Predictions for NFL Wildcard Playoff Games

by Colin Horan ‘21, Dylan Sondike ‘24, Ryan Duvall, ‘21 Jimmy Yates ‘21, and Matt Rosenthal ‘22


New Orleans Saints (12-4) vs Chicago Bears (8-8)

Saints 27-Bears 9. The Saints are simply a better team than the Bears and it’ll show when they play on Sunday. The Bears offense will once again struggle to get anything going and a bunch of Cairo Santos field goals won’t cut it in the playoffs. Alvin Kamara will follow up his 6 touchdown performance with two more and New Orleans will cruise its way into the divisional round. –Colin Horan ‘21

Saints 28- Bears 17. Just two weeks ago Saints Alvin Kamara rushed for 155 yards and tied an NFL record with 6 rushing touchdowns in one game. Although Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has looked like a franchise quarterback lately, veteran quarterback Drew Brees and Kamara will take the Saints right through Chicago. –Dylan Sondike ‘24

Saints 23- Bears 10. In what could be considered the most lopsided game this round, the Saints should be able to take care of a Bear’s team that barely made the playoffs. There may not be a lot of offense in this matchup between two good defenses, but the Saints will pick up a win as they try to close Drew Brees career out with a Super Bowl run. –Ryan Duvall ‘21

Saints 32- Bears 20. The Saints have never looked particularly dominant this year, losing to both the Eagles and Raiders. Drew Brees and company have not made it to the Super Bowl since 2010, and they will not break that drought this year. Fortunately for the Saints, their Super Bowl dreams will not be crushed this week, as they face the 8-8 Bears who are below 20 in every offensive ranking. Even the Bears talented defense will not be able to slow down Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill, who combined for seven touchdowns last week. –Jimmy Yates ‘21

Saints 27- Bears 10. Drew Brees in what may be his final postseason appearance will cook Chicago’s monsters of the midway. Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas will hopefully return-from Covid-19 and injuries, respectively, to help Brees try and hoist the Lombardi one last time. –Matt Rosenthal ‘22 


Seattle Seahawks (12-4) vs. Las Angeles Rams (10-6)

Seahawks 20-Rams 14. A little bit of Russel Wilson playoff magic will be just enough for the Seahawks to get by the Rams. No team wants questions at quarterback, but unfortunately the Rams will have to decide whether to go with Jared Goff or John Wolford under center. The Seahawks love to play in close games and this will be no exception. –Colin Horan ‘21

Seahawks 24- Rams 17. Unsure whether Rams quarterback Jared Goff will play this Saturday will have a big impact; however, even with Goff or not it will be too difficult for the Rams to win. With the Seahawks defense playing somewhat better in recent weeks and Russell Wilson playing well, plus DK Metcalf setting career numbers at the wide receiver position, will lead to both having great games leading to a win. –Dylan Sondike ‘24

Seahawks 30- Rams 24. This NFC West matchup could be one of the better games this week, but that all depends on if Rams quarterback Jared Goff will play through a thumb injury. If Goff does play then the Rams have a shot against a Seattle offense that seems to sleep through the first half of games, but if he is out Russell Wilson and Seattle’s defense will send their division rivals home. –Ryan Duvall ‘21

Seahawks 35- Rams 24. Russel Wilson struggled the first time these two teams met in the season, throwing two interceptions and zero touchdowns. The second time, he only threw one touchdown but Seattle still came away with a victory. The Rams dominant defensive line and secondary are the reason they won the first matchup, and they must once again disrupt Wilson in order to give their mediocre offense a chance to win the game. Eventually, Jared Goff will crack under the pressure and the Seahawks will escape with a victory. –Jimmy Yates ‘21

Seahawks 17- Rams 9. The resurging Seahawks struggle in a victory against the mighty Aaron Donald-led Rams defense. Without Jared Goff, LA’s offense does not get off the ground, resulting in only three field goals scored. –Matt Rosenthal ‘22  


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) vs. Washington Football Team (7-9)

Buccaneers 37-Football Team 10. The red-hot Tampa Bay offense will come into Landover and blow out the Washington Football Team. Tom Brady will pick apart Washington’s defense with his plethora of weapons and throw for four touchdowns for the third game in a row. The pro-bowl pass rushers on each team will give Tom Brady and Alex Smith some trouble, but in the end, the big differences in offense will propel the Buccaneers to a big win. –Colin Horan ‘21

Buccaneers 23- Washington Football Team 20. In a low scoring match Washington will stay close thanks to their defense, but  Alex Smith and the offense will not be able to produce enough points to keep up. Future hall of famer Tom Brady will throw for over 250 yards and two touchdown passes leading to a slim Buccaneers victory. –-Dylan Sondike ‘24

Buccaneers 31-Football Team 14. While the Washington Football Team does have two great comeback stories in Alex Smith and Ron Rivera, they won the worst division in football and have no real shot in this one. Tom Brady, who somehow at age 43 is still dominating the NFL, leads a loaded Bucs offense into Washington, where they will probably run them out of the stadium. Maybe the Football Team puts up a fight, but it’s going to be really hard to win this game. –Ryan Duvall ‘21

Buccaneers 38- Football Team 17. If Tampa Bay’s offensive line can protect Tom Brady against Washington’s scary defensive front, Tom Brady will throw for 300 yards, multiple touchdowns, and Washington won’t stand a chance. However, if Chase Young and Montez Sweat can disrupt Brady, Washington’s underwhelming offense will put a few scoring drives together and keep things interesting. In the end, Brady will out-throw whoever Washington decides to use as their quarterback and Brady will win his first NFC playoff game. –Jimmy Yates ‘21

