by Ryan Meehan
This week at FOH, I’ve put my balls on the chopping block by making some pretty bold picks with regards to the 2015-2016 NFL season. Today, I’m going to go a step further by making some even bolder picks with regards to what will happen in the playoffs. Based on those predictions, this is how I am expecting the 2015-2016 NFL postseason to look:
1) Green Bay Packers 13-3
2) Seattle Seahawks 11-5
3) Atlanta Falcons 11-5
4) Dallas Cowboys 10-6
5) St. Louis Rams 9-7
6) San Francisco 49ers 8-8
1) Indianapolis Colts 11-5
2) New England Patriots 11-5
3) Baltimore Ravens 11-5
4) San Diego Chargers 11-5
5) Denver Broncos 10-6
6) Houston Texans 10-6
I should probably explain why I have so many teams over .500 in the AFC when I clearly stated that it was the weaker of the two conferences. But that’s precisely what makes them look so good at the top. Where the AFC is very black and white in the sense that most of the teams are either good or awful, the middle of the NFC will be clogged with teams like Minnesota, Arizona and Detroit that will steal a couple of games against the really good NFC teams they face in the regular season. Given this scenario, here are my picks for how the games themselves will shake out.
NFC Wild Card
6) San Francisco 49ers at 3) Atlanta Falcons
These two teams met in the NFC Championship game three years prior, but looked much different. This game will be proof of that, and Kaepernick struggles in the red zone – if he’s even still alive at this point in the season.
Prediction: Falcons 31, 49ers 16 5)
St. Louis Rams at 4) Dallas Cowboys
Believe it or not, I actually expect this to be a fantastic game. The Rams are my dark horse, but Dallas has big plans and now they are finally built to be the playoff juggernaut their payroll states they are.
Prediction: Cowboys 27, Rams 20
AFC Wild Card
6) Houston Texans at 3) Baltimore Ravens
I really like Houston, but this is going to be much too tough of a road game for them to win in January against a team that has a ton of playoff experience.
Prediction: Ravens 29, Texans 23
5) Denver Broncos at 4) San Diego Chargers
The conservative devil on my shoulder says that I should trust Peyton Manning over Philip Rivers, but why? He lost his first playoff game last year, and he’s missing key targets in that offense. Plus, we all know he is going to decline in production so him losing in an earlier round shouldn’t be all that shocking at all…
Prediction: Chargers 26, Broncos 23
NFC Divisional Playoffs
3) Atlanta Falcons at 2) Seattle Seahawks
In what should prove to be a very low scoring affair, Seattle easily takes out a team that will have overachieved up until this point in the season.
Prediction: Seahawks 17, Falcons 13
4) Dallas Cowboys at 1) Green Bay Packers
Upset Special. Remember the last ten minutes of this past year’s NFC Championship where the Packers lack of depth ended up doing them in? In this game it will happen early. Dallas will head up there knowing this, set the pace of the game, and the rest is history.
Prediction: Cowboys 25, Packers 15
AFC Divisional Playoffs
3) Baltimore Ravens at 2) New England Patriots
This might end up being the game of the year. It was certainly a sight to behold in this round last season, and although the Ravens will keep it close for most of the game I say Brady and crew pull away late in the third quarter and take this thing.
Prediction: Patriots 32, Ravens 20
4) San Diego Chargers at 1) Indianapolis Colts
Man, this is a tough one. I love the Chargers but if they get to this level they are going to be fucking spent.
Prediction: Colts 34, Chargers 17
4) Dallas Cowboys at 2) Seattle Seahawks
This seems very unlike me to go ahead and pick against Seattle at home, but keep in mind they did almost blow it in this same spot last year. I’m usually the guy who loves to say that in the era of free agency, establishing a dynasty is nearly impossible, and even though if there’s one team that’s built to do it that team would be the Seahawks for some reason the idea of them going to three straight Super Bowls just doesn’t seem probable to me.
Prediction: Cowboys 23, Seahawks 19
1) Indianapolis Colts at 2) New England Patriots
This one won’t end up being as demoralizing for the Colts, as they will instead stay just a couple steps behind New England to avoid repeating last year’s blowout. This will be part of the natural transition that will place Andrew Luck and the rest of the his team in position to eventually assert total AFC dominance, but that time is still a couple years down the road.
Prediction: Patriots 33, Colts 26
Super Bowl 50: Santa Clara, California
Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots
These two teams will meet in Arlington week four, so if this ends up being the Super Bowl that should be one hell of a preview. I really like New England’s drive this year, and I think they are going to play pissed up until the very last minute. This game will be close early, but eventually the Patriots will hoist the Lombardi trophy for the fifth time.
Prediction: Patriots 31, Cowboys 20
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