Road To The Super Bowl: NFC Playoff Predictions

David ArreolaSenior Analyst IDecember 28, 2008

Welcome my friends to my little slice of the giant pie that is playoff predictions.

I love this time of year because we all have an opinion on it. We all make the predictions, we all have our Super Bowl picks. There is something far more exciting about correctly picking the entire playoffs than the entire regular season.


Because most of our teams didn't make it and we have to have someone to root for. So why not your pick?

Anyway, I will break down the NFC and AFC playoffs for you and give you my prediction. I will also review each playoff round every week for your reading pleasure.

So you have chose the NFC breakdown. Here is how it stands. You all know the rules, the higher seed is the home team and the top two seeds get a first round bye.

  1. New York Giants (12-4)
  2. Carolina Panthers (12-4)
  3. Minnesota Vikings (10-6)
  4. Arizona Cardinals (??)
  5. Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
  6. Philadelphia Eagles (9-6-1)

Wild Card Round

(6) Philadelphia Eagles @ (3) Minnesota Vikings

Why the Eagles will win

The Eagles' offense is fast, something the Vikings' defense really isn't. The Vikings have a fantastic run defense (first in the NFL), but their pass defense is only 18th.

Brian Westbrook will play a massive part in this game.

The Eagles' defense is one of the best in the league. Third in total defense, sixth in scoring.

Why the Vikings will win

Adrian Peterson. Need I say more?

Peterson will have to get going early because of this strong Eagles defense. Tavaris Jackson has played very well the past few weeks and has put some of his critics to rest.

Not me.

The Pick

This really is a no brainer to me, the Eagles dominate both sides of the ball and send the Vikings on the buses early.

Eagles win 27-13


(5) Atlanta Falcons @ (4) Arizona Cardinals

Why the Falcons will win

The offense is well balanced and can really control a game. Michael Turner should have a field day against the Cardinal's suspect defense. Making Matt Ryan's only worry being to not turn the ball over.

Why the Cardinals will win

Nobody can deny the ability of this passing offense. Kurt Warner must sleep well at night knowing he has three very capable receivers catching the ball.

The Falcons are ranked 22nd in pass defense. Which must also add a couple good hours of sleep to Warner's night.

The Pick

A lot of people want to write off the Cardinals because of their record in a weak division. But, I think this game will be a lot closer than people realize. Ryan and Warner get in a shootout that is decided by whoever has the ball last.

Falcons win 37-34


Divisional Round

(6) Philadelphia Eagles @ (1) New York Giants

Why the Eagles will win

The Eagles know the Giants. They have already played them twice this year (1-1) and are no strangers to Tom Coughlin's Giants.

Both contests were close games decided by six and five points, respectivly.

Why the Giants will win

It is New York, the weather is going to be bad. Meaning what? Running the football. The Giants can outrun the Eagles anyday of the week because they have three great backs, compared to the Eagles' one.

The Pick

I see this being another tight game. The home field advantage will play a big part in the outcome of this one. I wouldn't rule the Eagles out of this one. It could go either way in this rivalry, but I give the edge to the Giants running game and Manning's precision.

Giants win 24-20


(5) Atlanta Falcons @ (2) Carolina Panthers

Why the Falcons will win

Another divisional rematch means unpredictable scores. The last time these two played the Falcons put a hurting on the Panthers 45-28.

The Falcons will once again rely on their run defense to drive them to a win. But, the key here is how the Falcons offensive line does against the Panthers deadly defensive line. If Matt Ryan is given time and Michael Turner given holes, the Falcons can win easily.

Why the Panthers will win

DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart must come up big. If the game falls into Jake Delhomme's hands, the Panthers could get disappointed quickly.

Steve Smith should run circles around the Atlanta secondary which definately makes Delhomme's job easier.

The Pick

Part of me wants to think the rookie can win the big one for the Falcons. But, numbers don't lie. In games between NFC South teams, the home team has won every game. Except for one, the Panthers in the final seconds of week 17 beat the Saints.

Panthers win 31-17


NFC Championsip Game

(2) Carolina Panthers @ (1) New York Giants

Why the Panthers will win

Do any of you remember the game these two had earlier? Something like that. DeAngelo Williams will get hot and Delhomme will make smart throws.

The defense cannot allow Derrick Ward to bust off 215 yards rushing. That won't happen this time around.

Why the Giants will win

Come the fourth quarter if it is a close game the Giants will have the huge advantage because they will have at least two fresh backs.

Given Manning's ability to win close games, I would give the Giants the advantage there too. The Panthers defense must do their best to make the Giants one dimensional, or this game is over.

The Pick

I watched the game between these two earlier, I was fully convinced the Panthers would win. That was until Manning pulled a rabbit out of the freaking hat and won the game in OT. Dare I bet against the NFL's Official Dream Killer?

Panthers win 31-28

The Panthers will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

AFC Predictions up next..


*I started writing this at half-time of the Cowboys-Eagles game. When it was 27-3. It is now 44-3 Eagles with the 4th quarter just starting. Hey, Jerry. What is the status of your coaching staff?*