By: Brandon Blake
For the last few weeks, I have previewed each NFL division for the upcoming season. Also, I have made my predictions on who will win each division and who will clinch a wild card spot in each conference respectively.
In this article, I will predict who will advance in the playoffs in both the AFC and NFC conferences. I will pick the winners in the Wild Card round, the Divisional round, and the conference championship round and select the winner of Super Bowl 51 which will be played in Houston.
Also, in this article, I will preview the Thursday night season opener between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos in a rematch of Super Bowl 50.
Here are my playoff predictions for each round:
()-Denotes playoff seeding.
Wild Card Round
(3) Cincinnati over (6) Pittsburgh
(5) Denver over (4) Indianapolis
(1) New England over (5) Denver
(2) Kansas City over (3) Cincinnati
(1) New England over (2) Kansas City
NFC Wild Card
(3) Green Bay over (6) Minnesota
(5) Seattle over (4) Dallas
(1) Arizona over (5) Seattle
(2) Carolina over (3) Green Bay
(1) Arizona over (2) Carolina
Super Bowl 51
Arizona 28 New England 24
Thursday Night (Season Opener)
-Panthers vs. Broncos
* I think this game will play out just like when these teams played back in February at Super Bowl 50. It will be a tough, physical defensive fight between two of the best defenses in the NFL. Despite both teams losing some of their defensive players from that game in February, there is still enough talent on both of those defensive units, respectively, to make this a defensive slugfest.
However, I think the difference will be at the quarterback position where I think Cam Newton will outperform Trevor Siemian on Thursday night. Newton’s play (and the return of wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin) will uplift the Panthers offense and carry them to a big road victory in Denver and set the stage for another possible Super Bowl run for Carolina.
Prediction: Carolina 22 Denver 17
On Friday: My Week 1 Picks
Enjoy The Game.