The regular season of pick’em came to an end last week with me needing both the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos to win in order for me to beat Adam Malnati on the season. Hilariously, both of those things happened and I squeezed by Adam for the top spot in our four-person pick’em challenge at Mile High Report.
Seattle Seahawks (9-8) at San Francisco 49ers (13-4)
Where: Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California
When: 2:30 PM MST on Saturday, January 14, 2023
Line: San Francisco by 9.5
Here’s a crazy stat that I noticed last week. Since the Denver Broncos traded Bradley Chubb to the Miami Dolphins at the trade deadline and received the San Francisco 49ers first-round pick in compensation, the 49ers have won nine straight. And they’ve done it with any quarterback they could find. That’s what good coaching looks like.
The offense has topped 30 points in seven of the last ten games and the defense is one of the best in the league. The 49ers are the most complete team in the NFL. I think they will absolutely destroy the Seahawks in this game and might just be the team to beat in the NFC with how Brock Purdy is playing.
Prediction: 49ers 34, Seahawks 21
Los Angeles Chargers (10-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)
Where: TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida
When: 6:15 PM MST on Saturday, January 14, 2023
Line: Los Angeles by 2.5
Brandon Staley played his starters last week against the Broncos and watched them struggle and, ultimately, fall 31-28 to Denver on the road. He lost two starters to injury during the game. While Joey Bosa seems to be good to go with a groin injury suffered during that game, Mike Williams is officially listed as questionable on Saturday.
Meanwhile, they are on the road to face one of the hotter teams in the NFL in the Jacksonville Jaguars. Since falling to 2-6 in a loss to the Broncos in London, the Jaguars have won seven of their last nine games. They needed to win out to have a shot to win the AFC South and they won out their final five games. I’m going with the hot team here.
Prediction: Jaguars 30, Chargers 27
Miami Dolphins (9-8) at Buffalo Bills (13-3)
Where: Highmark Stadium in Buffalo, New York
When: 11:00 AM MST on Sunday, January 15, 2023
Line: Buffalo by 13.5
At one point these two teams were tied for the AFC East division lead at 8-3. One team won out and the other lost five of six to barely sneak in as the seventh seed. However, crazy things happen in the playoffs. Just not this time.
I see the Bills steamrolling here in one of the only true blowouts of the Super Wild Card round of the playoffs. The Bills remain my pick to reach the Super Bowl this year.
Prediction: Bills 31, Dolphins 3
New York Giants (9-7-1) at Minnesota Vikings (13-4)
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota
When: 2:30 PM MST on Sunday, January 15, 2023
Line: Minnesota by 3
The Minnesota Vikings might be the biggest 13-win frauds I’ve ever seen. Their net point differential is negative three. Negative three! They find ways to win close games and if the game isn’t close they lose by many touchdowns. In their four losses they lost by 17, 37, 11, and 24.
Luckily for them, the Giants were 2-4-1 down the stretch and look like a non-playoff caliber team. They did play these Vikings well in that stretch, losing by just three. The shave a couple of points in this one...
Prediction: Vikings 20, Giants 19
Baltimore Ravens (10-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)
Where: Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio
When: 6:15 PM MST on Sunday, January 15, 2023
Line: Cincinnati by 9.5
The AFC North should never have a nearly double-digit spread if the two teams are meeting in the playoffs. However, with Lamar Jackson unable to go with a knee injury it sure looks like the Bengals could run away with this one. They lost three of their last four games and have not scored over 20 points in a game since late November.
Meanwhile, if the 49ers are the hottest team in the NFL then the Bengals are the second hottest team in the NFL. They have won eight straight games to close out the season and look poised to get that game against the Buffalo Bills next week that was cancelled in Week 17.
Prediction: Bengals 28, Ravens 20
Dallas Cowboys (12-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9)
Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
When: 6:15 PM on Monday, January 16, 2023
Line: Dallas by 2.5
You never know what kind of game you will get from these Dallas Cowboys in 2022 and I would trust them even less in the playoffs. Tom Brady on the other hand looks like a guy who should retire fully and move on from the game.
Yet, we’re in the playoffs here. Tom Brady has gone one and done just a handful of times in his career. Once in 2009, then again in 2010, and finally in 2019 when he moved on from the New England Patriots. Do I go against the greatest playoff quarterback in NFL history in favor of the Dallas freaking Cowboys? lol, no.
Prediction: Bucs 33, Cowboys 30
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