2012 NFL Playoffs: 10 Bold Predictions

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIJanuary 3, 2012

2012 NFL Playoffs: 10 Bold Predictions

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    With the 2012 NFL playoffs only days away, what better way to spend our time than by making BOLD predictions.

    Will one of the three elite quarterbacks win the Super Bowl? Can a major underdog pull a huge upset? What magical things will Tim Tebow pull out of his hat?

    Read on to find out this year's 10 bold predictions for the 2012 NFL playoffs.

Tim Tebow Won't Win His Wild Card Game

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    The unexplained sensation that is Tim Tebow will proceed no further than Sunday evening against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    It's been a good ride, but all good things must come to an end. The Denver Broncos are currently on a three-game losing streak, and their final game of the season saw them only put three points on the board against the Kansas City Chiefs.

    It's been fun, Tebow, but the Steelers are going to destroy you.

Tim Tebow Will Throw for Less Than 50 Yards Against the Pittsburgh Steelers

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    We'll stick with Tim Tebow for a second here and boldly predict that he throws for less than 50 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    In his last game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Tebow only mustered 60 yards through the air on 22 attempts. The Steelers have a much more aggressive defense, and James Harrison and Troy Polamalu are going to eat Tebow for dinner.

    I see Tebow completing seven passes for 43 yards with three interceptions.

One No. 1 Seed Won't Be in the Super Bowl

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    It never seems that both No. 1 seeds make it to the Super Bowl, so maybe this isn't such a bold prediction, but the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers have arguably been the two best teams in the NFL this year.

    Both have huge advantages with their home-field advantage, but only one will be making the Super Bowl. My prediction is that New England stays home and Green Bay goes to Indianapolis.

One Team with a First-Round Bye Will Lose Their First Playoff Game

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    The team that got screwed the most in the playoffs is the San Francisco 49ers.

    Sure, they get a first-round bye, but they'll likely have to face the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round. San Francisco has a stellar defense, but Drew Brees is playing out of this world right now.

    The other issue is that San Francisco will struggle to score points to keep up with New Orleans. It's been a great year for the 49ers, but it will end earlier than they hoped.

The Green Bay Packers Defense Will Hold an Opponent to Under 200 Total Yards

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    On the season, the Green Bay Packers are giving up over 400 yards of offense per game. They rank dead last in the league in that category.

    The fact that the Packers finished the season 15-1 with such an awful defense is rather surprising. However, much like last year, this defensive unit will become stout at just the right time.

    Whether it is against the New York Giants in the divisional round or their opponent in the Super Bowl, the Packers defense will hold an opponent to under 200 total yards of offense.

The New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions Will Combine to Score 90 Points

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    This Wild Card Game between the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions is going to be one of the most exciting games in playoff history.

    On one side of the field you have the Lions, who haven't made the postseason since Noah came off the ark. On the other side of the field you have Drew Brees, who has thrown for over three miles this year.

    It's going to be an offensive shootout with the first team to get a defensive stop winning the game.

    My prediction is New Orleans 49, Detroit 45.

The Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans Combine for Less Than 20 Points

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    In a rematch of Week 14, the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals play the first playoff game of 2012.

    Both teams have offenses that are sputtering into the playoffs, and neither team will have much success during Saturday's game. This game will be the worst playoff game this year with the Bengals winning by a score of 10-7.

Victor Cruz Gains over 200 Receiving Yards Against the Atlanta Falcons

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    Victor Cruz has come out of nowhere and has taken the NFL by storm. He finished third in receiving yards in the regular season, and his last game against the Dallas Cowboys proved that he can play on the big stage.

    With the Atlanta Falcons struggling with their secondary, Cruz will be in for a huge day.

    He'll surpass the 200-yard mark late in the fourth quarter and add two touchdowns to have one of the better playoff performances in NFL history.

Baltimore's Defense Will Hold Its AFC Opponents to 10 Points or Less

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    While the Baltimore Ravens' defense hasn't been as good this year as it has in past years, it is still dominant and know how to play in big games.

    With the Ravens' likely opponents being the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots, I see Baltimore playing its best football of the year and completely shutting both of these teams down.

    The Ravens have already held Pittsburgh to under 10 points this year in Week 1, and did it to another four opponents also. Their tough defense will propel them to the Super Bowl.

Green Bay Will Win the Super Bowl

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    Now this might not seem very bold since the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl last year and went 15-1 in the regular season this year, but back-to-back Super Bowl victories are extremely rare these days.

    However, the Packers will do it against the Baltimore Ravens as their offense will be too much for the Ravens to handle. Aaron Rodgers will win his second Super Bowl MVP trophy, and cheese will be eaten everywhere.