After the Whistle’s football focus continues as the playoffs are set. The main surprise story is the Buffalo Bills, who punched their ticket via the Bengals upset of the Ravens. Here are my NFL playoff predictions.
AFC wild card round
(3) Jaguars over (6) Bills
The tale will end for Buffalo. Jacksonville’s elite defense and surprisingly competent offense will carry the Jaguars through to the divisional round.
(4) Chiefs over (5) Titans
Tennessee’s defense has had trouble against multidimensional offenses, and a Chiefs attack led by Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt is a test. Marcus Mariota’s first playoff game will end in defeat.
NFC wild card round
(3) Rams over (6) Falcons
Playoff experience will keep the Falcons close, but another blown lead will end in disaster as the Rams win a high-scoring shootout.
(5) Panthers over (4) Saints
Noticing a pattern? Carolina’s elite defense will defeat the dynamic Saints offense, and the Panthers will head to the divisional round.
(1) Patriots over (4) Chiefs
Andy Reid’s terrible late-game management won’t come into play here, as New England is superior to Kansas City on both sides of the ball.
(3) Jaguars over (2) Steelers
Surprised? The Jags will pull the upset, as Pittsburgh’s offensive line can’t keep out the “Sacksonville” D-line. Blake Bortles’ competent play will be enough to supplant a terrific running game.
(2) Vikings over (3) Rams
Disclaimer: I’m a die-hard Vikings fan.
We’re not far removed from the Vikings’ 24-7 blowout of the Rams, and Jared Goff is in for another’s rough outing against the league’s best defensive unit. On the other side of the ball, Case Keenum will lead the charge as Adam Thielen goes for over 100 yards.
(5) Panthers over (1) Eagles
Philly’s offense has been downright awful since Carson Wentz tore his ACL, and the Panthers have no such qualms. The Packers, Eagles, and Dolphins won’t stop complaining about their QB injury problems. Whereas the Vikings’ former third-stringer is an MVP candidate.
Conference championship games
(1) Patriots over (3) Jaguars
Tom Brady is heading back to the Super Bowl. Suspect Blake Bortles will finally get found out against the Pats’ experienced defense, and New England’s explosive offense will power them through.
(2) Vikings over (5) Panthers
Carolina won’t beat Minnesota twice, and Cam Newton has a way of folding in NFC Championship games. SKOL Vikes!
*Bashes autocorrect for autocorrecting to Sam Vokes*
Vikings over Patriots
The Vikings fan I am, of course I find reasons for Minnesota to win it all.
New England’s suspect secondary won’t be able to keep up with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, and the Patriots’ last-minute comeback will fall short. Harrison Smith picks off Tom Brady to seal a thrilling 27-24 victory.
So how did I do? Do you disagree? Post your picks in the comments!