Football Team 21- Buccaneers 17. Washington pulls off the shocking upset against the vaunted Tampa Bay Bucs. The defense shuts down Tom Brady and company and shines their way to a glorious playoff win in a season of despair. –Matt Rosenthal ‘22 



Buffalo Bills (13-3) vs. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)

Bills 33-Colts 20. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs playing at such a high level will simply be too much for the Colts’ defense to handle, however good it may be. Jonathan Taylor will continue his hot streak and will keep the Colts’ within striking distance but Philip Rivers won’t be able to keep pace with Buffalo’s explosive offensive attack –Colin Horan ‘21

Bills 31- Colts 20. Josh Allen has enormously improved from last year to this year and will most likely finish second or third in the MVP voting this year. This will be too much to defend for a solid Colts defense. –Dylan Sondike ‘24

Bills 28- Colts 17. Ever since their week ten loss to the Cardinals the Buffalo Bills have been red hot, closing out their season on a six game win streak. The connection between breakout quarterback Josh Allen and his star wideout Stefon Diggs will be tough for the Colts to stop, even with their solid defense. In the end, the Colts and their aging signal caller, Phillip Rivers, won’t be able to keep up with the Bills. –Ryan Duvall ‘21

Bills 34- Colts 21. The Bills run defense has improved in recent games but will struggle against Colts rookie running back Jonathan Taylor, who rumbled for a franchise record 253 yards last week. Taylor will rush for over a hundred yards and stay hot, but the rest of the Colts offense will not show up. Allen will out-duel Rivers with 3 touchdowns and lead the Bills to victory. –Jimmy Yates ‘21

Bills 27- Colts 17. Buffalo has been on a tear this season, losing only three games in odd scenarios. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs will torch the fierce Indianapolis defense, kicking off their run to the Super Bowl. –Matt Rosenthal ‘22 


Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) vs. Cleveland Browns (11-5)

Steelers 26-Browns 13. Should the game not get delayed or rescheduled, the Browns will be in a very tight spot. They’ll head into their first playoff game in 17 years without Kevin Stefanski and potentially several players and coaches, including star cornerback Denzel Ward. The Steelers led by a rested Ben Rothelisberger and elite defense will simply be too much for an inexperienced and in shambles Cleveland Browns. –Colin Horan ‘21

Steelers 17- Browns 14. In a defensive battle between pro bowlers TJ watt of Pittsburgh and Myles Garrett of Cleveland will lead to a low scoring battle between the rivals. Although Ben Roethisberger and the Steelers have struggled as of late going 1-4 in the last 5 games of the season, they will bounce back against a resurgent Browns team. –Dylan Sondike ‘24

Steelers 35- Browns 24. It’s weird to see the Browns in the playoffs, and unfortunately for them it will not last long. On Tuesday Cleveland announced head coach Kevin Stefanski and a few players tested positive for Covid-19 which does not help. The Steelers should roll in this one, against a young Browns team that just doesn’t have the experience to beat Big Ben and Mike Tomlin. –Ryan Duvall ‘21

Browns 28- Steelers 21. The Steelers performance in the back half of the season was truly awful, losing to a crippled, four-win Bengals. The Steelers have no run game and their defense has weakened without Bud Dupree. Somehow, Ben Rothlisberger and his explosive receiving corps are keeping the Steelers afloat, as they did in their comeback against the Colts two weeks ago. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt will exhaust the Steelers defense with over 150 combined rushing yards and two touchdowns, Baker Mayfield will do the rest. –Jimmy Yates ‘21

Steelers 28- Browns 13. The Browns barely squeezed a win out against Pittsburgh’s JV squad. The previous time these two squared up in Pittsburgh, the Steelers destroyed them 38-7. The Cleveland defense will give the struggling Steelers offense a run for their money, but the far more dominant Steelers defense will lock up the Browns fierce run-game. –Matt Rosenthal ‘22


Baltimore Ravens (11-5) vs. Tennessee Titans (11-5)

Ravens 37-Titans 32. A 2019 wildcard rematch headlined by the NFL’s two top rushing attacks is set to take place in Nashville. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens will finally have their revenge in a high scoring bout where the Titans’ lackluster defense won’t get enough stops to win this rare run-heavy shootout. –Colin Horan ‘21

Ravens 28- Titans 24. A revenge game for the Ravens from last year’s playoff matchup will be just enough to take them to the divisional round of the playoffs. Lamar Jackson going undefeated in the last 5 weeks of the season while throwing for 11 touchdown passes and rushing for 4 will overpower a weak Titans defense. –Dylan Sondike ‘24

Ravens 31- Titans 28. After getting embarrassed by the Titans in the divisional round last year, the Ravens are out for revenge. However, Baltimore’s defense will have a tough task ahead of them facing Derrick Henry, the first player to rush for 2,000 yards in a season since Adrian Peterson in 2012. Against a team like the Titans, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense will definitely have to produce if they want to win. –Ryan Duvall ‘21

Ravens 31- Titans 24. Derrick Henry, who rushed for a season high 250 yards against the Texans to top 2,000 yards for the season, sizes up well against the Ravens smaller linebackers. However, the Ravens also ran wild last week for 405 yards, and they will continue to lean on the run game. Jackson will toss two scores, rush for one, and Dobbins will run for another. The deciding factor will be Jackson’s turnovers; last year against the Titans he threw two interceptions and fumbled once, costing the Ravens the game. –Jimmy Yates ‘21

Titans 31- Ravens 24. The highly anticipated rematch from the playoffs last year will result in a similar fate. Derrick Henry will continue to obliterate Baltimore’s defense while Ryan Tannehill will only throw for a handful of meaningful passes. Lamar Jackson will put his all out there and will ultimately come close, yet be so far from his first postseason victory. –Matt Rosenthal ‘22