NFC Wild Card
Philly defeats New Orleans - There are two main reasons I'm going with the Eagles in this matchup: 1. Drew Brees just doesn't seem to play well on the road and in the cold. 2. The Eagles, right now, are the best team in football. It took a few weeks (and a Michael Vick injury) for the Cheesesteak Crew to understand Chip Kelly's schemes, but once they did the Eagles took flight (haha) and are clicking on all cylinders. Eagles win 31-17.
San Francisco defeats Green Bay - As some of you may recall, the 49ers were my pre-season pick to win the whole thing. They brought the best team back from 2012-2013 and looked good enough to conquer the mountain. I'm not thrilled that they'll be playing this game in temperatures suitable for an 800 pound Eskimo, but I still like them to come out on top of the Frozen Tundra. San Fran wins 24-13.
Philly defeats Carolina - Sorry wifey, I hate to tell you this, but the Panthers suck. Ok, not as bad as they've sucked the last few years, but still enough that they are nowhere near as good as their record indicates. Cam and company have been hot the last couple of months but I don't give them much of a chance against some real competition. I won't be surprised if Philly wins this game by 3-4 ... touchdowns that is. Give me the Eagles by a final of 34-10.
San Francisco defeats Seattle - Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was trying to figure out how in the world to keep my pre-season prediction intact and have the Niners get past the Seahawks in Seattle. But then, the Cardinals happened. Not only does Seattle now know they can get beat at home, but so does Coach Harbaugh. With a brilliant defensive effort and a low scoring game, "Kap" leads his team to the NFC Championship. Niners take this one 17-16 on a 4th quarter field goal.
Philly defeats San Francisco - I want to say that this will be the greatest NFC Championship Game of all time. I want to say that my pre-season pick will prove me right and defeat the Eagles to advance to the Super Bowl. I want to say that I won the $600+ million Mega Millions jackpot a few weeks ago. But none of these are true. Philly is going to show up with their best performance of the year and embarrass the kids from California. Eagles - 41, Niners - 6.
AFC Wild Card
Kansas City defeats Indy - This is a really tough game to pick. So tough that earlier this week I had Indy in the winner's spot and just erased it to flip the order and give the Chiefs the win. I've been wrong on the Chiefs most of this season, and I'm putting my trust in Andy Reid to get the job done. At the end of the day, I just can't bet on a Colts team with no rushing attack and suspect Wide Receivers. Kansas City in a game that's closer than the final score, 34-21.
Cincy defeats San Diego - If the game above is hard to choose, this one is even harder! If they were playing in San Diego I would hands down choose the Chargers (once again I had them penciled in earlier this week). Unfortunately they're playing in Ohio which complicates things because they're undefeated at home this season. Since I'm a Tar Heel born and bred, I'm looking to my boy Gio to persevere in the cold and bring home the W. Another incredibly close finish, but I'll take the Bengals by a field goal, 27-24.
Denver defeats Kansas City - This one is a little easier for me since the two teams at the top of the AFC are clearly leaps and bounds better than 3-6. A lot of people are expecting the Broncos to win it all this year and Peyton is going to continue that illusion in the divisional matchup (foreshadowing!). The Chiefs will put up a solid showing because they've seen the Broncos twice already this season, but it won't be enough to overcome the AFC's most explosive offensive. Broncos 45-31.
New England defeats Cincy - Don't bet against Tom Brady and Bill Belichek in the playoffs. Patriots win 31-20.
New England defeats Denver - Don't bet against Tom Brady and Bill Belichek in the playoffs. But wait ... there's more!!! All season I've been telling my brother, a HUGE Peyton Manning fan, that the Broncos can't win the Super Bowl. He doesn't believe me when I tell him the BRONCOS CAN'T CATCH. Sure they've managed to all season, but there have been a lot of hidden drops that people are forgetting about since #18 has been that damn good all year. But, just like last year, it's going to catch up to them at the worst possible time. I'll take the Patriots to go to the Super Bowl, 27-24. Don't be surprised if this one ends in a Peyton Manning interception either ...
Philly defeats New England - Yes, I know, I said twice "Don't bet against Tom Brady and Bill Belichek in the playoffs." But this time it's different. I don't care if it's his first year, Chip Kelly is the best coach in football. Period. He was the best coach in football when he was at Oregon and he's now the best coach in football while in Philly. The difference between college and the pros ... now he has talent. The Eagles are the most physically gifted squad in the NFL and it's going to show when it counts most. Eagles are your Champions with the final score of 37-27.
Game on ...