Yup, it’s that time of the year again. NFL playoffs!
Yup, we’re talking about playoffs.
Last Week: 12-4
On the Season: 147-108-1 (.576)
#4 Indianapolis Colts (11-5) over #5 Kansas City Chiefs (11-5), 24-16 (KC by 1, UPSET)
Why: After starting 9-0 the Chiefs lost five of their final seven games of the season, including a Week 16 loss at home to these same Colts. They have their fair share of injuries. I trust Andrew Luck much more than I do Alex Smith, especially at Indianapolis.
#6 San Diego Chargers (9-7) over #3 Cincinnati Bengals (11-5), 34-28 (CIN by 7, UPSET)
Why: The Bengals may be 8-0 at home this season, but Marvin Lewis is 0-4 as Cincinnati’s coach. Even in the cold, I feel San Diego has a big advantage on offense, as I trust Philip Rivers more than Andy Dalton, who has 20 interceptions and has been inconsistent this year, often looking elite and often looking just awful. The Bengals defense has yet to play an offense as potent as the Chargers.
#3 Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) over #6 New Orleans Saints (11-5), 37-30 (PHI by 3, OVER)
Why: This is a very hard game to pick. The Eagles have struggled against quarterbacks like Matt Cassel and Kyle Orton. Philly is just 4-4 at home, but they’ve won their last four there. New Orleans is a totally different team playing outside vs at the Superdome. The Saints are a better team than the Eagles, but the game being in freezing Philadelphia makes a huge difference. If the Birds jump out early, the ‘Aints could get rattled.
#5 San Francisco 49ers (12-4) over #4 Green Bay Packers (8-7-1), 20-13 (SF by 3, OVER)
Why: The weather is going to be a huge factor, as temperatures will drop to historical levels at Lambeau. The Packers have managed to balance their offense with a strong running game and Aaron Rodgers is back. Still, San Francisco’s defense is going to be too much, even in this weather. They can stop just about anyone.
AFC: Denver Broncos over Indianapolis Colts
Why: The Colts are a special team. They just have a never-say-die attitude under Andrew Luck, which is why I like them to beat Kansas City today and defeat the overrated Patriots next week, only to fall to the man they let go after 14 years. The Broncos offense is nearly unstoppable.
NFC: Seattle Seahawks over Carolina Panthers
Why: The Panthers are a fun team to watch. Their defense is something to behold and Cam Newton is one of the most dynamic players in the NFL. The home-field advantage of Seattle will be too much for both San Francisco and Carolina, and they will clinch their second trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history.
Super Bowl XLVIII:
Denver Broncos over Seattle Seahawks
MVP: QB Peyton Manning
Nobody is going to stop Peyton Manning. Even with a mediocre defense and a banged-up Wes Welker, it’s #18’s time to return to glory and take his second Super Bowl championship, establishing himself as unquestionably as arguably the greatest quarterback of all time.