1Michael Kelley – Lead Writer @ GoingFor2

Of the eight teams in the Wildcard Round, which one has the best chance to run the table and make it to the Super Bowl?

In the AFC I am not sure any team from the wildcard round has a shot at the Super Bowl to be completely honest. The Tennesse Titans and the Buffalo Bills just don’t have it, in my opinion, They are lucky to even be in the playoffs honestly. The Kansas City Chiefs should win their first round game, but I don’t see them winning in the second round. But the team with the best shot might be the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags are arguably the best defense in the NFL this year and they have a very strong run game, two things that a team will need to go to Pittsburgh and or New England and upset them both.

The NFC is a totally different story, this side is far more balanced with its teams. I don’t think the Carolina Panthers have enough weapons to make a run, and Cam Newton won’t be able to put this team on his back and carry them there. The Atlanta Falcons have the experience but they have been hot and cold this year. They are capable, but I think the competition is too good in the NFC this year to steal a win when they are not at their best, which they will have to be in every game if they are going to move on. That leaves the Los Angles Rams and the New Orleans Saints.

Both teams have high powered offenses with strong defenses. I can see either of these teams making it to the Super Bowl because I am not sure either the Philadelphia Eagles or Minnesota Vikings have enough to outscore them or even slow them down. Between the two of them, I give a slight edge to the Saints because of the Drew Brees and Sean Payton have the experience.

In a dream scenario, what is the best Super Bowl matchup — in your opinion? And why?

Just like anyone that is not a Steelers or Patriots fan, in the AFC I would be happy to see anyone but them. I think we can all agree that we are tired of seeing the same teams in the Super Bowl. No point in the Bills or Titans that would just be painful to watch. The Chiefs would not be bad, but I think the Jags would be the most exciting from the AFC. They are young, hard-hitting, and play with a lot of energy. The NFC offers more options. The only two teams I would not want to see are the Eagles and Panthers.

The Eagles because without Carson Wentz they are a very different team and not nearly as exciting and the Panthers because I don’t think they offer enough excitement. The Vikings, Saints, Rams, and Falcons all offer something exciting for the NFC. High powered offenses, strong defenses, plenty of star players, and they are all teams that have not been dominating the league for the last decade. So for me, the dream matchup would be the Jacksonville Jaguars versus the Los Angles Rams. Both teams are led by young quarterbacks with terrific running backs, stout defenses and most importantly not the Patriots or Steelers.

Give us your Super Bowl Prediction, who is in it, who wins and by what score?

I am assuming that Antonio Brown makes it back for the playoffs and if he does I think the Steelers can take the AFC crown, if not I think the Patriots take it. The NFC crown will go to Saints, they have the experience at quarterback and coach and have the youth and talent at the other skill positions. The winner will be the Saints as the game will be played in a dome allowing the Saints to use there speed on offense and defense to their advantage. The final score will be Saints 31 and Steelers 25.

 

2Kellie Ruttar – Radio Host of “Redzone Live” on MomentumShift & Writer @ Goingfor2

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Every year there seems to be one storyline that dominates the rest, i.e. Peyton Mannings retirement tour, Patriots pursuit of perfection, the Saints winning a Super Bowl for a city still recovering from Hurricane Katrina from four years previous. What is this year’s storyline? Is their one yet?

This year’s storyline without any doubt has to be the Philadelphia Eagles defying the odds and not only winning the division but being the number 1 seed in the NFC.  Carson Wentz was having an MVP season before his season-ending injury.  The storyline is going to be Nick Foles and will he have what it takes to take the team all the way.  Once again the critics are counting us out, and a lot of the fans have given up on us.  This doesn’t change the fact that players still feel like they have something special going on in Philadelphia.  They’re doing it for the city and doing it for ALL the players that have been sidelined with injuries this season.  I know the odds are against us, but all we need to do is win one game and you’ll start hearing talks of Philly and destiny.

Let’s fast forward to the Conference Championship games, and let’s assume everything plays out exactly as it should. That puts Nick Foles and the Eagles at home against the top-tier defense of the Minnesota Vikings. What do the Eagles need to do in that game to move on to the Super Bowl?

You praise the Minnesota Vikings defense but fail to mention, we have a pretty darn good defense ourselves.  Top run stopping defense in the NFL not to mention a better secondary than we’ve seen on this squad since the Brian Dawkins days.  Defense wins championships, as old and cliche as that adage may be, it has been shown true in the past.  This matchup would be highly entertaining for a D minded lady like myself.

The keys to victory in this game are of course for the defense to keep it competitive, but of course, you have to bring up Nick Foles.  The keys to our offense are for Darling Nicky to keep his head on the end game and not allow dropped passes or holes in the offensive line to shake his confidence.  We all know that Foles can’t move the same way that Carson Wentz good, no one is going into this too delusional.  In order for the offense to be successful, Dougie P. needs to make smart play calls and not abandon the run game with Jay Ajayi and the rest of the backfield.  Foles still has a brilliant arm and some great downfield weapons with Alshon Jeffrey and Nelson Agholor.  Oh yeah, and I didn’t mention one of the top-rated tight ends in the game in Zach Ertz.

The key is to establish the run to open up downfield options, utilize Ertz to keep the ball moving for short yardage catches.  The offensive line needs to step up their protection to give Foles a fighting chance to lead this team to victory.  We also have a hell of a rookie kicker who has a record-breaking field goal to his name and this becomes too important in a game of great defenses.

