NFL Playoffs: Staff Predictions


This is a picture of two footballs. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Playoffs: Staff Predictions

Another week into the playoffs, and now the big boys come out to play.  The top ranked teams had a bye last week as the watched a few upstarts try and advance into the next round.  This weekend the fans get to watch the Bronco’s and Patriot’s from the AFC and the 49er’s and Falcons from the NFC.  As the intensity increases we go for another round of predictions from the staff here at  If you bet your mortgage like we had advised to last week, you probably have two or three houses now.  Time to let it ride!*

Baltimore @ Denver

Justin Stewart, Editor/Lead Writer:  Well…This sucks.  The Broncos had been my faithful number two team to root for, but rooting for Peyton Manning is a tough thing.  The Ravens, however, they’re permanently on my black list, so I’m forced to take the Broncos.  That and they’re the better team. Manning’s slinging the ball as well as ever and Denver’s young talented receivers are enjoying every minute of it.                             Broncos 28 – Ravens 17

Phillip Lytle, Contributor:  I hate the Ravens.  I used to hate Peyton Manning when he was a Colt.  I now don’t hate him so much.  If the Ravens play their best, this should be a very good game.  If the Ravens revert back to their end-of-the-year form, they will lose decisively.  I am going with the former. Broncos 28- Ravens 24

Josh Gunnels, Assistant Editor:  So I wanted the Ravens to ruin the Colts season in the playoffs like they had the Titans so many times before.  My reverse jinx worked but I think that’s a one time deal.  The Bronco’s have played lights out in the second half of the season and the Ravens have an emotional let down after 12 tributes to ray Lewis the week before.  Broncos 24 – Ravens 17

Shawn Eagle, Senior Writer:  Joe Flacco plays horrible on the road. The Ravens played inspired football last weekend but now they travel to Denver where Peyton has led the team to the #1 seed in the AFC. After a week off, a well rested Bronco team will roll against the Ravens. I like the Broncos to win 31-14.

Matias Wodner, Contributor:  Peyton Manning is too good. And the Ravens aren’t playing at home.  That’s about it.  Pick: Denver 31-21

Myles MacDonald, Contributor:  That’s right, going with the upset on the first go around.  Peyton Manning has roared back into the elite with Denver, but Baltimore will hear none of it – they’ve seen the Peyton Manning offense for over a decade, and unlike most, they’ve figured out how to shut it down.  Flacco will finally rise to the occasion, so to speak, and the 2 headed backfield of the Ravens will punish the aggressive pass rush of Denver with a lot of screens and good ole fashioned draws.  Ravens 30 – Broncos 27 (OT)

Green Bay @ San Fransisco

Justin Stewart, Editor/Lead Writer:  Tough defense verses potent offense. That’s what I see here. Another game I’m not fond of. It’ll be great, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t like Rodgers or Kaepernick. I think the 49ers pull this one off thanks to an incredible defense. That and the fact that Jim Harbaugh can work magic with whatever QB he’s got.  49ers 21 – Green Bay 20

Phillip Lytle, Contributor:  This one could be the best game of the weekend.  Both teams are very good and I expect both teams to be at the top of their games.  I think the edge goes to the team with Aaron Rogers. Packers 27 – 49ers 24

Josh Gunnels, Assistant Editor:  The Packers would have won against the Vikings last week even if Ponder had played.  They are going back to the Super Bowl.  Harbaugh’s decesion to bench Alex Smith will come back to bite him as his care with the ball and experience will be missed in a high stakes game.  Packers 28 – 49ers 16

Shawn Eagle, Senior Writer:  In a rematch of week one the Packers look to go to San Fran and knock off the 49ers. The Pack holds a 4-1 playoff advantage over the 49ers. Although the 49ers have a very solid defense and Kaepernick has been playing well I think the injuries they have on defense will play a big role. With Mathews and Woodson back I think the Pack win this one 21-17.

