NFL Playoff Predictions

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Met Life Stadium, site of SuperBowl XLVIII (Photo: Gabriel Argudo Jr. (CC BY-SA 2.0))

The regular season is over and it’s time for the NFL’s second season: the playoffs.

In the AFC, I am tempted to pick the Chargers to go all the way. Like the Ravens in 2012, Giants in 2011, and Packers in 2012, the Chargers played the Eagles in Philly’s home opener and lost to the Redskins. It seems like fate. But my gut still tells me that this is Denver’s year.

Wildcard games
Chargers (6) at Bengals (3): Chargers
Chiefs (5) at Colts (4): Colts

Divisional games
Colts (4) at Patriots (2): Colts
Chargers (6) at Broncos (1): Broncos

AFC Championship
Colts (4) at Broncos (1): Broncos

In the NFC, home-field advantage for Seattle isn’t quite as lock-solid as it seemed before their home loss to Arizona in Week 16. But I don’t see them losing another home game in the playoffs. Their first game against San Francisco will be a close one, but I think they’ll pull it out and then roll from there.

Wildcard games
Saints (6) at Eagles (3): Eagles
49ers (5) at Packers (4): 49ers

Divisional games
Eagles (3) at Panthers (2): Panthers
49ers (5) at Seahawks (1): Seahawks

NFC Championship
Panthers (2) at Seahawks (1): Seahawks

Which brings us to Super Bowl XLVIII at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey.

(New … Fricking … Jersey?! I can’t get past this.)

With a rare match-up of number-one playoff seeds.

The Seattle Seahawks vs. The Denver Broncos.

And the winner is.

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Peyton Manning gets his long awaited second Super Bowl ring and goes out on top.

That’s my prediction. And since I’m always wrong, I expect the Chargers to go all the way.

San Diego SOOP-er Chargers!!!

NFL 2013: Midseason Predictions

MetLife Stadium Exterior

Met Life Stadium, site of SuperBowl XLVIII (Photo: Gabriel Argudo Jr. (CC BY-SA 2.0))

It’s midseason–give or take–and here are my updated projections, served with a side of crow to be enjoyed later, as always.

(Key: #1 SEED, Division Champion, Wildcard.)

AFC Standings

East
New England 12-4
NY Jets 10-6
Buffalo 5-11
Miami 4-12

What the hell is happening in New York (Part One)? Rex Ryan looks to save his job for another year and some team out there loses a great defensive coordinator. Meanwhile, the circus moves to Miami and another “Dream Team” bites the dust

North
Cincinnati 11-5
Cleveland 8-8
Baltimore 7-9
Pittsburgh 4-12

The factory of sadness temporarily moves to Pittsburgh, and life in Cleveland is just a little bit less hopeless.

South
Indianapolis 12-4
Tennessee 8-8
Houston 6-10
Jacksonville 1-15

Andrew Luck and the Colts are for real. Matt Shaub and the Texas are not. (And get well soon, Coach Kubiak.)

West
DENVER 14-2
Kansas City 12-4
San Diego 9-7
Oakland 4-12

I knew KC would get better. I did not expect them to get 9-0 better. But they still have to play Denver twice and we’re talking Peyton Manning vs. Alex Smith here. Reality check time.

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NFL 2013: My Predictions

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Met Life Stadium, site of SuperBowl XLVIII (Photo: Gabriel Argudo Jr. (CC BY-SA 2.0))

For the second year, I am making a futile attempt to predict the totally unpredictable NFL season. Given the mostly lousy job I did last year, I am changing my approach a little. First, I’ve not wasted my time trying to predict the winner of each game. That took far too long and didn’t really work all that well. Instead, the records are my own estimation of about how good (or bad) each team is this year. Second, while I have attempted to be realistic in my regular season predictions—for example, I don’t have the Redskins going 14-2 and clinching the number one seed—once I get to the playoffs I’ve thrown out any illusion of objectivity and instead played out what I would like to happen.

So first, my predictions for the regular season.

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