In parts one and two, we previewed the regular seasons for each conference. We now move onto the playoffs, and this season, match ups will mean more than ever. Let’s begin with the NFC.
Seed Order: 1: Bears 2: Rams 3: Eagles 4: Saints 5: Vikings 6: Falcons
Wild Card Weekend
Eagles (3) vs. Falcons (6)- One can hear 20 million Falcons fans around the country right now, shouting out in a collective “WHY?” Why not New Orleans? Or Chicago? Or Los Angeles? Why the one team the Falcons cannot seem to beat! Well, sorry Falcons fans. Those are the breaks in pro football.
Why the Eagles could win: They will win because they will get the running game going quickly, with Corey Clement and their off season acquisition Jordan Howard. Carson Wentz will find his form quickly in the mid-range passing game with Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor.
Why the Falcons could win: The Falcons are a rhythm team, and they will find that rhythm quickly. Once they get their footing, lookout. They are hard to stop.
Prediction: This game will be in Philadelphia and that will make it much harder for the Falcons to find that rhythm. Right now, this is just simply a bad match up for Atlanta. Eagles win 27-17.
Saints (4) vs. Vikings (5)- This has been 10 years in the making. The famous “Bountygate” game finally gets its rematch. Since it’s been ten years, most of the team won’t know what that means, but fans will.
Why the Saints could win: Much like the Falcons, the Saints are a rhythm team. This game will be in New Orleans, so it should be easy for the Saints to find that rhythm quickly. Or so it seems. Alvin Kamara will have an outstanding afternoon running to the outside, and Drew Brees will find the holes in this secondary.
Why the Vikings could win: Yes, the Saints are a rhythm team, but the Vikings are the dynamite to that rhythm. To beat a team like the Saints at home, you must go in there, and knock them on their butt before they get an opportunity to find that rhythm. The Vikings are just the team to do that.
Prediction: This game is in New Orleans, and this Vikings organization will never forget what happened to them 10 years ago. For fans, the Vikings will put the Saints on their butts, and finally get their revenge, winning 23-16.
Divisional Playoff Weekend
Rams (2) vs. Eagles (3)- Rams would be the big favorites in this game. But, as we’ve seen in the past, things are not always as they seem.
Why the Rams could win: The Rams are a loaded team on paper. All of that talent will overwhelm to the Eagles, and the Rams will coast into the NFC Championship.
Why the Eagles could win: Doug Pederson is on track to becoming the best head coach in the game, and he already has a track record of playoff upsets. He finds a way to do it again. That’s all I can say because I don’t see how, but somehow, he will.
Prediction: The Eagles do it again, taking out the defending NFC Champions 34-27.
Bears (1) vs. Vikings (5)- Do you like games matching up snot nose football teams that are mirror images of each other? This is the game for you. This will be played in Chicago, in the middle of January, so this will be one of the coldest and windiest games in recent memory.
Why the Bears could win: The Bears are out to prove that they are not a one-hit-wonder and that they own this division now. They get another opportunity to show why against the Vikings. The Vikings hit hard, but the Bears hit harder, and they will do just that all afternoon.
Why the Vikings could win: the Vikings’ players have not forgotten about Week 17 a year ago, in which the Bears reserves embarrassed them, and knocked them out of playoff contention. The Vikings should use that as motivation and pull off another upset.
Prediction: This is going to be a no holds barred, anything goes, football game. To speak in metaphorical terms, when it’s all said and done, Khalil Mack will be the “last man standing” after what will look eerily similar to a massive brawl at in a crowded bar. Due to my prediction of extreme weather, the Bears make two of four field goal attempts and the Vikings make one of three. Neither team will find the end zone. Final score, 6-3 Bears.