Upcoming this week are four match-ups that will determine who will watch the playoffs from the couch or continue on towards the Super Bowl. For each playoff week, I will predict a winner of each matchup, even including the Super Bowl.
Packers vs. Cardinals
The Cardinals faced the Packers and beat them on Week 16 38-8. Now, both sides are beat up from injuries. But the game might be a repeat unless the Packers find a spark. Until that happens the winner: Cardinals
Patriots vs. Chiefs
Like every matchup, it isn’t very predictable. With Tom Brady injured but looking to start against the Chiefs, Kansas City might put one up on the Patriots. But, the Patriots have some good players still. Winner: Patriots
Seahawks vs. Panthers
This is a rematch from Week 6 where the Panthers won 27-23. The Seahawks will look to get back with their ferocious defense. The Panthers will, of course, find the Seahawks tooth and nail. The Seahawks are impressive on both sides of the field, but they lost at home in Week 6, and this time the fight is in the Panther’s hometown. Winner: Panthers
Steelers vs. Broncos
This match looks to favor the Broncos, should Peyton Manning have even a halfway decent game. The Steelers have injured players in Big Ben and his top receiver, Antonio Brown. Look for the Broncos to dominate this game. Winner: Broncos
Patriots vs. Broncos
This matchup is between two quarterbacks who have had many good years in the league.
Unless Tom Brady gets injured, low chance since he has not been injured despite taking 38 sacks, the Patriots might just edge the Broncos over. Winner: Patriots
Panthers vs. Cardinals
Unlike the Pats vs. Broncs, a win here could snap a Super Bowl drought that both teams have had for a while. The last time the Cardinals went, it was in 2009 and the Panthers went in 2003. This fight will be brutal. But the Cards hold the advantage with the better defense. Winner: Cardinals
Super Bowl: Patriots vs. Cardinals
Very close. The Patriots are impressive as a team and you can bet that Belichick will come up with a plan. Carson Palmer and the Cards will spare nothing because a win could be their first Super Bowl since it started. Should the Patriots win, it will be their 5th Super Bowl win, which brings them even with the Dallas Cowboys and one below the Pittsburgh Steelers with the record. The Patriots look better than the Cards and, preventing injury, will win. Winner: Patriots.