With the playoffs kicking off this Saturday, the NFL writers here at Phenom Media have put together their extended NFL playoff predictions.
They answered the following:
- Favorite playoff headline
- Your biggest question heading into the playoffs
- One very bold prediction
- Biggest playoff sleeper
- Most overrated playoff team
- Super Bowl matchup prediction and winner
Here are the contributors, as well: (Tip – use ctrl+f and type in their name to find their predictions)
- Cole Nevins
- Shane Rich
- James W.
- Justin Feldman
- Jack Pachereva
- Jordan Yagaloff
- Jack Cohen
- Zack Spring
Let’s get started!
- Headline: A story of Veteran vs Young Quarterbacks.
- Question: We’ve been waiting for the Patriots to get their act together, and they’ve done the opposite. Can they somehow turn it around?
- Bold Prediction: *UPDATED* As some of you may have seen, my initial pick was a Tennessee upset over New England. And as we are still days away from game day, I decided to change my mind after further thought and go against my initial prediction. I think New England beats a much more talented Titans team at home behind the brain power of Bill, who will understand how to get the job done; as he’s done for over a decade. Their leadership and experience is even more powerful than most make it to be, and I believe they’ll limit Tannehill – a familiar QB who Belichick has destroyed multiple times – just enough to win in a close one. They may not advance further; but this win will speak volume.
- Sleeper: Too many people are counting out San Francisco, and it’s not fair. Sneaky offense led by a coach who’s been here before, and a defense built for a title – not to mention toughest late season schedule.
- Overrated: Buffalo seems to be the common sleeper pick; though, I find them massively overrated – at least on the offensive. They may be able to get past an inconsistent Houston team by their (undeniably) elite defense, but I think their lack of offensive firepower will hold them back. Just look at their pillow soft schedule and lack of points; it tells the full story.
- SB Prediction: Give us the matchup we deserve: Chiefs x Saints in Miami, after another unreal Championship weekend where they take down the promising one seeds. Brees rides into the sunset with a well deserved victory.
- Bonus note: It’s harder than you think to beat the same team TWICE in a season — keep that in mind.
- Headline: How can young-inexperienced QBs perform against the proven veterans such as Brady, Brees, Wilson, and Rodgers? Guys like Jimmy G, Carson Wentz, Patrick Mahomes, and Lamar Jackson will get set to face off in some of their biggest games of their careers
- Question: The greatest dynasty in all of American sports seems to be headed for one of those so called “bad endings”. Does Tom Brady have enough left in the tank to turn it around and begin to click with his offense when it matters most?
- Bold: The Bills light up the Texans. As wimpy of a prediction it may seem, this Buffalo team remains hot and has been totally underestimated the entire regular season. As they put up a big fight against the Pats (twice) and the Ravens, I see this Bills team flying down to Houston and gifting Josh Allen his first playoff win.
- Overrated: The Green Bay Packers are a team with a ton of defensive talent, and an all time great QB; but the Pack seemed to struggle going out west this year taking two big losses to the Niners and Chargers. The biggest question with them will remain how they can compete with the NFL’s best – and I don’t like their chances.
- SB Prediction: Fingers crossed and knock on wood I’m not jinxing this… but I truly think we’ll get a Week 13 rematch of 49ers-Ravens. Featuring the two best offenses in football, and a ton of play makers on defense; both of these one seeds control their own destiny as they clinched home field advantage. If both respective offenses keep rolling and the defense finds ways to limit their tough opponents – I don’t see why these two can’t meet in Miami.
- Headline: The young Baltimore Ravens are looking really dangerous and like a big threat to win it all this year. They’re scary now and will be for the foreseeable future.
- Question: Is this the end for New England? They face a tough matchup of Tennessee, and this could be the year they are one and done.
- Bold Prediction: The 49ers will be a one and done. They’ll play either Seattle or Minnesota (assuming Seattle beats Philly) and both are very losable games for Frisco.
- Sleeper: Buffalo’s offense isn’t stellar, but I really enjoy their defense, and they could make some noise. Look for them to win a game, possibly two if they play the Chiefs round two.
- Overrated: The Seahawks are a pretender, and their terrible point differential shows that. They’re a very big hit or miss team.
- SB Prediction: Ravens over Saints. I feel like New Orleans will meet their match and lose vs Baltimore. Baltimore has the best offense in the NFL, and they also have a top 3 defense.
