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Windy City Gridiron picks the 2019 NFL Playoffs

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The NFL playoff journey begins today. Here’s how our staff sees January, and February, playing out.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It feels like every year there’s a scheduling dud on Wild Card Weekend. If the Divisional Round is considered the premier NFL weekend, Wild Card Weekend has often gotten by on more novelty than anything. When guys like Brian Hoyer and T.J. Yates are making starts in recent years, you have the recipe for boredom.

This year, you peruse the schedule, and the NFL playoffs, at least on paper, look like they’re ready to start with a bang. Every matchup, from the Colts against the Texans, to the Eagles against the Bears, is filled with intrigue, and it’s only the beginning of what is objectively subjectively the best time of year. Factor in the Bears being involved in the postseason fun and the January ride is, indeed, better than usual.

Who is left standing when the dust settles next month? How far do the Bears take their run?

Here’s the Windy City Gridiron staff picks for the 2019 NFL Playoffs.


Robert Zeglinski

Wild Card Round

Colts at Texans: Colts

Seahawks at Cowboys: Seahawks

Chargers at Ravens: Chargers

Eagles at Bears: Bears

Divisional Round

Colts at Chiefs: Chiefs

Bears at Rams: Bears

Seahawks at Saints: Saints

Chargers at Patriots: Chargers

Conference Championships

NFC Championship Game - Bears at Saints: Saints

AFC Championship Game - Chargers at Chiefs: Chargers

Super Bowl LIII

Chargers over Saints

Super Bowl MVP: Phillip Rivers

The Chargers and Saints are the two most balanced teams in the 2019 playoff field, and will be rewarded for it as such. No one in the NFC is beating the Saints in the Superdome (sorry Bears, 2019 is the year!). Meanwhile, the Chargers have essentially been road warriors all season with their limited “homefield advantage” in Los Angeles, and no one in the AFC should scare them on that note. This is Phillip Rivers’ time as the star quarterback finally gets his crowning moment in Atlanta and the Chargers finish a magical title run.

Baltimore Ravens v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Lester Wilftong Jr.

Wild Card Round

Colts at Texans: Texans

Seahawks at Cowboys: Seahawks

Chargers at Ravens: Chargers

Eagles at Bears: Bears

Divisional Round

Chargers at Chiefs: Chiefs

Bears at Rams: Bears

Seahawks at Saints: Saints

Texans at Patriots: Patriots

Conference Championships

NFC Championship Game - Bears at Saints: Bears

AFC Championship Game - Patriots at Chiefs: Chiefs

Super Bowl LIII

Bears over Chiefs

Super Bowl MVP: Akiem Hicks

A month ago I figured there was no way the Bears could get to the big game. But with the way they’ve played the last four weeks, I think they have the recipe for success. Chicago’s defense has been stifling against the run by allowing just 62.5 rushing yards per game in the last month. Even in a passing league, the threat to run can slow down a pass rush, and once offenses can’t run, Chicago’s pass rushers will feast. Bears narrowly win each game in this postseason led by the defense and timely plays from Mitchell Trubisky.

Chicago Bears v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Aaron Leming

Wild Card Round

Colts at Texans: Colts

Seahawks at Cowboys: Cowboys

Chargers at Ravens: Chargers

Eagles at Bears: Bears

Divisional Round

Colts at Chiefs: Colts

Bears at Rams: Bears

Cowboys at Saints: Saints

Chargers at Patriots: Chargers

Conference Championships

NFC Championship Game - Bears at Saints: Saints

AFC Championship Game - Colts at Chargers: Chargers

Super Bowl LIII

Saints over Chargers

Super Bowl MVP: Drew Brees

Some may be looking at this and wondering how both teams in the AFC Championship are Wild Card teams. I truly believe the AFC is wide open and that there are three NFC teams that are better than any AFC team. The Colts are hot and dangerous and the Chargers are better than the Chiefs, in my opinion. On the NFC side, the Saints are the best team in football and their home field advantage is huge. If the Bears had them at Soldier Field, I’d take the Bears, but alas, they don’t. The “best” team in football actually wins the Super Bowl.

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Sam Householder

Wild Card Round

Colts at Texans: Texans

Seahawks at Cowboys: Cowboys

Chargers at Ravens: Chargers

Eagles at Bears: Bears

Divisional Round

Bears at Rams: Rams

Cowboys at Saints: Saints

Texans at Patriots: Patriots

Chargers at Chiefs: Chiefs

Conference Championships

NFC Championship Game - Rams at Saints: Saints

AFC Championship Game - Patriots at Chiefs: Chiefs

Super Bowl LIII

Saints over Chiefs

Super Bowl MVP: Drew Brees

A storybook season for the Saints ends with Brees riding off into the sunset. I could be wrong on that last part, but it’s hard to resist walking away on top. Pat Mahomes falls to a superior defense and the experience of Brees. I know this is a chalk bracket, but I think the teams with home cooking have the advantage in the later rounds. The Rams best the Bears in a rematch that is slightly less defensive than the first battle.

