After a crazy first week of the NFL Playoffs, who knows what will happen in the Divisional Round. In my predictions last week, I was 2-for-4 picking the 49ers and the Saints to win both of their games.
It was pretty amazing that three of the four teams that won in the Wild Card Round were road teams — so much for home-field advantage!
Here are my predictions for the Divisional Round. If you think differently, please leave your comments at the end of the post.
New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks
This game is a rematch from Week 13 of the NFL season. The New Orleans Saints are trying to redeem themselves after a 34-7 shellacking they received courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks. This game pins two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL against each other in Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Brees had one of his worst games against the Seahawks this season, throwing for only 147 yards while Wilson threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns.
In this game, the crowd in Seattle will be loud and ready to go. This will be a great game the entire time, but I feel that the Saints will come in and upset the Seahawks. I think the down week that the Seahawks had will take some of the momentum away from them. I also feel that Saints defensive coodinator Rob Ryan will have something special planned for this Seahawks’ offense. Brees will remind Wilson exactly why Wilson looked up to Brees growing up and have another game-winning drive in this one.
Prediction: Saints 20 – 17 Seahawks
Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots
This is one of those classic playoff matchups that has taken place over the last decade with the New England Patriots against the visiting Indianapolis Colts. There is one person that is missing from this one in Peyton Manning, but he will be in his own playoff game this weekend. Tom Brady looks to try and teach Andrew Luck how playoff football is done by legends.
For this game, the lucky horseshoes that the Colts owned against the Chiefs will be all used up. The Colts will not be able to do what they did to the Kansas City Chiefs in this game. Look for Brady to share the wealth by hitting at least six different receivers on his way to a win that will take his Patriots back to the AFC Championship Game.
Prediction: Colts 20 – 31 Patriots
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers
This game is another rematch of a game that took place in Week 10 where the Carolina Panthers out defended that San Francisco 49ers 10-9. This game only saw one touchdown and a few field goals in a defensive battle. Both Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton were held in check by the other team’s defense. Both of these teams are coming into the playoffs hot, but this will be one of the lowest scoring games in this year’s playoffs.
The 49ers’ receivers were held in check in their first meeting, but with the return of Michael Crabtree, a confident 49ers team will come into Carolina and play a much better offensive game. The instability of the Panthers’ receivers as well as Carolina having a young team will be the deciding factor in this game.
Prediction: 49ers 16 – 6 Panthers
San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
The last game of the weekend is a rubber match between division rivals the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos. The Chargers are coming into this game riding high after their unexpected victory against the Cincinnati Bengals. San Diego will also be confident because they beat the Broncos in Denver earlier this season. One thing to watch for is the health of Ryan Mathews, who injured his ankle in the Wild Card Round.
In this game, I see Manning finally coming through in the cold weather of Denver and winning his first playoff game as a Bronco. Manning will be the most prepared player on the field, and he will throw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in this game.
Prediction: Chargers 20 – 41 Broncos