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Wild Card Round
(6) New York Jets @ (3) Houston Texans
This is a playoff game? Really? I mean, if Houston had Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson, they'd win this one hands down. As it stands, after watching New York play Philadelphia, I think they can win anyway.
(5) Baltimore Ravens @ (4) Denver Broncos
Everyone hates when I pick Denver to win this game, and after a 41-23 loss to New England, it certainly seems a good time to switch the winner. But I'm not. Denver is still a tough team to figure out, and Baltimore's been a very beatable team too many times this year.
(6) Detroit Lions @ (3) San Francisco 49ers
The rematch everyone wants to see might actually happen if the Niners drop another game and New Orleans keeps winning. This time, I'll take the Lions and an offense that should be better prepared to handle the San Fran defense.
(5) Atlanta Falcons @ (4) Dallas Cowboys
Pretty good draw for the Falcons, like we said. Beating Dallas in Dallas isn't as hard as it used to be, and Atlanta has certainly been the more consistent team lately.
(3) Houston Texans @ (2) New England Patriots
Not gonna happen, Houston. I'll give you the edge at home against the Jets, but on the road in New England, the Texans' defense will bend just enough to put the game out of reach for their quarterback-less offense.
(4) Denver Broncos @ (1) Pittsburgh Steelers
One win against an AFC North team is enough for Denver. Traveling across the country to face the Steelers proves to be too much for the Broncos, and Pittsburgh gets back to the AFC Championship game.
(6) Detroit Lions @ (1) Green Bay Packers
The Packers should take care of business here, likely completing a three-game sweep of the Lions. I just don't see Detroit winning back-to-back road playoff games against two of the NFC's top three teams.
(5) Atlanta Falcons @ (2) New Orleans Saints
A second trip to New Orleans in four weeks doesn't sound like a lot of fun for the Falcons, and it won't turn out to be much better than their first trip. The Saints are too hot right now, and Atlanta has too many questions on defense.
AFC Championship Game
(2) New England Patriots @ (1) Pittsburgh Steelers
Pretty good matchup of famed offense versus famed defense here, but the difference in this one comes from the fact that New England is really hitting their stride offensively and with the pass rush. They've scored at least 31 points in six straight games.
NFC Championship Game
(2) New Orleans Saints @ (1) Green Bay Packers
Another shot at the Packers in Green Bay in a rematch everyone's dying to see. It won't be easy for New Orleans to win on the road at Lambeau in late January, but New Orleans surprisingly owns the league's ninth-best rushing offense, and Drew Brees is playing out of his mind right now.
Super Bowl XLVI
New Orleans Saints vs. New England Patriots
What a game this would be, though it's hard to imagine two spotty defenses not getting in the way of their offenses throughout the entire playoffs. Brady and Brees are both deadly in the clutch and know this stage well, but the Saints are definitely the more complete team right now, and no one in the league has been as hot as Brees over the past few weeks. Congrats on your second Super Bowl title, Saints.