Pro Bowl Player
I wasn’t expecting Cleveland to win, but the Steelers luck this year continues to be mind boggling
Yup. Makes me angry. I was hoping for a close game. Now it might be a Steelers blow-out. BTW I don't think Ben has ever lost at home to the Browns. Some ridiculous record against them. That won't change this weekend.I wasn’t expecting Cleveland to win, but the Steelers luck this year continues to be mind boggling
That is exactly my prediction. TB being the first team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl game at home.(#seeding) Playoff teams ranked by point differential (SOS):
#5 BAL +165 (.494): 81.51
#2 NO +145 (.459): 66.56
#1 GB +140 (.428): 59.92
#5 TB +137 (.488): 66.86
#2 BUF +126 (.512): 64.51
#1 KC +111 (.465): 51.62
#3 PIT +104 (.475)
#7 IND +89 (.443)
#3 SEA +88 (.447)
#6 LAR +76 (.494)
#4 TEN +52 (.475)
#4 WAS +6 (.459)
#7 CHI +2 (.488)
#6 CLE -11 (.451)
Just based on the above, leads to an AFCCG between BAL-BUF and an NFCCG between NO-TB. That would be 2 young mobile QBs facing each other in AFC and 2 older statuesque QBs in the NFC, with a potential SB of old vs. new. Who wins:
BAL-TB (2 #5 WC teams)
BUF-NO (2 #2 teams)
BUF-TB (BUF vs Brady)
I would love to see BUF vs. TB personally.
1. Their defense is good. Top 10 in points. Best run defense in football. Pass defense is average but they have an offense that can keep pace.I think people need to pump the brakes on Tampa Bay winning the Super Bowl. I get it, Brady's the GOAT, coming off a fantastic finish to the season, and overall if healthy their offense is loaded with talent, however they've got four main obstacles...
1. their defense isn't championship caliber (specifically their pass defense / secondary)
2. they probably will need to win 3 road games
3. Aaron Rodgers
4. the Kansas City Chiefs
I used to be big on momentum but stopped after what happened to the Patriots in 2010. That team was absolutely smoking in the 2nd half of the season and laid an egg against a Jets team they had pounded just a month earlier. While the 2018 team was limping along at 9-5 after losing to Dolphins and Steelers, beat a couple bad teams in the Bills and Jets then turn around and win the whole thing.Teams that play their best football in December tend to be peaking at the right time. I've seen that happen too many times here in NE with Brady to expect anything different.
I have all of the home teams winning in the Wild Card round except for Tampa Bay beating Washington. I'm rooting hard for the LA Rams because it's Tampa Bay's best possible path to the Super Bowl. If TB and LAR win then TB gets New Orleans and LAR gets Green Bay. That scenario could have TB hosting LAR in the NFC Championship Game.
It will be a huge upset in the AFC if KC doesn't get into the Super Bowl. The only team I would give a realistic shot at beating them is Tennessee because of Henry but he would need a 200+ game and Mahomes would need a couple of uncharacteristic turnovers.
Thoughts on all the playoff teams along with predictions.
AFC by seed
KC - The front runner, though not head an shoulders above others. They won a lot of close games that could have easily gone the other way. Their offense, while arguably the best hasn't been the unstoppable juggernaut we've seen before. The surprise attack Reid and crew put on the league 2 years ago has worn off a little. Since the Jets in week 10 I think, they haven't beat any team by more than 1 score. Maybe the bye will give them a much needed chance to work out their kinks.
BUF - They are legit and ended the year strong over the last quarter of their schedule. I could easily see them being the representative. They look poised to carry that momentum in. A Dangerous team.
PIT - Ben looks done. The Steelers are limping in and no one should have confidence in them. Even against a Browns team that has issues right now with Covid and isn't that good, do you really trust them to win that game? I don't. With that D if Ben shows ANY life at all they could be a tough out though.
TEN- They've been a bit hot and cold the 2nd half of the season, but they are a well balanced team. At least offensively. I think they have a little something going on. A team that has a chance to knock out anyone, but their D which is quite bad will be their undoing.