Matias Wodner, Contributor:  I think this is the hardest game to pick. I love the 49ers offense, with Kaepernick and their stellar defense, but Aaron Rodgers is on his A-game and that spells trouble.  Pick: Green Bay 27-24

Myles MacDonald, Contributor:  Green Bay has shown weakness, they’ve had injuries, and they’ve had something like 12 running backs start at one point or another.  But they’ll toast SF, and here’s why- no team is better at working the short passing game and creating yards after the catch.  San Fran will try to pin its ears back and get to Rodgers through his shaky line, but Rodgers will laugh in their faces as he tosses hot read after hot read.  Packers 34 – 49ers 20

Houston @ New England

Justin Stewart, Editor/Lead Writer:  Dear God… One of these teams actually has to win? The Texans would love to get further into the playoffs, furthering their ever so brief history of being in the playoffs, but I just don‘t feel it. The Patriots are great at playing spoiler. I hate to have to say either of these teams win, but the playoffs are the playoffs…  Patriots 34 – Texans 17

Phillip Lytle, Contributor:  Why do we keep getting match-ups between teams I despise?  The Patriots are the better team.  They are better coached and they have a better QB.  And, at some point, years ago, Bill Belichick made a deal with Satan.   How else do you explain how the train-wreck-of-a-head-coach for the  Cleveland Browns became the best coach in the NFL?  I submit that sacrifices and devil worship are involved.  But I digress.  The Texans have the talent to win this game, but they are the Texans, so they won’t.  Patriots 34 -Texans 21

 Josh Gunnels, Assistant Editor:  I wonder if the Texans are going to wear their spiffy new Letterman jackets this week?  I don’t expect quite the beating the Texans took in their previous trip to Boston, but I don’t expect them to win either.  Tom Brady and Bill Belichik are pissed about their recent playoff drought and are more serious than ever.  Patriots 31 – Texans 21

Shawn Eagle, Senior Writer:   I know…what happened in the regular season has no bearing on the playoffs….whatever. The Pats will come out and do what they Bengals couldn’t do…take advantage of the Texans weak run defense and weak nickel and dime defenses and call it a day. Gimme the Pats 38-24

Matias Wodner, Contributor:  As much as I hate the Texans  I kind of want them to win because of what that idiot from the Boston Globe wrote about them, but I’m going with Tom Brady.  Pick: 30-21

Myles MacDonald, Contributor:  Ho-ho-ho. Another upset as a late Christmas present.  Houston fell apart during its first meeting with New England, but the Patriots showed their hand too soon.  Rather than play a little vanilla, Belichick threw the kitchen sink (and Houston held on to theirs).  that’ll come back to bite New England in the a** as JJ Watt smashes their run game, forces two fumbles, and bats down 3 passes. Houston will once again rely on their three headed backfield to control the clock, burn time, and slowly but surely win the game.  Texans 24 – Patriots 17

Seattle @ Atlanta

Justin Stewart, Editor/Lead Writer:  Matt Ryan is not the real deal. Yup, it’s becoming apparent I just hate QB’s. Such is life. The Seahawks are another tough defense, though they too have lost an important DE. No matter. They’re a consistent team and the Falcons are prime to flop here.
Seahawks 31 – Falcons 21

Phillip Lytle, Contributor:  I don’t trust the Falcons.  I know they are better this year than they have been in the past few years, but I have yet to see them win a really big game.  They beat the teams they should beat, but can they do it in their biggest game of the year?  I say no.             Seahawks 21 – Falcons 17

 Josh Gunnels, Assistant Editor:  The Falcons have to be pissed the way this cookie crumbled.  The Seahawks look indestructible and are definitely the “hot team” right now.  Much like the Giants and Steelers in previous years, this could be the upstart team that carries through the whole thing.  I say Russel Wilson continues to show everyone how he should have been in the discussions all year about the other 2 rookie QB’s that are no longer playing.  Seahawks 20 – Falcons 17

Shawn Eagle, Senior Writer:  It’s hard to pick against the Seahawks…very hard but I think the Falcons come out fast and win this ball game. It’s a tough call though…the way the Seahawks run the ball and the way the Falcons don’t stop the run could be a recipe for disaster. I think the Falcons D loads up and blitzes Wilson all day and wins this one 27-17.

Matias Wodner, Contributor:  The Seahawks match up really well with the Falcons, and the Falcons always seem to blow it in the playoffs. I’m sure I’m not the only one that thinks the Packers and Seahawks are destined to meet again after the “Fail Mary”.  Pick: Seattle 23-20

Myles MacDonald, Contributor:  This one isn’t so much of an upset.  I fail to see how Atlanta’s good but not great defense slows down Marshawn “BEAST MODE” Lynch and Russell Wilson.  Atlanta will win the yardage total, but at a big cost – multiple turnovers will create short fields and extra scoring opportunities for Seattle, who continue their dominant defensive showings and power through.  Seahawks 31- Falcons 28

* please do not do this