Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sportz Assassin's Week 17 Playoff Predictions

Last week and there are a lot of playoff spots and seeds on the line.  All we know right now is that the Chiefs have the No. 5 seed in the AFC locked up.  The four AFC division winners are set, but no one knows exactly where they are seeded.  Four teams are vying for the final AFC wildcard spot and none of them have their own fate in their hands.

In the NFC, we have two division championship games (North: Bears-Packers, East: Cowboys-Eagles).  None of the division winners are set (South: Panthers/Saints; West: Seahawks/Niners) and only two teams (Seahawks, Panthers) know that they are in right now.

So how will it shake out after the day is done?


1-DENVER BRONCOS:  I have them winning in Oakland and capturing the top seed in the AFC.  That's huge because I don't think they want to have to go into Foxborough for a AFC championship game

2-NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS:  I have them pummeling Buffalo and locking down the No. 2 seed.  They have a lot to lose in this one.  A loss could knock them down to a No. 4 seed.

3-CINCINNATI BENGALS:  I have them beating Baltimore and staying undefeated at home.  Since the Pats are going to win, the Bengals will get the No. 3 slot and host the final wildcard team next weekend.

4-INDIANAPOLIS COLTS:  It really doesn't matter if they win or lose -- though they'll beat Jacksonville -- since the three teams above them will also win.

5-KANSAS CITY CHIEFS:  They are already locked in here.

6-MIAMI DOLPHINS:  The Dolphins get in due to them beating the New York Jets (this one will be close, though) and Baltimore losing to the Bengals.  That combination puts Miami in the playoffs.

OUT:  Baltimore, San Diego and Pittsburgh.  I will say that Pittsburgh needs the most to happen to get into the playoffs, but it isn't out of the question.  The Ravens must go to Cincinnati, the Chargers play a good Chiefs team that needs to get itself going again and the Dolphins laid an egg last week and face a weird Jets squad.  A Steelers win over the Browns would get them in if the other three lose.


1-SEATTLE SEAHAWKS:  Do you really think they will lose at home to the Rams?  Especially one week after having their home invincibility debunked by the Cardinals?  Nope.

2-CAROLINA PANTHERS:  This is close, but I have the Panthers winning in Atlanta.  The Falcons would love to knock off Carolina and have every motivation in this final game to a bad season.  But I see Carolina prevailing.

3-PHILADELPHIA EAGLES:  No Romo?  No NFC East title.  No disrespect to Kyle Orton, but Romo's ability saved their season over the last few weeks.  Eagles beat Cowboys and win the East.

4-CHICAGO BEARS:  I know that Chicago looked bad last week and the Packers get Aaron Rodgers back.  I just see Chicago beating an aching and rusty Rodgers in a very cold Chicago evening.  

5-NEW ORLEANS:  Yeah, I have the Saints here.  They'll spank the Buccaneers at the Superdome and clinch their playoff spot and nearly winning the South.

6-SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS:  I have the Niners losing at Arizona today and falling the the No. 6 seed.  Arizona, who needs a Saints loss as well, just misses out of the postseason after an amazing year.  Due to the Saints win over the Niners a few weeks back, the Saints win the tiebreaker and face Da Bears.


6-Dolphins at 3-Bengals
5-Chiefs at 4-Colts
BYE: 1-Broncos and 2-Patriots

6-49ers at 3-Eagles
5-Saints at 4-Bears
BYE: 1-Seahawks and 2-Panthers

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