Here are my predictions for the second round of the playoffs.
NEW ORLEANS (6) VS SEATTLE (1)
The Saints got embarrassed earlier this year when they went to Seattle to take on the Seahawks? Are the Saints equipped to take down Seattle this time around?
One thing that makes this matchup difficult for the Saints is the defense of the Seahawks. The secondary is still very strong and the passing attack from Drew Brees needs to be very precice to give the Saints any kind of chance.
One thing that they must do is execute the screen game to perfection. However, this game also may come to the hands of the Seahawks’ offense. Their rushing attack remains very strong and could be the difference in setting the tone early. The Saints have a strong defense but can it handle the dynamic play of Russell Wilson?
This game will also feature the return of Percy Harvin, meaning the Seahawks’ aerial attack gets a little strong. But I don’t see him being a major impact. However, the home crowd will aide the Hawks to victory.
SEAHAWKS WIN 41-30
INDIANAPOLIS (4) NEW ENGLAND (2)
Even with a young group of receivers and the loss of Rob Gronkowski, I still feel that the Patriots are a tough offense bunch as long as Tom Brady is at quarterback. The Patriots actually have a really strong running game and they might ride that for all the momentum they can get against the Colts.
But even if the rushing attack isn’t as successful, the receivers have matured and in true Brady fashion, along with Bill Belichick, they will devise a gameplan that will be successful. The colts have to counter that with their young talent as well.
Andrew Luck was impressive in his comeback last week against the Chiefs but he cannot afford to fall into an early hole against the Patriots. T.Y. Hilton expects to get a lot of attention, meaning the other passing options like Coby Fleener must stand up. And if the Colts have any chance, they have to establish a running game and that means Trent Richardson must be a factor for them.
PATRIOTS WIN 34-21