Here we go!!!
The NFL Playoffs are finally upon us and with no truly dominant teams in the league, we should be in for a lot of fun.
So, which teams have the best chance of making it to the Super Bowl? Who will win it all?
Well, after watching the 2018 season closely and doing some digging into the stats, here is how I rank the 12 teams still alive to hoist the Lombardi Trophy when all is said and done.
12 – Indianapolis Colts
11 – Dallas Cowboys
10 – Houston Texans
9 – Philadelphia Eagles
8 – Seattle Seahawks
7 – Baltimore Ravens
6 – Chicago Bears
5 – Los Angeles Chargers
4 – New England Patriots
3 – Los Angeles Rams
2 – Kansas City Chiefs
1 – New Orleans Saints
Road to Atlanta
I will not lie. After extensive research, coupled with what I have seen with my own eyes this season, this may be the least confident I have been in years when picking the Super Bowl winner. That being said, I am pretty confident that I have the two teams that will make it to the final game.
First, from the AFC. Heading into the 2018 campaign, the Los Angeles Chargers were my team of destiny. I thought they would win the AFC West rather easily and lock up the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Well, I still believe they could be the most complete team in the conference BUT I have my doubts that they will go on the road in January and beat either the New England Patriots or the Kansas City Chiefs.
When it comes down to it, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs will take advantage of their home-field advantage and defeat the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. This is not a pick that I love because the Chiefs have ZERO defense, and young QB, and Andy Reid, but the Patriots are a shell of their former selves and won’t have enough to get it done in a shootout on the road.
As far as the NFC goes, I have been all over the New Orleans Saints since the start of the 2017 season. Though they could not get it done in the playoffs last season, in my opinion, they have been the best team in the league from start to finish in 2018.
I honestly do not see a team that can challenge the Saints on their home turf which is why I am picking them to beat the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.
Wild Card Results
(6) Colts over (3) Texans [23-20]
(5) Seahawks over (4) Cowboys [27-24]
(5) Chargers over (4) Ravens [23-17]
(3) Bears over (6) Eagles [20-19]
Divisional Round Results
(1) Chiefs over (6) Colts [37-23]
(2) Patriots over (5) Chargers [30-27]
(1) Saints over (5) Seahawks [34-24]
(2) Rams over (3) Bears [24-17]
Championship Round Results
(1) Chiefs over (2) Patriots [34-31]
(1) Saints over (2) Rams [34-27]
Super Bowl Prediction
As far as the Super Bowl goes, the big question is whether or not the Chiefs defense will be able to slow down Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. According to DVOA stats, Kansas City has BY FAR the worst rushing defense in the NFL while the Saints bring in the No. 8 rushing attack (according to DVOA). I truly feel like the Saints will be able to do whatever they want on the ground which will then open up some huge downfield plays from Drew Brees and the Saints passing attack.
On the other hand, the Chiefs have the best offense since the 2010 Patriots and there is no question about it, Patrick Mahomes has had a magical season and he can really sling it. The Saints defense can shut down the run (No. 3 DVOA) but they struggle against the pass (No. 22 DVOA) which means Mahomes has an opportunity to have a big day.
I truly believe this game will be a shootout from the opening kickoff until the final second runs off the clock. Mahomes will do all he can to make things happen out of nothing but in the end, a late turnover will be enough to seal the deal for the Saints.
Saints 41 Chiefs 37