Super bowl predictions

The American Football Conference is full of teams who are in playoff contention and with the season coming to a close in just a few weeks, teams are making the final push.

I believe that New England and Denver will pick up a first round bye in the AFC, with the weapons that both teams have on both sides of the ball. It’s hard to see them not winning the rest of their games this season.

Brady and the Patriots are undefeated at home this year and play two of their last three games in Foxborough.

With Manning’s Broncos getting healthy once again with the return of Julius Thomas from an ankle injury, Denver seems poised to at least clinch a first round bye.

The only other area I see changing in the AFC playoff race is the wild card.

Currently San Diego and Pittsburgh hold the five and six spots. However, The Chargers’ final three games see them first at home against the Broncos, followed by two away games against San Francisco and then Kansas City.

AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez

AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez

While Phillip Rivers is having arguably one of the best seasons of his career, I don’t think the Charger offense will be able to out-gun a Manning led offense or pick apart the hard-nosed Kansas City defense.

The only other win they are favored to pick up, at least in my mind, is from an injury mangled 49ers led by the struggling Colin Kapernick, who lost to the now 2-11 Raiders last week.  Instead, The Ravens will pick up the last playoff spot.

In the first round, the Ravens will go against the Bengals in Cincinnati.

The Ravens will come out on top in this match-up, as Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has thrown one touchdown and five interceptions in three playoff appearances in his career.

I don’t see that changing much considering the intense pressure that will be put on Dalton by Baltimore’s stacked defensive line.

Up next, Pittsburgh will face off against the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Andrew Luck and company should be able to come out of this one with a win.

Andrew Luck is on top of his game and leading the highest scoring offense in the league right now.

Despite having exceptional offensive weapons, their defense isn’t there, and they do not have the speed needed to keep up with the Colts speedy receivers. With that, the Patriots will go head-to-head against Baltimore at Gillette Stadium.

This would be a tough match-up for New England, but with an improved secondary and a healthy Rob Gronkowski, I’m taking the Tom Brady over Joe Flacco on this one — bringing the Patriots to their second straight AFC championship appearance.

Manning faces his former team at Mile High Stadium — this one could go either way.

Manning is almost always lights-out in the regular season, but his brilliance seems to fade once January comes along.  While the same can be said of Andrew Luck, he’s still young and maturing as a quarterback.  In Manning’s case, you can’t teach old dogs new tricks — I’m predicting a Denver loss at home.

And now a trip to Arizona for a chance at the Lombardi trophy is at stake.

The Colts face the Patriots in the house that Kraft built.  Although Andrew Luck is having the best season of his young career, he has yet to notch a win against the Patriots.  Luck has thrown seven interceptions against Bill Belichick’s defense and was out scored by New England 42-20 in Week 11.

The Patriots are too good at home, in fact they are undefeated.  The Patriots go to their sixth super bowl in fifteen years.

The NFC is a toss-up, but chances are, the Patriots are making it to Arizona — count on it.

Jacob Barrett can be contacted at

Share and Enjoy !