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Post Your 2016 Playoff Predictions here

Post your playoff predictions in the comments. Here are mine:

Wild Card Round

(5) Oakland over (4) Houston
(3) Seattle over (6) Detroit
(3) Pittsburgh over (6) Miami
(5) New York Giants over (4) Green Bay

Divisional Round

(1) Dallas over (5) New York Giants
(2) Atlanta over (3) Seattle
(1) New England over (5) Oakland
(2) Kansas City over (3) Pittsburgh

Conference Championships

(1) New England over (2) Kansas City
(1) Dallas over (2) Atlanta

Super Bowl

(1) New England over (1) Dallas

This is a pretty chalky set of picks, but it feels like there are a few tiers in the NFL:

Tier 1: New England. Okay, the Patriots do seem vulnerable without Rob Gronkowski. Tom Brady averaged 9.33 Adjusted Yards per Attempt during the regular season (excluding sacks). On passes to Gronk, Brady averaged an unreal 15.8 AY/A, with 540 yards and 3 touchdowns on 38 targeted passes. On all other passes, he averaged 8.85 AY/A. That’s still great, but an offense with the two highest targeted players are Julian Edelman and James White has the ability to be contained in the playoffs. And while the Patriots don’t have a great defense, the team easily led the NFL in both points allowed and points differential.

Tier 2: Dallas; Atlanta. Neither team has a great defense, but these are the two best offenses in the NFL. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones form a historically great passing attack, while Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dez Bryant — behind a dominant offensive line — are unstoppable in a completely different way. I give the Cowboys the edge in the NFCCG because of their offensive line and home field.

Tier 3: Kansas City; Pittsburgh. Both teams are inconsistent, but have the ability to defeat any team. The Steelers have the best triplets in the NFL and a decent-enough defense, while the Chiefs have a very good defense, Tyreek Hill, and an efficient-enough offense. Again, I give Kansas City the edge based on a bye and home field.

Tier 4: New York Giants, Seattle, Green Bay. The Giants have a great defense, but a bad offense, ranking 25th in yards, 26th in points, and 22nd in DVOA. The Seahawks’ ceiling is significantly lower without Earl Thomas; it’s hard to pick them on the road against an explosive Falcons offense after seeing Seattle’s defense struggle without Thomas against Arizona and Green Bay in December. Green Bay is really hot, but that really doesn’t mean much entering the playoffs. Even if they get by the Giants, the Packers defense would seem overmatched in Dallas next week.

Tier 5: Miami, Detroit, Oakland, Houston. None of these teams are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

More importantly, please post your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Ian

    Wildcard
    (5)Raiders at (4)Texans: Texans
    (6)Lions at (3)Seahawks: Seahawks
    (6)Dolphins at (3)Steelers: Steelers
    (5)Giants at (4)Packers: Packers

    Divisional:

    (4)Texans at (1)Patriots: Patriots
    (3)Seahawks at (2)Falcons: Falcons
    (3)Steelers at (2)Chiefs: Chiefs
    (4)Packers at (1)Cowboys: Packers

    Championship:
    (4)Packers at (2)Falcons: Falcons
    (2)Chiefs at (1)Patriots: Chiefs

    Super Bowl:
    (2)Chiefs at (2)Falcons: Falcons

  • sacramento gold miners

    I can’t recall an NFL postseason when the race to the Super Bowl was more wide open than this. In the AFC, had Derek Carr been healthy, four teams have SB potential. In the NFC, five teams could win it all, and Eli Manning has already beaten Dallas twice.

    • McGeorge

      Even with Carr, I think the Patriots sleepwalk to the super bowl.

      • sacramento gold miners

        We’ll soon find out, without Gronk, this New England team isn’t as good as the 2014 version. Keep in mind what happened when the Steelers played the Pats in the regular season. Steelers were without Big Ben, and missing their best defensive player in Cam Heyward. Despite these huge advantages, it was a slender four point lead for New England in the fourth quarter.

        • MattHat121

          The 4pt lead is misleading. The Patriots didn’t have to do anything creative in that game to win. They mostly ran the ball against PIT’s shaky run defense.

          In a rematch in Foxborough, I don’t see PIT slowing down Brady, so they’d have to win TOP with lengthy drives, and not settle for FG’s.

          • sacramento gold miners

            In the NFL, it’s all about the score, and we’ve all seen plenty of games where one team is winning the time of possession, but the underdog stays within range, and finds a way to pull off the upset. It happens on a consistent basis.

            The Patriots usually jump out to big leads early, that’s their style, and they were facing a Steelers secondary which was weaker at that point in the season. Keep in mind Cam Heyward’s absence severely weakened the Steelers run defense. New England definitely prefers not to have a four point lead on the road in the fourth quarter against the underdog, usually, they have a comfortable lead. If the Patriots can pull away, they do so, there’s no tactical advantage in letting a depleted opponent within a one score game in the fourth quarter.

