By Matt Noonan
The second half of the 2020 National Football League‘s (NFL) season kicks-off this evening with the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Green Bay Packers.
Yet, before we turn our attention to the game, allow me to share the first of many ‘what if‘ posts from Noontime Sports that will highlight the 14 teams in the postseason at the beginning of the remaining weeks of the 2020 season, as well as what teams I (Matt ‘Noontime’ Noonan) believe will win their respective conference crowns.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into our initial ‘what if‘ post for the ninth week of the NFL season!
Who’s in the AFC Playoffs?
- Pittsburgh Steelers (7-0)
- Kansas City Chiefs (7-1)
- Buffalo Bills (6-2)
- Tennessee Titans (5-2)
- Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
- Indianapolis Colts (5-2)
- Cleveland Browns (5-3)
Who’s in the NFC Playoffs?
- Seattle Seahawks (6-1)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)
- Green Bay Packers (5-2)
- Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)
- New Orleans Saints (5-2)
- Arizona Cardinals (5-2)
- Los Angeles Rams (5-3)
Most intriguing first-round matchups:
- Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts: The Colts appear to be flying under the radar – yes, their schedule gets tougher, beginning this week with a must-see matchup on Sunday, November 8 against the Baltimore Ravens. Four days later, they’ll take on the Tennessee Titans, so we’ll certainly learn more about Indianapolis over the next week or so, but this team seems equipped to beat the Bills, who squeaked past the New England Patriots last weekend.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Los Angeles Rams: The match-up to watch in this game would be Jared Goff vs. the Buccaneers defense. I am not sure how Goff would do against these Bucs front seven, but I would certainly be interested in seeing how Tom Brady and the offense fared against the Rams defense, too. The Bucs offense – if healthy, of course – could pose serious problems for opposing defenses, not just the Rams, but everyone they would face in the postseason.
AFC Championship Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Chiefs and Steelers are the best teams in the AFC. And most likely, these two teams will be competing in the conference championship. But in the end, Kansas City will prevail, thanks to Patrick Mahomes. PREDICTION: Kansas City over Pittsburgh
NFC Championship Prediction: Seattle Seahawks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Similar to Kansas City and Pittsburgh, Seattle and Tampa Bay appear to be the best teams in the NFC. The Seahawks defense will need to improve over the next few weeks, especially if they want to stop Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense. PREDICTION: Tampa Bay over Seattle
Super Bowl Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This seems like a logical matchup, especially at the halfway point, right? As much as I would love to see Tom Brady win another ring, I just have a weird feeling – maybe a hunch? – that Kansas City will prevail by at least a touchdown. PREDICTION: Kansas City over Tampa Bay
Alright, that will do it for now, but keep your eyes out for more ‘what if’ Noontime Sports content over the next few days and weeks!