Well now that the NFL regular season is over, it's time for the playoffs! If you're not already aware, here is the playoff picture with updated seeding: 2021 NFL Playoff Picture | NFL Playoffs | NFL.com. The Titans and Packers earned the 1st seed for their respective conferences, so they will be getting a bye this weekend. In general the highest seed always plays the lowest seed. The team listed first is the one with the higher seed, and the one I put in bold is the one I think will win. So without any further ado, here are my final playoff predictions:
2022 NFL Playoff Predictions:
Wild Card Round
While I'm sure the Steelers will be playing as hard as possible to get Big Ben another playoff win, I just don't see it happening. The Chiefs are the better team and are at home, so barring an absolute catastrophe, I think they win this one.
Whenever divisional rivals meet in the playoffs, it's always tough to predict the winner, since they play each other twice a season every year, and are always extra motivated to beat their rival. While the Bills are the more talented team, I'm giving the edge to the Patriots since they have a good recipe for playoff success with their dominant defense and punishing run game.
While the Raiders fought hard and through a lot of adversity to get this far, I don't see their susceptible defense being able to contain the Bengals' offense. Even though this will be Burrow's first playoff game, ironically it will also be Carr's first as well since he was injured the last time the Raiders were in the playoffs, so that lack of experience shouldn't be a huge issue for the Bengals.
Even though the Bucs are very banged up going into this game, they should still win, since I highly doubt that Hurts will be able to outduel Brady in his first playoff game.
The 49ers have the talent to win this game, but considering the Cowboys are coming off a huge blow-out win against their divisional rival, I'm giving the edge to the Cowboys at home in this one.
This is arguably the hardest Wildcard game to predict, since not only are these teams divisional rivals, but they also are two of the best teams in the NFC. They also are both coming off dissapointing losses to divisonal rivals, have the talent to beat any team in the league, yet also have the inconsistency to just as easily lose to any team in the league. I'm giving the edge to the Rams here since they're at home and have the more playoff-experienced QB.
I could see the Patriots getting another upset win here, but those rarely ever happen more than once in the playoffs. Instead I'm giving the edge to the Titans since they're at home, have the more playoff-experienced QB, will have Derrick Henry back for this game, and they'll want revenge for when the Patriots beat them during the regular season.Chiefs-Bengals
The Chiefs barely lost to the Benglas on the road in an exciting shoot-out during the regular season, so I see them being able to make the proper adjustments to get the revenge win at home here.Packers-Rams
I think the Packers easily win this one since they'll be at home, coming off a week of rest while the Rams had to fight tooth and nail to beat the Cardinals, and since Rodgers is used to beating Stafford.
While I could easily see Brady winning this one to force a rematch of last year's NFC Championship game, I'm giving the edge to the Cowboys in this one. I think the Cowboys have enough weapons on offense for them to score a lot of points, and I think their defense has enough talent to give Brady some trouble. Also, they came very close to beating the Bucs during the first game of the regular season, so I could see them using that as motivation to get the revenge win here.
As you can probably tell by now, I am a big believer of teams being able to get "revenge wins" in the playoffs, and that's especially true here. The Titans absolutely demolished the Chiefs in their regular season matchup, but the Chiefs have been playing a lot better since then, so as long as they don't let Henry run all over them, they should be able to get the win here.
The Cowboys definitely have the talent to win this game, but I think if Rodgers makes it to the NFC Championship game, nothing is going to stop him from willing his team to the Super Bowl. Even though the Packers have earned the #1 seed and choked in the conference championship game for the past two years, this year feels different. They have a very well-rounded and balanced team led by an extremely motivated, talented QB in Rodgers, so I think this is the year that they finally break through that barrier.
Man would this be an exciting game. Arguably the two best QBs in the game right now, both Super Bowl winners, both MVP winners, with one the front-runner to win it again this year. Ironically this is actually what I predicted the past two Super Bowl matchups to be, and the Packers were one game away in both years from making that prediction come true. This game could honestly go either way, since both offenses are among the best in the league, and both defenses have plenty of playmakers. However, since Rodgers seems to be more motivated than ever to win another ring, I'm giving the edge to the Packers in this one.