Mike’s NFL Playoffs Picks and Super Bowl Winner

What typically happens to me when it comes to predicting the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl is I have a hard time balancing what I think should happen in the games versus what I want to happen (which teams I prefer to win).

This year is maybe less difficult than in the past, because other than the Green Bay Packers, there aren’t too many teams I really want to win. It would be sweet to see the Dallas Cowboys go all the way in response to all of the ridicule Tony Romo has endured over the years. Unfortunately, if the Cowboys can get past the Detroit Lions in their Wild-Card game, then the Packers and Cowboys will face one another in the Divisional Playoffs, meaning a quick exit for one of them.

Looking at the rest of the bracket, in the AFC I am anti-New England Patriots, don’t care too much about Cincinnati Bengals or Indianapolis Colts, somewhat despise Baltimore Ravens. I am pro-Denver Broncos thanks to Peyton Manning but they do not look like a contender the way they’ve struggled down the stretch. Pittsburgh Steelers then? Haven’t they already won the Super Bowl enough? If they don’t get Le’Veon Bell back soon it will be a tough road to hoe to get to the big game.

In the NFC I already said I am pro-Packers and somewhat pro-Cowboys. I don’t mind the Carolina Panthers or Arizona Cardinals as teams to cheer for. In fact I was very close to buying a discounted Cam Newton or Larry Fitzgerald jersey earlier this week. Ended up settling for Calvin Johnson, although the Detroit Lions are on my don’t care for them list. I told the shop owner he’s going to need to discount the Ndamukong Suh jerseys a lot more!

Seattle Seahawks? I am already tiring of them but damn, they are peaking at the right time and I’m not sure who can step up to stop them. I will be cheering for the Packers or Cowboys to do it, but without further adieu, here is how my picks settled in when I filled out my bracket:

Wild-Card Weekend
Steelers over Ravens
Bengals over Colts
Cowboys over Lions
Panthers over Cardinals

Divisional Playoffs
Steelers over Broncos
Patriots over Bengals
Cowboys over Packers
Seahawks over Panthers

Conference Championships
Steelers over Patriots
Seahawks over Cowboys

Super Bowl Winner
Seattle Seahawks

Who are you picking?

NFL Playoffs Picture Prior to Week 16; Annual Football Playoffs Pool Now Open

Two week to go in the NFL regular season, and then, the playoffs! Dallas Cowboys WR is doing everything he can to propel the 'Boys into the post-season.

Two week to go in the NFL regular season, and then, the playoffs! Dallas Cowboys WR is doing everything he can to propel the ‘Boys into the post-season.

It is the holiday season, but on my mind as much as Christmas is the now fast approaching NFL Playoffs! Two weeks of NFL regular season to go, and then, the field is officially cut from 32 teams down to 12, to continue the path for one team to hoist the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl XLIX (49) Champions.

With that in mind, our annual NFL Playoffs Pool is now open! Some of the teams and seeds will change between now and Wild-Card Weekend, but I will update the pool after Week 16 and Week 17, and you can edit your picks any time, as much as you like, between now and the start of the pool. There is a cap on number of entries, so if you are keen to join, don’t delay.

The pool is run the same as prior years. “Simply” (ha ha) fill out the entire NFL Playoffs bracket from Wild-Card Weekend through the Super Bowl. Pick the winner of every game, plus the number of points each of your winning picks will win their game by. Don’t forget to fill in the margin of victory! You earn points for correct winners and how close your margin of victory predictions are.

As for the current seeds (I realize we will see this about a hundred times during the football broadcasts this weekend), they are:

AFC

#1 New England Patriots (11-3)
#2 Denver Broncos (11-3)
#3 Indianapolis Colts (10-4)
#4 Cincinnati Bengals (9-4-1)
#5 Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5)
#6 Baltimore Ravens (9-5)

NFC

#1 Arizona Cardinals (11-3)
#2 Detroit Lions (10-4)
#3 Dallas Cowboys (10-4)
#4 New Orleans Saints (6-8)
#5 Seattle Seahawks (10-4)
#6 Green Bay Packers (10-4)

As I’m sure you know, #1 and #2 teams get a first round bye in the playoffs. #3 hosts #6 while #4 hosts #5 for Wild-Card Weekend.

In the AFC there are six teams still mathematically in the hunt. The Kansas City Chiefs (8-6) are the closest in contention and play the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend which will have huge ramifications in the tussle for a wild-card berth for each of them.

The San Diego Chargers (8-6) are a game back with remaining games against the San Francisco 49ers and then Chiefs in Week 17.

The Buffalo Bills (8-6) are also in the hunt and face the lightest Week 15 opponent, Oakland Raiders, but then travel to play New England in Week 17. Thats not a good scenario.

The NFC is clearer cut for the most part. Only one team, the Philadelphia Eagles (9-5) are in the hunt discounting the three-team race for the NFC South crown. Eagles face division rival Washington Redskins and New York Giants to close out the season.

Back to the NFC South, the Saints currently hold top spot but Carolina Panthers (5-8-1) and Atlanta Falcons (5-9) are right on their heels. The Saints play the Falcons this week as one of the more pivotal games on the Week 16 schedule.

Okay, there you have a short overview of the current playoff picture. Join the playoffs pool, and I’ll be back next week with an update heading into Week 17. Then its the playoffs!

Annual Second Half NFL Football Survivor Pool Ready to Roll, Week 10 Start

I’ve received notes for 2-3 weeks now saying, “Mike, are you going to do a second half NFL survivor pool?”. Since we started the Classic Football Survivor in Week 4, plus still had some alive in our Lucky Loser’s Pool from Week 1, I felt like we needed a few more upsets to thin the field before opening a second half pool.

Thanks you Dallas Cowboys. Or, thank you Colt McCoy and the Washington Redskins. Both work, as the Classic got knocked down to 29 alive entries after Week 8, and the Lucky’s Losers is down to just 10 alive. There a bunch of you sitting on the sidelines, pining for another kick at the can this NFL season, survivor style.

As of late last night (technically, very early this morning), our annual

2nd Half Football Survivor Pool

is up and running!

To help ensure it fills up, I am capping the entries at 72, but it still sports a healthy $1,500 prize for the winner. The rules are exactly the same as the Classic pool – pick one team to win, you can’t pick the same team twice.

If the pool goes through Week 17 with more than one alive entry, then we will carry on into the NFL Playoffs to decide the winner. You do not need to save teams for the playoffs, as teams already picked in the regular season can be picked again in the playoffs (but again, only one time once we get there).

Payment methods are the same as used previously. The deadline to join is Sunday at 1:00 Eastern of Week 10. There are limited spots, so get your entry in soon! (As usual, you can always change your pick up to the deadline.)