NFL Playoff Predictions: Bears, Falcons, Patriots, Steelers Are In, Who's Next?

Bear Heiser@@BearHeiserFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2010

NFL Playoff Predictions: Bears, Falcons, Patriots, Steelers Are In, Who's Next?

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    First off, Happy Holidays to all and to all a merry playoff and bowl season. Now I'd like to share a quick poem I threw together.

    Actually, what I really did was change a few words around in an existing poem. Here goes:

    The playoffs are coming,

    my wallets getting fat,

    please put a hundo,

    on the Bears and the Pats.

    That's all I could come up with.

    Before I get into my playoff predictions, why don't you start off by taking a look at my power rankings, 1-32. 

    1. New England, 2. Atlanta, 3. Philadelphia, 4. Pittsburgh, 5. Baltimore, 6. New Orleans, 7. Chicago

    8. New York Jets, 9. San Diego, 10. Green Bay, 11. Indianapolis, 12. New York Giants,

    13. Jacksonville, 14. Kansas City, 15. Oakland, 16. Tampa Bay, 17. Dallas, 18. Minnesota, 19. Miami

    20. Buffalo, 21. Detroit, 22. Cleveland, 23. St. Louis, 24. Seattle, 25. San Francisco, 26. Houston,

    27. Tennessee, 28. Cincinnati, 29. Washington, 30. Carolina, 31. Arizona, 32. Denver

    If you disagree with my playoff teams, please tell me why I'm wrong in the comments section below.

    Follow @BearConsults on Twitter, and head over to http://www.BearConsults.com for a whole lot more NFL coverage.

AFC North

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    PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 19:  Rashard Mendenhall #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball against the New York Jets during the game on December 19, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Pittsburgh Steelers 10-4

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win over Carolina 

    Week 17: Win at Cleveland 

    Finish: 12-4

    Baltimore Ravens 10-4

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss at Cleveland

    Week 17: Win over Cincinnati

    Finish: 11-5

    Cleveland Browns 5-9

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win over Baltimore

    Week 17: Loss to Pittsburgh

    Finish: 6-10

    Cincinnati Bengals

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss to San Diego

    Week 17: Loss at Baltimore

    Finish: 3-13

    Division Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4

    Big Ben and the defense are on the mend at just the right time, playoff time. There's no catching the Steelers. 

    Wild Card: Baltimore Ravens 11-5

    Joe Flacco is not yet a franchise quarterback, although he's done a pretty decent job fooling us this season.

AFC South

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 19: Tyjuan Hagler #56 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates a touchdown after recovering an onside kick against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.   The Colts defeated th
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    Indianapolis Colts 8-6

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win at Oakland

    Week 17: Win over Tennessee 

    Finish: 10-6

    Jacksonville Jaguars 8-6

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win over Washington

    Week 17: Win at Houston

    Finish: 10-6

    Houston Texans 5-9

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win at Denver

    Week 17: Loss to Jacksonville

    Finish: 6-10

    Tennessee Titans 6-8

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss at Kansas City

    Week 17: Loss at Indianapolis 

    Finish: 6-10

    Recap

    I love the Jags and all, but there's no way the massive but tiny legs of one Maurice Jones-Drew can carry them to the postseason. Peyton Manning has his team back on track with a potentially season-saving game at Oakland in Week 16.

    Both the Colts and Jags will win out with the Colts advancing because of tiebreaker. 

    Division Winner: Indianapolis Colts 10-6 (Wins tiebreak over JAX)

AFC East

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    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 19:  The mascot for the New England Patriots leads the team onto the feild before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won the game 31-27.  (Photo by
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    New England Patriots 12-2

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss at Buffalo

    Week 17: Win over Miami 

    Finish: 13-3

    New York Jets 10-4

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss at Chicago

    Week 17:  Win over Buffalo

    Finish: 11-5


    Miami Dolphins 7-7

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss to Detroit

    Week 17: Loss at New England

    Finish: 7-9


    Buffalo Bills 4-10

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win over New England

    Week 17: Loss at New York Jets

    Finish: 5-11

    Division Winner: New England Patriots 13-3

    Tom Brady has his team playing at such a high level that he doesn't even need to bring his "A" game in order for them to win. There's really no stopping the Pats at this point.

    Wild Card: New York Jets 11-5

    The Jets will be backing their way into the postseason once again. Rex Ryan has got to stop making a habit of this.

AFC West

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 19: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks to get by Craig Dahl #43 of the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on December 19, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Chiefs beat the Rams 27-13.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwana
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Kansas City Chiefs 9-5

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win over Tennessee

    Week 17: Win over Oakland

    Finish: 11-5


    San Diego Chargers 8-6

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win at Cincinnati

    Week 17: Win at Denver

    Finish: 10-6

    Oakland Raiders 7-7

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss to Indianapolis

    Week 17: Loss at Kansas City

    Finish: 7-9

    Denver Broncos 3-11

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss to Houston

    Week 17: Loss to San Diego

    Finish: 3-13

    Division Winner: Kansas City Chiefs 11-5

    As much as I'd like to see it happen, the Chiefs won't lose two straight at home.

