Predictification - NFL Conference Championships

Jared Wickerham

Predicting the NFL action before it happens isn't easy - unless you're a Predictificationist like me. Sit back, relax and know that you've come to the right place.

2013 Regular Season: 161-94-1 (63.1%)

2012 Regular Season: 164-91-1* (64.3%)

Last Week: 3-1 (75%)

All-time Playoff Predictions: 12-6 (66.7%)

All-time Super Bowl Predictions: 1-0 (100%)

All-time Colts Predictions: 25-10 (71.4%)

Another sad ending for the Indianapolis Colts in 2013. What makes it worse is that the loss once again came at the hands of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.

What makes it OK is that there are better days ahead - very promising days ahead.

This should be an eventful offseason (once again) for the Colts. The biggest decisions for the offseason include Vontae Davis (yes), Antoine Bethea (maybe), Donald Brown (no), Pat Angerer (no), Pat McAfee (yes) and Adam Vinatieri (yes). It should also be interesting to see who the team can find to fill the spot that was filled (not so well) by Darrius Heyward-Bey next season - I don't think Da'Rick Rogers or LaVon Brazill are the answer, at least not yet.

While looking towards the offseason is fun, it isn't time for that yet. We still have some football to be played. I don't want to be one to brag (who am I kidding?) but guess who picked the NFL's final four back in May? That's right... in May I made my predictions for the 2013 NFL season and predicted the Broncos would be playing the Patriots and the 49ers would be squaring off against the Seahawks for the right to go to the Super Bowl.

Say what you want about me... but I'm good. (And... remember I picked the Ravens to win the Super Bowl last preseason)

Before we get to the games, here are some other fearless predictions, news and notes for the Divisional Playoff Weekend:
  • If the Colts know what's good for them (on and off the field) they will resign punter Pat McAfee. The contributions McAfee makes off the field can't be measured and are worth everything he asks for and more. It sounds weird to say this - but the Colts could actually lose some fans by not resigning their punter.
  • The most important free agent for the Colts this offseason is Vontae Davis. Sure, he's a streaky player but he's young and a great fit for this defense. He will be costly and may cost the Colts a chance to retain both Davis and Bethea - but he's worth it.
  • Keep an eye on some intriguing free agents at wide receiver for the Colts this offseason: Eric Decker, Jeremy Maclin, Hakeem Nicks, Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin. Devin Hester and Josh Cribbs could be interesting candidates for special teams, too.
  • I hate to admit it - but if Tom Brady beats Peyton Manning again to advance to the Super Bowl I may have to change my tune about who I think the better quarterback of this era is. Win this one for me, Peyton.

On to the picks!

New England Patriots (13-4) at Denver Broncos (14-3)

Line - Broncos by 5.5

This absolutely has to be Peyton Manning's year. For a while I've been a defender of Manning's legacy, insisting that he can still be the greatest of all-time without another Super Bowl - now I'm not so sure, especially after the season that he's had. Isn't it sad that Manning's incredible season could somehow be labeled an even bigger disappointment if it doesn't end in a Super Bowl win? And - it'll give more ammo to those that call Peyton a 'great regular season quarterback.'

Tom Brady is having one of those season's where he is willing his team to victories. We might not like it here in Indianapolis - but we have to respect it. How many season's did we see Peyton Manning do similar things in Indianapolis with guys like Craphonso Thorpe and Bryan Fletcher? Give credit where credit is due.

The Broncos are at home and are much more talented and hungry than the Patriots. I think the Broncos come out hot and hold off a late New England rally to win.

Going with the old standby - home team by a field goal.

BRONCOS WIN 34-31

San Francisco 49ers (14-4) at Seattle Seahawks (14-3)

Line - Seahawks by 3.5

This should be the most competitive game of the weekend. The Seahawks haven't seemed quite right on offense lately, meanwhile the 49ers seem to be peaking at exactly the right time. The quarterbacks in this game are confounding to me - I think each are capable of taking over a game, but I don't necessarily have complete faith in either one. Both are young and prone to mistakes and, at times, playing too conservatively.

This game will come down to the running backs and the defense. I picked the 49ers in the preseason to advance to the Super Bowl and I can't pick against them now... even if, on paper, it appears the Seahawks will win.

I'm taking the 49ers.

49ERS WIN 23-17

***

Agree? Disagree? As always, comments are welcome! I will track my picks during the season and brag when I'm right (and pretend I was right when I'm wrong). Pick against me if you dare - remember, I'm a Predictificationist.

Follow me on Twitter at @USAFootballBlog

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