2020 NFL Playoff Predictions: Who Wins the NFC East, and Who Can Beat Baltimore?

The 2020 NFL Playoffs are soon to commence, with many of last year’s better teams are fighting for better playoffs spots, such as the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, those fighting for dear life just to make the playoffs like the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams, and newcomers like the Buffalo Bills. In what has been one of the most interesting years for playoff races, here are my predictions for who makes it and what damage those teams could do:

Who Takes the NFC East?

Remember when Dallas started 3-0 after beating the Miami Dolphins and people thought they could win the Super Bowl? Well, whoever actually said and believed that might not have a job by the end of this year, because beating the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, and Miami Dolphins, teams that will have 3 of the top 4 draft picks come this May, is not an accomplishment. In fact, since then, they have only beaten one team that is .500 or over, which was last week against the Rams.

The Philadelphia Eagles, on the other hand, at one point looked like a team that had no chance of making the playoffs, first when they were 3-4 following blowout losses to Minnesota and Dallas, and then just 3 weeks ago, when they lost at Miami as part of their 3-game losing streak. Now, sure, the Eagles have lost every offensive weapon possible at some point during the season aside from their QB Carson Wentz, have had no secondary to work with all year, and have had play-calling and locker room issues. Yet despite all that constant adversity being faced, they sit here 7-7 with a home date this Sunday evening against Dallas, where the winner takes the East (if Dallas wins they will be guaranteed the East, while Philadelphia, although very unlikely they don’t win, need a bit to go in their favor).

In the division that has been the laughingstock of the NFL this year, one must make the playoffs and then prove that they are worthy of being there. The past two weeks, Philadelphia has looked like they have figured things out, with a new two-headed monster in the backfield with rookies Miles Sanders and Boston Scott, new wide receivers like Greg Ward stepping up and filling the voids at that position, and the defense finally being healthy, Philadelphia looks like a team who, while they may not make a playoff run, they look like a team that can give a fight. This Sunday, Philadelphia takes the win and division.

The 6-Seed Battles, Who Takes Which?

Currently, the NFC’s 6-seed is the Minnesota Vikings and the AFC’s 6-seed is the Pittsburgh Steelers, with Minnesota’s remaining schedule being at home against the Green Bay Packers, and at Chicago to play the Bears. Pittsburgh gets the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens, both road games. If the Steelers were to lose one game, which would be the Ravens game, and the Tennessee Titan were to win one out of the two games remaining for them (they are at New Orleans and at Houston), then they would take the spot of the Steelers.

For Minnesota, if they lose out, and the Rams win out (they are at San Francisco and then at home against the Cardinals), then they would take the 6-seed. Aside from that, no scenarios seem very interesting to me. Pittsburgh will split their last two games, yet will keep the 6-seed, as I do not see the Titans beating either New Orleans or Houston. As for Minnesota, neither game is easy, as Green Bay could potentially be the 1-seed in the NFC, and the Bears are no cakewalk either considering how well their offense has played lately. Also, I see LA beating both San Fran and Arizona and seeing their way into the playoffs.

Who Can Challenge Baltimore?

In the preseason, I said that the Super Bowl would be Kansas City and New Orleans. While New Orleans looks like they are the favorites in the NFC (don’t count out the Packers, however), Baltimore is the CLEAR favorite to make the Super Bowl. All that being said, however, I still believe in Kansas City.

The early season challenges of not having a solid run game, and having a lack of weapons outside of Travis Kelce, have been fixed. The defense has stepped up mightily since last season, Mahomes has found his MVP-touch again, and the run game is getting back in shape, as LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams are picking up the slack. The Chiefs have also fixed their biggest flaw from last season, which was taking time off the clock on offense. The Chiefs were one of those teams that scored very quick touchdowns late in games, but then would set the opposing offense with too much time to score and run out the clock. This year, however, they have gone with more of a balanced attack which has allowed them to keep wins late in games. Come playoff time, that, along with the experience in favor of the Chiefs, is enough for me to believe that they present a challenge to Lamar Jackson and Co. and go to the Super Bowl. Don’t count them out.

The 2013 NBA Draft Top 5 Picks: Rethought

The 2013 NBA Draft in Brooklyn certainly was the craziest of all drafts. If I were the GM of any of these teams, here is who I would have picked.

Number 1, Cleveland Cavs: Anthony Bennett, UNLV, SF/PF

Bennett was a surprise pick in the draft, and Cavs fans have no idea what to say. Here is what GM Chris Grant said “As we did our evaluations throughout the entire year, we just kept coming back to his ability and his talent and how it fit with our guys, a lot of times, like last year, it’s just clear cut. But for us, through the year, we always had him very high in our rankings and as we went back and reviewed the film and went on campus and visited everybody, we came away saying he’s a great kid. He’s willing to work and do the right things and he’s got a bunch of talent.”

My call: I too would have picked Bennett because Noel rarely played due to an ACL injury.

Number 2, Orlando Magic: Victor Oladipo, Indiana, SG/PG

Oladipo is an explosive 2-guard who can get it done in the clutch. Orlando needed a reliable 2-guard after Hedo Turkoglu and Arron Afflalo. His weakness is his assist-to-turnover ratio.

My call: I too would have picked Oladipo because of his ability to shoot the ball well.

Number 3, Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, Georgetown, SF/PF

Porter had all defenses on their heels during big-time games. He is a 6’9” Small Forward who scores like a 6’6” Shooting Guard, and spreads the floor like a 6’1” Point Guard.

My call: I too would have picked Porter so that I would have a good replacement in the starting lineup for Trevor Ariza and Jan Vesely, and he scores BIG in the clutch.

Number 4, Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets: Cody Zeller, Indiana, C/PF

Zeller is a player who has a great post game, as well as a knack of making free throws (75.7% free throw shooter).

My call: I would have picked Ben McLemore because they NEED a clutch shooter to be able to win games.

Number 5, Phoenix Suns: Alex Len, Maryland, C

Len is a physical player who needs to show he can play since he missed the Draft Combine with an ankle injury.

My call: I would have picked Trey Burke because of his great shooting and physicality that the team needs that the Suns need, and Len will NOT bring that physicality.

 

Anthony-Bennett

Anthony Bennett after being chosen by the Cavs.