2015 AFC Divisional Playoff Predictions
The 2015 AFC Wild Card playoffs displayed two dominating performances. The Baltimore Ravens went into Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers at Heinz Field in the playoffs for the first time ever. The Indianapolis Colts utilized a strong 2nd half defensive performance to keep the Cincinnati Bengals winless in the playoffs since 1990. But both teams will be considerable underdogs as they face the two elite teams in the AFC. Here are my AFC Divisional Round Playoff Predictions.
Saturday, January 10th, 2015 – 3:35 CST
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
Median Ticket Price $227
The Baltimore Ravens surprised some with their dominating win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. It proved that the Ravens could go on the road and win in the playoffs, and do so running the ball and playing tough defense. However, winning at Gillette Stadium will be an entirely different challenge. Tom Brady is playing one of the best seasons of his career. With what was supposed to be a diminished cast around him, Brady has thrown for 33 touchdown passes to just 9 interceptions, leading the Patriots to the top seed in the AFC yet again. This will be the 12th time that Tom Brady has appeared in the NFL Playoffs. In those 12 trips, the Patriots have failed to win a game just twice, and have posted an unbelievable 18-8 record. This game features the only matchup of Super Bowl winning quarterbacks in the NFL Divisional Playoff Round and for the Ravens to win at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, they will need Joe Flacco to play one of the best games of his career. Ian’s Prediction – Bill Belichick’s defense plays outstanding, Tom Brady makes no mistakes, Patriots win 34-17.
Sunday, January 11th, 2015 – 3:40 CST
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos
Median Ticket Price $252
The Indianapolis Colts vs. the Denver Broncos presents one of the most interesting storylines in the AFC Playoffs so far. Andrew Luck will try and lead the Colts to a win over the greatest Colts player of all-time, Peyton Manning. The game is a rematch of the first game of the season, that saw the Broncos barely hold on to a 31-10 4th quarter lead, to win 31-24. In that game we saw Andrew Luck at his best, and his worst. The still young star threw for over 360 yards and 2 touchdowns, but threw 2 key interceptions that were likely the difference in the game. Where the Colts struggled the most was running the ball. As a team Indianapolis ran for only 54 yards, making one of the lowest totals of the season. This, combined with the Broncos large first half lead, forced the Colts to throw the ball 53 times. If the Colts are going to have any chance in a much colder rematch in Denver, they will have to find a way to move the ball on the ground. The keys for the Broncos are simple, stop the run, and hope the real Peyton Manning shows up. In a week 16 loss to the Bengals, in cold, rainy conditions, Manning threw 4 interceptions. If that Peyton Manning shows up, the Broncos have little chance of beating the Colts. Ian’s Predictions – Manning plays emotional, overcomes some early mistakes to beat his old team, Broncos win 34-27.