2018-2019 NFL Playoffs Predictions

This article is part of a series previewing the 2018-2019 NFL season where we will cover quick notes on all 32 NFL teams, favorite potential storylines, win-loss predictions, the playoff picture, and my picks to compete in Super Bowl LIII.

Based on my reviews on all 32 NFL teams, we are going to predict how the playoffs shape out in January and give a winner for Super Bowl LIII.

Wild Card

3 New Orleans Saints vs 6 Atlanta Falcons

The season series will be split going into this game.  These are two of the top five offenses in the NFL, and although the defenses are serviceable, this game will turn into a shootout.  Drew Brees and Matt Ryan will be in a race to 35 points.  I think home field advantage determines this game and gives Brees and the Saints the slight edge.

Winner: New Orleans Saints

4 Philadelphia Eagles vs 5 Green Bay Packers

This would be an amazing Wild Card weekend matchup.  Aaron Rodgers vs the defending Super Bowl champions.  Carson Wentz will get his first opportunity to start in a playoff game, and the thought of Nick Foles taking his team to the Super Bowl last season will add on some pressure.  The Eagles defense is one of the best in the league, but the Rodgers storyline is too good to pass up.  Sorry Eagles fans, it was a fun ride.

Winner: Green Bay Packers

3 Kansas City Chiefs vs 6 Denver Broncos

The Broncos are going to be the feel-good story off the playoff field, and that is all they are going to be.  Arrowhead is going to be rocking, and Pat Mahomes is going to throw bombs all over the Broncos.  Give me the Chiefs.

Winner: Kansas City Chiefs

4 Pittsburgh Steelers vs 5 Houston Texans

If there is a year the Steelers break through, this is it.  Le’Veon Bell is out after this season, Ben Roethlisberger will be a year older, and the patience with Mike Tomlin is dwindling.  I think the Steelers postseason experience prevails against a young Houston Texans team, and sets up a rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

Divisional Round

1 Los Angeles Rams vs 5 Green Bay Packers

Both these teams are going to put up points.  This matchup comes down to which defense forces the opposing offense to make more mistakes.  A defense with Marcus Peters, Aquib Talib, Aaron Donald, and Ndamukong Suh tends to create turnover chances, and I feel like Wade Phillips will be able to set his defense up for success.  Give me the Rams by 10 points.  Any closer, and Rodgers finds a way to win.

Winner: Los Angeles Rams

2 Minnesota Vikings vs 3 New Orleans Saints

The rematch we have all been waiting for!  The Minneapolis Miracle was a spectacle we have never seen in the NFL Playoffs, and I do not see this rematch to be disappointing.  The Vikings have the most complete roster in the NFL, but I am scared about Kirk Cousins.  Case Keenum was one miracle away from getting drug by a truck across the Twin Cities, and Cousins is going to be expected to make it back to the NFC Championship at the very least.  The Saints are going to have this circled on their calendar, and I predict they come out, and take care of business.

Winner:  New Orleans Saints

1 Jacksonville Jaguars vs 4 Pittsburgh Steelers

Another rematch from last postseason.  The Pittsburgh Steelers gave up 45 points to Blake Bortles.  Not good.  Like New Orleans, Pittsburgh will have a matchup like this circled on the calendar and will be out for blood.  This could be another shootout, just like the previous year, but I think we get the same result.  This Jacksonville team is going to be on a mission.  Big Ben is on the decline, and this could be one of the last relevant games he plays in during his NFL career.  I’ve got the Jags.

Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars

2 New England Patriots vs 3 Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are the kings at losing early in the playoffs since Andy Reid took over the head coaching job, and unfortunately, this is not the year things change.  Tom Brady is 41 years old, and this could be his “walking away as a champion” year.  Pat Mahomes has a bright future in this league but winning in New England in the playoffs is next to impossible.

Winner: New England Patriots

Conference Championship Round

1 Los Angeles Rams vs 3 New Orleans Saints

This is kind of a selfish pick because this is what I thought the NFC Championship could have been last season, and I am rooting to see it in the 2019 playoffs.  These will be two of the top five offenses in the game, and the first to 35 points is most likely going to win this contest.  Drew Brees is the seasoned vet, but Goff is going to have a terrifying defense backing him up, along with 2018 NFL MVP Todd Gurley running the ball.  The Rams are going to pack the Coliseum for this game, and Sean McVay at the age of 32, is going to lead his Rams to Super Bowl LIII.

Winner: Los Angeles Rams

1 Jacksonville Jaguars vs 2 New England Patriots

Another rematch.  This one is personal.  Myles Jack recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown that should have sealed the game for the Jaguars in the AFC Championship last season.  A premature whistle gave Tom Brady just enough hope to rally the Patriots to their eighth Super Bowl appearance this century.  That was the Jags chance to take down the juggernaut, and Brady is not letting it get that close again.  The Patriots defense will shut down Blake Bortles, and Brady will score enough to take his team to their fourth Super Bowl in five seasons.

Winner: New England Patriots

Super Bowl LIII

1 Los Angeles Rams vs 2 New England Patriots

I am all in for the storylines that would surround a Super Bowl between the Rams and Patriots.  The best coach in NFL history, Bill Belichick, against the young up-and-comer, Sean McVay.  The best quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, potentially playing in his final professional football game, against the young California cool gun slinger, Jared Goff.  Brady gets to go up against another star-studded defense, while Goff gets to see if the Patriots decide to bench CB Stephon Gilmore for no apparent reason.  There has been a great storyline in each of the last three Super Bowls.  Super Bowl L was the Peyton Manning retirement ring, Super Bowl LI was the 28-3 Patriots comeback, and Super Bowl LIII was the Eagles against the world victory, led by backup quarterback Nick Foles.  I think we are in a collision course for another great story and one of those stories will be Brady’s retirement ring.  The Rams will be back here eventually, but who knows with the Patriots once Brady and Belichick are gone.  Congrats to Super Bowl LIII Champions, New England Patriots.

Winner:  New England Patriots

 

Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

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