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NFL Playoffs – Connor’s Prediction

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Let’s begin with the NFC. In the first wild card game, the Seattle Seahawks face the Detroit Lions. While Matthew Stafford has shown MVP calibre play, it usually only shows up in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks offense has been up and down, but their defense will hold the Lions enough to give them a win.

The second wild card game, between the Giants and the Packers, could honestly go either way. The Packers are coming off a six game win streak, while the Giants saw success early in the season and struggled in their final five games. Their first matchup was strong, but I can’t see Eli leading his team past the Packers.

When the Packers face the Cowboys, I think this will potentially be the best game of the playoffs. The Packers are back on track after their shaky start to the season, and the Cowboys are trusting their offense with rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. It’s going to be a close game, but the Packers are coming out on top.

Seahawks – Falcons. TO me this game comes down to offensive abilities. The Falcons have the highest scoring offense in the NFL … by 99 points. The Seahawks may have the better defense, but recent injuries will be a factor for them. The Falcons are the better birds.

In the NFC Championship game, while I think it could go either way, I’m going to give it to the Falcons. The Packers have recovered offensively, but I don’t know if their defense can handle the Falcons. Similar to their Week 8 matchup, it’s going to be a high scoring game and come down to Matt Ryan vs. Aaron Rodgers.

Now to the AFC. In the first wildcard matchup, both the Raiders and Texans have some major QB issues. Raiders lost Derek Carr to a broken leg, and the Texans … it’s been a rough last few weeks for Brock Osweiler. Osweiler is expected to start, and if he can recreate his performance against the Patriots last season then we should have a Texans victory.

The Dolphins unnoticed rise to success this season landed them in the playoffs, unfortunately they’re facing the Steelers. Ben’s lead the team to a seven game active win streak, and the Dolphins defense simply can’t contain him and Antonio Brown in the air or Le’Veon Bell on the ground. Don’t judge the Steelers and Dolphins by the Dolphins’ Week 6 win, because both are very different teams.

Chiefs and Steelers is a toss up. I have to give it to the better defense of the Chiefs. The Chiefs might have an injury-riddled and somewhat quiet offense, but they’ll score enough to get the win.

The Patriots are going to beat the Texans. Not a shocker. Expect at least a three touchdown lead at halftime even, because the way the Patriots’ offense and defense have been playing I don’t think any team can beat them.

Chiefs may be able to squeeze out a win against the Steelers, but the Patriots are a different story. Patriots can score both offensively and defensively. Even if Jamaal Charles miraculously healed and returned for this game, the Patriots would still steamroll the Chiefs. It’s gonna be closer than the Texans game, but I’m willing to bet my house the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl Matchup: Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots. I can see the news headlines now: “Tom Brady wins fifth Super Bowl ring, Patriots win with ease.” If there was any team that could potentially beat the Patriots, I think it’d be the Packers. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Pack can beat the Falcons in Atlanta. Matt Ryan has a strong offense behind him, but the Patriots defense is a decent enough matchup to cause issues. For the Patriots offense, unless Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Jacoby Brissett all leave the game with injuries in the first half, Julian Edelman breaks his throwing arm, and punter Ryan Allen can’t rise up as the new franchise QB, they’re going to score a LOT of points on the Falcons defense. 

Super Bowl MVP: Tom Brady