Bryan Paul’s Puzzling NFL Predictions: Divisional Playoffs



Though many fans expect thrills from the National Football League postseason, last weekend’s Wild Card games weren’t exciting. The Houston Texans defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in a game neither team seemed interested in winning. The Green Bay Packers showed mercy towards the Minnesota Vikings and their backup quarterback, Joe Webb, winning by only 14 points. The Baltimore Ravens held off the Indianapolis Colts as Ray Lewis celebrated the last home game of his 17-year career by dancing, dancing and dancing some more. The Seattle Seahawks survived an early two-touchdown deficit and a poorly kept FedEx Field playing surface in their victory over the Washington Redskins. After earning a week off, the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers join last week’s winning teams in the quest to reach Super Bowl XLVII.

Once again, this post will consist of four miscellaneous facts broken up into quarters to choose a winner in each game. In the event of a 2-2 tie, a fifth “overtime” fact will determine the prediction.

You don’t need to know anything about football to enjoy this analysis. Enjoy these unique NFL divisional playoff predictions.


Baltimore Ravens (11-6) at Denver Broncos (13-3)-Jan. 12-4:30 p.m.-CBS


First Quarter

Baltimore played Denver in Week 15. The Ravens enjoy rematches in the postseason. Baltimore is 6-4 in playoff games against teams they faced during the regular season.

Baltimore, 1-0



Second Quarter

The Ravens, formerly the Cleveland Browns, played their first season in Baltimore in 1996. The Chicago Bulls defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1996 NBA Finals. In years the Bulls have won the NBA title, Denver is 11-1 against AFC North teams. But the 2013 NBA Finals won’t take place until June.

Baltimore, 2-0



Third Quarter

The Bulls began play in 1966, the year the Beatles released Revolver, their seventh studio album. In years the band made a studio album, Denver was 30-78-4. Luckily for the Broncos, the Beatles last studio album came out in 1970.

Baltimore, 2-1



Fourth Quarter

Tina Fey, a co-host of Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards, was born in 1970. She was a Saturday Night Live cast member from 1997-2006. The Ravens won five playoff games during Fey’s Saturday Night Live career. The Broncos won eight.

Tied, 2-2




Fey created the sitcom 30 Rock. The show premiered on Oct. 11, 2006 and NBC will broadcast its final episode on Jan. 31. Baltimore is 30-32 on the road while the show has been on television. Denver is 31-26 at home.

Denver, 3-2

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Denver

Pollock’s Pick: Denver



Green Bay Packers (12-5) at San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1)-Jan. 12-8 p.m.-Fox


First Quarter

Alec Baldwin plays Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock. He has received critical acclaim for his performances on television and in feature films.  In years Baldwin has appeared in a movie, the Packers are 29-8 when they play a team from California. According to the Internet Movie Database, Baldwin will be in two films this year.

Green Bay, 1-0



Second Quarter

Baldwin was born in 1958, the year David Lean won the Academy Award for Best Director for The Bridge on the River Kwai. He earned the award again in 1963 for directing Lawrence of Arabia. In those two years, San Francisco was 8-18. Green Bay was 12-12-2. It’s been 40 years since Lean won the Best Director Oscar.

Tied, 1-1



Third Quarter

Lean died in 1991, the year voters elected Boris Yeltsin as President of the Russian Federation. The Packers didn’t approve of his leadership. During Yeltsin’s administration, Green Bay won three divisional playoff games. The 49ers won four.

San Francisco, 2-1



Fourth Quarter

Yeltsin resigned in 1999, the year Twentieth Century Fox released Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace. In years a Star Wars film has premiered, San Francisco has won 41 games. Green Bay has won 43. No Star Wars film will come out this year.

San Francisco, 3-1

Bryan Paul’s Pick: San Francisco

Pollock’s Pick: San Francisco



Seattle Seahawks (12-5) at Atlanta Falcons (13-3)-Jan. 13-1 p.m.-Fox


First Quarter

Twentieth Century Fox released the first Star Wars film, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, in 1977. A.J. Foyt won the Indianapolis 500 for the fourth time in 1977. The Seahawks were 2-5 in road games in 1977. The Falcons were 4-3 at home.

Atlanta, 1-0



Second Quarter

Foyt retired from automobile racing in 1993, the year Bill Clinton became the 42rd President of the United States. In the six years a presidential inauguration has taken place since 1993, Atlanta is 37-43. Seattle is 41-38. Barack Obama will be inaugurated for a second time on Jan. 21.

Tied, 1-1

Clinton-First Inaugural


Third Quarter

Obama will become the first Democratic president to be inaugurated for a second term since 1997. Pete Carroll began coaching the New England Patriots in 1997. While he was the Patriots coach, New England was 1-2 in playoff games. Carroll has been Seattle’s coach since 2010. The Seahawks is 2-1 in the playoffs since Carroll became the coach.

Seattle, 2-1



Fourth Quarter

Between his tenures with the Patriots and Seahawks, Carroll coached at the University of Southern California from 2001-2009. The Falcons struggled during Carroll’s eight years of coaching college football. The Seahawks succeeded. Atlanta was 73-75-1 while Carroll was at USC. Seattle was 80-73.

Seattle, 3-1

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Seattle

Pollock’s Pick: Atlanta



Houston Texans (13-4) at New England Patriots (12-4)-Jan. 13-4:30 p.m.-CBS


First Quarter

Carroll coached two of USC’s six Heisman Trophy-winning players, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. The Texans wish a player from another school won college football’s most prestigious individual award in 2002 and 2004. In those two years, Houston was 11-20. New England was 27-9.

New England, 1-0



Second Quarter

Johnny Manziel, a quarterback, is the reigning Heisman winner. In years a quarterback has won the Heisman, the Patriots are 235-172-6.  But the 2013 winner won’t be announced until December.

Tied, 1-1



Third Quarter

Manziel is a freshman at Texas A&M University. Rick Perry, a Texas A&M graduate, has been the Governor of Texas since Dec. 21, 2000. The Texans want him out of office. During his governorship, Houston has won two playoff games. New England has won 16.

New England, 2-1



Fourth Quarter

Perry clumsily said he would eliminate the United States Department of Education during a Nov. 9, 2011 Republican Party presidential debate at Rochester, Mich. President Jimmy Carter established the department on Oct. 17, 1979. The Patriots hope the department will never be dissolved. Since its creation, the Patriots are 183-95.

New England, 3-1

Bryan Paul’s Pick: New England

Pollock’s Pick: New England



Bryan Paul’s Wild Card record: 4-0

Bryan Paul’s Postseason record: 4-0

Bryan Paul’s season record: 153-106-1

Pollock’s Wild Card record: 3-1

Pollock’s Postseason record: 3-1

Pollock’s season record 174-85-1

Head-to-head matchups in Wild Card: Bryan Paul, 1-0

Head-to-head matchups in postseason: Bryan Paul, 1-0

Head-to-head matchups this season: Pollock, 64-43

Next week: Conference Championships


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