NFL Playoff Predictions: Wild Card Winners and Likely 2nd Round Matchups

Ross ColemanAnalyst IJanuary 4, 2011

NFL Playoff Predictions: Wild Card Winners and Likely 2nd Round Matchups

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 27:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates a touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham in the second half during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on December 27, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Phot
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    The NFL playoffs are upon us, the matchups are set and now it's time to play some football.

    Here we will be examining the first round games and predicting the winners. We will also take an early look at probable second round games and what could happen in those games.

    What do you think? Will your favorite team win their first playoff game? Be sure to let us know.

New Orleans Vs. Seattle

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    NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 21:  Quarterback Drew Brees # of the New Orleans Saints and Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Seattle Seahawks at Louisiana Superdome on November 21, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Storylines: This game is a rematch of a Nov. 21 game at New Orleans that the Saints won 34-19. The Saints are reigning Super Bowl Champs and the Seahawks are the first ever team to win a division with a losing record.

    A big factor in this game will be if longtime Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is able to get the start in this game.

    Line: New Orleans by 11

    Prediction: New Orleans 31, Seattle 24

NY Jets Vs. Indianapolis

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    INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 02:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts gives instructions to his team during NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Storylines: Last season, these two teams were battling for a chance to play in the Super Bowl. In the game, the Colts won 30-17 against a young and feisty Jets team. Now the Jets have the swagger of a team that is trying for a Super Bowl, not a team that nearly went from Thanksgiving to Christmas without a touchdown.

    This game will be a battle between Peyton Manning, who has struggled at times this year, against a great Jets defense. The winner of that matchup wins this game. 

    Line: Indianapolis by 3

    Prediction: Indianapolis 24, NY Jets 20

Baltimore Vs. Kansas City

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    BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 2:  Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens passes against the Cincinnati Bengals  at M&T Bank Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Bengals 13-6. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
    Larry French/Getty Images

    Storylines: The Kansas City Chiefs were one of the bigger surprises in the NFL this year and that is really because not many people gave them credit for being a talented team.

    Looking at this matchup, it looks almost like a mismatch. On one side, you have the Ravens, who are a perennial playoff team with an outstanding defense and an improving offense. On the other side, you have a Chiefs team that has thrived running the ball and has gotten by with an average defense.

    I find it hard to believe that the Ravens would lose this one.

    Line: Baltimore by 3

    Prediction: Baltimore 27, Kansas City 17

Green Bay Vs. Philadelphia

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    PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field and greets Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers after a loss at Lincoln Financial Field on September 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Packers bea
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Storylines: This is another rematch of a game that happened earlier in the season. In week one, the Packers beat the Eagles 27-20. However, that game can't be compared to this one. Kevin Kolb started that week one game and was pulled at halftime because of a concussion.

    Michael Vick came off the bench and nearly led the Eagles back with 17 second half points.

    In this one, the question will be whether the Eagles can make big plays against a great Packers' defense. Ultimately, I think the Packers are playing better than the Eagles right now and they pull the upset.

    Line: Philadelphia by 3

    Prediction: Green Bay 24, Philadelphia 23

New Orleans Vs. Chicago

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 02:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints warms up before playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Storylines: After a round one win over the Seahawks, the Saints travel to Chicago to take on the NFC North champions.

    The interesting thing to watch in this one would be the Saints offense against the Bears defense. I think Drew Brees is one of the best quarterbacks when taking on tough teams. On the flipside, Jay Cutler is playing in his first playoff game. He won't be ready to face the pressure and will end up losing to the Saints.

    Prediction: New Orleans 28, Chicago 24

Indianapolis Vs. New England

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    FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 21:   Deion Branch #84 of the New England Patriots carries the ball as Aaron Francisco #43 of the Indianapolis Colts chases on November 21, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Colts 31-28. (
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Storylines: It seems like these two teams play in the playoffs every year, and every year, their games are instant classics. This year will be no different.

    The two played earlier this season and the Patriots overcame the Colts 31-28 on a late Peyton Manning interception.

    This will assuredly be another classic game between the two, but I think New England is on a mission this year and the Colts won't stop them.

    Prediction: New England 38, Indianapolis 35

Baltimore Vs. Pittsburgh

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    BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 05:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to pass against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
    Geoff Burke/Getty Images

    Storylines: If you have never watched a Pittsburgh-Baltimore game, you have never really watched football. It seems like these games have more at stake than just who wins a game. The two seem to be fighting to determine the fate of all mankind.

    This season the two have split their games, each team winning on the road. I think the same thing happens in this one. Baltimore sneaks this one out late.

    Prediction: Baltimore 10, Pittsburgh 7

Green Bay Vs. Atlanta

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    ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 28:  Michael Turner #33 of the Atlanta Falcons rushes rushes upfield away from A.J. Hawk #50 and Nick Collins #36 of the Green Bay Packers at Georgia Dome on November 28, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Storylines: Yet another rematch from a game earlier this season. In the first meeting, Atlanta barely beat Green Bay 20-17.

    In this one, I think Atlanta shows that they are the class of the NFC. Against a good defense, Michael Turner has a big game and Matt Ryan shows that he is ready to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

    Prediction: Atlanta 27, Green Bay 17