08 January 2015

2015 NFL Divisonal Playoffs Predictions

The NFL Playoffs is getting real and we have reached what some consider to be the best weekend of NFL action of the year. The top teams are in play with doubleheaders on Saturday and on Sunday. Who will advance to the AFC and NFC Championship Games? Here are my predictions.

Wild Card: 3-1

Saturday, January 10th
Baltimore Ravens (10-6) vs. New England Patriots (12-4) - NBC, 4:30
Without question the Patriots would have not wanted to see the Ravens in this game as John Harbaugh's club has been one of the few teams to go to Foxborough and win. This Patriots team does have a stronger defense than they have had in many years and we all know what Tom Brady can do when the postseason comes around, but you can say the same for Joe Flacco and while the Ravens' secondary has been mediocre, their pass rush has been very good of late with Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil and now Haloti Ngata back from suspension. I am feeling the upset here.
Ravens 23 Patriots 20

Carolina Panthers (7-8-1) vs. Seattle Seahawks (12-4) - Fox, 8:00
I think just about everybody would be surprised to see the Panthers go into CenturyLink Field and pull the upset. After all while Carolina has been on a bit of a roll, they really have not beaten anybody all that impressive (Arizona with Ryan Lindley? Come on now) and we all know how dominant the Seahawks are at home, and particularly at night. I do think their defense can keep the game close for a while but Seattle has got this in the bag.
Seahawks 21 Panthers 7

Sunday, January 11th
Dallas Cowboys (12-4) vs. Green Bay Packers (12-4) - Fox, 1:00
Let's be honest, the Cowboys certainly benefited by a multitude of officiating issues on Sunday, most notably the picked up flag on pass interference. That said, this is a tough call of a game. The Packers are an elite home team but Aaron Rodgers will not be 100% due to a calf injury and the Cowboys have not lost on the road this year. Dallas really did not play that great until late on Sunday against the Lions and their offensive line was dominated, but the Packers are not as good defensively as Detroit is. I think the difference comes with a Dallas defense which has gotten by this year with a little smoke and mirrors action and Rod Marinelli deserves a ton of credit for that, but I don't think they have enough guys to slow down even a hobbled Rodgers at home.
Packers 31 Cowboys 28

Indianapolis Colts (11-5) vs. Denver Broncos (12-4) - CBS, 4:30
Everybody will be hyping the Andrew Luck-Peyton Manning storyline and that makes sense but has Andrew Luck actually surpassed Peyton Manning as the better quarterback? After all with the way Manning played in December, it's not that crazy. However, I almost do not think that it matters because the Broncos do have the superior club across the board and get to play at home. Broncos will win it going away.
Broncos 35 Colts 24


  1. Hi Ben
    Last week the Colts really didn't need to do very much to beat the Bengals and were not that impressive. I think Denver are there for the taking BUT I don't think this Indy cast has it in them to take advantage of the Bronco's dip in form. I agree the Ravens are just the team New England wanted to avoid. I thought the Ravens would lose to Pittsburgh but they showed great character and won well and I think they will take it to the Pats big time. Brady has nothing to prove and perhaps isn't as hungry as the Ravens' defence.
    In the NFC Seattle won't batter Carolina but should come through and the Panthers can count themselves fortunate to have got this far anyway. I think a safe 10 - 14 point win looks likely for the Hawks. The question-mark game will be in Green Bay. Were Rodgers fully fit I would back the Pack all the way but Dallas are great away and Romo IS a come from behind kinda guy in the clutch (unlike Andrew Luck). I smell another Cowboy victory - hopefully without officials' interference this time.

  2. 100% agree with your picks, Ben. Baltimore will beat New England, I love what the Panthers have done, but I unfortunately don't see them winning in Seattle, Dallas shouldn't have won last week and Denver is definitely going to do well.