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Wild Card Round
(6) Atlanta Falcons @ (3) New Orleans Saints
The Saints have been unbeatable at home this season, but if one team could end that streak, it's the Falcons. Still, does anyone trust the Falcons enough right now to bet on them to win a road playoff game?
(5) Detroit Lions @ (4) New York Giants
Two of the game's better defensive lines square off in a matchup featuring plenty of brand power. The Lions just don't seem to have the chemistry to beat the Giants in New York in the postseason.
(6) New York Jets @ (3) Houston Texans
The Jets might be favored in this one, but the Texans are on a ride right now, and their defense is probably good enough to win with TJ Yates under center and Arian Foster and Ben Tate in the backfield. I actually feel safer betting on Yates than the Jets' offense.
(5) Pittsburgh Steelers @ (4) Denver Broncos
I won't waste a lot of time defending it, but the Broncos are maddeningly unbeatable right now. At home, in the playoffs, it just seems like the impossible could happen. Again.
(3) New Orleans Saints @ (2) San Francisco 49ers
The Saints don't play as well on the road, but they still found a way to beat the Titans in Tennessee today. If they can keep Chris Johnson from going over 23 yards, maybe they can keep Frank Gore under 100.
(5) New York Giants @ (1) Green Bay Packers
And in the second chapter of Giants vs. Packers 2011, we have the exact same result. Green Bay is a more complete team. And at home, they're not losing to the Giants.
(3) Houston Texans @ (2) New England Patriots
The Patriots are the higher-profile team, but their defense has nearly let them down too many times this season for me to believe in their chances against a sound club like Houston. The Texans defense wins this one, and the ground games closes it out.
(4) Denver Broncos @ (1) Baltimore Ravens
Sure, it'd be impossible to beat Pittsburgh at home and the do the same to Baltimore on the road, but so is beating the Bears when you're down 10-0 with two minutes to play.
NFC Championship Game
(2) New Orleans Saints @ (1) Green Bay Packers
The rematch everyone wants to see. Call it LSU-Alabama part three. The Saints have already defied the road odds once in these hypothetical playoffs, so why not again? They were one-yard from winning in September, and even though it's even tougher in January, this is at least a different pick than last week's.
AFC Championship Game
(4) Denver Broncos @ (3) Houston Texans
Yeah, I know. No way do we see a TJ Yates-Tim Tebow AFC Championship game. And, of course, there's no way Denver can win another road playoff game... right? Wrong. The Denver defense forces three turnovers, and Tebow runs for two scores while throwing for another.
Super Bowl XLVI
Denver Broncos vs. New Orleans Saints
Is anyone still reading? We've come this far, so why not. Denver wins the Super Bowl. Von Miller is named the MVP, and everyone compares this season to Tom Brady's first as a full-time starter. Is it maybe the worst/dumbest Super Bowl pick ever? Maybe, but that's exactly what you would have been told if you'd called the Broncos 7-1 run eight weeks ago.