SidelineMOB’s 2014 NFL Playoff Picks
Earlier this week, we gave you our individual staff predictions for wild card weekend of the 2014 NFL playoffs. Now, it’s time to truly put our collective guts on the line and share with the world our full 2014 NFL playoff picks and Super Bowl predictions.
We’re giving you full 2014 NFL playoff picks and Super Bowl predictions from 4 of our strongest NFL analysts – SidelineMOB lead writer Steeze, who picked the 2013 NFL regular season with 68% accuracy; lead writer Sean; featured writer, fantasy football expert and Balls Out Radio contributor Wheels; and Balls Out Radio NFL playoff contest winner Steve.
Each of our 4 NFL analysts has handed in their completed 2014 NFL playoffs bracket, complete with all matchups and projected winners. Interestingly enough, all 4 experts predicted a different Super Bowl winner, while 2 picked the same Super Bowl XLVIII matchup.
In an even split, our panel picked 2 teams each from the AFC and NFC to win it all. 3 different NFC squads were picked by our experts to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, while our 4 panelists only think 2 AFC teams have a clear path to the big game.
So who did each man pick to navigate the 2014 NFL playoffs bracket and reach Super Bowl XLVIII? Let’s get right to the picks!
2014 NFL playoff picks and Super Bowl prediction: Steeze
Analysis: Steeze’s Super Bowl pick pits the hottest team in the NFL (San Francisco) against Denver, the team perceived by most to be the best in the NFL. “If anyone’s beating Seattle at home, it’s the 49ers,” Steeze says. “San Francisco is playing a far better brand of football than the Seahawks right now, and I can see Jim Harbaugh catching Seattle napping early in a divisional round matchup as they come off a bye.”
Steeze believes that Bill Belichick is Peyton Manning’s kryptonite – but he also thinks the Bengals will upset the Patriots in the AFC Divisional round, meaning Denver gets to avoid New England altogether in the playoffs. Although the Bengals are a strong team, they will ultimately fall to the Broncos in the AFC title game.
Not only does Steeze like the 49ers to win the NFC, he likes them to defeat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. “The Niners remember what it was like to show up and lose last year – no motivation needed,” Steeze continues. “Their brand of ball-control offense is a good counter to the Broncos’ attack, and the hard-hitting Niners secondary will jam and frustrate Denver’s receivers all game long.”
2014 NFL playoff picks and Super Bowl prediction: Sean
Analysis: Unlike Steeze, Sean places zero faith in Peyton Manning’s ability to reach the Super Bowl – mainly because he believes the Broncos will face the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. When asked for a comment regarding Peyton in the playoffs, Sean responded: “HORRIBLE. That’s all that needs to be said – just make sure you put it in all caps.”
Rather than looking for the big upset in the NFC playoffs, Sean rode mostly chalk through the NFC bracket, ending with Philadelphia traveling to Seattle for the NFC Championship, where he believes the Seahawks and their home-field advantage will be too much for Chip Kelly’s high-powered attack, mainly because Seattle’s defense is versatile and fast enough to keep pace with the Eagles.
In the end, that versatility and pace – coupled with Seattle being the healthier team – are the factors that lead Sean to pick Seattle over New England in Super Bowl XLVIII.
2014 NFL playoff picks and Super Bowl prediction: Wheels
Analysis: Wheels puts all his NFC stock in the return of Aaron Rodgers for Green Bay, predicting they will run through the 49ers, Panthers and Seahawks to reach Super Bowl XLVIII. “What other NFC quarterback can win at Carolina and Seattle this year?” Wheels states. “There’s always a surprise team in the Super Bowl, and Rodgers gets to head into the playoffs fresh.”
In the end, even a fresh Rodgers isn’t enough for Wheels to put Green Bay past the Denver Broncos, as he believes Peyton Manning will fully exorcise his perceived playoff demons and win his second Super Bowl ring. In Wheels’ mind, the best QB on the best offense means the best chance to win.
2014 NFL playoff picks and Super Bowl prediction: Steve (Balls Out Radio contest winner)
Analysis: Our contest winner Steve came up with the same Super Bowl matchup as Sean – Patriots vs. Seahawks. Unlike Sean, Steve has that game ending with New England seizing yet another Super Bowl championship at the expense of Pete Carroll’s Seahawks.
Steve’s big upset comes in the AFC Divisional round, where he sees Peyton Manning and the Broncos falling to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. Steve’s reasoning for that decision is simple: the Colts beat the Broncos earlier this season, and their ability to beat strong teams throughout the season (Seahawks, Chiefs, 49ers) means there will be no intimidation factor heading into the Mile High City.