The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are this year’s favorite predicted matchup for the Super Bowl; however, I wouldn’t count out any of the wild card teams playing this weekend. Just last season the Baltimore Ravens showed how dangerous a wild card team can be.
There are four matchups on tap this weekend as the opening round of postseason begins. Here’s my take on each game.
Kansas City Chiefs at
This will be a close game, but the Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles should find plenty of holes against an Indianapolis defense which ranks 26th against the run. When these teams played in Week 16, the Colts won easily, but Charles carried the ball only 13 times and ran for 106 yards.
I’m guessing that KC has learned its lesson and will run often. They will bounce back from that lackluster performance after resting players in Week 17. If they stick with the running game, they will get the win.
Prediction: Chiefs 17, Colts 13
New Orleans Saints at
Philadelphia enters the playoffs as one of the league’s hottest teams. The Eagles have won seven of their last eight games, including the last two to secure a playoff berth. Meanwhile, the Saints have lost three of their last five contests to close out the regular season and will be on the road and playing in the snow.
All three Saints losses were on the road…and the team’s normally high-powered offense averaged just 12 points in that span. The Eagles’ Nick Foles has shown that he can lead this team to victory and LeSean McCoy is always dangerous out of the backfield. Look for the Eagles to display their passing attack early and lean on the running game late to defeat a worn-down Saints defense to get the victory.
Prediction: Eagles 34, Saints 28
San Diego Chargers at
The Bengals are my sleeper Super Bowl team. Cincinnati has a great defense and has enough playmakers on the offensive side of the ball to come away with some close wins.
It will all rest on Andy Dalton’s shoulders. If he can limit his mistakes and not turn the ball over (20 interceptions during the regular season), then I like Cincinnati’s chances.
Luckily for the Bengals, they will take on a San Diego team that ranks 29th in passing yards allowed and is near the bottom of the NFL with just 11 interceptions. If the Bengals get by the Chargers, they will face a Patriots team that has looked beatable all year.
Prediction: Bengals 31,Chargers 17
San Francisco 49ers at
Green Bay Packers
This will be another close game. Now that Aaron Rodgers is back, the Packers are more dangerous than their 8-7-1 record would suggest. They are facing a 49ers team that has played well all season and has an elite defense that helped them make it to the Super Bowl last season.
This is one of those games that will be decided in the final few minutes/seconds.
The 49ers have been the better team over the course of the season, but Aaron Rodgers is the better quarterback and the game is at Lambeau…I’m going with the Packers at home.
Prediction: Packers 20, 49ers 17