Predicting the NFL divisional round of the playoffs

This Seahawks fan is intense. - Otto Greule Jr

This weekend's playoff picks.

I batted .500 last week in the first round with my full playoff predictions. I picked the Colts and Chargers to advance but lost out on the Eagles and Packers.

I also had the Eagles advancing to the NFC Championship, so that's now a lost cause.

But I'll never give and up and I'll keep picking. That's what's fun about this game. The NFL can truly be the hardest sport to gauge at times, especially since games can be decided by a couple of plays.

So here's how I think the weekend will play out. Feel free to offer your predictions in the comments section below.

NFC divisional round

(6) New Orleans Saints (11-5) vs. (1) Seattle Seahawks (13-3), Saturday, 4:35 p.m. ET, FOX

Line: Seahawks by 8

The Seahawks did a number on the Saints in the two teams' first meeting, and it appears Las Vegas is thinking the same is likely to happen. I'm not so sure, given that Drew Brees saves his best for moments like these. But I do think the Seahawks' defense will be too much in the end. Prediction: Seahawks 28, Saints 24

(5) San Francisco 49ers (12-4) vs. (2) Carolina Panthers, Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET, FOX

Line: 49ers by 1

Could this be another ridiculously low-scoring game like this season's 10-9 Panthers win? Perhaps. Both defenses are among the NFL's best and feature two of the top inside linebackers in the game in Luke Kuechly and Patrick Willis. This is a toss-up that can go either way. I'll go with the Panthers due to home field advantage. Prediction: Panthers 14, 49ers 13

AFC divisional round

(4) Indianapolis Colts (11-5) vs. (2) New England Patriots (12-4), Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET, CBS

Line: Patriots by 7

Andrew Luck was magnificent last week leading the Colts from 28 down to defeat the Chiefs. Can he do it again? Well, the Patriots being without Brandon Spikes certainly hurts New England on the defensive side of the ball. But the Patriots ended the season with two strong wins over Baltimore and Buffalo. The Patriots' offense will be too much for the Colts. Prediction: Patriots 30, Colts 21

(6) San Diego Chargers (9-7) vs. (1) Denver Broncos (13-3), Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET, CBS

Line: Broncos by 9.5

I feel the trendy thing to do is ride the Chargers with all the momentum they have right now. I just can't get behind the idea that the Chargers will be able to control the ball the way they did the last time these two teams played against each other. Plus, that game was on a Thursday and Wes Welker was out for the first of the final three regular season games with a concussion. Welker's back and Peyton Manning should have a much better game this time around. Prediction: Broncos 38, Chargers 24


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