2011 NFL Playoffs: How They Will End Up In Dallas For The Super Bowl

Mike CraigCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 05:  Rashard Mendenhall #34  of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs the ball as he is tackled by Dawan Landry #26 of the Baltimore Ravens during the third quarter of the game at M&T Bank Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. Pittsburgh won 13-10. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
Geoff Burke/Getty Images

With a crazy wild card weekend in the books, the playoffs are already looking to upset the nation.

Teams like Seattle and New York were not predicted to win; however, in Sunday's games, only Chiefs fans and people who were calling an upset had Kansas City walking out of Arrowhead with a victory over the Ravens.

Most people, including most experts had the Eagles winning as well, with some select few believing that the Pack are one of the more dangerous teams in the playoffs.

To put it short, there are eight teams left in the playoffs, with the Jets visiting the Patriots on Sunday, and the Ravens visiting the Steelers on Saturday in the AFC divisional round.

The Packers visit the Falcons on Saturday and the Seahawks visit the Bears on Sunday in the NFC divisional round.

It looks to be that most of these games could be easily predicted. Let me explain why there are more upsets in the works:

Saturday, January 15th 2011:

Baltimore Ravens (5th Seed) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2nd Seed)

The score between these two teams? 1-1. They split the series in the regular season. If history has taught us anything, it is that it is usually reliable on being able to predict things.

However with the game, there seems to be a snag that we have caught with that theory.

The Pittsburgh Steelers since 2000 have gone to the Super Bowl when they are a wild card team (5th or 6th seed). When they have a first round-bye or are the AFC North Champions, they haven't made it there.

So, some may be predicting Pittsburgh to be doomed from the start, the only thing is when will it happen?

It would seem this best-two-out-of-three scenario would easily go to Baltimore. Not so fast.

Another interesting thing about history is that Baltimore has yet to beat Pittsburgh in a playoff game.

They always say there is a first chance for everything.

Prediction: Ravens 17 - Steelers 13

Green Bay Packers (6th Seed) at Atlanta Falcons (1st Seed)

Earlier in the season, Green Bay had traveled to Atlanta as a hot team to face the Falcons on Matt Ryan's home field, where he had only lost one game. The Packers had threatened to make him lose his second game at home, but the Falcons finished the game with a field goal and won 20-17.

The Falcons are 13-3. They are No. 1 in the NFC. They have also had one extra home loss on their record since the last time these two teams met. That fact probably wont matter to the Falcons or Matt Ryan.

They are going to prepare for Green Bay the same way they did in the season earlier; however, I can assure you the Falcons would have probably rather played the Seahawks.

Green Bay squeaked into the playoffs on a 10-6 record. Their playoffs started for them back in Week 16 against the Giants; it was do-or-die and now it is for every team.

The Packers have a little bit more extra time with that mentality. The emergence of James Starks as a running threat has made the Packers less-one-dimensional, which was shown by Rodgers not even getting 200 yards passing but still had three touchdowns.

Prediction: Packers 24 - Falcons 17

Sunday, January 16th 2011:

Seattle Seahawks (4th Seed) at Chicago Bears (2nd Seed)

The Bears had looked unstoppable for a while during the middle of the season, while the Seahawks have had some bright spots but over all, they looked nothing more than a restoration job.

The Bears, however, lost to New England big and haven't really been playing up to par since, whereas the Seahawks fought their way into the playoffs beating the Rams and got in on a 7-9 record.

The Chicago Bears won the NFC North with Green Bay nipping at their heals all season. When they finally had a chance to shut the annoying dog up, they scored a small three points and let that annoying dog turn into an attack dog.

To put it short, the Bears are looking like a vulnerable team right now. Did the bye week give them a chance to heal up and get their playing straight?

Seattle shocked just about everyone when they took it to the defending Super Bowl Champions. Lynch's 60+ yard run showed not only the heart but the never-back-down attitude this team has some how acquired.

Now being 1-0 in the playoffs, do they have a chance to upset the nation again?

Prediction: Seahawks 31 - Bears 21

New York Jets (6th Seed) at New England Patriots (1st Seed)

At the start of the season, people were starting to say that Brady has lost it. The Patriots were winning games but not really by the help of Tom Brady.

However, something happened and Brady broke out into his 2007 style of play again. The Jets beat the Patriots in their first meeting, and then Brady and the Patriots retaliated and stopped on the Jets the second time around.

In yet another AFC showdown of best-two-out-of-three, according to Rex Ryan, this one is personal.

Everyone is expecting the New England Patriots to go on and win it all—well, mostly everyone. They are the only 14 win team that is playing like they had all of 2007.

However, their 2007 season ended in a terrible 18-1 mark. Ouch. Are the Patriots out for revenge?

The New York Jets have become very popular over the past two seasons. Rex Ryan's mouth has made sure of that. Of course, not all of it this season has been because of Ryan.

The whole incident with Favre and just about every female that worked for the Jets has caused some interest as well. Ignoring those statements, the last time Rex said that it was personal, it was between him and Peyton Manning.

He won that contest and now it is Personal between him, and the New England Patriots head coach Billy-Boy.

Prediction: Jets 20 - Patriots 17

NFC Championship Game, Sunday January 23rd @ 3:00 on FOX:

Green Bay Packers (6th Seed) at Seattle Seahawks (4th Seed)

If you would have said you predicted this NFC Championship game before the Seahawks beat the New Orleans Saints, I would call you either crazy or a Seattle Seahawks fan.

Seattle had gone through two weeks of upsetting major teams in the playoffs. First the Defending Super Bowl Champs, and then the second seed Bears.

Did the Seahawks peek at the right time, or did they get lucky and face teams that were on a downward spiral from the long season?

Another team that seems to be peeking at just the right time, this team was more likely to be here than the Seahawks. Not to mention, they were Super Bowl favorites before the season started.

Green Bay is dangerous and they're starting to show it.

Prediction: Packers 41 - Seahawks 10

AFC Championship Game, Sunday January 23rd @ 6:30 on CBS:

New York Jets (6th Seed) at Baltimore Ravens (5th Seed)

Mostly no one would have guessed this one either. Why? Well mainly because no one expects all four teams with a bye to lose.

If the Chiefs would have beat the Ravens, it would of been the Steelers here instead. I am sure Rex Ryan is going to find some way to say that this game is personal too.

The Ravens have to face their former defensive coordinator, except now he has become a larger than life head coach of the Jets.

Will Flacco and company have enough power to over come his defensive thinking?

Rex Ryan has been saying all season that the Jets are going to the Super Bowl. Now is his chance to prove it against his former team that made him a well known defensive mind.

I guess that is as personal as it gets huh? Will the Jets be able to over come all the off-the-field issues or will they finally get to 'em?

Prediction: Ravens 17 - Jets 10

Super Bowl XLV, Sunday February 6th 2011

Green Bay Packers vs. Baltimore Ravens

I'm not going to get hypothetical about the Super Bowl. This is my prediction for it and when the time comes, I will write an article about whoever is in the Super Bowl.

It could very well end up these two teams in the Super Bowl, and it may end up being a game of defenses or one offense prevailing over the other teams defense.

This game would not result in a shoot-out.


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