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Patriots Over Eagles: The Playoffs Predicted

It’s that time of the year again. Head coaches have been fired, Pro Bowlers have been named, and dreams of playing in January have been squashed for 20 teams. With all of that hoopla out of the way, let’s jump into some playoff predictions, why don’t we?

Week 18 – Wild Card Weekend 

AFC – #6 San Diego Chargers @ #3 Cincinnati Bengals

While the Chargers enter this game as the underdog, don’t be surprised if this one comes down to the last possession. San Diego has been victorious in Denver, Kansas City, and Philadelphia this season. However, that Bengals defense is feeling it right now. Bengals 35, Chargers 28 

AFC – #5 Kansas City Chiefs @ #4 Indianapolis Colts

Neither the Chiefs nor the Colts are very different teams than they were when Indy prevailed over Kansas City in Week 16 by a score of 23-7. That bodes well for the Colts, whose defense has been lock-down at home this season. Colts 29, Chiefs 20

NFC – #6 New Orleans Saints @ #3 Philadelphia Eagles

This game looks a lot like the Eagles-Lions match-up in Philadelphia back in Week 14. The Saints—like the Lions—throw the ball a lot, don’t have much of a running game, and are used to playing inside. The Eagles like to pass as well, but they have the league’s top rusher in LeSean McCoy, and they are no strangers to playing in cold, snowy conditions. Eagles 38, Saints 27

NFC – #5 San Francisco 49ers @ #4 Green Bay Packers

Don’t buy into the whole “team of destiny” thing with Green Bay. Count on the team that hasn’t lost since Thanksgiving and is currently defending the NFC title to win this one. 49ers 27, Packers 17

 Week 19 – Divisional Round

AFC – #3 Cincinnati Bengals @ #2 New England Patriots

Andy Dalton will have a hard time avoiding interceptions against the Pats secondary, which features All-Pro Aqib Talib and Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate Logan Ryan. Giving Tom Brady an extra possession or two will cost the Bengals. Patriots 24, Bengals 13

AFC – #4 Indianapolis Colts @ #1 Denver Broncos

Denver’s first playoff victory in the Peyton Manning era will be put on hold once again, thanks to a coming-of-age performance from Andrew Luck. However, Luck won’t do it all on his own: much-maligned running back Trent Richardson will breakout for 100 yards and a score. Colts 45, Broncos 35

NFC – #3 Philadelphia Eagles @ #2 Carolina Panthers

The Panthers’ linebacking corps will have their attention divided between LeSean McCoy and the Eagles’ two-headed monster at tight end of Brent Celek and Zach Ertz.  Cam Newton and the Carolina offense will make this a shootout, but Nick Foles’ calm, confident demeanor will make all the difference in overtime. Eagles 45, Panthers 42 (OT)

NFC – #5 San Francisco 49ers @ #1 Seattle Seahawks

San Francisco’s 19-17 victory the last time these teams met, in Week 14, will be fresh in the minds of the Seahawks during this game. Expect Richard Sherman to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk by making several big plays as Seattle gets revenge against their NFC West rivals. Seahawks 24, 49ers 20

Week 20 – Championship Weekend

AFC – #4 Indianapolis Colts @ #2 New England Patriots

Historically, when the Colts and Patriots play for the AFC Championship in Foxboro, the Patriots have always come out on top. Don’t expect that to change, with the Pats employing their underrated running game early and often against a Colts team that is accustomed to playing in a dome. Patriots 31, Colts 19 

NFC – #3 Philadelphia Eagles @ #1 Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have the upper hand in just about every category in this match-up, but since this is the NFL Playoffs, sometimes you have to expect the unexpected. The Eagles defense will force enough turnovers to give Nick Foles the opportunity to pull off one of the biggest playoff upsets in recent memory. Eagles 34, Seahawks 27 

Week 21 – Super Bowl XLVIII 

# 2 New England Patriots vs. #3 Philadelphia Eagles

That’s right, Tom Brady will finally earn that elusive fourth ring against a team he has already beaten in the Super Bowl. Expect an unlikely hero to emerge for the Patriots in this game: rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, who is reminiscent of Super Bowl XXXIX MVP Deion Branch. However, Brady will get a lot of help from his defense. Defensive end Chandler Jones will rack up a few sacks, and the secondary will make several key interceptions of Nick Foles. Patriots 30, Eagles 27 


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