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