Well the playoffs are upon us. At the beginning of the year I predicted the Ravens and Packers in the Super Bowl. While neither of these teams achieved the type of success in the regular season that I thought they would. They both found their way in the Wild Card route. So now that this season has certainly had its fair share of surprises. Including some that I called like Atlanta being a major dark horse this year. Now as the playoffs head in I see a wide open NFC and a top heavy AFC.
Analysis: Let me start by saying I think this conference is totally wide open with 5 times (sorry Seahawks) all having a legit chance to make the Super Bowl. It will come down to which team can execute, get some luck, and also overcome their weakness. All these teams have some sort of weakness. I think I give the Saints the edge just because they are the defending champions and until they are beaten they deserve the benefit of the doubt.
NFC Wild Card
New Orleans 33, Seattle 13
Analysis: This game should be a complete blow out. Something tells me it will be close for awhile though. Seattle is not the easiest of places to play even if there team is merely below average at best. The only chance in hell Seattle has of winning this game is if Hasselback plays lights out and the Saints turn it over a lot. I think it will be close until a late turnover in the 4th leads to a Saints touchdown that puts the game away. Closer then the score indicates, but still at the end of the day Saints win big like expected.
Green Bay 20, Philadelphia 13
Analysis: A rematch of week 1 in which we will see the same results Packers win by 7. I think this is one of the more even match ups I have seen in these playoffs in recent years. Green Bay comes into this match up riding high after a couple of big must wins to get into the playoffs while the Eagles came in on a surprising 2 game slide. I think this time with a full week to prepare for Vick the Packers fair much better against him. As they get pressure on him and slow down the Eagles attack. I am slightly worried, because the Packers have had their problems with running quarterbacks over the past several years. However, I just think this defense is different and definitely best defense we have had in a long time. I think the Packers still have problems running the ball, but are able to throw it for enough points to take this one.
NFC Divisional Round
New Orleans 30, Chicago 23
Analysis: This match up would be a classic good offense versus good defense battle I think. While the two weaker units the Bears offense and Saints defense may ultimately decide this game. I however, think despite there great performance in Green Bay last week that the Bears have shown signs over the past several weeks of some problems on defense. See the Jets and Patriots games for examples of this. I see the Bears defense slowing down the Saints for awhile. Using some big special teams plays and good offense the Bears run out to a 16-10 lead mid way through the third. However, the Saints find their groove late in the third and put up 17 4th quarter points to comeback and win this game.
Green Bay 20, Atlanta 17
Analysis: This is a rematch of a good game earlier in the year. A game in which Green Bay really had a chance to win, but made some key costly mistakes that sent them to a difficult loss. I don't really love this match up for Green Bay I actually think Atlanta gives us trouble considering we haven't been the greatest at stopping the run this year. I think we contain Michael Turner in this one and play perhaps our best overall game of the season. This time Green Bay comes out on top by a late game field goal.
New Orleans 23, Green Bay 21
Analysis: Here we are both wild card teams make it to the Championship game. Ultimately I think winning 3 straight road games will just be too much for the Packers. This game will be the toughest of all of them yet as beating the defending champions in their building this close to a repeat for them is going to be brutal. The Packers put up a great effort, but ultimately fall short on a late Saints field goal.
Analysis: Well the AFC is a conference I don't think is nearly as wide open. While I still think the teams outside the top 2 are really good. I just think those top 2 are really good football teams that will be tough to beat at home.
AFC Wild Card
Indianapolis 21, New York 17
Analysis: This game features two teams headed in opposite directions. The Jets who I feel were overrated to begin with came backing into these playoffs while the Colts came in having to win their final 4 games. While neither of these teams are as good as they were last season I think the Colts are still better. Playing at home I think Peyton Manning will have a good game and lead the Colts to a close victory.
Baltimore 29, Kansas City 23 in OT
Analysis: The NFL sees the new OT rules come into play on opening weekend. As this is a match up that I think is about even as well. This match up features strength versus strength which is Kansas City rush attack versus Baltimore rush defense. I think this is a great game that is probably the game of the wild card round much like last years Green Bay Arizona game was. In this game the new rules don't really get tested as Baltimore wins the toss, takes the ball, and Flacco hits Boldin on a huge bomb for the game winning TD on the third play of OT. I think whoever comes out of this match up is the team that could likely upset one of the top two in the next round.
AFC Divisional Round
Pittsburgh 27, Indianapolis 17
Analysis: This would be one of the more exciting match ups to see I think. Peyton Manning versus Pittsburgh's defense would be quite the battle I think. In this one I see Pittsburgh offense having few troubles with the Colts defense. While Pittsburgh defense does just enough to frustrate Manning and come up with a few game changing turn overs. Steelers take this one by 10.
New England 33, Baltimore 27
Analysis: The Ravens are in yet again the weekend's best game. As this one I think would be a real battle with neither defense having too much of an impact on this one. As we see the Patriots one and only weakness really is a young defense. I think the Patriots, however take this one late when the youthful defense comes up with a huge interception stopping the Ravens final drive in the red zone with only seconds left in the game. I think both QB's have good games and both running backs put up big days as well. Should be a fun game to watch.
Pittsburgh 23, New England 20
Analysis: This is a rematch of a match up earlier in the year that saw the Patriots go into Pittsburgh and stomp them. That match up was the beginning of the Pats run of dominance throughout the rest of the season. In this one I think we see a much better game and a much more focused Steelers team. Tom Brady as terrific as he has been all year finally throws his first interception in many weeks that proves costly and leads to a late game winning field goal by Pittsburgh to steal the AFC Championship from the Patriots and leave them stunned. Troy Polamalu is the MVP of the game as he comes up with the big interception and gets to Brady for 3 sacks.
Pittsburgh 33, New Orleans 28
Analysis: What a Super Bowl this would be I think as it would feature two unexpected teams as the playoffs began. I think this would be an excellent game that would ultimately see Troy Polamalu being a huge difference maker again as he makes big plays on defense. Ultimately though it is Ben Roethlisberger who leads his Steelers on yet another classic drive late in the game for the game winning touchdown this time to Hines Ward. The Steelers deny the Saints a repeat and win there unprecedented 7th Super Bowl.
MVP: Ben Roethlisberger 335 yards passing, 2 passing TD's, 1 rushing TD
I think we are in for an exciting playoffs. I am not sure I am right by any means I could be way off. This is how I see it playing out though and I will stick to it. I think we are for a surprise from each conference as the top seed in each conference fail to make it to the Super Bowl. The NFC is wide open and I wouldn't be surprised by just about anything happening in that conference. In the AFC I think the Ravens or Chiefs stand the best chance at knocking off either Pittsburgh or New England. The one match up I would love to see is Kansas City at New England as I feel that would be an exciting game. I think New England would struggle to win that one as they seem to have problems facing former coaches of theirs. Would make for an interesting battle I think. Should be exciting hoping for my dream Super Bowl of my Packers versus my second favorite team Steelers! Enjoy the ride everyone and may the best team win!!!
2011 NFL Playoff Predictions
Posted on: January 8, 2011 3:05 pm