Here we go again! Time for my picks this year.
Chiefs 13 | Colts 23
The Chiefs have lost 5 of 7 since the bye, and are 1-5 against teams above .500. Meanwhile the Colts have beaten the Seahawks, 49ers, and Broncos. More glaringly, the Chiefs were blown out by the Colts in Week 16. Food for thought.
Chargers 27 | Bengals 30
This one is a tough one to predict. The Bengals being are unbeaten at home; however Andy Dalton is winless in playoff games. I don’t trust Andy Dalton, but I really do not the Chargers’ defense. Both QB’s will probably throw multiple picks — how well each team capitalizes on turnovers might decide the game. I will give a slight edge to the Bengals here, especially because they are at home, but if the bad Dalton shows up the Chargers will win.
Saints 20 | Eagles 26
The weather forecast on Saturday is chilly for Philly. Lincoln Financial is an outdoor stadium. The Saints are 3-5 on the road. The Eagles can ground and pound with their running game behind LeSean McCoy. This and the cold weather can neutralize the Saints’ high-power octane offense. This one spells trouble for the Saints.
49ers 27 | Packers 23
This is another tough one to predict. But experience tells me balanced teams do better than high-offense weak-defense teams in the playoffs. 49ers have been dominating the Packers in the last couple of years. Finally, Rodgers is a bit rusty, as evidenced by his uncharacteristic 1:1 TD:INT ratio in the game against the Bears.
Of course any errors from the Wild-Card round will propagate here, but worth a shot.
Eagles | Panthers
Tough call, but Panthers get it done. I can see it go either way though.
49ers | Seahawks
49ers can never beat the Seahawks at CenturyLink.
Bengals | Patriots
Andy Dalton won’t do it twice, and he is horrible on the road.
Colts | Broncos
Surprise?! Balanced teams (like the Colts) > high-powered offense teams with weak defenses (like the Broncos). See 2011 Packers, 2011 Saints, 2012 Broncos for examples of the latter.
AFC: Colts | Patriots
NFC: Panthers | Seahawks
The NFC champion wins.