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: 2022 NFL Playoff Picture | NFL Playoffs | NFL.com. The Chiefs and Eagles 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:
2023 NFL Playoff Predictions:
Wild Card Round
The Dolphins have played the Bills tough this year, so this game could very well come down to the wire. However, the Bills are simply the better team, are more playoff-experienced, have the home-field advantage, and we don't even know if the Dolphins will have Tua, so the Bills should win this one.
It's usually tough to predict divisional matchups in the playoffs, but these Wild Card games aren't very evenly matched. The Bengals are at home, have more talent, and could be playing against a Lamar-less Ravens, so they should win this one.
On paper this one is tough to call due to these teams being very evenly matched, but I'm giving the edge to the Jaguars since they have the far more playoff-experienced coach.
Unless Purdy has an epic collapse in his first playoff start, the 49ers have more than enough talent to get this win at home.
The Giants made their first match-up against the Vikings surprisingly close, but the Vikings are at home, have more talent, and have the more playoff-experienced HC and QB, so they should get the win here.
This one is tough to predict, since on paper the Cowboys are the better team, and could get a revenge win here to avenge their Week 1 loss to the Bucs. However, the Bucs have Brady, are at home, and played better to end the season than the Cowboys did. With that being said, I'm givng the edge to the Cowboys since maybe they got their incompetent play out of their system against the Commanders, and McCarthy knows that his job is on the line in every playoff game.
The Jaguars have the talent to make this one closer than the Chiefs would like, but ultimately the Chiefs have the edge in almost every category, so they should get the win at home here.
This is arguably the toughest matchup to predict in the entire playoffs, since not only are these teams very evenly matched and potential Super Bowl contenders, but you also have to factor in their canceled game from the regular season. While both teams will be playing with motivation in this one, I'm giving the edge to the Bills since they'll be at home, and will be playing this one for Hamlin.
Divisional matchups in the playoffs can almost always go either way, but considering the Cowboys barely beat a Minshew-led team in Dallas, I don't see how they'll beat a healthy, rested Hurts in Philadelphia.
If Jimmy G was starting in this one, I would 100% pick the 49ers due to their playoff-proven combination of dominant run game and defense. While I could still see them getting the win here, at some point the Vikings are going to put the pressure on Purdy to win the game, and I just don't see that happening in his second ever playoff appearance.
Similar to the Bills-Bengals matchup, this game would be incredibly hard to predict the winner. While the Chiefs are the higher seed, this game would be played at a neutral site due to the NFL's adjusted playoff rules. This obviously favors the Bills since they won't have to play in Kansas City, but the Chiefs have to consider themselves lucky that they don't have to play in Buffalo either. The Bills definitely have the talent and motivation to win this game, but until they can prove that they can beat Mahomes in the playoffs, I'm giving the edge to the Chiefs.
The Eagles already beat the Vikings once this year, and the result wasn't particularly close. While I expect the Vikings to be more competitive in this matchup, I'm still giving the edge to the Eagles since they're more talented and have the home-field advantage.
This is an interesting matchup since not only do we get to see the two front-runners for MVP duel it out, but we also get to see Andy Reid against his former team. While the Eagles have the talent to win this one, I just don't see it happening for several reasons. The first is that this is Sirianni and Hurts' first ever Super Bowl appearance, so the edge definitely goes to the more experienced Reid and Mahomes. The second is that even though the Eagles' defense has played really well this year, they've been susceptible at times to big passing plays, which is right up the Chiefs' alley. The third is that Mahomes has only ever lost to Brady and Burrow in the playoffs, and since the Eagles don't have either of them on their team, it would be tough for them to get the win here. And with this win, I could see Mahomes becoming only the 3rd player in NFL history to win both MVP and the Super Bowl in the same year.