NFL Playoff predictions second round 2014: After a riveting wild-card round of NFL games last weekend, here are predictions for the second round matchups:
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks: Seattle is considered by many to be the best team in the NFL this year, and they have a huge home-field advantage with a very loud crowd. The Saints won their first-ever road playoff game last weekend at Philadelphia, but New Orleans is a much better team in their home dome stadium. If this game was being played in New Orleans, it would be completely different, but there’s no way the Saints go into Seattle and win. The Seahawks beat the Saints 34-7 in Seattle on Dec 2. Prediction: Seattle to win 38-20.
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots: This is the biggest mismatch of the second round. Andrew Luck was brilliant in the Colts’ huge comeback from 28 points down to Kansas City, after looking awful earlier in the game. The Colts just don’t have enough weapons around Luck to go into New England and win in the playoffs. Prediction: New England to win 41-17.
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers: The 49ers are a slight favorite on the road here, something that could fire the Panthers up. They’re 12-4, won a division with a very good New Orleans team in it, are the NFC’s #2 seed, and are underdogs at home? Talk about lack of respect. Oh, and they’re 11-1 in their last 12 games, including a 10-9 win at San Francisco. This game feels like a toss-up. But with all the talk the past few days of the 49ers suddenly being the best team in the league right now, red lights start flashing. Prediction: Carolina to win 21-20.
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos: The Broncos looked sensational the first part of the season, then looked human at times. The problem here is, San Diego is the last team Denver wants to see. The Chargers played them tough twice, winning the game in Denver 27-20, while losing at home 28-20. The point spread is too high at 10 points. This feels like an upset in the making. Peyton Manning may be the best regular-season quarterback ever, but his performance in the playoffs often goes down a few notches – for whatever reason. Hard to believe Denver could get upset two years in a row at home in the playoffs when everyone has them billed for the Super Bowl, but San Diego is the right team to do it. Prediction: San Diego to win 28-27.