02
Jan
12

2012 NFL Playoff Predictions

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AFC Wildcard Games

Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans

(6) Cincinnati Bengals at (3) Houston Texans

This game is interesting because of Houston’s quarterback situation. Jake Delhomme performed fairly well last week against Tennessee, and in this league you need to pass to win. Houston’s passing game should be good enough, and the run game will be very good with Arian Foster Foster and Ben Tate. However, Cincinnati and Andy Dalton are playing alright, and they had a lead on Houston a few weeks ago, but I still see Houston winning this whether it’s Delhomme or T. J. Yates at quarterback. Plus, I like Houston’s defense. However, it will be close. Cincinnati Bengals 20, Houston Texans 24.

Pittsburgh Steelers at  Denver Broncos

(5) Pittsburgh Steelers at (4) Denver Broncos

I just watched the whole Denver-Kansas City game. I feel sorry for Denver’s coach, John Fox, and offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy. I mean, they only have half an offense to work with. They looked so handicapped. They were calling run plays when they should have been passing. It’s a mess on that offensive. If they ever fall behind, they won’t be able to catch up. What is amazing is how well they run. Every teams knows they are going to run because they can’t pass or won’t pass, and they still run so well. With an offensive line like that, you think they’d be able to pass, but they can’t. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers defense will manhandle this Broncos team even if Rashard Mendenhall doesn’t play. The Broncos just don’t stand a chance. Pittsburgh Steelers 34, Denver 10.

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NFC Wildcard Games

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints

(6) Detroit Lions at (3) New Orleans Saints

Matthew Stafford is a terrific quarterback, and he’s been carrying this team since Jahvid Best’s injury. However, without a substantial running game, playing the hottest team in the league is doomed to failure, but it will be exciting to watch. New Orleans Saints 40, Detroit Lions 31.

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants

(5) Atlanta Falcons at (4) New York Giants

Atlanta looked real good in week 17, and so did the Giants. The Falcons have only beaten two teams with winning records – the Lions and the Titans. The win over the Lions was a transition time for the Lions, who no longer had Best. The Giants have only beat one team with a winning record, the Patriots, and a couple of .500 teams. So do both these teams seem better than they really are? Let’s break them down for this game. Passing: Matt Ryan vs. Eli Manning. Manning had more yards, but I like Ryan better, but only a bit. Their running games are almost equal, too. Brandon Jacobs plus Ahmad Bradshaw for one game can equal Michael Turner. Defense advantage goes to Atlanta. I just like Atlanta better despite the Giants home field advantage. Atlanta Falcons 27, New York Giants 20.

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AFC Divisional Games

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens

(3) Houston Texans at (2) Baltimore Ravens

It’s a good thing this game is in Baltimore, because Joe Flacco isn’t very good on the road. Hopefully, Anquan Boldin returns, but even if he doesn’t, the Ravens defense should be able to contain the Texans offense enough to win in a game that will feature lots of running. The game will look closer than this final score: Houston Texans 13, Baltimore Ravens 27.

Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

(5) Pittsburgh Steelers at (1) New England Patriots

The only team in the AFC that I think can beat New England is the Steelers. The Ravens might be able to keep up because of their defense, but their passing game isn’t good enough, especially on the road. The Steelers, however, can keep up with the Patriots’ offense should it turn into a shootout, and the defense might even be able to stop the Patriots offense a few times, whereas the Patriots defense won’t be able to stop the Steelers offense too easily. With all that said, I don’t know if the Steelers offense is good enoough, especially if Mendenhall doesn’t play. Isaac Redman is a fine running back, but can’t he do it on his own. Patriots are at home. Pittsburgh Steelers 27, New England Patriots 31.

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NFC Divisional Games

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers

(5) Atlanta Falcons at (1) Green Bay Packers

The Falcons can win this game if they slow it down, but it’s Green Bay and Green Bay is at home. This could be a shootout since the Packers have no real defense or run game. Unless three weeks off does something to Aaron Rodgers, the Packers will win. The Falcons aren’t the team that can beat the Packers, but they will scare them. Atlanta Falcons 20, Green Bay Packers 34.

New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers

(3) New Orleans Saints at (2) San Francisco 49ers

I love this game and both of these teams. These are the only NFC teams that can stop the Packers. The 49ers have an amazing defense, and the offensive line is so good. If they had some good receivers and a better quarterback, man, they’d be unstoppable. Alex Smith is good, but he’s not there yet. He can’t will a win in the final minutes, which is what this game will probably come down to. I want the 49ers to win, but: New Orleans Saints 27, San Francisco 49ers 20.

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AFC Conference

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Championship Game

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Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

(2) Baltimore Ravens at (1) New England Patriots

All you have to do is read above to know how I think this game will play out. Flacco on the road is not very good this year, and Tom Brady is always good. Unless, the Patriots make a bunch of early mistakes, the Patriots will be heading to the Super Bowl. Baltimore Ravens 19, New England Patriots 27.

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NFC Conference

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Championship Game

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New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers

(3) New Orleans Saints at (1) Green Bay Packers

How is it that three best teams in the league (New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, and New Orleans Saints) have the three worst pass defenses? Anyway, I like the Saints in this. I think they can compete with the Packers. I think the Packers will collapse. I think Darren Sproles and the Saints run game will be the deciding factor. I see lots of screens for the Saints. I see Rodgers becoming human this game. I see Tracy Porter and Roman Harper having a couple of deciding plays for the Saints defense. I see the Saints in the Super Bowl. New Orleans Saints 45, Green Bay Packers 38.

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Super Bowl XLVI

Patriots vs Saints SuperBowl XLVI

Funny, I picked this at the beginning of the year, and here I am again. I didn’t do it to be consistent either. I think what I said about the Saints-Packers game can be said here. The Patriots and Packers seem like AFC-NFC mirrors to me. I think the Saints can keep up with the Patriots and then win with the run at the end. At the beginning of the year, I picked the Patriots. This time, I say Drew Brees and Sproles carry the Saints to their second Super Bowl win. New England Patriots 29, New Orleans Saints 38.//


1 Response to “2012 NFL Playoff Predictions”


  1. January 6, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Think you might be underestimating the importance of a dome team playing in Green Bay in January. I know Atlanta pulled it off a few years ago, but it is still one hell of an uphill battle (and there was frankly a greater talent gap between Atlanta and Green Bay that year. GB was lucky to have the seed they did.)


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