NFL Playoff Predictions Week #2

Well, last week I was perfect in my predictions, going 4-0 in the NFL and 1-0 in College football, picking Clemson to defeat unbeaten Alabama in the championship game.

(BTW, I finished in the top 97% percentile in the NCAA Bowl Mania challenge. I was in the top 26 thousand out of million(s) of entries. But I feel like a complete loser. Yes, it’s an A+, but I should easily have been top 99% (my goal was to be in the top 1,000 – I was close at one point late in the bowls). I’m kicking myself for making a few bad picks I knew were not right…oh well, we can’t control everything in football)

Unlike the Washington v Alabama game, Clemson was a cerebral pick and I fully expected they would win. As I noted in the blog, Washington was a gut feeling choice; although the coach of Washington disappointed me greatly. I thought he was better and more creative than he showed. Lesson learned; when dealing with football, don’t go with your gut, go with your head. If God wanted us to listen to our gut, he would have put a mouth on it, and we could just stuff it with food directly. My god, I can only imagine how much bigger everyone’s gut would be.

Divisional Round of NFL Football Playoffs

Seattle Seahawks v Atlanta Falcons

Houston Texans v New England Patriots

Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys

Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs

 

I’m predicting two upsets. The Seahawks will overcome the Falcons, and Packers will shock Dallas.

The Falcons offense is potent, but they struggle against elite defenses. Now that it’s playoffs, the Seahawk defense is as elite as it gets. They’re in full swing now. Teams with powerful offenses with poor to mediocre defensive play rarely do well in the post-season. This is true of just about any sport.

New England winning is about as assured as the sun rising the next day. The only question will be by how much. No it won’t be close.

Green Bay got thrashed by Dallas early in the season. But that was also when they were struggling mightily and in the worst of their drought. Since then, they’ve rolled off 7 wins in a row; the defense has cracked down tremendously; the offense has been the hottest in football due to Aaron Rodgers MVP quarterback play; AND they have limited turnovers. Rodgers has zero interceptions during this win streak. During the previous loss to the Cowboys, the Packers turned it over 4 times, and lost an additional 2 fumbles that weren’t lost, but still killed drives. Adding all of this together, I expect GB to play much better, not turn the ball over as much, and stop the run on defense. We will see how good of a QB rookie Dak Prescott really is. Interestingly, I was talking to a semi-pro football gambler and he told me “mortgage the house; bet the farm on Dallas. It’s the lock pick of the week!” he exclaimed. I admit, Dallas has been phenomenal all year, except against the NY Giants. The offensive line is the best in the game. And Elliot, the running back, is amazing. But the new and improved GB team will be the best team they have faced all year. I’m still going with Green Bay.

The Steelers are a pretty hot team as well. But over the course of the season, they have been very poor on the road, especially to good teams. 3 of their 5 losses on the season were against good teams on the road (Philly was good at the time Pitt lost to them; as was Miami who was on mid season win streak.) The only other 2 losses were at home to the Patriots and Cowboys, who are both better teams. It doesn’t get any more difficult road climate than at Kansas City during the playoffs. The crowd will be loud. The air will be cold. And the stadium will be shakin’, rockin’ and rollin’. KC will win.