NFL Playoff Predictions

The NFL playoffs are underway so it’s time to predict who will advance and win the Super bowl

The NFL regular season has come to an end which means many of our favorite teams are done for the season. But, many teams still stand, and they are instead looking ahead to the playoffs where they will hopefully make a run towards the ultimate game of the year, the Super Bowl. That being said, some teams have a better chance than others at making – and potentially winning – the Super Bowl. Here is every matchup that will happen in the NFL Playoffs, and who will win, on the road to Super Bowl 57.

Wild Card Round

Jacksonville Jaguars vs LA Chargers:

To kick off these predictions we have the Jaguars vs the Chargers. Former number 1 pick Trevor Lawrence and his college teammate Travis Etienne have led the offense. Both showed flashes earlier in the season but have finally put it all together and become a formidable duo. Zay Jones and Christian Kirk have been unexpected bright spots as the team’s best receivers, possibly due to how good Trevor Lawrence has become. Their defense, while consisting of no real superstars, has talent in edge rusher Josh Allen, and linebackers Devin Lloyd and Treyvon Walker. On the other side the Chargers are led by one of the top players in the league, QB Justin Herbert, along with Austin Ekeler and an albeit aging Keenan Allen, who they did not have in their previous match up with the Jags. Their defense has lots of talent on the d-line, with Joey Bosa leading that group. However Bosa re-aggravated an injury against the Broncos and now is uncertain to play this week against Jacksonville. Khalil Mack has been out since November and is out the rest of the season. Their d-line is depleted and their second and third levels are subpar so this defense could be in a lot of trouble. Their poor offensive line will be a problem against a Jacksonville defense that just got four sacks against Tennessee last week. If Jacksonville utilizes Etienne more than they did last week, and takes advantage of a poor LA secondary, they should be able to keep the ball out of Justin Herbert’s hands, and their pass rush should cause enough problems to keep the Chargers from racking up points. Justin Herbert’s arm and the weapons he has around him will keep this game close, but ultimately the Chargers are too hurt and have too many holes to beat a hot Jaguars team.

Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens:

A huge division rivalry that the Bengals have owned over the past two seasons, as well as a rematch from just last week, this game is hard to predict due to the status of Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, who hasn’t played since early December. His absence has absolutely de-railed the Ravens season, as they were once on pace to win the division but since his absence have fallen off a cliff offensively. Even if Jackson comes back, who knows if he’s 100%, or will be completely in sync with the offense after not practicing for over a month. The defense has some talent in the secondary with Marlon Humphrey leading the group as well as Roquan Smith at linebacker. The Bengals offense simply has too much fire power. As we saw last week when they got off to a 17-0 lead in about 16 minutes. After a slow start this season including a loss to the Ravens, the Bengals have since had one of the best offenses in the league, even with injuries to RB Joe Mixon and WR Jamar Chase. Joe Burrow has played at an MVP level this year and even though he statistically is at his worst against Baltimore who does have a great secondary, if Baltimore can´t score it won´t matter. With or without Lamar Jackson I think the Bengals handle the Ravens once again with relative ease.

Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins:

Another matchup that is tricky due to the health of one of the teams quarterbacks. Tua Tagovailoa has been in concussion protocol since their Christmas game against the Packers, that being his third concussion of the season. He still has yet to practice so this prediction will be assuming Skylar Thompson plays against the Bills. Raheem Mostert is also out with any injury so this offense will be relying on receivers Tyreke Hill and Jaylen Waddle even more so than usual to carry them. The Dolphins defensive line could cause some problems for the Bills, especially Christian Wilkins but it won’t be enough to stop a Bills team led by Josh Allen. Josh Allen and his multitude of explosive weapons, especially Stefon Diggs, will have no problem dismantling the Dolphins weak secondary, and despite injuries to the Bills secondary I don´t think a player like Skylar Thompson can keep up with Josh Allen for very long.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Dallas Cowboys:

