Thursday, January 3, 2013

NFL Playoff Predictions 2013

It's the NFL playoffs! What a crazy year it has been. 3 rookie QBs have found their way into the playoffs while other teams like the Giants and Bears find themselves on the outside looking in after a strong start. Here are my predictions for the playoffs this year.


Wild Card:

Texans over Bengals: 23 - 10
Why? The Texans have been looking like anything but elite after going from the 1st to 3rd seed, but they are the better team overall in this match up. I think the defense will do their job and be the reason the Texans win this game.

Colts over Ravens: 27 - 17
Why? If you read my power rankings, you'll notice how I think the Colts are worse than their 11-5 record. However, the Ravens have had a ton of issues lately, going 1-4 in their last 5 games. The Colts have been 4-1 in their last 5 and just came off a Texans win. I'm not one for non-football factors, but Chuck Pagano being back does help put a spark in this team as well.


Broncos over Colts: 38 - 17
Why? It will be an exciting game to watch Peyton face off against his old team, but it won't even be close. The Broncos have won 11 straight and are the team that nobody wants to face right now, including the Colts. They won't be able to match up against this Broncos team.

Patriots over Texans: 34 - 23
Why? Hard to go against the Patriots at home, in a playoff game, with Tom Brady as your QB. The Patriots are just too good on offense. Remember what happened last time these two teams faced off? 42-14 Pats.


Patriots over Broncos: 24 - 20
Why? This game is a coin flip to me. Definitely can go either way. You can say that about any game in the playoffs, but think it's especially true for these two teams if they face each other. I think it will come down to Brady on a game winning drive and he'll get it down, making it the second straight Super Bowl appearance in a row for this Pats team.


Wild Card:

Packers over Vikings: 27 - 21
Why? These two teams faced each other the last game of the season with the Vikings finding themselves on the winning side. The Packers were fighting for a #2 seed, but the Vikings were the only team in this match up that desperately needed the win. Now they both will be fighting equally as hard to get to the Super Bowl. Adrian Peterson is a beast, but Aaron Rodgers is one of the most clutch offensive players in the league (and the Vikings have Christian Ponder). Going with the Packs here.

Redskins over Seahawks: 31 - 24
Why? This was the hardest match up for me to pick in the wildcard round. Seattle has won 5 in a row, Redskins won 7. Both are rookie QBs who have been playing amazingly, but again are rookies without any playoff experience. I'm going with the home team here.


Falcons over Redskins: 33 - 23
Why? The Falcons get zero respect even though they ended the season as the #1 seed in the NFC and tied for the best record in the NFL. I do think they aren't as strong as the Broncos, the other 13-3 team in the league, but are still one of the elite and think they'll get the job done at home against the Redskins. They'll be able to finally shut up critics who say they can't win a playoff game.

Packers over 49ers: 27 - 24
Why? These teams faced each other opening day with the win going to the 49ers. On paper, these teams are pretty evenly matched with the edge on offense going to the Packers and the edge on defense going to the 49ers. Kaepernick has been great, but a lot of these games come down to clutch plays at the end and hard to pick Kaepernick over Rodgers.


Packers over Falcons: 30 - 20
Why? Simply because I think the Packers are a better team and it's Aaron Rodgers vs. Matt Ryan. The Falcons are at home, but don't think home field advantage will be enough for them to pull out a win against the Packers.

Super Bowl

Patriots over Packers: 34 - 30
Why? Patriots want redemption after losing last year, again, to the Giants in the Super Bowl. They'll get it this time. It will be a very exciting game that will go back and forth, but the Patriots will have the last drive of the game and Brady will get the job done.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

NFL Power Rankings - Final 2012

As a Giants fan, it's painful for me to write these final rankings, but here they are.

1. New England Patriots 421
Last Week: 1
Notes: Another win keeps them in the #1 spot for the rankings. That win also gives them a first round bye.

2. Denver Broncos 408
Last Week:3
Notes: The Broncos are the #1 seed in the AFC after winning an impressive 11 games in a row.
3. Atlanta Falcons 340
Last Week: 2
Notes: The Falcons said they weren't going to play soft even with having the #1 seed clinched, but it sure looked that way against the Buccs.

4.  Seattle Seahawks: 326
Last Week: 5
Notes: The hottest team in the NFC and in the NFL (minus the Broncos). Nobody wants to face this team in the playoffs.

