Having gone through each of the games remaining in the NFL schedule and made predictions for each of them, I’ve figured out what the playoff seedings will be. Unless you make those picks and determine how many wins that gives each of the teams, you can’t say my predictions are wrong.

AFC Seeding

East – New England Patriots (12-4)
None of the Patriots’ final four opponents are push-overs, but I don’t have any of them slated to make the playoffs at this point. Two of them are divisional games, and a visit from Cleveland. The only loss I have them sustaining is to the Ravens in Week 16 when they travel to Baltimore.

North – Cincinnati Bengals (11-5)
Their trip to Pittsburgh in Week 15 might not go according to plan, but they should be able to rack up enough wins in the other three remaining weeks to punch their card and win their division. The Colts aren’t playing especially well at the moment, but the final two weeks at home against the Vikings and then Baltimore should prove enough of a shot in the arm to get them there.

South – Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
The slump they’ve been in will get a lot of help from the Texans and Jaguars coming to town in the final three weeks of the season. I expect whatever issues they’re having to clear up a bit by the time they’re playing in the brackets.

West – Denver Broncos (14-2)
Two victories over the Chiefs made this inevitable. Visits from the Titans and Chargers make this four-week stint a pleasant one for Manning and company after seeing the Chiefs two out of the three weeks prior. Following that up with a visit to the vacation spot known as Houston and then Oakland? Peyton should be well-rested for the post-season.

Top Wild Card – Kansas City Chiefs (13-3)
If they wanted to get a home game in the playoffs, they should’ve had a better showing against the Broncos in weeks 11 and 13… and against the Chargers in Week 12. I’m at the point now where I don’t have faith in the Chiefs to beat Washington this week. Once they get back on track, they should do well against Oakland, and even if they don’t beat the Colts AND the Chargers, they should still easily stay in the top wild card spot.

Second Wild Card – Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
Just when it looked like the Steelers were going to be in a rebuilding mode, they’ll likely sneak into the playoffs. With the post-season left to play for, they should be able to beat Miami and Cleveland, and I’m banking on them winning one of the other two games against the Packers or Bengals.

NFC Seeding

East – Dallas Cowboys (9-7)
Even if they win two of their remaining games, they can punch their ticket. If Aaron Rodgers is back to form in Week 15, that win won’t go their way, and if the Eagles keep playing turnover-free football, the Week 17 matchup won’t go their way either. I’m not banking on either of those happening, but even if Dallas doesn’t pick up a win in those games, finishing 2-2 shouldn’t be impossible, with rival Washington and Chicago comprising their other two opponents.

North – Detroit Lions (11-5)
They’ve got a tough road the rest of the way, but after they battle to beat Philly in Week 14, they should find an easier go of it as they finish with the Ravens, Giants and Vikings, all of whom fail to make the playoffs.

South – New Orleans Saints (12-4)
Even if they split with Carolina in the last four weeks, tie-breakers should get them the division title. Aside from the Panthers, the trip to St Louis is the biggest challenge they have in the final four weeks.

West – Seattle Seahawks (14-2)
This was the easiest pick to make. They finish out the final two games of the season with divisional games at home. They make the playoffs one way or another. Beating the Giants in Week 15 should certainly help them show that they don’t only win games in the Pacific Northwest… not that they’d have to win elsewhere throughout the playoffs.

Top Wild Card – Carolina Panthers (12-4)
Factoring in a split with the Saints in the two games they have against one another, the Panthers still make the playoffs because I have them beating the Jets and Falcons in the two remaining games.

Second Wild Card – San Francisco 49ers (11-5)
Only two of the final four games should present much of a challenge for the 49ers. The game against Seattle is being played in San Francisco, so that plays in their favor. The trip to Arizona in the final week of the season won’t be a walk in the park either, but even factoring that in as a loss, the 49ers still make the playoffs. The Buccaneers are improved, but I’ll still pick the 49ers to beat them Week 15, and playing host to the under-performing Falcons shouldn’t be a problem Week 16.

Predicted Results

Wild Card Weekend

San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys
Predicted Winner: San Francisco 49ers
The 49’ers Stout Defense is going to make the playoffs a miserable experience for Tony Romo yet again.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts
Predicted Winner: Indianapolis Colts
Both of these squads started off like gangbusters, and although they both hit some rough times, I have a bit more faith in the Colts, who were here last year while the Chiefs were trying to figure out who to take with the top overall pick. That’s right, I “went there”.

Carolina Panthers @ Detroit Lions
Predicted Winner: Detroit Lions
Sure, the Panthers have a stout defense, but they’re going to have trouble figuring out how to stop the potent offense of the Lions. The issues the Panthers have running the ball with anyone other than Cam Newton concerns me.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Predicted Winner: Cincinnati Bengals
There’s a reason the Bengals had the much better record of the two teams. Even with the much-improved Steelers team doing well in the second half, they won’t beat Cinci twice in the span of a month.

Divisional Weekend

Cincinnati Bengals @ New England Patriots
Predicted Winner: New England Patriots
The Bengals will probably enjoy their trip to New England less than the Patriots enjoyed their week 5 trip to Cincinnati.

Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints
Predicted Winner: New Orleans Saints
I enjoy watching both of these offenses when they’re in top notch form, but I have less faith in Reggie Bush keeping healthy than I do in Drew Brees running up the score in New Orleans.

Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos
Predicted Winner: Denver Broncos
Week 7’s victory by the Colts spoiled Peyton Manning’s homecomming, but this game will take place in Denver, and Manning’s going to remind Colts fans why they should be sad to see him playing elsewhere.

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
Predicted Winner: Seattle Seahawks
The home field advantage is going to be tough for anyone to overcome up in Seattle.

Conference Championships

New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks
Predicted Winner: Seattle Seahawks
I didn’t see anything in their Week 13 game that makes me think the Saints will be competitive enough in this one to unseat the top seeded Seahawks in Seattle.

New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos
Predicted Winner: Denver Broncos
Remember when Peyton Manning visited New England AGAIN, losing in Week 12? He will, and it’ll be the second game in a row that he welcomes someone to Denver and avenges his only 2 regular season losses – both of which were on the road.

Super Bowl

Seattle Seahawks vs Denver Broncos
Predicted Winner: Denver Broncos
Remember how dominant the Seahawks look in Seattle? They’ll be all the way across the country for this one, and if the weather is cold outdoors in the New York area stadium, all the more reason the Broncos will have the advantage. Quick: name three wide receivers for the Seahawks. I’m sure you can name that many for Manning. The first time Russell Wilson gets to the Super Bowl will be a learning experience… and he’ll have a great teacher.

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