NFL Playoff Predictions – Wild Card Round
It's time for predictions for the Wild Card Round of the 2020/2021 NFL Playoffs.
Yes; this is the first week of the playoffs following the 2020 regular season. Can you believe that?
I had another good week last week, going 13-3.
That week pushed my overall regular-season record to 175-80-1 for the year, as I look to keep it going in the playoffs.
The Wild Card Round has six interesting match-ups, so let's get to them
Colts at Bills---The Colts are 11-5 and are a good team. Of course, most teams that make the playoff are good teams. But the Bills are just playing at another level. They've won six-straight and 9 of their last 10 to finish the regular season at 13-3, and would come into the playoffs riding a 10-game win streak if not for that answered Hail Mary in which the Cardinals used to beat them. Not only is Buffalo winning, but they're crushing team, winning by at least two scores in their last five wins. The Bills, who finished second in the league in points per game, averaged an impressive 38.2 points per game over their final six games. If any team in the AFC can deny the Chiefs another trip to the Super Bowl it is Buffalo. I'm taking the Bills. Pick: Bills
Rams at Seahawks---This should be a good one. The Rams are 10-6, while the Seahawks enter the playoffs at 12-4, with the two teams splitting the two games they played against each other this season. I'd be concerned if I were a Rams fan, as quarterback Jared Goff won't be 100%. He may play, but he had surgery on his thumb on December 28, so he will be somewhat limited. I'd also be concerned if I were a Seattle fan, as the Seahawks, who are known for their offense, only scored more than 30 points once in the second half of the season, and they're facing a team that hasn't allowed more than 28 points over its last 13 games. Still, home field advantage, and Goff's thumb are the difference here; I'm taking Seattle. Pick: Seahawks
Buccaneers at Washington--I think Washington, with home field advantage, its stellar defensive front, and its ability to slow the pace of a game down can cause the Bucs some problems. Still, Tampa Bay, with all its weapons, just has more talent than Washington. Plus, the Bucs have won four straight and are playing arguably their best football of the season at the right time. I'm taking the visitors in this one. Pick: Buccaneers
Ravens at Titans---The Ravens are the favorites here, and I just don't get it. Yes, they have won their last five games by a combined score of 186-89, and looked incredibly good doing it, but four of those wins were against the likes of the Cowboys, Jaguars, Giants, and Bengals. Lamar Jackson is playing at the MVP-level he was at last year, but I'm still not as high on Baltimore right now as much as everybody else seems to be. The Titans have Derrick Henry, who became the 8th player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season this year, while Ryan Tannehill can throw the deep ball to A.J. Brown. Keep in mind; Tennessee won the first meeting between these two teams, 30-24, in Baltimore, even though it should be pointed out that that game was decided in overtime. In what should be a good one, I'm taking the Titans. Pick: Titans
Bears at Saints---Yes, the Saints are the better football team, and I'm going to pick them, but there is cause for concern. New Orleans defeated Chicago earlier this year, 26-23, in a contest that was decided in overtime. This time, the Bears are playing better football, because they have Mitchell Trubisky, who, while he isn't elite, is better than Nick Foles, who was the quarterback in this game. Also, the Saints have suffered some heartbreaking losses over the past three postseasons, so they can't take anything for granted. But again; the Saints are better, and they're playing at home, so I'm taking them. Pick: Saints
Browns at Steelers---The Steelers began the season 11-0, before dropping four of their final five games to finished 12-4, while the Browns finished at 11-5. Cleveland defeated Pittsburgh last Sunday, 24-22, but this should be a much different game. The Steelers are playing at home, while the Browns are dealing with numerous COVID-19 issues, including head coach Kevin Stefanski, who is out after testing positive. Everything favors Pittsburgh in this one. Pick: Steelers