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2012 Playoff Predictions and Super Bowl XLVII Picks

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The 2012 NFL season is now just seven days away from kick off with the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants hosting their NFC East rivals Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium next Wednesday night.

I will be posting a preview of the game next week but for now it’s time to reveal my Playoff predictions and Super Bowl picks for this year.

And so early as though it may be, here are my Playoff seeds.

AFC

1. New England Patriots

2. Baltimore Ravens

3. Houston Texans

4. San Diego Chargers

5. Pittsburgh Steelers

6. New York Jets

NFC

1. New York Giants

2. Green Bay Packers

3. New Orleans Saints

4. San Francisco 49ers

5. Chicago Bears

6. Philadelphia Eagles

AFC Wildcard Round

(3) Texans vs (6) Jets

Arian Foster

Without much competition in the AFC South, I see the Texans winning back-to-back division titles with their star running back Arian Foster set for another big year.

The Jets passing game will be the key to their season and I think they’ll somehow find a way to sneak into the Playoffs even with the Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow quarterback controversy that’s likely to unfold.

Prediction: The Texans superior offense along with their emerging defense gives them the edge over the Jets.

Texans win

(4) Chargers vs (5) Steelers

Philip Rivers

The San Diego Chargers have brought in plenty of talented players this offseason and that should help them to overtake the Denver Broncos and win the AFC West.

After a disappointing playoff loss to the Denver Broncos last year, the Steelers are looking to bounce back this time around with much of their success depending on the availability of Rashard Mendenhall and Mike Wallace.

Prediction: The Steelers are a team on the decline which is why I see the Chargers getting the win in this one.

Chargers win

NFC Wildcard Round

(3) Saints vs (6) Eagles

Michael Vick

As shocking as it may sound, I still think the Saints can win the NFC South even without their suspended head coach Sean Payton because Drew Brees and his offense are just that good.

The Philadelphia Eagles are the most talented team in the NFL on paper and if they can keep Michael Vick healthy and play solid defense, I see them taking the final wildcard spot in the NFC.

Prediction: This game could break all types of offensive records and I see the Eagles winning in an upset.

Eagles win

(4) 49ers vs (5) Bears

Brandon Marshall

After coming so close to the Super Bowl last season, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith will be tasked with taking one step further this year and will also have arguably the best defense in the NFL to support him.

As long as the Bears can find a way to keep Jay Cutler and Matt Forte off the sidelines, they should at the very least earn a wildcard spot for the postseason.

Prediction: In what would likely be a throwback defensive minded game, the Bears win a close one.

Bears win

AFC Divisional Round

(1) Patriots vs (4) Chargers

Rob Gronkowski

Tom Brady threw for more than 5,000 yards last season and he should put up similar type numbers again this year with weapons including the best tight end tandem in the NFL in Gronkowski/Hernandez.

The Chargers defense would surely have to step up if they were to make it this far into the Playoffs and they would certainly be in for a long day going up against Brady and co.

Prediction: As a Chargers fan, I should really be going for the upset but I just don’t see that happening.

Patriots win

(2) Ravens vs (4) Texans

Ray Lewis

The Ravens defense will be missing 2011 Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs for much of the season but they have more than enough talent elsewhere on defense to make up for his absence and win the AFC North.

After getting past the Jets in the last round, the Texans would come up against their old foes from last season’s Playoffs in the Baltimore Ravens in another battle at M&T Bank Stadium.

Prediction: Just like last time, it’s hard to pick against the Ravens in this matchup.

Ravens win

NFC Divisional Round

(1) Giants vs (6) Eagles

Jason Pierre-Paul

The defending Super Bowl champion Giants get my number 1 seed in the NFC and with last season’s roster still mainly intact, I see them having a much better regular season showing this year.

It’s one thing getting the upset over the Saints on the road, but the Eagles would face an even tougher task in this one as the Giants defensive line would be likely to have a field day going up against Michael Vick.

Prediction: In an east coast rivalry game, the Giants get the win and advance to the NFC Championship.

Giants win

(2) Packers vs (5) Bears

Aaron Rodgers

People seem to have forgotten that the Packers lost just two games last season and still have the reigning MVP in Aaron Rodgers along with a defense that will be much better in 2012.

The Bears would love nothing more than to eliminate the Packers from the Playoffs on their own turf at Lambeau Field and would be forced to count on quarterback Jay Cutler to step up and lead them to victory.

Prediction: In a game between two of the biggest rivals in the NFL, it’s the Packers who come out on top.

Packers win

AFC Championship Game

(1) Patriots vs (2) Ravens

Joe Flacco

In a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game, the Patriots take on the Ravens at Foxborough again.

Prediction: With time running out, undrafted rookie Justin Tucker would (ironically) kick the winning field goal.

Ravens win

NFC Championship Game

(1) Giants vs (2) Packers

Charles Woodson

In yet another rematch from last season’s Playoffs, it would be down to the two top teams in the NFL.

Prediction: The Packers learn from their mistakes and get the win to sends them to New Orleans.

Packers win

Super Bowl XLVII

(AFC Champs) Ravens vs (NFC Champs) Packers

Aaron Rodgers

Two teams with completely contrasting styles meet at the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome on February 3rd, 2013.

Prediction: In a potential Super Bowl clash for the ages, I’d give a slight edge to the Packers.

Packers win Super Bowl XLVII

So that’s my Super Bowl pick as well as my Playoff predictions for the 2012 season.

Although I would like to see my choices be as accurate as they can be, I hope I’m wrong about the Chargers chances and they somehow manage to win the Super Bowl!

And for anyone looking to put a bet on the Packers winning the Super Bowl, check out http://www.paddypower.com/bet as they have the best odds at 13/2!!!

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