            The difference between Landry Jones(who will be the answer to a trivia question) in a few years, and a future HOF QB like Big Ben is enormous. Bell was only in his third game back, so he will be a much bigger factor in a potential rematch. Steelers have also played a tougher schedule, and if they play at an elite level(like the KC demolition), a seventh SB win is quite possible.

            • MattHat121

              Good points. It’s certainly possible, and I give the Steelers the best chance to defeat them in the AFC (Chiefs just can’t keep up, offensively). But clearly the Pats are the better team, so it will take an “above the line” performance (to use a Tomlin phrase) to do that in their own building.

              • Tom

                Agreed. I just can’t see the Chiefs beating the Pats…not because they’re not a good team, etc., I literally just can’t envision it. The Pats just don’t make enough mistakes, they wouldn’t allow some funky punt return or pick-six that the Chiefs (somewhat at least) need to win.
                Since around the middle of the season, it seemed clear to me that the only team with a shot to beat the Pats (because that’s what guys like me who can’t stand the Patriots do, they sit around thinking about how the Patriots can be beat) is the Steelers. They have the sheer talent to make that happen, and, if you catch them at the right time (since they’re nowhere near as consistent as the Pats, no team is), they can unload 40 points on you…basically, we’d be at the end of the game and the score is 31-31 and the Steelers are lucky enough to have the ball.

  • Wild Card:

    (5)Raiders def. (4)Texans in Houston
    (3)Seahawks def. (6)Lions in Seattle
    (3)Steelers def. (6)Dolphins in Pittsburgh
    (5)Giants def. (4)Packers in Green Bay

    Divisional:

    (1)Patriots def. (5)Raiders in New England
    (3)Seahawks def. (2)Falcons in Atlanta
    (3)Steelers def. (2)Chiefs in Kansas City
    (1)Cowboys def. (5)Giants in Dallas

    Championship:

    (3)Seahawks def. (1)Cowboys in Dallas
    (3)Steelers def. (1)Patriots in New England

    Super Bowl:

    (3)Steelers def. (3)Seahawks 31-20

    Le’Veon Bell SB MVP

  • Wild Card:
    Houston over Oakland
    Seattle over Detroit
    Pittsburgh over Miami
    New York over Green Bay

    Divisional Round:
    New England over Houston
    Kansas City over Pittsburgh
    Seattle over Atlanta
    Dallas over New York

    Conference Championships:
    Kansas City over New England
    Seattle over Dallas

    Super Bowl
    Seattle over Kansas City

    Seahawks win! (If you’re going to be a homer, might as well take it all the way.)

  • Wild Card Round
    (4) Houston over (5) Oakland
    (3) Seattle over (6) Detroit
    (3) Pittsburgh over (6) Miami
    4/5 Super Bowl winner over Wild Card round loser

    Divisional Round
    (1) NE over (4) HOU
    (3) SEA over (2) ATL
    (2) KC over (3) PIT
    Super Bowl winner over (1) DAL

    Conf. Ch.
    NE over KC
    SB winner over Seattle

    SB: Winner over NE

    Who wins Packers-Giants? Um…I have no idea. Let me find a coin.

  • AgronomyBrad

    Wild Card:
    Houston, Seattle, Pittsburgh, New York

    Divisional
    New England, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Dallas

    Championships
    Seattle, Pittsburgh

    Superbowl
    Seattle

  • McGeorge

    Wild Card
    With Connor Cook as QB, I can’t see Oakland winning. Not unless Osweiller really plays poorly, even worse than he has.

    There is no one to stop the Patriots, I think they have a > 34% chance of winning the super bowl that some sites show..

  • Tom

    My picks:

    Wild Card
    Houston 19, Oakland 18
    Seattle 24, Detroit 14
    Pittsburgh 29, Miami 19
    Green Bay 26, NY Giants 20

    Division
    New England 26, Houston 13
    Atlanta 31, Seahawks 20
    Kansas City 24, Pittsburgh 20
    Dallas 31, Green Bay 25

    Conference
    Atlanta 32, Dallas 26

    Super Bowl
    New England 30, Atlanta 28

    • Richie

      I think only 2 of you had the Super Bowl matchup correct.

      • Tom

        Ha! Sometimes things play out the way the numbers say they should…actually, after watching Rodgers in the Giants and then Cowboys games, I was starting to think Green Bay would be in there…

  • LightsOut85

    Wild Card Round

    (5) Oakland over (4) Houston
    (3) Seattle over (6) Detroit
    (3) Pittsburgh over (6) Miami
    (4) Green Bay over (5) New York Giants

    Divisional Round

    (1) Dallas over (4) Green Bay
    (2) Atlanta over (3) Seattle
    (1) New England over (5) Oakland
    (3) Pittsburgh over (2) Kansas City

    Conference Championships

    (1) New England over (3) Pittsburgh
    (1) Dallas over (2) Atlanta

    Super Bowl

    (1) New England over (1) Dallas

    Just a tad different than Chase’s. (GB>NYG). That game & OAK-HOU are coin-flips for me, but ones where the teams are losing in the next round regardless. I’m personally rooting for ATL to go all the way (since my team’s out it & they’ve got no championships), but I don’t think their run-defense (29th by DVOA) can hold up enough to get a win over Dallas.

