2015 NFL Playoffs Predictions AFC: Patriots Broncos, Manning Brady
I may be rooting for a Peyton Manning vs Tom Brady rematch. It’s pretty much my favorite thing about the AFC. The New England Patriots are a symbol of consistency and losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, while the Denver Broncos have reloaded in the past couple years. The first round is full of exciting match ups, including one of the best rivalries in football between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.
6. Baltimore Ravens OVER 3. Pittsburgh Steelers
It’s hard to cast off a championship pedigree like that of the Ravens, but this is a completely different team. The defense is younger and not nearly as dominant and Joe Flacco doesn’t have any weapons on the outside. The Steelers have been one of the best teams at home this year. Big Ben has been great at home… but with Le’Veon Bell I don’t see how Pittsburgh can keep that balanced attack going. This is going to be a low-scoring, grinding, tough game. I lean to the Ravens with Bell’s injury, but we’re low confidence here at best.
Ravens 23 – Steelers 21
4. Indianapolis Colts OVER 5. Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton, on the road, in the playoffs. The Indianapolis Colts have a high-powered offense and should be able to run away with this one at home. I don’t think either team has much of a shot at advancing too far in the playoffs, but the Colts and Andrew Luck have too many weapons.
Colts 38 – Bengals 23
1. New England Patriots OVER 6. Baltimore Ravens
The Patriots may be the most complete team in the AFC, and the Ravens don’t have enough. The Baltimore Ravens have a decent run game but I don’t think they’ll move the ball. The Patriots will be prepared here, rested off their bye, and ready. I like them to win at home against whoever their opponent.
Patriots 31 – Ravens 16
2. Denver Broncos OVER 4. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have enough offense to go toe-to-toe with the Broncos, but they’re also going to have to deal with an incredibly balanced Denver attack. Peyton Manning has matured a little this year, running the ball effectively down the stretch and controlling the game. The Broncos defense will be the difference here, with a strong pass rush that tips the scales in their favor.
Broncos 28 – Colts 20
2. Denver Broncos OVER 1. New England Patriots
I’ll be honest, this is mostly because I picked Broncos Seahawks before the season started and don’t want to retract it. I can see the Broncos finding a way on the road. The Patriots have been incredible down the stretch and Manning struggles on the road in these match ups, but I like Denver to get back to the Super Bowl in 2015.
Broncos 28 – Patriots 27
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