For the last week, I have looked closely at each NFL team and evaluated them all. And after months of following the league as closely as I could, here is who I think (emphasis on the word 'think') will make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl.
You will note that all the teams I have projected in the postseason have established quarterbacks. Yes, Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick are young, but they have already established themselves as great talents and great leaders. And none of my playoff teams have a glaring weakness in any aspect of the game -- at least, none that I can see as of today.
Now, of the teams that I am projecting to miss the playoffs, there are two that I don't like leaving out and view as potential surprise teams, especially because neither one made the playoffs last year.
I like St. Louis in the NFC and Kansas City in the AFC, and the main reasons are the men at the helm of these squads. Jeff Fisher has 149 wins, 129 losses and one tie in his career as an NFL head coach. He has pretty much seen it all and because of that experience can solve whatever problems arise for the Rams – and I don't think there will be many. Andy Reid brings a 130-93-1 mark to Kansas City. He has a quarterback in Alex Smith that specializes in avoiding mistakes, which may be more important than creating plays in Reid's offence.
Still, when push comes to shove, as it often does in football, I have to leave the Rams and the Chiefs out of my playoff projections. Here is my post-season scenario.
2. Green Bay
5. San Francisco
6. New Orleans
2. New England
NFC Wild Card Games
New Orleans at Atlanta -- Atlanta wins
San Francisco at Washington -- San Francisco wins
AFC Wild Card Games
Baltimore at Houston -- Baltimore wins
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati -- Cincinnati wins
NFC Divisional Playoffs
San Francisco at Seattle -- Seattle wins
Atlanta at Green Bay -- Green Bay wins
AFC Divisional Playoffs
Baltimore at Denver -- Denver wins
Cincinnati at New England -- Cincinnati wins
Green Bay at Seattle -- Seattle wins
Cincinnati at Denver -- Denver wins
Super Bowl XLVIIL in East Rutherford, New Jersey
Denver and Seattle -- Denver wins