  • Richie

    Wildcard:
    Seattle over Detroit
    Pittsburgh over Miami
    Green Bay over New York
    Houston over Oakland

    Divisional:
    New England over Houston
    Pittsburgh over Kansas City
    Green Bay over Atlanta
    Dallas over Seattle

    Championship:
    Dallas over Green Bay
    Pittsburgh over New England

    Super Bowl
    Dallas over Pittsburgh

    • Tom

      Would love to see Dallas – Pittsburgh…lot of history there.

      • Richie

        The chalk Super Bowl of Dallas-New England would be fitting, as it would feature the 2 teams with the most Super Bowl appearances who haven’t paired off yet.

        Pittsburgh 8 appearances
        Dallas 8
        New England 7
        Denver 7

    • Tom

      Richie – this might change your results, but Green Bay goes to Dallas, Seattle goes to Atlanta in the divisional round. I’m assuming you’ll have Dallas beat Atlanta in the conference game?

      • Richie

        That’s what I get for doing the seedings by memory. That’s actually going to change my Super Bowl.

        For some reason I feel like Green Bay could beat Atlanta, but can’t beat Dallas. Yet, I feel like Atlanta might match up well with Dallas.

        So I’m putting Atlanta in the Super Bowl instead of Dallas.

        Of course, if I had to actually risk something serious, I would pick New England. But that’s boring.

        • Tom

          Atlanta/Pittsburgh would be fun…touchdowns all over the place I’m thinking…

  • Tom

    Chase – perhaps you’ve written about this elsewhere, but I’m noticing you’ve got the Giants over Green Bay. On paper (SRS, DVOA, etc.) Green Bay looks like the (maybe slightly) better team, and theoretically should win at home. What’s your take? A repeat of 2011 when the Packers were 8 point favorites and lost? Or do you see the Giants pass defense giving Rodgers problems? I myself see Green Bay winning, but I don’t see Rodgers having a great game (but not a bad game either).

  • Josh Sanford

    Wild Card Round:
    (4) Houston over Oakland
    (3) Seattle over (6) Detroit
    (3) Pittsburgh over (6) Miami
    (5) NY Giants over (4) Green Bay

    Divisional Round:
    (5) NY Giants over (1) Dallas
    (2) Atlanta over (3) Seattle
    (1) New England over (4) Houston
    (3) Pittsburgh over (2) Kansas City

    Conference Championships:
    (1) New England over (3) Pittsburgh
    (5) NY Giants over (2) Atlanta

    Super Bowl:
    (5) NY Giants over (1) New England

    This is not the outcome I want, but…

  • Clemente Velasco

    Wild Card Round
    (4) Houston over (5) Oakland
    
(3) Seattle over (6) Detroit

    (3) Pittsburgh over (6) Miami

    (4) Green Bay over (5) New York Giants
    Divisional Round
    (4) Green Bay over (1) Dallas

    (2) Atlanta over (3) Seattle
    
(1) New England over (4) Houston
    
(3) Pittsburgh over (2) Kansas City
    Conference Championships
    (1) New England over (3) Pittsburgh
    
(2) Atlanta over (4) Green Bay
    Super Bowl
    (1) New England over (2) Atlanta

    I’m rooting for Dallas but I’m worried that a bad day on offense (for Dak especially) could sink them.
    And judging from their game earlier in the season, I’m buying that Steelers just have an advantage over KC. That’s probably over-simplistic.
    Meanwhile, in this world I would expect the Patriots to march to a championship with a series of favorable match-ups (I think they might struggle vs. Dallas, KC, NYG, or Seattle, but would have an advantage in any offense-based match-up, like vs. Atlanta or Pittsburgh.

    • Richie

      So far, so good!

      • Clemente Velasco

        I’m the king of predictions! But only in Football Perspective comment threads.

        • Richie

          2 more right for you.

    • Clemente Velasco

      hiya

  • Wild Card Round
    (4) Houston over (5) Oakland
    (3) Seattle over (6) Detroit
    (3) Pittsburgh over (6) Miami
    (5) New York Giants over (4) Green Bay

    Divisional Round
    (1) Dallas over (5) New York Giants
    (2) Atlanta over (3) Seattle
    (1) New England over (4) Houston
    (2) Kansas City over (3) Pittsburgh

    Conference Championships
    (2) Kansas City over (1) New England
    (1) Dallas over (2) Atlanta

    Super Bowl
    (1) Dallas over (2) Kansas City