2014 NFL Playoff Predictions: Wild Card Round

The Wild Card Round of the NFL playoffs for this year is approaching, which means it’s time for the obligatory predictions. These games should be pretty competitive as there doesn’t seem like any game that would be a big mismatch. That being said, it’s always possible that one team could end up crushing the other. It should be a good weekend of football.

NFC

(6) New Orleans Saints vs. (3) Philadelphia Eagles

As I already explained, this should be a really close game, but I still think my hometown Eagles will pick up the win in this one. The Saints are just not the same team on the road as they are at home, and it’s playing in New Orleans that got them this far. The Eagles’ offense is just too dynamic for the Saints to keep up with, although I predict a shootout in this one since the Eagles defense is sub-par at best. Score prediction: Eagles 34, Saints 28

(5) San Francisco 49ers vs. (4) Green Bay Packers

The Packers finished the season 8-7-1, just over .500, but they would’ve been much better had Aaron Rodgers started every game. Rodgers was 6-2 in games where he played a significant amount, with the various backups getting a lowly record of 2-5-1. This proves how important Rodgers is to this team, and their recent woes are not indicative of their actual skill. The Packers offense should match up very well with the 49ers skilled defense. That being said, the 49ers won the first matchup between these teams, which took place in Week 1 when Rodgers was fully healthy. I expect a similar result, but less scoring than the first one. Score prediction: 49ers 24, Packers 20

AFC

(6) San Diego Chargers vs. (3) Cincinnati Bengals

The Chargers just snuck into the playoffs as a 6th seed, and after the referees reviewed film of their last game, it was ruled that they probably shouldn’t have even won, meaning they shouldn’t even be in this game. That being said, they’re still a pretty talented football team and have one of the best QBs in the league this year. But, if they can barely beat the Chiefs’ backup squad, I’m unsure how they’ll be able to stop Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, a top 10 QB-WR duo in the league along with a somewhat solid run game and a very good defense. If there’s any game that could turn out to be a blowout, I’d pick this one. If Dalton can throw 4 picks and still beat a near-playoff team, this shouldn’t be too hard of a game. Score prediction: Bengals 31, Chargers 10

(5) Kansas City Chiefs vs. (4) Indianapolis Colts

I’m still not sure if either of these teams are legit contenders, or if they’re too inconsistent to get anywhere in the playoffs. Fortunately, because of the matchup, one of them has to advance, and I think it could be a very good game. The first time these teams faced each other was an outlier…this game should be much different now that it’s a win-or-go-home game. But, I still think the outcome will be the same with the Colts coming out on top. The Chiefs have a 1-5 record against playoff teams in the regular season, and the Colts are 4-2. The Colts also had a significantly harder schedule and were still able to get it done. Score prediction: Colts 24, Chiefs 13

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