As we enter week 15 of the NFL season, the playoff picture is starting to take shape. The contenders are separating from the pretenders on the field, and more importantly, in the standings. Fans of potential playoff teams are anxiously awaiting the results of these last few games so they can find out who they will match up with come January. However, as we say over here “As the weather gets cold, the predictions get Bold.” Well…actually, only I say that. So let’s just jump into the 2020 NFL playoff predictions before I get even cornier.
2020 NFL Playoff Predictions
Wild Card Round
1: Kansas City Chiefs (15-1)
The Chiefs’ defense is not as good as it seemed earlier in the year, but will that matter if the offense is going to be this good?
2: Buffalo Bills (13-3) vs 7: Cleveland Browns (11-5)
Buffalo will move into the two seed by virtue of a Steelers loss to the Colts in week 16. The Bills win last week over Pittsburgh will be the tiebreaker.
Prediction: Bills over Browns, 23-17.
3: Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3) vs 6: Baltimore Ravens (11-5)
With the Ravens set up for a cakewalk of a final three games, they are on course to pass Cleveland for the sixth seed. They own a tie-breaker over the Browns because they beat them twice already this season. That sets up a potential third matchup between the Steelers and Ravens (Pittsburgh won both 2020 matchups)
Prediction: Steelers over Ravens, 24-9.
4: Indianapolis Colts (12-4) vs 5: Tennessee Titans (11-5)
Another divisional matchup, in this case, it’s a ‘Rubber Match,’ as the Titans and Colts split their two games this year. This scenario, however, is one where the Titans lose to the Packers in week 16 and the Colts win out, which would leave out any tie-breakers.
Prediction: Titans over Colts, 24-16.
1: Green Bay Packers (13-3)
If Green Bay can get by Tennessee in week 16, they should be able to get the one seed and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
2: Los Angeles Rams vs (12-4) vs 7: Minnesota Vikings (9-7)
The Rams have the best defense in the NFL, and that is a good thing for December and January football. If they win out and the Saints lose one more conference game, the Rams will get this seed.
Prediction: Rams over Vikings, 26-10.
3: New Orleans Saints (12-4) vs 6: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5)
The Saints may be playing well with Taysom Hill, but make no mistake, if they don’t get Drew Brees back soon, they will move down to the three seed. They face Kansas City this week followed by a Minnesota team that will be desperate to get into the playoffs.
Prediction: Buccaneers over Saints, 34-31.
4: Philadelphia Eagles (7-8-1) vs 5: Seattle Seahawks (11-5)
If the Eagles win out, they are going to win the division. I do not think there is any chance that Washington or New York wins all of their final matchups, putting Philadelphia in the driver’s seat with three winnable games to go.
Prediction: Seahawks over Eagles, 31-21.
1: Kansas City Chiefs vs 5: Tennessee Titans
This one would be one of the best playoff matchups of the year, especially since it is a rematch from last year’s postseason. In that game, Kansas City fell behind in the first quarter before making a comeback on their way to a Super Bowl victory. The Titans will surely be out for revenge.
Prediction: Titans over Chiefs, 38-35.
2: Pittsburgh Steelers vs 3: Buffalo Bills
Speaking of revenge, the Steelers will be looking to make up for a loss to the Bills that not only cost them the one seed but probably also makes it so that this game is played in Buffalo. It won’t be enough, as Buffalo is still a year away from being Super Bowl contenders.
Prediction: Steelers over Bills, 27-24.
1: Green Bay Packers vs 6: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Packers were absolutely embarrassed down in Tampa Bay earlier this year by a score of 38-10. The score of that game was not indicative of the talent difference between these two teams, however, meaning the Packers will be out to prove they are better than they showed in week five.
Prediction: Packers over Buccaneers, 27-17.
2: Los Angeles Rams vs 5: Seattle Seahawks
These two teams met once already, with the Rams winning convincingly, and are set to play again in week 16. That game could decide the division and will definitely give a better indication than the first game of how these two teams will match-up come January.
Prediction: Rams over Seahawks, 27-17.
2: Pittsburgh Steelers vs 5: Tennessee Titans
The Steelers beat the Titans in an epic showdown earlier this season, but would be playing a different Tennessee team. This run game that the Titans have now is clicking on all cylinders, so don’t expect the Steelers to hold them to 82 yards rushing again.
Prediction: Titans over Steelers, 26-24.
1: Green Bay Packers vs 2: Los Angeles Rams
This game would be the biggest test of the season for either team. Not only would it match up the two best teams in the NFC, but it would pit Sean McVay up against his former assistant coach, Matt LaFleur. The storylines off the field would pail in comparison to the greatness that would be between the lines, however, as an NFC championship game between Aaron Donald and Aaron Rodgers would be one for the history books.
Prediction: Rams over Packers, 20-19.
2: Los Angeles Rams vs 5: Tennessee Titans
This game would be a rematch of Super Bowl xxxiv, where the Rams won on a tackle at the one-yard line as time expired. While we can only hope that this game could come anywhere close to being as exciting as that one, it should still be a great game in its own right. The Titans and Derrick Henry are just starting to gain steam as the playoff seedings take shape, averaging the second most rushing yards per game on the season. It would be a matchup or strength vs strength, however, as the Rams currently allow the third least yards per carry in the NFL (3.9).
Prediction: Rams over Titans, 27-15.
Thanks for reading my 2020 NFL playoff predictions. For more great content, follow me on Twitter @JbellSportsTalk.