late game lead in several games. Then things changed. They recommitted to the run, played tighter defense, and have now won seven of their last eight games. Now they look like the Seattle team we've gotten used to seeing over the last few years, and should be primed to make a push.
WC. The Minnesota Vikings.
Before the season even started, I questioned if the Vikings could be contenders in 2015. I stated that while they were very good, they were also very good, and it would remain to be seen if they could compete with the bigger teams.
Well, a late season push has them sliding into the playoffs!
I don't see them lasting very long.
Especially since they'll have to start IN Green Bay against the Packers.
The Minnesota Vikings at The Green Bay Packers.
Winner- The Green Bay Packers.
The Vikings have improved, and playing against a team that struggles with the run like the Packers, you might think they'd be the favorite.
In fact, it really wouldn't surprise me if they pulled this upset off.
I just don't trust the Vikings.
I don't trust their passing game or their defense, and since the game is in Green Bay, the Pack get the win.
The Seattle Seahawks at The Washington Redskins.
Winner- The Seattle Seahawks.
Obviously I'm taking the Hawks here.
C'mon, little Kirk Cousins against the Legion of Boom? Sure the timezone difference is helpful, but the Redskins are only in the post-season because of their mediocre division.
The Seattle Seahawks at the Carolina Panthers.
Winner- The Seattle Seahawks.
This game will be incredible. Really, if there were justice in the world, this would be the NFC Championship.
I just trust them, they've been so good lately, and while the Panthers will likely be the second 16-0 team in NFL history, they don't look anywhere near as dominant as the Patriots did in 2007.
It'll be a physical beat em up game, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Seahawks just stayed on the east coast in order to prepare.
If I have to pick a quarterback to turn the ball over between Cam and Russell... Obviously I'm picking the MVP.
The Green Bay Packers at the Arizona Cardinals.
Winner- The Arizona Cardinals.
It's simple, the Packers outclass the Cardinals.
In every phase of the game, they are superior.
They throw the ball better, they run the ball better, and they're better on defense.
They're just the more reliable of the two teams, and they easily advance to the NFC Championship reminiscent of the Warner/Rodgers feud of a few years ago.
The Seattle Seahawks at the Arizona Cardinals.
A heated division rivalry restored for the third time!
This matchup is the one I'm the least confident about.
These teams know each other so well, and it really does come down to a rested Marshawn Lynch against a hot and cold (usually hot) Cardinals squad.
NFC Champions- The Seattle Seahawks.
Super Bowl 50.
IT'S A REMATCH.
A MATCH OF THE RE VARIETY.
Super Bowl Champions- As. If.