I can’t believe that the 2012 NFL regular season is already in the books. I guess time does fly when you’re having fun? With the Redskins winning 10 games this year, ending the regular season with a 7 game winning streak, to say I had fun would be a gross understatement.
But I’m not here to chat solely about the Washington Redskins winning the division. I’m here to dish out my playoff predictions, and my lock for the Super Bowl.
AFC Wild Card Weekend Games
Bengals vs Texans
A rematch from last season’s wild card weekend, only this time, the Texans aren’t starting a 3rd string QB named T.J. Yates. The Texans will have their Pro Bowl QB, Matt Schaub, under center. That said, I STILL like the Bengals to come out on top. I honestly feel that the Bengals are the best team no one is talking about. Bengals Pro Bowl WR A.J. Green is one of the very best in the league at what he does. And what he does is score touchdowns. The Bengals aren’t a slouch on the defensive side of the ball either. Their pass rush is potent, and QB pressure typically can force a turnover or two.
Texans don’t lay over, but Bengals control this game by halftime. Bengals win 24-16
Colts vs Ravens
The Ravens are an interesting bunch to try to figure out. They have the pieces in place to be a really good team, but somewhere, somehow they seem to come up small. With Ray Lewis back from injury, and with the news of him retiring at the end of this season. I feel they will be able to at least get one postseason victory. Especially knowing the Colts are a very young team. Led by rookie QB Andrew Luck, who has been a revelation, but he’s been prone to turning the ball over. In the playoffs, turnovers limit chances for success real quick.
Andrew Luck will have the ball in his hand in the 4th quarter, but the Ravens hold on. Ravens win 23-17
NFC Wild Card Weekend Games
Vikings vs Packers
A rematch from last week where the Vikings won a thriller right before time expired. All-World RB Adrian Peterson was a man-child. Peterson isn’t the problem I have with the Vikings, it’s QB Christian Ponder. Ponder will have to keep this Vikings team close, if he does, they’ll have another chance to win at the end of the game. Division games always have a life of their own, The 49ers/Rams games this year are a perfect example of that. Knowing this is the 3rd meeting between these teams this season, both teams will be out for blood. That said, I think Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews lead the Pack past the Vikings. The offense will score, but the defense with Woodson and Matthews back will be the spark that is needed to contain Peterson.
Packers special teams provides a big play via Randall Cobb. Packers win 31-20
Seahawks vs Redskins
The Seahawks defense has been a top-tier unit all season long. Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson has been a great surprise all year too. As a team, the Seahawks provide a balanced, well-rounded attack that can win a game many different ways. Both teams have a workhorse RB, Seattle with Marshawn Lynch and the Skins with Alfred Morris. The one thing the Seahawks don’t have: Robert Griffin III. RG3 has been a special player for the Skins since he first held up a jersey on draft day. Yes, Griffin is not 100%, but he has a knack for big games and that will be on display this Sunday. This game could be the lowest scoring game this weekend, but the big play that has to be made will be made by Griffin.
The RG3/Alfred Morris attack will turn the table on a Seahawks D that is used to setting the tone for the game. Redskins win 20-17
To sum up wild card weekend. I have 3 of the 4 home teams winning, but not because they are the home team.
AFC Divisional Playoff Round
Bengals vs Broncos
Peyton is healthy, we know this, but the argument against the Broncos now is that they have feasted on a weak schedule. I’m not biting on that line. This game will be a display of exactly how far along Andy Dalton has matured. If he can indeed go toe-to-toe with Peyton? Both defenses have playmakers, but which one will draw blood? A Broncos D vs a second year QB? Or a Bengals D vs a future Hall of Famer?
Peyton Manning plays a cleaner game than Andy Dalton. Broncos win 27-17
Ravens vs Patriots
This is the end of the line for the Ravens, as is the case whenever they meet the Patriots. This game boils down to the fact that New England actually has team chemistry, and Baltimore doesn’t. Both teams have great leaders in Tom Brady and Ray Lewis, but only one of those two are currently at the top of their game. Unless the Ravens give Ray Rice enough touches to win this game, I’m thinking around 30-35, the Ravens will not be a major factor in this game.
