Wow, what an interesting NFL season that we just had. We went through a number of coaches, a number of quarterbacks, a number of wins and losses, and a number of records getting broken. Only five people have passed for 5,000+ yards in a season and three of them came this year! There are some minor surprises in the playoffs this season, and none comes bigger than with the 49ers. 

Today we have the 2011-12 NFL Playoff predictions, and while doing it I will reflect my pre-season picks as well.

AFC

In my preseason picks I had four of the six games exactly the same with the only difference being with the Bengals and the Broncos. I would like to give congrats to the Raiders and Jets for essentially leading he Broncos and Bengals into the playoffs at the end of the season.

1: New England Patriots (East Champs) 
2: Baltimore Ravens (North Champs)
3: Houston Texans (South Champs)
4: Denver Broncos (West Champs)

Wild Card (5): Pittsburgh Steelers
Wild Card (6): Cincinnati Bengals

WILD CARD ROUND

(5) Pittsburgh at (4) Denver

It's kind of funny how many people thought that Tebow was going to keep it up and lead the team to the promise land. Smarter people knew that Tebow's spread offense was just a newer version of the Wildcat. When people find out how to beat him, he gets beaten. With that said, I think that the Steelers are one team that could go into Denver and lose this game to the Broncos. I'm taking the Steelers for the benefit of the doubt because I just don't trust the Broncos who can't score points, but it could be a big upset.

* Steelers Win

(6) Cincinnati at (3) Houston

There are way too many people that think the Bengals will have a cakewalk in this game. They are travelling to a Houston team that is going to be motivated to play in their first playoff game. There are also plenty of Cowboy fans that will be lending support to their younger brother here. The Texans have a lighting tough defense, a run game that is lethal, and passing attack weapons that can make plays even for TJ Yates. Sure the Bengals have a lot of tools too, but here is the tell tale stat: The Bengals beat zero playoff teams this regular season, and lost only to playoff teams. So they didn't actually get a single quality win. I'm going Texans here.


* Texans Win

DIVISIONAL ROUND

(5) Pittsburgh at (1) New England

What a game. You have what are essentially two of the best four teams in the league against each other way too early. You have one of the most underrated teams in the league in New England against one the has quietly been lethal all season. Sure you have the 49ers debacle for the Steelers, but Big Ben lost that game more than anything. I honestly don't know who to take in the game, because both teams could easily come away with the win. I will take the Pats on a coinflip because I think that they will go into the game as a mental underdog across the country.
  

* Patriots Win

(3) Houston at (2) Baltimore

I liked the Texans at home against the Bengals, but I hate them at the Ravens. The Ravens are better in almost every part of the game, and their experiences in the last will help them here to pull off the win.

CONF. CHAMPIONSHIP

(2) Baltimore at (1) New England

Before the season started this is the matchup I had going forward, and I think these two teams will get it going to the end. Both teams could easily pull off the win here, and while I think a lot of people will take the Patriots here, I am going with the Ravens. The Ravens have a defense that will keep them in the game, while their offense has quietly been a lot better this year.

* Ravens win

NFC

1: Green Bay Packers (North Champs) 
2: San Francisco 49ers (West Champs)
3: New Orleans Saints (South Champs)
4: New York Giants (East Champs)

Wild Card (5): Atlanta Falcons
Wild Card (6): Detroits Lions

WILD CARD ROUND

(5) Atlanta at (4) NY Giants

Too many people will look at the Falcons big win over the Yucs last weekend and assume that they will go on the road to a cold weather outdoor stadium and do the same. I hate to say it, but this Giants team feels too much like the same one that won the superbowl a few years ago, and I think they will get through the Falcs fairly easily.

* Giants Win

(6) Detroit at (3) New Orleans

I hate picking this game, because everything in my stomach tells me that the Lions will upset the Saints. The Saints offense is lethal, and they are good at slowing down passing attacks, but there is just something about the Lions team to love. I am taking touchdown Breesus to win the game, but I'm not feeling great about it.


* Saints Win

DIVISIONAL ROUND

(5) NY Giants at (1) Green Bay

I really hate doing it, but I am going Giants in this game. The Packers are defending champs, but they haven't been blowing out teams like they should be. They also have a passing attack that could end up getting slightly limited if weather comes to town. These Giants are built for Green Bay and their defense is doing great things right now.
  

* Giants Win

(3) New Orleans at (2) San Francisco 

Ok, so I will be the first person to say that I haven't trusted the 49ers all year, and I still can't bite on them. The team is defensively a nightmare, especially at home, but they have lost a few games this year to teams that can pass the ball well. I like the Saints in this game because they are built to get ahead early, while the 49ers are not.

Saints Win

CONF. CHAMPIONSHIP

(4) Giants at (2) New Orleans

The Giants are a scary team that can do a little bit of everything, but this Saints teams is one that I think can handle them at home. The Giants typically are better on the road, but I just think that the Saints would be able to eat them alive in a lot of different ways.

* Saints win 

SUPERBOWL

This might be about the only place that you will see the Saints against the Ravens, but anyone who would be shocked by this matchup is an idiot. The Ravens have a filthy defense and an offense that can beat on anyone, while the Saints have about the nastiest (and most complete) offense in the game. This game is a near-mirror of last year's superbowl where the Packers offense went on against the Steelers defense. While it is obvious that the Ravens defense is better while the Saints offense is better, I think that I am going to take the Ravens to win the game because of their offense that has quite a few different components to execute with.

RAVENS WIN