Thursday, May 13, 2010

2010/2011 NFL Playoff Predictions; Super Bowl 45 Picks

Written by Michael Luchies

Playoff Predictions & Seeds- See Divisional Predictions for in depth breakdown of season and how each team got here.

NFC East- Dallas Cowboys (#4)

NFC North- Green Bay Packers (#2)

NFC South- New Orleans Saints (#1)

NFC West- San Francisco 49ers (#3)

Wild Card: Seattle Seahawks (#5)

Wild Card: Philadelphia Eagles (#6)

Left Out: Farveless Vikings (9-7). If Favre returns, they will win the NFC North, and Packers will take the Wild card spot away from the Eagles or Seahawks.

AFC East- New York Jets (#1)

AFC North- Baltimore Ravens (#4)

AFC South- Indianapolis Colts (#2)

AFC West- San Diego Chargers (#3)

Wild Card: New England Patriots (#5)

Wild Card: Houston Texans (#6)

Left Out: Titans, Bengals

NFC Wild Card Round:
Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle has a better season than expected under Pete Carroll but won't be able to get past the Cowboys in the first round of the playoffs. Cowboys offense is too strong for the Seahawks to deal with.
Prediction: Dallas wins 35-17

San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles come in as a very strong Wild Card team even with an inexperienced quarterback leading an impressive offense. The Eagles have too much speed on offense and too many weapons. I like the Eagles to take down the 49ers.
Prediction: Eagles win 28-14

AFC Wild Card Round:
San Diego Chargers vs. Houston Texans
The Chargers end another fantastic regular season with a failed post season after losing this match up to the Texans. The Texans get to their first ever playoff appearance with a very tough defense and improved offense with a much needed boost to their rushing attack (drafting Ben Tate). Schaub picks apart the Chargers secondary to lead the Texans to victory.
Prediction: Texans win 31-21

Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots
Another great showdown between the Ravens and Patriots in the playoffs. The Ravens will be able to limit the Patriots ability to run and force Brady to make tough passes, which he is capable of, but against the Ravens secondary it will be tough to be effective. The Ravens now have a complete team, and can withstand the Patriots attack. Ray Rice takes over late, Ravens win.
Prediction: Ravens win 27-24

NFC Divisional Round:
New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles
If only I could fast forward to see Kolb's progression through the upcoming year this prediction might have gone in a different direction. The Saints behind Drew Brees are near unstoppable, and although the Eagles may have the one NFL offense that can keep up with them, unless Kolb plays like a top 5 quarterback, they will be toast. I expect a shootout with the Saints coming out on top.
Prediction: Saints 45-35

Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys
What a great game at Lambeau Field! The Packers against Cowboys with a shot at the NFC Championship game on the line. I would take Aaron Rodgers and his receivers slightly over Romo with his. Although I think Dallas has a better offense if all are healthy, Rodgers is clearly the better quarterback. I'll take the Packers at home in a close and snowy battle.
Prediction: Packers 20-17

AFC Divisional Round:
New York Jets vs. Houston Texans
The Texans get a playoff wakeup call when they battle the New York Jets who have been in this situation before. The Jets shut down the Texans passing attack and make Houston rely on their inconsistent backfield. The Jets won't need to score much, and they might not be able to against the Texans defense that is possibly the best in the AFC behind the Jets and Ravens. Jets win a tight one.
Prediction: Jets 17-10

Indianapolis Colts vs. Baltimore Ravens
The classic battle of good versus evil, offense versus defense. The Colts lead by Manning will clash with Ray Lewis and the Ravens once again. When two teams are as good as the Colts and the Ravens, the game usually comes down to the best player on the field, and in this case it is Peyton Manning.
Prediction: Colts 27-17

NFC Championship:
New Orleans Saints vs. Green Bay Packers
The defending Super Bowl Champions will face off against the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers will look to redeem himself after missing an opportunity to close out the Cardinals last year in the playoffs. Although both offenses will shine, the determining battle will happen on defense. The upper hand on defense has to go to the Packers, although the Saints are returning Sharper and several others that had a good enough year in 2009/2010 to make it all the way. Aaron Rodgers gets the Packers to the promised land with a late pass to Jennings.
Prediction: Packers 38-35

AFC Championship:
New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts
There are not many defenses that can shut down Peyton Manning, but the Jets may just be good enough to disrupt his game. Revis, Cromartie, and Kyle Wilson will be too much for the Colts receiving staff to overcome. Manning will still get his 250+ yards and two touchdowns, but I like the Jets offense just a little bit more than last year with better receivers and a more experienced Sanchez. The running game for the Jets without Jones and Faneca will be key, but I think they can manage. I like the Jets to beat the Colts in the AFC Championship.
Prediction: Jets 31-24

Super Bowl:
New York Jets vs. Green Bay Packers
Just two years ago the notion that Super Bowl 45 would host the Jets and Packers would draw laughs around the league. The Packers are the more balanced team, but the Jets have the better defense and secondary. The Packers will need to mix things up on offense to keep the defense guessing. I don't like Grant catching many passes out of the backfield or running screens, but Green Bay has solid weapons in Driver, Jennings, Finley, and others. The Jets will put a lot of pressure on Shonn Greene to carry the ball and Ladanian Tomlinson to help spread out the Packers defense. When it comes down to it, I like the Jets to pull off the Super Bowl victory behind the strength of their defense and supporting cast around Sanchez.
Prediction: Jets win 24-20