- Headline: Potentially Brees’ final playoff run.
- Question: How will the Patriots – who almost annually get a bye in the playoff under Bill Belichick – react to playing in the Wild Card game?
- Bold Prediction: The Eagles upset the Seahawks in round one, despite a big game from Lynch.
- Sleeper: Despite the Bills outstanding defense and game planning, people are still sleeping on the team because of their below average offense. If Josh Allen pushes the ball upfield and the defense holds, I can see the Bills making a run in the playoffs.
- Overrated: The Packers’ record is great, but with Matt Lafleur’s lack of playoff experience and their average offensive and defensive stats this season, I don’t think they can hang with the other NFC giants; even with a bye in the first round.
- SB Prediction: I think the Chiefs and Saints both roll through the playoffs with ease, but when it comes down to it, Drew Brees is too much for an inferior Chiefs defense; as the Saints win the Super Bowl – with Brees announcing his retirement shortly after.
- Headline: The new era is here. Watson, Mahomes, Jackson and Allen all headline the U-25 QB’s in the playoffs.
- Question: Who can stop Lamar? The Ravens have won 12 straight games and show no signs of stopping.
- Bold Prediction: The Eagles magic continues at home as they upset Russell Wilson and the 11-5 Seahawks
- Sleeper: Remember, the Vikings still have Cook, Diggs, Thielen and a vaunting D-line. Don’t count them out just because they’ve struggled to win big games before; bigger curses have been broken.
- Overrated: The Packers have already lost to two other playoffs teams in San Fran and Philly, and haven’t had as many convincing blow-out wins as teams like the ‘Niners and Saints. Don’t be shocked by a one and done from them.
- SB Prediction: A rematch of Super Bowl 47 features the Ravens and 49ers. Lamar Jackson continues to be too hot to contain, and brings the Lombardi Trophy back to Baltimore as he promised – with another close win over the Niners.
- Headline: The Patriots finally face a challenge as a 3 seed.
- Question: Can the Eagles prove to the rest of the league that they earned their spot?
- Bold Prediction: Despite being the 1 seed in the NFC, the 49ers will lose in the divisional round. The Seahawks will take them down after 2 close regular season games.
- Sleeper: The Bills are a legit team in my eyes. Their defense will come up big for them against the Texans offense, and potentially even after that.
- Overrated: The Packers will not be able to make it past the divisional round. Their last game playing the Lions displayed their true colors.
- SB Prediction: New Orleans will take on the Kansas City Chiefs, as experience carries both teams through. In the biggest game of the season, Michael Thomas puts on another show, winning both the game and Super Bowl MVP.
- Headline: A crowded field like none other
- Question: Do the young Ravens have enough to outmatch defending MVP Patrick Mahomes and postseason legend Tom Brady?
- Bold Prediction: Philadelphia has had their struggles throughout the year, but you can never count out Carson Wentz and a strong defense. Give me the Eagles over the Seahawks.
- Sleeper: With an incredible defense and a sneaky offense lead by dual-threat quarterback Josh Allen, the Bills have the right combination against teams like Houston – and maybe even KC – in the playoffs.
- Overrated: Too many people are over-looking the fact that the Patriots have lost to the better teams in the AFC this year, and just feasted on the weaker teams. The Pats also just lost a huge game to Miami in New England with a first round bye on the line.
- SB Prediction: Give me Ravens vs Saints – a battle of two fire powered offenses. Due to Drew Brees’ experience over the young Lamar Jackson, I think the Saints will walk away victorious with a well deserved Lombardi Trophy for Brees and Payton.
- Headline: This is the first year in a long time where the Patriots are beatable by a team in the playoffs.
- Question: Are the Packers are going to be boom or bust? Will Aaron Rodgers be his old self, or will he play like he did against the Lions?
- Bold: The Titans will go into New England and beat the Patriots in the Wild Card round.
- Sleeper: The Seahawks are the biggest sleeper in the playoffs. Seattle has one of the best big game QB’s, and could elevate his team in any situation.
- Overrated: The Packers just came off a terrible victory against the Lions – and got killed by the 49ers. They are the least feared team that has a bye.
- SB Prediction: The Ravens will battle the Saints and New Orleans will win a very close, hard fought game.
Stay tuned for more coverage throughout the postseason!