January’s Biggest Hit

Caleb and Mason give several predictions heading into the NFL postseason


Photo by Cincy Jungle

The 2022 NFL Playoff Bracket

The 2021 NFL season has brought a slate of excitement across 18 weeks of play all culminating with what should be an explosive and high-stakes playoffs. With the wild card matchups beginning this weekend, it seems fitting to give some takes as the postseason draws near. Here are several predictions from Caleb and Mason for the 2021 NFL playoffs.

Regular Season Overall Take

Caleb: This season saw the return of many recent powerhouses including the Packers, the Chiefs, and the Bucs, while also seeing the emergence of several new contenders like the Cardinals and the Bengals. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers evidently got past an embarrassing 38-3 week one loss to the Saints and haven’t looked back since. The Chiefs continue to assert dominance after a shaky start to the season. The NFC has been stacked all season long, including the Dallas Cowboys who are finally back into contention after several painful years. Behind the Chiefs on the AFC side include contenders like the Bills, Bengals, and the Mac Jones-led Patriots and Bill Belichick who still may have a few tricks left up his sleeve. An incredibly fun regular season should only continue to be more exciting with the postseason.

Mason: This season featured many unexpected twists and turns that made it different from the rest. The Packers were easily the most consistent team out of everyone while the jaguars… were the jaguars. Both conferences were loaded with superstar talent across the field, and quite frankly the playoffs are up for grabs. This season differs from other seasons as there have been upsets all year long. Some of these headline upsets include Week 1 Saints destroying the Packers, Week 8 Jets getting a narrow victory over the Bengals, and Week 11 where the Texans upset the Titans. Overall this season had great games to watch and many games that came down to the very last drive such as the Raiders vs Chargers in Week 18.

Most Dangerous Team

Caleb: This was a very interesting one for me. It came down to the Packers and the Chiefs, two of the best teams in the NFL this season. The problem with both is they are each coming off of a disappointing loss: the Chiefs lost to the Bengals in Week 17 and the Packers took a blow losing to a struggling Lions team in Week 18. Ultimately, I feel the most dangerous team right now is the Packers. They have a complete team filled with a stacked offense and defense, including MVP favorite Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. The Chiefs are playing fantastic football as well but the Packers seem to have a slight edge in my opinion.

Mason: I think all the teams have their own aspects that make them dangerous, but if there is one team that a team would not want to face, it would be the Packers. The Packers have so many offensive weapons with Davante Adams who is arguably the best wide receiver in the league, Aaron Rodgers who is potentially the MVP this season for a second straight season, and their running back corps that features Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon who are two really explosive backs. And then on defense they have a top 5 cornerback in Jaire Alexander.

Biggest Sleeper Team

Caleb: When looking through the slate of teams in this year’s playoffs, I noticed one squad that stuck out to me as the biggest sleeper. That would be the New England Patriots. Mac Jones has put up excellent numbers all year as the Patriots proved throughout the season despite being an underdog. Bill Belichick has been in this situation many times and is more experienced than any other coach in the playoffs. The Patriots have quietly had a successful season and they have the potential to make an incredible run in the postseason.

Mason: Although the Bengals are the four seed, they can easily advance far in these playoffs. They have a tough first round matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders who have an explosive defensive lead by, Maxx Crosby, who can give Joe Burrow and the Bengals a tough time. The Bengals’ biggest issue all season has come from their offensive line. Joe Burrow has put them in a place where he can scramble out of the pocket and heave a deep ball down field and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase can somehow catch it like they did back at LSU. If the Bengals get past the first round I think they can make it to the conference championship for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. 

Potentially Disappointing Team

Caleb: Quite possibly the most inconsistent team in the NFL, or at least the NFC, the Arizona Cardinals have the potential to be a disappointment. They have the five seed on the NFC side of the bracket, but could have snagged a higher spot if not for losing four of their last five games. The Cardinals started the season on a tear, rolling through every team in their path and looked like the best team in the NFL. But, since Kyler Murray had some midseason hiccups, the Cards haven’t been the same. I could see them being a disappointment in the first round against the Cowboys.

Mason: One month ago this team might have been Superbowl favorites, now I can see them being a first round exit and that is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs have lost some key parts to their offense in Chris Godwin who tore his ACL. Also, they have lost Leonard Fournette to injury, who might have the possibility to play against the eagles round one. Lastly, they lost Antonio Brown who walked off the field after losing to the Jets in the first half. The Buccaneers will have a tough first round matchup against the Eagles, who desperately need Jalen Hurts to play. I think the Eagles will pull off an unbelievable upset and send Tom Brady and the Bucs home in the first round.

