14 January 2016

2015 NFL Predictions: Divisional Playoffs

(Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo)
After a historic Wild Card weekend in which all four road teams won for the first time, we are now onto what we call the Divisional Playoffs. The 12 team playoff field is down to eight teams now, and now the clubs who had last week off are now back in action. Which teams will now advance to their respective conference championship games? Here are my picks.

Last Week: 2-2
Regular Season: 143-116
Locks: 12-4

Saturday, January 16th
Chiefs (11-5) vs. Patriots (12-4) - CBS, 4:35
Kansas City Chiefs (1972 - Pres)Boston Patriots (1965 - 1970)
Unlike their counterparts on Saturday, the Patriots were a mess down the stretch in losing four of their last six while seeing a number of skill positions guys go down with injury. Now after a much-needed bye week, New England will get guys like Julian Edelman back and even with the bizarre Chandler Jones situation serving as a distraction, I think the Pats will get the job done on Saturday.
Patriots 30 Chiefs 23

Packers (10-6) vs. Cardinals (13-3) - NBC, 8:15
Green Bay Packers (1980 - Pres)Phoenix Cardinals (1988 - 1993)
We all know what happened the last time these two played, the Cardinals ran the Pack out of the state in a game that was not as close as a 38-8 final score indicated. While I don't see a beatdown of such proportion happening again, even after an impressive road win in Landover I don't see this Packers team being able to put it all together to take out the Cardinals on the road.
Cardinals 34 Packers 24

Sunday, January 17th
Seahawks (10-6) vs. Panthers (15-1) - Fox, 1:05
Seattle Seahawks (2002 - 2011)Carolina Panthers (1995 - 2011)
One chip shot field goal and this should have been the Vikings taking on the Panthers on Sunday afternoon. Alas, that's not the way the cookie crumbled and here the Seahawks are. Seattle always is a tough playoff club but even factoring the brutal cold, they couldn't really get any offense going at all this past weekend (granted, neither could the Vikings). Their offense should look better with the improved weather but I don't think that Russell Wilson, against this superb Carolina defense, will be good enough to overtake Cam Newton and co.
Panthers 26 Seahawks 19

Steelers (10-6) vs. Broncos (12-4) - CBS, 4:40
Pittsburgh Steelers (2002 - Pres)Denver Broncos (1997 - Pres)
The ultimate question will be if Ben Roethlisberger is able to go on Sunday because I think the Steelers win if he does play. That just goes to show how little confidence I have in Peyton Manning in being able to do anything considering how dreadful he was this season, and how mediocre he looked in his supposed "comeback" in the finale. Considering that I do think that Roethlisberger will ultimately be able to go, I like the Steelers to pull the road upset.
Steelers 31 Broncos 28


  1. Hi Ben
    Your comments are valid. I agree that Arizona should be too good for the Pack but have a sneaky feeling Seattle will come through. Pittsburgh will win if Ben is healthy and lose otherwise. I like KC to advance in Boston.

  2. "One chip shot field goal and this should have been the Vikings taking on the Panthers on Sunday afternoon." Wrong. If the Vikes had won, they'd be playing in Arizona Saturday night and the Green Bay/Redskins winner (GB) would've gone to Carolina.