Jacob Infante

Wild Card Round

Colts at Texans: Colts

Seahawks at Cowboys: Seahawks

Chargers at Ravens: Chargers

Eagles at Bears: Bears

Divisional Round

Colts at Chiefs: Chiefs

Chargers at Patriots: Chargers

Seahawks at Saints: Saints

Bears at Rams: Rams

Conference Championships

AFC Championship Game - Chargers at Chiefs: Chargers

NFC Championship Game - Rams at Saints: Saints

Super Bowl LIII

Saints over Chargers

Super Bowl MVP: Cameron Jordan

The Saints are arguably the best team in the NFL. Drew Brees picks up another Super Bowl win, further proving that he is one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. Cameron Jordan is the one who steals the show, though, notching two sacks in an intense February battle.

Philadelphia Eagles v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Josh Sunderbruch

Wild Card Round

Colts at Texans: Texans

Seahawks at Cowboys: Seahawks

Chargers at Ravens: Ravens

Eagles at Bears: Bears

Divisional Round

Ravens at Chiefs: Chiefs

Texans at Patriots: Patriots

Bears at Rams: Bears

Seahawks at Saints: Saints

Conference Championships

AFC Championship Game - Patriots at Chiefs: Chiefs

NFC Championship Game - Bears at Saints: Saints

Super Bowl LIII

Chiefs over Saints

Super Bowl MVP: It should be Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill, but it will be Mahomes because he’s the quarterback.

Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Patti Curl

Wild Card Round

Colts at Texans: Texans

Seahawks at Cowboys: Seahawks

Chargers at Ravens: Ravens

Eagles at Bears: Bears

Divisional Round

Texans at Patriots: Patriots

Ravens at Chiefs: Chiefs

Seahawks at Saints: Saints

Bears at Rams: Bears

Conference Championship Games

AFC Championship Game - Patriots at Chiefs: Chiefs

NFC Championship Game - Bears at Saints: Bears

Super Bowl LIII

Bears over Chiefs

Super Bowl MVP: Chase Daniel

Matt Nagy showed in preseason Week 4 that the formula to beat the Chiefs is to rest your starters and humiliate them with your backups. CD4 rises to the occasion.

ECD

Wild Card Round

Colts at Texans: Texans

Seahawks at Cowboys: Seahawks

Chargers at Ravens: Ravens

Eagles at Bears: Bears

Divisional Round

Texans at Patriots: Texans

Bears at Rams: Bears

Ravens at Chiefs: Ravens

Seahawks at Saints: Saints

Conference Championships

AFC Championship Game - Ravens at Texans: Ravens

NFC Championship Game- Bears at Saints: Bears

Super Bowl LIII

Bears over Ravens

Super Bowl MVP: Mitchell Trubisky

This should go down as an all-time great Super Bowl matchup. The NFL’s two top defenses will square up. In the end, the Bears’ multifaceted offense and opportunistic defense will clinch their first Super Bowl in over 30 years.

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

WhiskeyRanger

Wild Card Round

Colts at Texans: Colts

Seahawks at Cowboys: Seahawks

Chargers at Ravens: Chargers

Eagles at Bears: Bears

Divisional Round

Colts at Chiefs: Colts

Bears at Rams: Bears

Seahawks at Saints: Saints

Chargers at Patriots: Chargers

Conference Championship Games

NFC Championship Game - Bears at Saints: Bears

AFC Championship Game - Colts at Chargers: Chargers

Super Bowl LIII

Bears over Chargers

Super Bowl MVP: Eddie Jackson

The Chargers are a very good football team, but Rivers has had a bit of a turnover problem of late, notching two interceptions in each of the last three weeks. After sneaking past a stingy Baltimore defensive that destroyed him in week 16, and pulling out a shootout with the Patriots, Rivers eventually runs into a Bears defense that not only causes turnovers, but turns them into points. Rivers is strip-sacked once, and picked off three times, twice by Jackson who takes one to the house: earning him Super Bowl MVP honors.

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Robert Schmitz

Wild Card Round

Colts at Texans: Colts

Seahawks at Cowboys: Seahawks

Chargers at Ravens: Ravens

Eagles at Bears: Bears

Divisional Round

Colts at Chiefs: Chiefs

Bears at Rams: Bears

Seahawks at Saints: Saints

Ravens at Patriots: Ravens

Conference Championships

NFC Championship Game - Bears at Saints: Saints

AFC Championship Game - Ravens at Chiefs: Ravens

Super Bowl LIII

Saints over Ravens

Super Bowl MVP: The defensive back who pick-sixes Lamar Jackson late (yes I’m aware this is cheating).

With the Ravens offense operating almost entirely on the ground, the Saints proficiency in stopping the run decides the Super Bowl as Lamar Jackson fails to beat the Saints through the air.

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Ken Mitchell

Wild Card Round

Colts at Texans: Colts

Seahawks at Cowboys: Cowboys

Chargers at Ravens: Chargers

Eagles at Bears: Bears

Divisional Round

Colts at Chiefs: Chiefs

Bears at Rams: Bears

Cowboys at Saints: Cowboys

Chargers at Patriots: Chargers

Conference Championship Games

NFC Championship Game - Cowboys at Bears: Bears

AFC Championship Game - Chargers at Chiefs: Chargers

Super Bowl LIII

Bears over Chargers

Super Bowl MVP: Leonard Floyd

The Super Bowl will be Floyd’s breakout game with four sacks on the statue that is Phillip Rivers.

Robert Zeglinski

WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Whiskey Ranger; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.