Tom Brady somehow has found himself back in the playoffs despite having the first losing record of his entire life. Brady has had a noticeable fall off this season which is crazy because he set the record for most completions in season. Nonetheless the Bucs offense has been for the most part stagnant and the defense has been shaky at times, making many wonder if this team can get past the first round. The Cowboys, while 12-5, have struggled as of late on both sides of the ball. Dak Prescott has made uncharacteristic mistakes, and the defense that was once the best in the league has fallen off severely with injuries to a secondary lacking in depth. The pass rush has become less effective because opposing receivers get open so fast that they can’t get to the quarterback. While the records might not show it, Tampa actually has the edge in this matchup. The Cowboys biggest weakness are quick short throws, and no one in the history of football is better at that than Tom Brady. Brady and the Bucs will pull off the upset as the Cowboys fall short in the playoffs as they have for the past thirty years.

Minnesota Vikings vs New York Giants:

The Giants might just be the worst team in this year’s playoffs. The Vikings do have a tendency to play close games against lesser teams, including the Giants earlier this year so anything is possible. The Giants have a pass rush led by Dexter Lawrence and Keyvon Thibideux that might cause problems for the Vikings, however Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson and the rest of the weapons the Vikings have will make it hard for that pass rush to have time to do anything. The only problem the Vikings might have is stopping Saquon Barkley, but ultimately it won´t matter as the Vikings score close to forty in a win against the Giants, and Justin Jefferson has yet another huge game.

49ers vs Seahawks:

The 49ers are on a ten game win streak led by rookie quarterback Brock Purdy and an elite defense. The Seahawks have gotten here very surprisingly as many thought they´d be among the worst teams in the league. Geno Smith has gotten them this far, but this is as far as they´ll get. The 49ers have a talented offense led by Brock Purdy, who is surrounded by weapons like Christian McCaffery, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle, as well as a good offensive line. Fred Warner and Nick Bosa lead the defense alongside Jimmie Ward. Geno Smith and the Seahawks, while impressive, really don’t have an answer for the high powered offense of San Francisco. Geno Smith has looked worse as the season has progressed and I’m sure playing a stout defense like what the niners have won´t help with that.Geno Smith once said ¨they wrote me off, I never wrote back.¨ Saturday is the day he finally writes back.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Kansas City Chiefs:

Everyone knows the Kansas City Chiefs due to Patrick Mahomes being arguably the best player in football right now. People predicted him and the Chiefs to fall off with the loss of Tyreke Hill but that has yet to happen. Having Travis Kelce helps, but in terms of actual wide receivers the Chiefs really don’t have a true number one guy, just a lot of solid guys like Juju Smith Schuster, and Marquez Valdes Scantling, which is more proof of how good Mahomes is. The Chiefs defense has been neither good nor bad but with an offense as stellar as theirs it won’t be a problem. The Jags and Trevor Lawrence are impressive but they don’t have the firepower or experience to keep up with Kansas City offensively. This game might be closer than some think, but the Chiefs win.

Divisional Round

Cincinnati Bengals vs Buffalo Bills:

These teams will finally get to pay each other, this time on the biggest stage. Two high powered offenses battling in what could be a potential shoot out. We all know what these offenses can do but the problem for Buffalo arises when you look at their defense, specifically a defense destroyed by injuries and lack of depth. Von Miller being out for the season isn’t ideal, and Tre’davious White, while not bad, is still easing his way back in from a torn ACL. Micah Hyde is just now coming back from a previously thought season ending injury so it’s hard to tell how good he´ll be when or even if he comes back. The Bengals have the same weakness however, ever since Chidobe Awuzie got hurt, so it really is a tough call. The difference maker will be the Bengals pass rush being far more effective than the Bills. Joe Burrow will consistently have more time to throw the ball and read the defense than Josh Allen. Neither team runs the ball very much but Joe Mixon could also be an x-factor for Cincinnati being more effective and versatile than any running back the Bills have. Even in Buffalo, Cincinnati will move on to play the Chiefs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Philadelphia Eagles 