NFC North

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 20:  Devin Hester #23 of the Chicago Bears is congrtaulated by Matt Forte #22 and Greg Olsen #82 after scoring a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium on December 20, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Z-Chicago Bears 10-4

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win over New York Jets

    Week 17: Win at Green Bay

    Finish: 12-4

    Green Bay Packers 8-6

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win over New York Giants

    Week 17: Loss to Chicago

    Finish: 9-7


    Minnesota Vikings 5-9

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss at Philadelphia

    Week 17: Loss at Detroit

    Finish: 5-11


    Detroit Lions 4-10

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win at Miami

    Week 17: Win over Minnesota

    Finish: 6-10

    Division Winner: Chicago Bears 12-4

    Da Bears have themselves a home playoff game. The home game against New England went miserably for the Bears, but I expect for them not to let it happen again.

NFC South

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    SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 19:  Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons audibles to Jason Snelling #44 during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on December 19, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    x- Atlanta Falcons 12-2

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss to New Orleans

    Week 17: Win over Carolina

    Finish: 13-3

    New Orleans Saints 10-4

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win at Atlanta 

    Week 17: Win over Tampa Bay

    Finish: 12-4

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-6

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win over Seattle

    Week 17: Loss at New Orleans

    Finish: 9-7

    Carolina Panthers 2-12

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss at Pittsburgh

    Week 17: Loss at Atlanta

    Finish: 2-14

    Division Winner: Atlanta Falcons 13-3

    I want to give up on Matt Ryan and the Falcons, but they won't let me!

    Wild Card: New Orleans Saints 12-4

    The defending Super Bowl champs will do what many others in their position have failed to do and return to the postseason. 

NFC East

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    Philadelphia Eagles 10-4

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win over Minnesota

    Week 17: Win over Dallas

    Finish: 12-4

    New York Giants 9-5

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss at Green Bay

    Week 17: Win at Washington

    Finish: 10-6

    Dallas Cowboys 5-9

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win at Arizona

    Week 17: Loss at Philadelphia

    Finish: 6-10

    Washington Redskins 5-9

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss at Jacksonville

    Week 17: Loss to New York Giants

    Finish: 5-11

    Division Winner: Philadelphia Eagles 12-4

    The Giants stopped Vick cold for three-plus quarters and still couldn't manage to win. Aside from the Bears, I've yet to see a defense develop a four-quarter gameplan that slows the Eagles.

    Wild Card: New York Giants 10-6

    Eli called a players-only meeting to the surprise of just about everybody. I think it will serve as a stiff wake-up call to the rest of the squad. Too bad a wild card win will only get them a rematch with Philly in Philly.

NFC West

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    St. Louis Rams 6-8

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Win over San Francisco

    Week 17: Win at Seattle

    Finish: 8-8

    Seattle Seahawks 6-8

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss at Tampa Bay

    Week 17: Loss to St. Louis

    Finish: 6-10

    San Francisco 49ers 5-9

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss at St. Louis

    Week 17: Win over Arizona

    Finish: 6-10

    Arizona Cardinals 4-10

    Remaining Schedule:

    Week 16: Loss to Dallas

    Week 17: Loss at San Francisco

    Finish: 4-10

    Division Winner: St. Louis Rams 8-8

    The Rams shouldn't be too embarrassed to make the playoffs with eight wins. It won't be the first time a professional sports team has backed its way into the postseason. 

Playoff Recap

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    SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 19:  Wide receiver Roddy White #84 and Brent Grimes #20 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrate as they leave the field after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 34-18 at Qwest Field on December 19, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto G
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    AFC East: New England Patriots 13-3

    AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4

    AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs 11-5

    AFC South: Indianapolis Colts 10-6

    Wild Card: Baltimore Ravens 11-5

    Wild Card: New York Jets 11-5

    First Round Bye(s): New England, Pittsburgh

    Wild Card Weekend Games:

    New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs

    Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts

    NFC South: Atlanta Falcons 13-3

    NFC North: Chicago Bears 12-4

    NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles 12-4

    NFC West: St. Louis Rams 8-8

    Wild Card: New Orleans Saints 12-4

    Wild Card: New York Giants 10-6

    First Round Bye(s): Atlanta, Chicago

    Wild Card Weekend Games:

    New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

    New Orleans Saints at St. Louis Rams

    They're bold and they're beautiful, they're my playoff predictions. You heard 'em here first (#writethatdown).

    Head over to http://www.BearConsults.com for more NFL coverage. You can also follow @BearConsults on Twitter.