Sizing up the NFL Playoff Field after Week #13

Prior to the season, I made my playoff picks and the case for a Broncos-Seahawks Super Bowl matchup. In case you missed it, here it is: http://www.profootballcentral.com/2013/08/28/biggest-threats-to-a-denver-broncos-super-bowl-win/

A lot of handicappers and so-called NFL experts make picks and then choose to ignore them, especially when they are wrong. Not me. I am willing to admit when I was wrong.

So, through week thirteen of the NFL season, how have I done?

Well, good but not great.

My Super Bowl pick still seems sound. The Seahawks are riding an eight game winning streak and appear on the verge of earning home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. With the Broncos sweeping the Chiefs, it appears Denver will have home field advantage in the AFC.

As far as division champion predictions, it appears I’m on my way to nailing the AFC North (Bengals), AFC East (Patriots), NFC South (Saints) and NFC West (Seahawks). Carolina is going to make things tough for New Orleans but I expect the Saints to take the division and the Panthers will get the wildcard. I also picked the Niners as a wildcard and that appears to be sound at this point.

My pick of the Giants to win the NFC East does not seem as far-fetched as it did when they were 0-6 and the Packers probably would have won the NFC North had Aaron Rodgers not gotten injured.

The three teams I really missed on were the Texans, Colts and Chiefs.

After starting 2-0, the Texans suffered some close defeats and then imploded. Several pick-sixes by Matt Schaub and multiple injuries contributed to the ten game losing streak. Unless Gary Kubiak can convince Houston’s management that Case Keenum is the real deal, the former Broncos assistant may end up collecting unemployment after the season.

Due to the nature of its wins in 2012, I assumed that the Colts would suffer from regression this year. After getting pasted by the Rams and Cardinals, the Colts are still suspect. However, playing in a division with no other teams above .500, the AFC South is theirs for the taking. As much as I like Andrew Luck, I expect the Colts will be one-and-done again this year in the playoffs.

I believed that the addition of Andy Reid and Alex Smith would immediately improve the Chiefs. That belief though was improve to 8-8 or 9-7. Instead it lead to a 9-0 start and virtually ensured it will grab a wildcard slot. With a stout defense and Smith protecting the ball, I expect Kansas City to pull off the win on the road in the first round and be a very tough out for either Denver or New England in the 2nd round.

It is said that the NFL season does not begin until after Thanksgiving so a lot can happen between now and February 2. But for now I’m sticking with my pick of Seattle versus Denver in the Super Bowl.