A rematch from last year, in which the Bucs handled the Eagles with ease, this game will be much different. The Eagles not only have home field for this game, but have also improved on all fronts, especially quarterback Jalen Hurts who has played at an MVP level, while Brady and the Bucs have regressed. The Bucs offense has been stagnant and against an elite defense like the Eagles they could have lots of problems, even with Brady at the helm. The Eagles are second in QB hits and pass rush win rate, as well as having the lowest QB rating allowed, fewest yards allowed per play, and most sacks this season. That was without pass rusher Robert Quinn and defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson for the last games of the season, who will both be returning for this game. Their offense, while it has looked worse in recent weeks, that is mainly due to Jalen Hurts´ absence and now that he’s back this team will be very hard to stop. Tampa Bay´s offense is going to wither away under the pressure of the Eagles defense while their own defense can do little against Jalen Hurts and the Eagles.

Minnesota Vikings vs San Francisco 49ers:

Both teams will be going into war this game but I think the matchup is fairly simple. Both teams have talented offenses, with the Vikings even having an edge in that category, but only one team has the means to stop the other. That team is the 49ers. The 49ers have a significantly better rushing attack then the Vikings, due to a noticeable fall off from Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, who is still solid but not what he used to be. Christian McCaffery and the 49ers creative rushing attack will allow them to chew clock and keep the ball away from the Vikings effectively. If that doesn’t work they still have an elite defense meanwhile the Vikings have one of the worst defenses in the playoffs, being shredded by low caliber offenses like that of the Packers. As I said this matchup is very simple, the Vikings are a one trick pony, and while it’s a really good trick, it only works for so long. The 49ers win dominantly.


Conference Championships

Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs:

A rematch from last year’s AFC championship game, Joe Burrow has beaten the Chiefs three times in a row, all in 2022, including earlier this season. I see this game between the two going differently however. In all three games Mahomes and Burrow have played against each other, the Chiefs started out dominantly in the first half, getting out to massive leads. Then the Bengals would slowly and miraculously come back. My main concern here for the Bengals is how many times can they do that? Going down and coming back is hard enough but doing it to the same team three times is crazy. The Chiefs defense is heating up at the right time with Chris Jones playing at an elite level, rookie defensive back Trent McDuffie emerging as a real solid corner and overall the Chiefs defense just looks way better than they did when they played the Bengals earlier in the year. As I´ve said before the Bengals secondary could be a problem, and this game it will be too hard to overcome when playing the number one passing offense in the NFL. This game will be close, and high scoring, but ultimately the Chiefs will finally eke out a win against the Bengals.

San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles:

The NFC title game is the closest game to predict thus far with both teams this season showing little to no weaknesses. Both teams have phenomenal defenses and rushing attacks, and can throw downfield when they need to. The could be the x-factor in this game, being able to shut down Miles Sanders and anything Jalen Hurts can do with his legs, making the Eagles one dimensional. On the flip side a rookie quarterback like Brock Purdy against one of if not the best secondaries in the league is a huge cause for concern. This game could legitimately go either way but the Niners have the slight edge simply they’ve performed better recently. Some of that is due to injuries but the Eagles are coming off of an unnecessarily close game against the Giants backups and just two weeks before that gave up forty points to a struggling Dallas offense. Meanwhile since starting 3-4 the 49ers have dominated almost every team they´ve faced. The 49ers will win in the closest game of the entire postseason.


Super Bowl

Kansas City Chiefs vs San Francisco 49ers:

The Super Bowl will be a rematch from not just a few years ago but also from earlier this season, a game in which the Chiefs won easily. This is a different 49ers team now, one that has improved drastically since then and has dominated just about everyone they have faced. Their defense led by Nick Bosa will do their best to terrorize Mahomes and will surely give him problems, but realistically no one can completely stop the Chiefs. Unfortunately Brock Purdy´s inexperience will finally catch up with him as he won’t be able to keep up with Mahomes and the Chiefs offense, as the Chiefs slowly run away with it, and Mahomes wins his second Super Bowl.