NFL Playoff Schedule 2013: Predicting the Championship Game in Both Conferences

Pete SchauerCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 07:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots and Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos greet each other at midfield following the game on October 7, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

It's win or go home for the best of the NFL this weekend as the divisional round gets underway.

With Super Bowl XLVII three weeks away, it's about that time that we start to pick the conference championship games and who will be traveling to New Orleans to compete for the Lombardi Trophy.

Below you'll find my championship game predictions and who I have squaring off in the Super Bowl.


New England Patriots at Denver Broncos

The Broncos—both offensively and defensively—will be too much for the Baltimore Ravens to handle, leading Denver to the AFC Championship Game.

The same can be said for the Patriots, who shouldn't have much trouble beating the Houston Texans, just like they didn't in Week 14 of the regular season.

It'll be another classic Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady matchup in the postseason. Brady's Pats eclipsed Manning's Broncos way back in Week 5, but that was before Denver went on a tear and won 11 straight.

This could be the best playoff game we watch all season—including the Super Bowl—as the history between these two future Hall of Famers dates back to 2001.

You have to like New England's offense this season with the integration of a legit running game with Stevan Ridley, but what Denver is doing is better.

Manning has led the Broncos to a No. 4 overall offensive ranking, while Denver's defense ranks second overall in the NFL.

I think the size of wideouts Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker will be too much for New England's secondary, and when the Patriots key in on the run, the Broncos will hit them with Knowshon Moreno and possibly Willis McGahee.

I'm taking the Broncos with the win at home to advance to the Super Bowl.


Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

This one will feature one heck of a defense against arguably the best quarterback in the NFL.

I think Seattle goes into the Georgia Dome and gives the Atlanta Falcons' offense fits, while the Packers travel to the West Coast and outlast the San Francisco 49ers.

Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson have been a deadly offensive combination this year, especially Lynch, who has 11 100-yard rushing games if you count his dominant performance against the Washington Redskins in the Wild Card Round.

Seattle's defense complements its offense well, as the Seahawks allow the fewest points per game (15.3) and rank No. 4 in total defense.

Despite everything that the Seahawks have accomplished this year, Green Bay will beat the Seahawks at Lambeau on the arm of Aaron Rodgers.

It'll be a rematch of Week 3's "fail mary," but with a different outcome this time.

Rodgers is playing out of his mind lately, throwing for 11 TDs and no interceptions over his last four games.

With the Packers flashing a bit of a running game against the Minnesota Vikings last weekend, Green Bay's offense can now utilize play action more to its advantage.

So, you heard it here folks: It's the Broncos vs. the Packers in Super Bowl XLVII.


Complete NFL Playoff Schedule

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos: Saturday, Jan. 12 at 4:30 p.m. ET

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers: Saturday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. ET

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons: Sunday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. ET

Houston Texans at New England Patriots: Sunday, Jan. 13 at 4:30 p.m. ET

Follow me on Twitter: