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2013 NFL Playoff Predictions

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AFC Wildcard Games

Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans

(6) Cincinnati Bengals vs. (3) Houston Texans

Theses teams met last year in the exact same game, except the Texans were without Matt Schaub. Right now the Bengals are hot, having won six of their last seven, and the Texans are not, having lost three of their last four and Schaub wasn’t looking hot against the Colts in week 17. There’s the difficulty in this pick. The Texans are the better team, especially the defensive front line, but the Bengals are playing more balanced football lately. The Texans are at home, but I’m going with the Bengals. The Texans offense and offensive line just aren’t doing it for me. It should be a semi-low scoring game as the Texans, if they are smart, will try to run the ball, but even Arian Foster doesn’t look as strong as he normally is. At the beginning of the year, I predicated this Wildcard game, except I had the Bengals ranked 5 and the Texans ranked 4. In that same prognostication, I had the Bengals defeating the Texans. Today, I say: Cincinnati Bengals 23, Houston Texans 20.

Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens

(5) Indianapolis Colts vs. (5) Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have lost four of their last five games, and of their ten wins, six were against teams that have below .500 records, two have .500 records, and two have winning records (New England Patriots early in the year and New York Giants late in the year). The Colts, however, are hot, but they’ve only defeated three teams with a winning record (Minnesota Vikings early, Green Bay Packers after a bye, and the Houston Texans at the end of the year.)  But there’s confidence being built and an emotional rise is occurring. The Colts are coming up and the Ravens are falling. I think the Colts should win, but their run game isn’t strong enough. Raven’s Ray Rice should be the deciding factor, but in the end I love T. Y. Hilton for some big plays: Indianapolis Colts 31, Baltimore Ravens 20.

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NFC Wildcard Games

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

(6) Minnesota Vikings vs. (3) Green Bay Packers

Playing in the cold at Lambeau Field should be helpful for the Vikings and their run game, but it won’t be enough help. The Vikings won’t win back-to-back games against the Packers, especially against the more experienced playoff team at home. Minnesota Vikings 24, Green Bay Packers 37.

Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins

(5) Seattle Seahawks vs. (4) Washington Redskins

This is the game I want to watch. The Seahawks are the only favored road team this week, and they are favored by 4.5 points. The Seahawks are also the most equipped of all the wildcard teams this week. They are strong everywhere. The receivers aren’t great, but they are good enough. At the beginning of the year, I thought this team could be good if they had Marshawn Lynch, and they did, and if Matt Flynn wasn’t hype. He was hype, but Russell Wilson was not. I love the Seahawks right now as everyone does. I don’t think the Redskins are as good as they appear. They have won every game since their bye, which is seven in a row. Two wins were against winning teams – Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants, two were against .500 teams (Dallas Cowboys, twice), and the rest were against below .500 teams, so that’s kinda respectable, but I’m not buying into it. Seattle Seahawks 37, Washington Redskins 20.

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AFC Divisional Games

Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos

(6) Cincinnati Bengals vs. (1) Denver Broncos

There’s no way the Bengals are going to defeat the Broncos. There’s nothing even really to discuss. Denver’s got it going on everywhere. Cincinnati Bengals 17, Denver Broncos 30.

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots

(5) Indianapolis Colts vs. (2) New England Patriots

The Bengals would have a much better chance against the Patriots, and could maybe beat them, but the Colts will not defeat the Patriots in New England. It would be fun to see Luck vs. Manning in the AFC Championship game, but Brady vs. Manning will be as good. The Colts just aren’t ready yet. Indianapolis Colts 31, New England Patriots 44.

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NFC Divisional Games

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons

(5) Seattle Seahawks vs. (1) Atlanta Falcons

It’s playoff time, so it’s time for the Falcons to fold. Their offense can’t keep carrying them despite the week’s rest. Seattle is solid, and their defense can slow down the Falcons’ offense. I’m still high on the Seahawks. In the battle of the birds: Seattle Seahawks 31, Atlanta Falcons 24.

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers

(4) Green Bay Packers vs.  (2) San Francisco 49ers

Packers defense vs. 49ers defense – 49ers defense wins. Packers offensive line vs. 49ers offensive line – 49ers offensive line wins. Packers run game vs. 49ers run game – 49ers run game wins. Packers passing game vs. 49ers passing game – Packers win. Do you see where I’m heading with this. 49ers are just a better team where it matters. Passing is very important, but it’s not enough, especially on the road. Green Bay Packers 31, San Francisco 49ers 33.

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AFC Conference

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Championship Game

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New England Patriots at Denver Broncos

(2) New England Patriots vs. (1) Denver Broncos

This was my preseason pick for the AFC Championship. This time, however, I’m going with the Broncos. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen them play more this year and have not seen much of the Patriots, but the Broncos are a solid team, and their run game is very good, especially lately. But I could say the same of the Patriots. Statistically, the Patriots are better in passing and rushing, but the Broncos are better on defense. The only thing going against the Broncos is that they have won 11 games in a row and 12 if you count the playoff game above. Meaning, they are due for a loss. Nonetheless, the Broncos at home with a better defense and Peyton Manning will be more than the Patriots can handle. New England Patriots 34, Denver Broncos 41.

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NFC Conference

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Championship Game

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Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

(5) Seattle Seahawks vs. (2) San Francisco 49ers

These teams are in the NFC Championship Game because they are the two most complete teams in the NFC. Both have good run games and good defenses. The 49ers have a better offense line. The Seahawks have the better quarterback. The receivers are about equal, but maybe the 49ers have a slight advantage. The Seahawks crushed the 49ers in week 16, but that won’t happen again. My first instinct is to expect the score to be closer to the 13-6 score in week 7. And then I think again. The Seahawks can put points on the board (at least lately), while the 49ers have only scored over 30 points six times this year. Whoever gets the early lead will win this game because then they can just work on their major strengths: running and defending. I can see the Seahawks jumping to a quick a lead, but only if it were the first game in the playoffs. By this time, all their luck will have run out. Seattle Seahawks 24, San Francisco 49ers 29.

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Super Bowl XLVII

Super Bowl XLVII – Broncos v 49ers

Wow. What a match-up this will be, and two new teams (that haven’t appeared in awhile), too – Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers. The first thing that strikes me is the quarterbacks – experienced vs. no experience – Peyton Manning vs. Colin Kaepernick. Is that all that needs to be said? Both teams have very strong defenses, and they are equal. Both have very good running games, with the edge going to the 49ers. The passing games, however, are not equal, and that may be all the difference. However, Manning really isn’t very good in Super Bowls. He’s 1-1, and the one win came against the Bears in the rain when the Bears gave the game to the Colts. That Super Bowl reminds me of Devin Hester and his 92-yard opening kickoff return for a touchdown, which makes me think of special teams. The Broncos have and edge on special teams, except for kickoff returns. With all of that in consideration, I’m going: Denver Broncos 20, San Francisco 49ers 24. The 49ers will remain undefeated in Super Bowls! Yes, the 49ers will step it up, especially on defense. Manning will get sacked and throw picks. The 49ers will also get one kickoff or punt return for a touchdown. #ManningFail//


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