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Playoff Predictions (from human and computer)

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It's time to put my predicting hat on, and dish out my picks for the rest of the playoffs.  I'll also include what my predictor says will happen in each round, to see how well it does too.  Here goes:

Wild Card:

  • Arizona over Atlanta:  I don't trust rookie QBs in the playoffs.  The Cardinals aren't nearly as bad as they have played over the past month.  The Falcons are 3-3 when not playing in a dome this season, and the playoffs are a whole different animal for the Offensive ROY.  I'll take the Cardinals.
  • Indianapolis over San Diego:  It isn't ending here.  The Colts can beat any team, anywhere.  It will be close, but the Colts have shown all year that they can win any close game.  Having Gates and Tomlinson will also be a big help.
  • Miami over Baltimore:  See the reasoning above with the Falcons.  I don't trust rookie QBs in the playoffs.  Pennington will do just enough to win, as he's been doing all year.  He doesn't turn the ball over.  In the Ravens 11 wins, they've forced 28 TOs.  In the 5 losses?  Only 6.  I'll take the Dolphins
  • Philadelphia over Minnesota:  The Eagles defense will confuse Jackson all day long, and they are #1 in the NFC against the run.  The Vikings will struggle to score, giving the Eagles the victory.
  • Predictor Picks:
Win % Away Home Win %
99.3% Atlanta Arizona 0.7%
30.3% Indianapolis San Diego 69.7%
62.8% Baltimore Miami 37.2%
72.6% Philadelphia Minnesota 27.4%

Rest of my picks after the jump...

Divisional Round:

  • Indianapolis over Tennessee:  Division rivals know each other the best, especially these two.  The big difference in the first game were 2 TOs, that led to TDs for the Titans.  Limit the turnovers, and the Colts should win.
  • Carolina over Arizona:  Remember how I said that the Cardinals aren't as bad as they have looked in December?  They may look that way again in Charlotte.  The Panthers beat them earlier this year, and that was before Williams and Stewart starting rolling teams on the ground.
  • Philadelphia over N.Y. Giants:  Call this a gut feeling.  The Giants haven't looked the same since the Burress incident, and the Eagles know them better than anyone.  Brian Westbrook will be the key, as I expect him to have a big game.
  • Pittsburgh over Miami:  Sloppy weather causes turnovers.  I think it won't be as bad as their matchup from last season, but it won't be that much better.  Low scoring, won by the better defense.
  • Predictor Picks:
Win % Away Home Win %
60.3% Baltimore Tennessee 39.7%
54.5% Minnesota Carolina 45.5%
54.5% Atlanta N.Y. Giants 45.5%
48.5% San Diego Pittsburgh 51.5%

Championship Round:

  • Philadelphia over Carolina:  Three teams in a row that run much better than they pass.  Expect lots of blitzing from the Eagles, causing turnovers.  Again, call it a hunch, but I think the Eagles make it to the Super Bowl.
  • Indianapolis over Pittsburgh:  The Colts have done it once, and they'll do it again.  The first time out, Manning threw downfield almost exclusively.  Expect the Steelers to put a safety or 2 deep (much like the Ravens usually do against Manning), and Manning will pick them apart underneath.  Back to Tampa for Dungy and the Colts
  • Predictor Picks:
Win % Away Home Win %
62.8% Atlanta Minnesota 37.2%
61.9% Baltimore Pittsburgh 38.1%

Super Bowl:

  • Indianapolis over Philadelphia:  What kind of fan would I be if I didn't pick the Colts to win the Super Bowl?  You absolutely cannot blitz Manning, and that's all the Eagles do.  Manning and Dungy win ring #2.
  • Predictor Picks:
Win % Away Home Win %
52.7% Atlanta Baltimore 47.3%