BAL - Their defense has been good all year, and their offense ended their season on a strong note. Besides the Browns they didn't beat a team that good to wrap things up, but 5 straight wins going in is nice, and the offense scoring like it is with a very competent D makes them dangerous. A threat to win it all. The only question is, can a team force Lamar to beat them with his arm. If they can, that might be a big problem for the Ravens.
CLV - I won't talk much about this team. They simply can't be consistent. Maybe they get out of round 1, but I don't see them going beyond that. An 11-5 team with a -11 point differential doesn't look good.
IND - A team that has some pieces but is inconsistent and isn't particularly great anywhere. They'd have a chance vs most playofff teams AFC teams, but going against the red hot Bills first is a bad draw for them.
GB - Perhaps the overall favorite going in. The only issue I see is how top heavy they are. Just like any team with an NFL MVP is. They depend on that one spectacular part of their game which carried them all year to keep going. If either Rodgers, Adams or Jones stumble they will be in a bad way. With their good OL though, that may not happen. That being said, I just don't fully trust Rodgers in the playoffs.
NO - The Saints have won not so much with offense, but defense all year. I'm not sold on Thomas ever being 100% or close to it this year. But with a pass D like they have they may not need him. That being said, Brees who continues to be efficient doesn't look good doing it, and many times this year he has been lucky to avoid picks. Of course, many times he's also thrown dimes. But something tells me, as good as they've been at times, they lack a little too much in passing game without Thomas to take it all the way. They went 2-2 the last 4 games, but won the last 2 and looked steady right now.
SEA - The offense has looked iffy recently. But over that stretch they've played some good Ds too. They need to right the ship fast. The best team they faced this year was the 10-6 Rams and they went 1-1. They are untested vs the big dogs. But Wilson is always dangerous.
WAS - That defense is legit. That front 4 is legit. The offense can also be described with a word that ends with the letters 'it'. For all the crap I could give Washington though, I don't think they are the worst team in the tournament. Defense carries well into the playoffs. I don't think they win a single game though. They went 7-9 for a reason.
TB - Evans might actually play. That is nice. This teams needs some defense help though, and if they get out of round one, which i think they will, it will be there for round 2. The offense seems to be humming and if they get some help from their D they will be dangerous. Never count Brady out. A lot of people will bring up they only beat 1 good team this year. I don't buy into that talk as much for this particular team. They have been shaky most of the year, but things finally looked to have settled offensively, and that's why they lost most of their games.
LAR - I was going to pick the Rams to win this game, if they had Goff. I can't take a backup QB over the Seahawks at home. Tough break. I don't care if they have the top D, it won't save them IMO. MAYBE if they can get by Seattle and get Goff back they have a shot. That's unlikely though.
CHI - This is the worst team in the playoffs IMO. I don't care who their QB is. They still aren't good. Winning 3 of the last 4 looks nice, but GB showed the world it was fake. Blowing out a very up and down Texans team, a horrible Jags team and then struggling to get past the Vikings doesn't erase the fact that you lost 6 games in a row before that. The only noteworthy win they had was vs the Bucs, and that game had more to do with the Bucs mistakes than them. The worst team in the playoffs, and I expect even a Thomas-less Saints team to stomp em.
Odds to win it all IMO
KC 20%, BUF 12% PIT 2% TEN 1% BAL 10% CLV 1% IND 1% - 47% for AFC
GB 15% NO 12% SEA 8% WAS 1% BUC 13% LAR 3% CHI 1% - 53 % for NFC
Overall prediction if thins go like I think they will...
AFC: WC: BUF over IND, CLV over PIT, BAL over TEN DIV: KC over CLV, BUF over BAL AFCCG: BUF over KC (Bills are an awful match up for them)
NFC: WC: NO over CHI, SEA over LAR, TB over WAS DIV: TB over GB (bad match up for GB), SEA over NO. NFCCG: TB over SEA.
SB: TB over BUF.... which BUF fans will absolutely hate. But I see them as a bit too young and the spot light is too big.