NFL Playoffs: City Of Champions Staff Picks The Divisional Round Winners

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Dec 2, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright (50) and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (99) after making a reception during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

It was a rather inauspicious start to the NFL playoffs for the City of Champions staff, as our group of six prognosticators went a combined 7-17 in picking the four Wild Card Weekend games.

That’s…not good, especially since we’re not even taking the point spread into consideration. After one week, Matt Shetler, Zac Weiss and I lead the pack with records of 2-2. Larry Snyder went 1-3, while Erin McDowell and Brett Tunno came up painfully empty.

The NFL is one of the toughest leagues in the world to predict, but no excuses. We at CoC hope to regain your faith this time around. Once again, post your picks (or what you think about ours) in the comments below.

New Orleans Saints (12-5) at Seattle Seahawks (13-3), Saturday at 4:35 p.m. ET on FOX

Gajtka: These teams met on Dec. 2, with Seattle rolling to a 34-7 home win. I’m tempted to be contrary and take the Saints, especially after their strong victory at Philadelphia last week, but that might be stupid. Whether by record or more advanced metrics, the Seahawks were the NFL’s best team this season. I don’t think the bye week does them any harm. Prediction: Seahawks 30, Saints 10.

Shetler: The Seahawks have allowed 13.75 points per game at CenturyLink Field during the 2013 campaign, the best mark in the NFL. That includes just seven points from the Saints in Week 13. New Orleans will score more this time around but Marshawn Lynch could go “Beast Mode” on them again. Seattle gets a step closer to the Super Bowl. Seahawks 27, Saints 17.

Weiss: Saints will come closer this time but are no competition for the Seahawks. Percy Harvin is coming back and if he plays anywhere near where he’s capable, this may not be close. Saints on the road aren’t as great at home and it took a last-second field goal to survive the last round. Seahawks 35, Saints 24.

Snyder: The Saints defense under Rob Ryan gave up 437 total yards of offense against Seattle back on Week 13. I do not think it will be quite that bad this time around, I do think winning in Seattle will not be in the cards for the Saints. Seahawks 31, Saints 27.

Tunno: This rematch from the season will be closer, but the Seahawks defense will force Drew Brees into a few late-game turnovers, and Russell Wilson and Lynch will capitalize on them. Seahawks 31, Saints 20.

McDowell: Wilson gets the beat-up Saints secondary while Brees goes against the best secondary in the NFL. Add in the 12th man of CenturyLink and it’s a divisional-round Seahawks victory. Seahawks 27, Saints 13.


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