The Coin Toss: NFL playoff predictions

Welcome to The Coin Toss, where I make bold predictions about your favorite professional sports.

First, a look back at my Week 13 predictions, which went one-for-three:

PredictionOutcomeDid I get it right?
Jets beat (+9.5) spread against TitansTitans 26–22 JetsYes!
Lamar Jackson makes 250+ passing yards, 100+ rushing yards125 passing yards, 75 rushing yardsNo
Rams (-8.5), Chiefs (-15) and Packers (-14) all cover the spreadRams win by 14, Chiefs win by seven, Packers lose by threeNo

This will be the last column for the semester. The NFL’s regular season will come to an end over the break, so let’s take a look at the standings and predict who is making the playoffs…

AFC East Winner: New England Patriots

This one’s a no brainer. The Pats (9–3) have a three-game lead over the second place Dolphins (6–6). There should have been no doubt in anyone’s mind that they would win the division for the 10th year in a row, which they can accomplish this weekend.

AFC North Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Ravens (7–5) have won three straight to pull within half of a game behind the Steelers (7–4–1). Although Baltimore is hot, Pittsburgh has the better team and they’ll end up on top.

AFC South Winner: Houston Texans

After losing their first three games, Houston (9–3) stormed back to win nine straight. Indianapolis could challenge them, but Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt and co. are just tearing it up right now.

AFC West Winner: Kansas City Chiefs

This one’s not as obvious as you might think! The Chiefs (10–2) have the lead but the Chargers (9–3) are hot on their tails. Even so, the Chiefs’ talented offense will lead them to the division title.

AFC Wild Cards: Los Angeles Chargers and Indianapolis Colts

The Chargers have the first spot all but locked up, assuming they don’t win the division. The Colts (6–6) are the most talented of all the teams vying for the second spot. I predict Andrew Luck will lead them to a wild card berth.

NFC East Winner: Dallas Cowboys

Maybe the hardest division to predict. The Cowboys (7–5), Eagles (6–6) and Redskins (6–6) are all in the race. Dallas is heating up at the right time, however, and I think they will go on to take the division.

NFC North Winner: Chicago Bears

Da Bears! Chicago (8–4) is two games ahead of Minnesota (6–5). The Vikings have an easier schedule going forward, but the Bears have one of the best defenses in the NFL and the division lead.

NFC South Winner: New Orleans Saints

Easy choice here. The Saints are 10–2, four games ahead of the Panthers (6–6). New Orleans has been obliterating defenses all season and will continue to do so. Next!

NFC West Winner: Los Angeles Rams

Too easy once again. The 11–1 Rams have already sealed their division. The most stacked team in the NFL has already taken the West with four games to spare; are you surprised?

NFC Wild Cards: Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles

Minnesota (6–5–1) is too good to not be in the playoffs. They have games left against Detroit and Miami, which they should win easily. The Eagles are fighting for their division, and I don’t see them missing out on the playoffs. They’ll beat out the Panthers and Seahawks for the wild card spot.


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