By MSBlog
Jan. 07, 2017


(6) Miami Dolphins at (3) Pittsburgh Steelers

The only other matchup between the two teams this year was in Week 6, when Miami beat the Steelers 30-15 to begin their six-game win streak that got them into the playoffs. The Steelers team they'll be playing, however, has greatly improved from their early-season struggles. Plus, with Ryan Tannehill officially being declared out for the game, I doubt Matt Moore will be able to outscore the Steelers' triple threat of Ben Roethlisberger (pictured above), Antonio Brown, and Le'Veon Bell.

WINNER: Pittsburgh Steelers

(5) Oakland Raiders at (4) Houston Texans

The Texans haven't forgotten their controversial Nov. 21 loss in Mexico to the Raiders, and are looking for their third Wild Card Game victory in six years. If Derek Carr hadn't broken his fibula in the second-to-last game of the season, I would've handed this game to Oakland, but since we're getting the worst quarterback matchup in recent playoff history (Connor Cook vs Brock Osweiler), I'm actually giving it to Houston based on the their defense (statistically the best in the league) Raiders' cold streak, losing their biggest offensive weapon in Carr and getting blown out by Denver in Week 17.

WINNER: Houston Texans


(6) Detroit Lions vs (3) Seattle Seahawks

It wasn't the most impressive season for Seattle, and they still have some glaring issues that need to be fixed quickly in order for them to make their third Super Bowl (that offensive line is disgusting), but Seattle has been lethal in the postseason for the past half-decade for a reason. Detroit, meanwhile, limps into the postseason after thinking they'd sealed the NFC North, but three straight losses (including Week 17 to eventual division winner Green Bay) puts Detroit in the home of the 12th Man. It won't be pretty for Matthew Stafford and the Lions.

WINNER: Seattle Seahawks

(5) New York Giants at (4) Green Bay Packers

The most interesting Wild Card game by far, it's Aaron Rodgers vs. Eli Manning, both of whom have two wins each at Lambeau Field (fun fact: both of Eli's playoff wins at Green Bay occurred during his two Super Bowl-winning seasons). I originally saw these two teams as the ones to knock off the Dallas Cowboys, but only one will get the opportunity. I'm picking the Cheeseheads to get that opportunity.

WINNER: Green Bay Packers


(4) Houston Texans at (1) New England Patriots

Despite winning three out of their four Wild Card game appearances, Houston has never gotten out of the divisional round, and they've lost their last four games against New England, including their 27-0 Week 3 loss to Jimmy Garoppolo. What the hell are they going to do against Tom Brady?

WINNER: New England Patriots

(3) Pittsburgh Steelers at (2) Kansas City Chiefs

Even on a late-season hot streak, Pittsburgh will be challenged to win in Arrowhead, and against a Chiefs team currently running on all cylinders. The Steelers will only win if they take advantage of Kansas City's below-average defense (24th in the NFL), especially on the ground.

WINNER: Pittsburgh Steelers


(4) Green Bay Packers vs (1) Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay's offense will be air-based (Aaron Rodgers) and Dallas' offense will be ground-based (Ezekiel Elliott), and it will be a high-scoring affair. However, the edge goes to the team with a balance of passing and rushing attacks, over the team with an almost exclusively passing attack.

WINNER: Dallas Cowboys

(3) Seattle Seahawks at (2) Atlanta Falcons

The last time these two teams faced off in the playoffs, Atlanta dropped a red-hot Seahawks team that hadn't fully reached its peak. After four seasons and a two Super Bowl appearances, however, Seattle looks ready to return to the big game. Atlanta's high-octane offense will keep the game interesting, but Seattle gets revenge for 2013.

WINNER: Seattle Seahawks


(2)Pittsburgh Steelers at (1) New England Patriots

This would only be the second playoff matchup between Brady and Roethlisberger, the first since the 2005 AFC Championship. Twelve years later, the two future Hall of Fame QBs square off for another Super Bowl berth, and it will go to the man who has won four out of five AFC Championships in Foxborough, where this game will be played.

WINNER: New England Patriots


(2) Seattle Seahawks at (1) Dallas Cowboys

If this game was in Seattle, I would've picked the Birds in a blowout, and even in Dallas, I'm not sure Dallas' young offense will be able to penetrate the experienced Seahawks defense, even if their offensive line is a thousand times better than Seattle's.

WINNER: Seattle Seahawks


New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks

The Patriots' only true loss this season (I discredit Buffalo's Week 4 win over Jacory Harris) came in a close game against the Seahawks, but more importantly, it will be Seattle's opportunity to get revenge for what should have been their second Super Bowl win. The Patriots' offense will have to fully take advantage of Seattle's weak O-line to shut down Russell Wilson. I believe they can do it, and I believe they can win their fifth Super Bowl in franchise history.

SUPER BOWL LI WINNER: New England Patriots

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