2013 NFL Preseason Predictions: NFC Playoffs and SB48 (Yanotchko)
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I just posted my playoff predictions for the AFC.
Here are my preseason playoff picks for the NFC and Super Bowl:
NFC Wildcard Game 1: Atlanta 38- NOLA 28
The first wildcard game from the NFC will pit two divisional rivals against each other, and it should have over 800 passing yards combined alone in this game. The Falcons will have just too much offensive firepower for the over-matched Saints secondary, and will beat them into submission with Steven Jackson in the 4th quarter. Although the Saints will hang tough with Drew Brees, they do not have the pieces on defense to stop Matt Ryan.
NFC Wildcard Game 2: 49ers 24-Giants 10
This years playoffs will have a lot of familiar teams, and we will also be treated to some great rematches of playoff years past. The 49ers will start out on a tough road by having to travel to the Meadowlands to face the Giants, who beat them in the NFC Championship game two years ago. This year even being on the road, the vaunted Niners defense will slow down Eli Manning and the Giants passing attack. Although Manning is quite the amazing quarterback once the playoffs roll around, he is always better on the road instead of being at home.
NFC Divisional Game 1: Seattle 24- San Francisco 22
The Seahawks will be the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and of course, their reward will be getting familiar opponent San Francisco in the divisional round. These two teams dislike each other, and this will be a very hard-fought, physical game. The Seahawks will have the advantage in having the better overall quarterback, and also Seattle is the toughest place in the league to play. In the end the Seahawks will win this game by grinding out the running game, and Russell Wilson will make more plays than Colin Kaepernick.
NFC Divisional Game 2: Atlanta 30- Green Bay 24
The Packers and Falcons will have a rematch of a divisional playoff game from three years ago, but this one will be at Lambeau Field which has lost some of it's mystique in the past few years. The Packers will come into this game riding the best passing attack in the league, while the Falcons will look to upset Green Bay with a more balanced attack. The Falcons will get by the Packers in this one, as the Green Bay defense cannot stop the aerial attack of Atlanta.
NFC Championship Game: Seattle 28-Atlanta 27
In a rematch of last year's divisional playoff game, this time the Falcons have to travel all the way West to play the NFC's best team in Seattle. The Seahawks have the rushing game to grind down the Falcons defense, and also after two difficult games against NOLA and the Packers, they will finally suffer a letdown. Seattle has the defense to ground the Falcons passing attack just enough, and of course they will ride their home-field advantage and the 12th man to the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XLVIII: Patriots 33- Seahawks 30
The Patriots are on a mission this year, as they have faced the most criticism in the offseason from the Aaron Hernandez trial to the import of Tim Tebow in training camp. When the Patriots are slighted, this is when they are the most focused and at their best. The Patriots will have beaten old foes in Baltimore, Peyton Manning and Wes Welker in Denver, and now comes the payback for Richard Sherman in Seattle.
The Seahawks are a talented team, and most likely have the best roster in the league. The Patriots will be able to take away Seattle's running game, and will force Wilson to beat them through the air. The Seahawks will be thin at receiver, as I don't believe that Percy Harvin will be at full strength for this game. The Patriots will finally have a healthy Rob Gronkowski for the playoff run, and he will be the difference maker in this game as the Seahawks will be unable to cover him, and Danny Amendola over the middle. The Patriots have the advantage in experience, and also Bill Belichick is a far superior coach to Pete Carroll. Hey Richard Sherman, "U Mad Bro?", because you will be watching Tom Brady hoist his fourth Lombardi Trophy. The Patriots will be slighted, focused and the underdog in this game, and they would not have it any other way.
All of our contributors will make their division and Super Bowl picks and we will track those on this centralized predictions page.