NFL Divisional Playoffs – who wins? We’ll tell you


Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Each weekend over the past 18 weeks, we here at Lombardiave have posted predictions for all Green Bay Packers games and today we take on the NFL Playoff games that will be taking place starting this afternoon with the New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks and ending tomorrow night with San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos.

Predicting games is an imperfect science (guessing), but we do our best to use our expert analyses (guessing), and lifetime experiences (many trips to Lambeau Field) to do our best to come to conclusions (guesses).

That said, here is our best guesses on how this weekend’s games will turn out (or at least how we would like them to turn out)

Enjoy … and don’t hesitate to throw us your best guesses in the comments section below:

Patrick Hughes

Patrick Hughes

Despite living in the Northwest the Seahawks have not really grown on me. But I will say that I am almost envious of the Phish-inspired “Wil-Son” chants that echoes through Century Link Field. That would be a lot of fun at Lambeau Field. For this reason and the fact that Seattle is flat-out good I’ll take the Seahawks.

Seattle 31 New Orleans 21

New England versus Indy – I side with Tom Brady and the Patriots. But with a bit of Luck the Colts just might pull off an upset.

New England 28 Indianapolis 27

I really would like San Francisco to lose, but not just yet. My preference would be for Seattle to pull the rug out from beneath them in the NFC Championship game.

San Francisco 28 Carolina 24

With the Broncos a heavy 9.5 point favorite I expect Peyton Manning and company to take care of business. Peyton is not about to lose in the playoffs to Philip Rivers again.

Denver 38 San Diego 21

David Burdette

David Burdette

We have four games coming up this weekend, with the winner getting another chance at the big game. Eight teams, eight chances at a title. So who wins this weekend?

First off, we have New Orleans at Seattle. The first meeting was like this one – at Seattle – which is a tough place for anyone to play. The problem for Seattle is that the Saints have a bit of a swagger after beating the Eagles at Philly in the cold. Drew Brees might not have looked perfect, but the Saints defense picked up the torch and ran with it. But Seattle, unlike Philly, is an intimidating defense.

I would expect a much closer game with so much on the line this time.

Seahawks 27 Saints 24 

Second, We have Indianapolis at New England. Andrew Luck showed some crazy magic coming back from 28 down against the Chiefs to win 45-44. It might not be pretty, but in the playoffs a win is a win. Tom Brady is a great quarterback, but he is missing a whole lot of talent, and the defense seems to be short a major component every week.

My take – Don’t count out Brady, but I think Indy gets “Lucky” and manages to win a close one.

Colts 34 Patriots 31

Third, We’ll be watching San Francisco at Carolina. I have a bit of a bias in this one, wanting the 49ers to lose so the Packers are avenged, and the fact I grew up in Carolina and want to see them win the big one. Overall, this game will come down to who has the ball last, and I think that team will be down and driving for a field goal. The defense will be what wins this game in a physical clash.

Panthers won this matchup in San Fran, so I think they get it now, but once again by the skin of their teeth 23-21, though I could see this game at 14-13 as well, given the defenses.

Last but not least, Peyton Manning and Denver come into this still smarting from a first round exit from last year and look to take their revenge as San Diego comes to town. However, These teams split the series and given the Chargers’ running game, anything could happen. Philip Rivers looks rejuvenated, and Keenan Allen has developed into a potential OROTY as well as number one receiver.

Somehow, I just cannot see Peyton letting this one get by him as the Broncos roll.

Broncos 41 Chargers 20

Thomas Mrozla

Tom Mrozla

With all my biases and honesty taken into account here are my predictions.

The Saints finally shut the 12th Man up and beat the Seahawks 24-21.

The Colts vs. Patriots game is interesting because both Tom Brady and Andrew Luck are the kings of coming back.  I don’t know who will do it, but I’m going with Luck and the Colts in this one because the Patriots are the MOST boring team to watch in the Super Bowl – 34-28.

In the third game I am taking the Panthers. I don’t think I need to explain this one at all.  Panthers win 38-28.

In the last game of the weekend I will be taking the San Diego Chargers. For one, San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. For two, I dislike the hype around Manning and the Denver Broncos. Finally, Philip Rivers will channel the energy of the Bolo to beat the Broncos yet again – I say 41-33.

Ray Rivard

Ray Rivard

For some reason, I’m going with the underdogs this weekend, just because …

That means we’ve got New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees doing just enough to get by the Seattle Seahawks and their defense. The 12th Man will go home hoarse today, but on the short end of a 29-24 score.

Next up we’ve got the Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots – Andrew Luck vs. Tom Brady. Any other year I would pick Brady, but I feel the Colts are on a roll and Brady just doesn’t have the weapons around him to win playoff football. The Colts go in and steal a win from Belichick and Brady – Colts 27 Patriots 17

The game I’m most interested in this weekend is the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Carolina Panthers. While it would please me to no end to see Colin Kaepernick and the Niners go down in a lopsided loss, I feel it will be close and could be  a defensive battle.

I feel the Panthers, playing at home will do it.

Panthers 23 49ers 16

The final game of the weekend is the San Diego Chargers vs. the Denver Broncos. I’m sick and tired of hearing about how great Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are this season – OK, they are pretty good.

But not this weekend. The Chargers will bring their no-name team to this one and come away with an impressive win …

Chargers 31 Broncos 24