5. San Francisco 49ers 289
Last Week: 7
Notes:They beat the Cardinals and hold onto the top spot in the NFC West (and get a first round bye). 
6Houston Texans 271
Last Week: 4
Notes: The Texans have been looking anything but elite lately and could find themselves struggling against the Bengals.

7 Green Bay Packers:247
Last Week: 6
Notes:  A loss against the red hot Vikings moves them into the #3 seed and facing the Vikings yet again in the playoffs.

8. Chicago Bears 203
Last Week: 9
Notes: Yes, they didn't make the playoffs, but they still deserve this spot in the rankings. Despite a last half collapse, they still put up a 10-6 season behind a great defensive unit. Still wasn't enough for Lovie to keep his job.

9.  Cincinnati Bengals 179
Last Week: 10
Notes:  A win that that moves the Bengals to 10-6 on the season.

10.  Baltimore Ravens 171
Last Week: 8
Notes: The Ravens are fortunate to play a Colts team who, to me, are the weakest playoff team, but still might find themselves struggling against them.

11. Washington Redskins: 166
Last Week: 11
Notes: The Redskins win the NFC East and now have a rookie QB showdown against the Seahawks.

12. New York Giants 162
Last Week: 13
Notes: Where was this play the last two weeks? I get it was against the Eagles, but if the Giants put up half the effort they did against the Eagles against the Ravens and Falcons they might be in the playoffs.
13.  Minnesota Vikings 148
Last Week: 12
Notes: AP misses the record by 8 yards, but more importantly the Vikings clinch a playoff birth.

14. Indianapolis Colts: 109
Last Week: 14
Notes: They finally win convincingly against a good team, but I still think the Colts will find themselves struggling in the playoffs.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers:55
Last Week: 17
Notes: A win prevents the Steelers from ending the season below .500
16. Dallas Cowboys: 16
Last Week: 15
Notes: Yes they were one game away from making the playoffs, but the Cowboys still end the season on a mediocre note with an 8-8 record.

17. New Orleans Saints:15
Last Week: 16
Notes: The Saints are eager to forget this season and welcome back Sean Payton.

18.  San Diego Chargers 2
Last Week: 20
Notes: Norv is gone, leaving the Chargers the most enticing of the open head coaching jobs (maybe outside of the Bears).

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:2
Last Week: 22
Notes: The Buccs remind me of a slightly better version of the Bills last season. They started the season like a legit playoff contender and then completely fell off the radar. The key is Josh Freeman playing at a high level all season long, which is something I'm not sure he can do.
20. Carolina Panthers:0
Last Week: 21
Notes: After the way the Panthers started, a 7-9 record is impressive.

21. St. Louis Rams: -20
Last Week: 19
Notes: The Rams finally lose a divisional game. They'll be a stronger team next year.

22. Miami Dolphins: -23
Last Week: 18
Notes: This season might be viewed as a disappointment for Dolphins fans, but things will get better likely next year.

23. New York Jets:-121
Last Week: 23
Notes: Rex Ryan keeps his job, for now, but the Jets have a lot of questions to answer in the offseason specifically who is going to be their QB.

24. Buffalo Bills: -123
Last Week: 27
Notes: A win couldn't save Champ's job for this lowly Bills squad.
25. Cleveland Browns: -138
Last Week: 24
Notes: The Browns clean house, but better things are ahead for this young Browns team.
26.  Arizona Cardinals -164
Last Week: 25
Notes:A very disappointing season after starting out so strong.
27.  Detroit Lions: -165
Last Week: 26
Notes: 4-12 is shocking after making the playoffs just last year.

28 Tennessee Titans: -212
Last Week: 29
Notes:A terrible team that beat an even more terrible team.
29. Philadelphia Eagles: -264
Last Week: 28
Notes:The Andy Reid era is over after going 4-12 and losing horrifically to the Giants. 

30  Oakland Raiders: -266
Last Week: 30
Notes: The Raiders will have a hard time competing the next couple of years with the Broncos having Peyton and the Chargers likely to improve their team in the head coaching area.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars: -361
Last Week: 31
Notes: Surprisingly 2-14 didn't clinch the first pick in the draft.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: -375
Last Week: 32
Notes: The Chiefs say goodbye to Romeo and need to do some genius picks in the draft to have a chance at competing.