Tom Brady will not only end Ray Lewis’ season, but his career also. Patriots win 35-10
I hate the fact that I like so many home teams. Not once have I included home field advantage to be a reason a team will move on. I just wanted to make that clear.
NFC Divisional Playoff Round
Packers vs 49ers
This game to should be one of the best games of the entire playoff slate. By far the hardest one for me to project. The Packers got beat up by the 49ers earlier this season. That was way back in the Alex Smith-is-our-quarterback days. Now the 49ers have Colin Kaepernick leading their team. If there is a theme to this blog so far, I think it would be something along the lines of – I like experienced quarterbacks in the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers v Colin Kaepernick… I’m taking Rodgers. Personally I feel Rodgers is THE quarterback right now. Meaning, I feel he is THE best. I know Brady and Manning have longevity on their side, but Rodgers just unreal.
Aaron Rodgers wills the Packers to victory. Dare I say, like the old gunslinger? Packers win 34-20
Redskins vs Falcons
If I could choose a match-up for the Redskins between the 49ers and the Falcons, I would pick the Falcons. But going to that dome is far from ideal. **First time home field has been mentioned in a breakdown** I felt this was going to be a big year for Atlanta. This is the time for Matt Ryan and company to produce. We know they are a good team, but can they be a great team? This game is all about the Falcons. If they are prepared to take the next step or not? If they come out flat, the Redskins are good enough to beat them. If they come out ready to win the Super Bowl, then I think the national media will be quick to hop on the Falcons bandwagon.
Tony Gonzalez gets a TD, along with his first postseason victory. Falcons win 27-13
(This is the only prediction of mine I’m rooting against.. Go Skins!!!)
Patriots vs Broncos
I’m dubbing this game “The Media’s Dream Bowl”. The epic debate, Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning, who is better? Another chapter will unfold for the rights to go to the Super Bowl. My answer by the way: They are both the best to ever play the game! Both ahead of Dan Marino, Joe Montana, and Johnny Unitas. Now that I got that off my chest, back to the game.
Bill Belichick game planned to stop Manning successfully in prior games, including postseason meetings. Tom Brady and the Pats have lost to Denver in the playoffs before. No doubt this game is a grudge match. I think Peyton will prevail. I have no other breakdown for this game, I’m just going with my gut on this one.
Broncos are Super Bowl bound. Broncos win 35-31
Packers vs Falcons
This match-up doesn’t look nearly as sexy as the Patriots/Broncos game on paper. Except for the fact whoever wins this game is heading to Super Sunday. The Packers have gone on the road before and won multiple games, I don’t see that as a problem. I feel like the Packers don’t care where they play, they’re simply on a mission. On the other hand, I feel like the Falcons will need that home crowd if they plan on going to the Super Bowl. Both of these teams have given up huge chunks of points late in the season. Which leads me to believe this game will be an all out offensive assault. I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams scored more than 35 points. Fireworks will be going off in Atlanta. You can quote me on that.
Special teams will be the deciding factor. Packers win 42-38
SUPER BOWL LOCK
Anyone else remember a game a few years back when Brett Favre was vying for his second Super Bowl win? You know, like Aaron Rodgers is now. Favre was opposed by an older quarterback for the Denver Broncos named John Elway. Now Peyton is an older player too, like Elway was. Weird, right?
Packers vs Broncos (Take II)
Remember last year, when I wrote a playoff predictions post… and how it had rematch of Pittsburgh and Green Bay in the works? Now this year, a rematch of Denver and Green Bay. I’m just full of rematch surprises!
UNLIKE, Elway triumphing over Favre in January of ’98. I see the younger QB coming out on top this go round. It’ll be an epic game. And as much as I would like to see Peyton Manning get ring number two and put all the “Eli is the better Manning” garbage to rest, I feel Green Bay ultimately will win the Super Bowl.
Green Bay Packers 27
Denver Broncos 17
Thanks for stopping by and reading if you make it this far.
Prediction for next year’s Super Bowl – Washington wins in a landslide victory!