NFL Playoff Predictions
By John McCarthy
Volume 1 Issue 4
January 20, 2021
Image provided by Sporting News
The NFL Postseason is among us and the wild card and divisional rounds have already started a spark on the path for one team to become Super Bowl LV Champions and hoist the Lombardi Trophy. The hunt is now down to four teams, two representing the American Football Conference (AFC), two representing the National Football Conference (NFC). The new playoff format only allowed for one team in each conference a bye for the first round, giving their players and staff more rest. This past weekend, it was time for the Packers and Chiefs to show what they’ve got this postseason. First, let’s take a look at what I thought about the Divisional Round and how my predictions stacked up with reality.
Rams at Packers
I am sure I am not the only one surprised by the Rams’ win over the Seahawks in the Wild Card round. Seattle didn’t play their best, and the Rams capitalized. Now, they have to face the #1 seed Packers, who have a solid team all around, supported by great coaching and veteran leaders. Rams QB Jared Goff has shown he can be shaky in key games in the playoffs; luckily for him, he had a great supporting cast to take him to the Super Bowl two years ago. Now, that team has to face the Packers, a tougher challenge, and a bout I don’t think they can win. I take the Packers at home, 34 - 21.
Result: Packers, 32 - 18
Ravens at Bills
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens showed last week that they can rise to the occasion in January, when every game matters much more than the last. The Bills, on the other hand, eked out a win against the Colts. Buffalo, known for its cold and harsh environment late in the season may prove to be a problem for the visiting Ravens, or it can show off their strong running game with a quadruple-threat backfield of J.K Dobbins, Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and Lamar Jackson. Both QBs have never been farther in the postseason, but I believe the Ravens are on a roll, and can go into Buffalo and take a win away from the Bills. 27 – 20 Ravens.
Result: Bills, 17 - 3
Browns at Chiefs
The Browns had an impressive showing against the Steelers in the first round scoring 48 points. The Steelers dug themselves a huge hole going down 28 - 0 in the first quarter. However, the Steelers fought to score 37 points in the last three quarters. The Browns have proven to be resilient this year, but the Chiefs present a formidable challenge with a high-powered offense and a defense that keeps improving. The Chiefs have been dominant all year, and I think they take the win at Arrowhead Stadium. 37 – 20 Chiefs
Result: Chiefs, 22 - 17
Buccaneers at Saints
Tom Brady and the Bucs have displayed their offensive weapons in the past few weeks, scoring an average of around 41 points each game for their past three games, winning all of them. However, the Saints boast one of the most explosive running backs in Alvin Kamara. In a battle between two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Brees and Brady, pass rush will be crucial to try to get these QBs off their game. In that regard, I give the edge to the Saints. With that box checked off, along with home field advantage, I’m predicting the Saints to win a close game, closing it out in the waning minutes. I would not be surprised if this game goes either way. 31 – 28 Saints
Result: Buccaneers, 30 - 20
Going forward, I think the Chiefs and the Packers will go on to the Super Bowl. Both teams were dominant all year long with great teams and minimal weaknesses. It comes down to the game plan and surprising players coming up clutch to make big plays when it counts. In the big game, I think we will have repeat champs with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs getting the glory in Super Bowl LV!