It is widely believed that every team in the NFL playoffs has a chance to win it all. The two number one seeds making it to the Super Bowl last year was the first time since 2004 there was not at least one Wild Card team in the Super Bowl, and the first time since 1993 that the top team from each conference faced each other.
In my mind the teams that have a good shot at the Super Bowl are New England, Indianapolis, Dallas, Green Bay, and New Orleans. The teams with an outside chance are Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and Minnesota, the rest having no shot.
If you were to have read my previous predictions of the Division Standings you would notice a glaring contradiction that I have given Indy a better shot at winning the Super Bowl than two teams I pegged to have better records than them which are, Kansas City, and Tennessee. But it’s not a contradiction, it’s the nature of the NFL playoffs. Tennessee, Kansas City and other teams I believe are built to have great regular seasons, but are not at the point right now to be a Super Bowl contender. Even though I feel Indy is on the downslide, they still have a shot with Peyton Manning at quarterback, as well as the Patriots and Saints do because of their quarterbacks.
Indianapolis Colts (5) @ Tennessee Titans (4)
In the end I feel the Tennessee run game is enough to catapult them to the Divisional Round. As great as Peyton is, in his 18-game playoff career he has never quite put it together. He has had great games including the AFC Championship in 2006 against New England, and the Wild Card game in 2003 against Denver where he was near perfect with 5 TD passes, and he was doing the same against New Orleans until that fatal Tracy Porter pick 6. But for the most part he is not the same as he is in the regular season come playoff time, Tennessee moves on.
New York Jets (6) @ Baltimore Ravens (3)
The Jets defense will have their way with Flacco. End of story.
Minnesota Vikings (5) @ Dallas Cowboys (4)
A rematch of the trouncing Minnesota gave Dallas last season in the playoffs, 34-3. This time around the Dallas offense has a lot more weapons to keep the Vikings from having a field day on a defenseless Romo. Dez Bryant will have a huge impact, as well as third-year running back Felix Jones. Brett Favre is just to damn old to rely on. Cowboys win.
Atlanta Falcons (6) @ San Francisco 49ers (3)
San Fran is a legit football team. Not legit enough to win the Super Bowl, but legit enough to be in the Divisional.
New York Jets (6) @ New England Patriots (1)
Get that voice recorded pep-talk ready Rex. This time the game will actually mean something. Like I mentioned before, quarterbacks like Brady will pick that Jets defense apart because their pass rush relies on complex blitz schemes that great quarterbacks can read with little problems. This year Brady has a collection of targets that will keep this team from being as predictable as they were on third downs, and in the red zone with the only reliable targets being Moss and Welker. New England will hang 30 on this team and the Jets will be lucky if they get 10.
Tennessee Titans (4) @ Kansas City Chiefs (2)
Tennessee advances. The run game is to overbearing, and Kansas City’s inexperience will catch up to them.
Dallas Cowboys (4) @ New Orleans Saints (1)
Dallas has the antidote for the Saints passing game, and I look back at the first regular season loss the Saints had in their 14 game at home against Dallas, and that is DeMarcus Ware, and Anthony Spencer. Those guys were in the face of Drew Brees constantly throughout the game, and with Ware being as great as he is, and with Spencer becoming a stud, I expect much of the same. It’s just really tough to repeat in this league, New Orleans will not do it.
San Francisco 49ers (3) @ Green Bay Packers (2)
These two teams have had their fair share of history, going back to when Steve Young and Brett Favre were going at it (See what I mean about how old Brett Favre is). Green Bay trounces them though in this one.
I anticipate another blizzard to occur like last year so, 59-0.
Dallas Cowboys (4) @ Green Bay Packers (2)
Such a tough game to decide. Can Romo handle the pressure of playing in the playoffs? Can Rodgers get rid of the ball? I think each teams defense will get the best of each teams offense, and we’ll end up with a low scoring dog fight. Demarcus Ware is the x-factor though, Dallas pulls this one out.
I’m a biased Patriots fan, yes. I talk myself into picking them each year. I don’t know what to tell you. New England wins its fourth.