2016 NFL Playoff Picks
We did it!
Fellow football aficionados we have made it through an interesting regular season.
For 38% of you, there is still work to be done. For an even smaller 13% of you, this is the week to bite your nails in anticipation of the Divisional Round. For 22% of you, you don’t know who will be coaching your team next season! And for a sad 3% of you, you still root for the Cleveland Browns.
Of course between Week 17 and the nitty gritty scouting combine, we have the playoffs. I’m going to walk you through game by game and provide my expert analysis to shed some light on your viewing plans.
Wild Card Round
- Undoubtedly, the most watchable game this weekend is the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Cincinnati Bengals. First of all, this is a division rivalry that has a history but in the recent future has really heated up. Since Vontaze Burfict hit Le’Veon Bell all the way to injured reserve, the Steelers and Bengals have been going at it. Whether it is Andy Dalton or AJ McCarron at QB for Cincy, they are going to put up an offensive showing for sure. With Tyler Eifert back to near full strength, the Steelers must be wary of the many options Cincinnati as offensively. When it comes down to it, I like Big Ben and the Pittsburgh offense to compensate for an average defense and move on Round 2. Pittsburgh 31, Cincinnati 24
- The next best game for viewership is Green Bay at Washington. I had Green Bay winning the Super Bowl back in early August and now they have me wanting a time machine. Aaron Rodgers in the first few weeks reminded me why I love football so much. He was a wizard on the field and had complete control of the offense. Recently, however, A-Rod and I have had a bit of a falling out has he has struggled to operate this former juggernaut. Losing to Arizona and Minnesota back-to-back was rough but this is a team that can really stir things up in January. On the contrary…. Washington has been a bit of a surprise. Jordan Reed has been immense for the offense. Washington has figured out how to get a lead and maintain it against mediocre opponents. Green Bay will falter in the run game and the Skins can take advantage. Yes Kirk Cousins, I do like that. Washington 26, Green Bay 17
- Narrowly in third behind the Redskins game is the matchup of Seattle and Minnesota. I’m almost certain you have heard about the potentially record low temperatures Minneapolis is going to have? That shouldn’t be a big problem unless you are a Seahawks fan. Russell Wilson has been so hot and it’ll be a shame if he doesn’t get a healthy amount of opportunities to pass. With Marshawn Lynch possibly coming back the offense may run more often than in recent games. For the Vikings, Teddy Bridgewater hasn’t really been anything special so the limited passing opportunities due to weather shouldn’t hurt him too much. Luckily, the offense flows through Adrian Peterson. Unluckily, he is facing the same Seattle defense that crushed Arizona in Week 17. Congrats on winning the NFC North Minnesota and better luck next year! Seattle 17, Minnesota 9
- Lastly, Alabama versus Clemson for the title of… wait, what? Oh, well I guess this is just for NFL games so Kansas City-Houston is by default number four. Kansas City hasn’t been fun to watch but they have been good at winning. Houston hasn’t been fun to watch but they are on national television so what choice do we have? As far as the AFC South goes, Jacksonville was the most fun and has the most potential, Indy was the team we all kinda wanted to do well with Hasselbeck but was a major letdown, Tennessee met expectations ending the season 3-13, and Houston made the playoffs (Sorry Gang Green). Fortunately, the Chiefs offense isn’t a team that should put 40 on you. Marcus Peters wins Defensive Rookie of the Year, Brandon Weeden somehow clings to a job, and the Chiefs move on to the Divisional Round. Kansas City 20, Houston 10
Until the next round is solidified, I’m not going to go through every potential matchup so here are my picks.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Denver Broncos – PIT 28, DEN 24
Kansas City Chiefs vs New England Patriots – KC 22, NE 21
Washington Redskins vs Arizona Cardinals – ARZ 38, WAS 24
Seattle Seahawks vs Carolina Panthers – SEA 30, CAR 24 (OT)
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Kansas City Chiefs – PIT 21, KC 16
Seattle Seahawks vs Arizona Cardinals – ARZ 27, SEA 21
Finally, the Super Bowl.
Before I get to that, I would like to point out the blown opportunity in using Super Bowl 50 and ditching the Roman Numerals. Sure Super Bowl L looks dorky but why not Super BowL?! The L is at the end waiting (just like you, the reader).
Koch’s Super Bowl Pick
In a game that I picked before realizing the rematch potential, I have:
Arizona Cardinals 23, Pittsburgh Steelers 17
Feel free to ask me whatever you please in regards to my playoff picks. Call me out if you disagree using the Koch’s Corner Forum, the NFL Forum, or my personal favorite the Twitterverse (@CoachKochman).