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NFL Playoff Predictions 2013: Assessing Each Wild-Card Team's Super Bowl Odds

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NFL Playoff Predictions 2013: Assessing Each Wild-Card Team's Super Bowl Odds
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

When making 2013 NFL playoff predictions, don’t underestimate wild-card teams.

The 2010 Green Bay Packers, 2007 Giants and 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers were all wild-card teams.

Everyone starts with a clean slate in the postseason. And the underdogs with a chip on their shoulder have gotten hot too many times to write them off again.

Here are the teams who have either secured a wild-card spot or will attempt to in Week 17 and their Super Bowl odds.

 

AFC

Fifth Seed: Indianapolis Colts

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Wins Over Playoff Contenders: Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers

Indy is arguably the least talented team in the entire playoffs, even out of the teams that haven’t clinched yet. It actually surrenders an average of 2.8 more points per game than it scores. The Colts only have a winning record because of a handful of Andrew Luck magic acts.

But those magic acts won’t win them four straight games against the league’s best.

Super Bowl Odds: Try Again Next Year

 

Sixth Seed: Cincinnati Bengals

Elsa/Getty Images
Wins Over Playoff Contenders: Washington Redskins, New York Giants

Cincinnati hasn’t beaten a single team that’s clinched a playoff spot going into the season finale. The Bengals are 6-1 in their last seven, though.

Combine the Andy Dalton-to-A.J. Green connection with a top 10 defense and, unlike Indianapolis, they actually have the talent to go the distance.

Super Bowl Odds: Miracles Happen

 

NFC

Fifth Seed: Seattle Seahawks

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
Wins Over Playoff Contenders: Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers*, New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers

Seattle is one of the hottest teams in the NFL, and the Seahawks have outscored their last three opponents 150-30.

After the Seahawks’ latest streak, fans in Seattle have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.

Super Bowl Odds: Realistic As Snow in Buffalo

 

Fifth Seed: San Francisco 49ers

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Wins Over Playoff Contenders: Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots

All the 49ers have to do to clinch the NFC West is defeat the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, which should be a cakewalk. But if they do choke, it still isn’t difficult to imagine Jim Harbaugh lighting a fire under his team and them going all the way.

San Francisco is inconsistent, but it has more than enough talent to win four straight games.

Super Bowl Odds: Shock of Zona Loss > Shock of Super Bowl Victory

 

Sixth Seed: Minnesota Vikings

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Wins Over Playoff Contenders: San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Houston Texans

If the Vikings defense played like it did against the Houston Texans, with Adrian Peterson on the other side of the football, they can beat anyone. It’s still difficult to imagine a team led by Christian Ponder with the 20th-ranked pass defense going the distance.

Minnesota still has to defeat the Packers, which will be difficult enough.

Super Bowl Odds: Miracles Happen, but They Won’t

 

Sixth Seed: Chicago Bears

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Wins Over Playoff Contenders: Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings

Chicago has the No. 2-ranked defense and the offensive talent in Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte to win the world title. However, Cutler and Forte haven’t played up to their potential this season. Until they do, the Bears won’t make it out of the first round.

Super Bowl Odds: If Lightning Strikes Jay Cutler and Cures Interception Syndrome

 

Sixth Seed: Washington Redskins

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Wins Over Playoff Contenders: Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens

Washington has won six straight games. When he’s on, Robert Griffin III is unstoppable. Because of that, the Redskins offense can keep pace with any team in the league.

Washington would make the playoffs as a wild card if it suffers a letdown to the Cowboys but the Vikings and Bears lose as well—which is less likely than them winning the Super Bowl as the NFC East champ.

Super Bowl Odds: Realistic As Rain In Phoenix (It Happens!)

 

Sixth Seed: New York Giants

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Wins Over Playoff Contenders: San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers

New York needs the Vikings, Bears and Cowboys to lose just to get in the playoffs. And it must beat the Eagles on Sunday.

The Giants should just start looking forward to the draft.

Super Bowl Odds: When Rob Ryan Flies

 

David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.

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