Biggest Player Performances

Caleb: We have to start with Cooper Kupp. The dude was an absolute animal and torched every single defense he played. It was a nightmare trying to play against him in Fantasy Football, let alone defenses trying to play against him in general. Tom Brady has been, well, Tom Brady, throwing for 5,316 yards so far this season. On the ground game, Jonathan Taylor has emerged as a monster carrying the football for 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns as he leads the NFL in both categories. Shame that he was on a Colts team that missed the playoffs. On the defensive side, Trevon Diggs leads the NFL with 11 interceptions this year. T.J. Watt of the Steelers has compiled a ridiculous 22.5 sacks. Unbelievable numbers there.

Mason: All around the field there were great performances but leading this list has to be Cooper Kupp. Kupp playing with the best quarterback in his career made a significant difference, making him one of the best at his position. Then the two MVP candidates Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers had great seasons making it a tough decision for who deserves the award (In my opinion it should be Tom Brady). On the defensive side Trevon Diggs had a great year being utilized as a ball hawk. Diggs may have given up significant yards, but he also responded with 11 interceptions and leading the league in that statistical category. And we can’t forget to mention his teammate Micah Parsons who was sixth in the league in sacks as a rookie which is very impressive.

Wild Card Predictions


1/15: (5) Las Vegas Raiders at (4) Cincinnati Bengals

Caleb: The Bengals are another sleeper team. I see a Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase feast session and the Bengals winning this one by a comfortable margin.

Mason: As I stated earlier, if the Bengals get past the first round they can advance to the AFC championship, but they have a tough first round matchup against a great defense in the Raiders. In a close match I got the Raiders upsetting the Bengals in the “Jungle”.

1/15: (6) New England Patriots at (3) Buffalo Bills

Caleb: The Bills are one of the most talented teams in the NFL. However, they have been inconsistent at times and Josh Allen has thrown a tied-for-third in the NFL fifteen interceptions this year. Give me the Patriots in an upset!

Mason: Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs have been one of the best quarterback wide receiver duos in the league for several seasons. With that being said those two are going to beat up on Mac Jones and the Patriots. Bills win by a significant margin. 

1/16: (7) Pittsburgh Steelers at (2) Kansas City Chiefs

Caleb: The Chiefs absolutely embarrassed Big Ben and the Steelers a couple weeks ago. That doesn’t change this time. Chiefs in a blowout. 

Mason: This game will be referred to as Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement party as the Chiefs are going to win easily against the Steelers.


1/16: (7) Philadelphia Eagles at (2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Caleb: This is one of the most intriguing round one matchups. The Eagles started the season 2-5 but roared back and have won four of their last five games. Jalen Hurts is my guy, and he has led this Eagles team well. However, it’s Tom Brady. He doesn’t go down easily. Bucs win in a very close one.

Mason: Some may call me crazy but in the best game of the first round, the Eagles will upset the defending Superbowl Champs. Eagles win in a great back and forth game.

1/16: (6) San Francisco 49ers at (3) Dallas Cowboys

Caleb: They’ve finally done it. The Cowboys have escaped the slump and are a contender again. Dak Prescott has finally returned to his rookie year self. The 49ers have been an under-the-radar team all year and are the third team from a stacked NFC West to make the playoffs. However, an explosive Cowboys offense will win this one in a good game.

Mason:  The Cowboys are surprisingly one the most talented teams in the league, while only being a three seed. On the other side the 49ers don’t even know who their quarterback will be for the game. With that being said, I got the Cowboys with an easy win over the 49ers.

1/17: (5) Arizona Cardinals at (4) Los Angeles Rams

Caleb: Again, the Cardinals are a shaky team. I can’t trust them to play consistently especially against a dominant Rams team. Matthew Stafford has finally found himself on a Super Bowl contending team. The Cards will put up a fight but the Rams will take this one.

Mason: This game would have been predicted to be the NFC conference championship at the beginning of the season, now it’s a first round matchup. The Rams are my team in the playoffs so in a tough first round matchup I have the Rams beating the inconsistent Cardinals.

Super Bowl Champion

Caleb: This was truthfully a very difficult selection. There is such a large slate of Super Bowl-contending teams that it’s hard to make a pick right now. As the one seed on the AFC side of the bracket, the Titans have certainly proved they are legit even after Derrick Henry went down in the middle of the season. However, I can’t see them going all the way. A Chiefs-Packers Super Bowl seems very likely to me. And while I hate picking the one seed, this is simply the Packers’ year. This is Aaron Rodgers’s year. I see the Packers winning in a very entertaining Super Bowl against the Chiefs.

Mason: There is a very good chance I am completely wrong and neither of these teams even make it to the superbowl, but I have the Chiefs vs. Rams. This is a hot take but the Rams and Matthew Stafford will find a way to win a Superbowl. The Rams were a great team last year but Jared Goff was holding them back. Now, they have a much improved Stafford to lead the way. Also, the Rams have one of the best defenses in the league led by Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald. The Chiefs on the other hand have made it to the super bowl the last two seasons. I don’t envision them winning the super bowl but with their offense anything can happen. In what will be a super bowl that is remembered for decades, the Rams will be victorious.