Give us your Super Bowl Prediction, who is in it, who wins and by what score?

I know my fellow writers and hosts will be answering this with their heads and not their hearts, so as the only lady representative on the sausage fest that is goingfor2.com and Momentum Shift Radio I’ll pick with my heart.  The Philadelphia Eagles will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first all Pennsylvania Super Bowl.  The Eagles will take it, 24-21.

3Jason Ferguson – Radio Host of “Tha Study Hall” — MomentumShift

Your job was transferring you to a remote island with no TVs or internet, but before you went you could watch one playoff matchup, not the Super Bowl, what game is it and why?

Before Carson Wentz’s injury watching the Eagles and Saints go head to head would have been the dream, now no one wants to watch Nick Foles throw ducks all over the field. So we turn our attention to the two heavyweights of the AFC, Pittsburgh and New England in the James Harrison Bowl. Can New England make enough plays on defense to stop the Steelers high powered attack and will Harrison make a game-changing play to ruin Pittsburgh’s chance of moving on to the Super Bowl? Will Brady continue his dominance of the Steelers in the playoffs. Pittsburgh was close to beating New England this season but lost on the controversial No Catch call (the correct call) at the goal line. This could be the last time we get to see these two Hall of Fame quarterbacks battle it out for AFC supremacy.

The New Orleans Saints have just won Super Bowl LII, and their MVP is ______? And why? 

The wonder-kid Alvin Kamara has shown that he can change games in the blink of an eye, be it on special teams or out of the backfield. He has proven to be an absolute match-up nightmare in Sean Payton’s offense and makes the splash plays that earn MVP honors. Kamara for the season is averaging 6.1 yards per carry and 10.2 yards per reception and there is not a defense in the league that has shown any hint of slowing him down.

Give us your Super Bowl Prediction, who is in it, who wins and by what score?

There really is no way to pick against New England in any scenario, they constantly find ways to win it all. This year that will not change as New England will repeat as SuperBowl Champions defeating the New Orleans Saints 31-24.

4Eric Frosbutter – Lead Writer @ GoingFor2

The top 3 seeds in the NFC are not your typical year in and year out QBs with Nick Foles, Jared Goff and Case Keenum. Which of these three has the deepest playoff run and can they make it to the Super Bowl?

I’m going with Case Keenum and the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings look to be the most complete team of the three options and do not necessarily need Keenum to win their games for them because of a solid all-around defense. With a first-round bye in their pocket, and Carson Wentz lost for the playoffs in Philadelphia, the Vikings have a great path and excellent opportunity to reach the Super Bowl.

Let’s assume for a second that Tom Brady and the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl, if you could hand pick the NFC team with the best chance to beat them, who is it and why?

The NFC team that matches up best with the Patriots, in my opinion, are the New Orleans Saints. The road would be tough for the Saints to get there, but if they did, they could present problems for Brady and the Pats. The Saints defense has boomed into a legitimate force that could pressure Brady, and lock down their receiving corps. Rattling Brady is the best way to defend the Patriots offense, and the Saints are the best NFC option to do just that.

Give us your Super Bowl Prediction, who is in it, who wins and by what score?

The Patriots have looked beatable this season but still came away with a 13-3 record and home-field advantage in the AFC. Their matchups in the divisional and championship rounds will surely be difficult, but I have a tough time seeing anyone defeating New England in Gillette Stadium. I see the Vikings advancing to the big game out of the NFC. The Eagles still possess a solid team, but they are not the same without Carson Wentz. The experience of New England will be too much for Minnesota as I predict the Patriots will come away with another Super Bowl victory, 27-21.

5Rashan Reeves – Radio Host of “Redzone Live” — MomentumShift

The Minnesota Vikings have just won Super Bowl LII, and their MVP is _______? And why?

I believe that Latavius Murray would win MVP of the Super Bowl. If Minnesota was to win, they’d have to rely on the running game, which opens up the passing game. I don’t believe Case Keenum could win the Super Bowl with his heroics in the passing game, I think he needs to rely heavily on the run and Murray is their horse!

Looking at all the matchups for this weekend and the potential matchups for next weekend, give me your “upset alert” pick, and why?

My upset alert will be the Atlanta Falcons over the Los Angles Rams! I believe Atlanta’s experience, having just been to the Super Bowl last season, will be the reason they escape LA!

The Rams possess the 4th rank offense, #1 in passing yards and #8 in rushing yards, with Todd Gurley arguably being the NFL MVP, we know how good LA’s offense has been. But what most are forgetting, the Falcons still have Julio Jones, Mohammed Sanu (who’s emerged as one of the top #2 receivers in the league) and the speedy Taylor Gabriel. They have the best RB duo in Devontae Freeman and Tevin Coleman.

The Falcons have struggled on offense this season after losing OC Kyle Shanahan, but they have been gaining steam leading into the playoffs by winning 3 of their last 4. Reigning MVP Matt Ryan will elevate his game and keep that Rams defense on its heels, and I don’t believe Jared Goff will do the same. In his first playoff game, I believe the stout Atlanta defense will bring a lot of pressure to the second-year pro, confusing him with blitz packages which will cause him to make a couple turnovers.

They will make it hard on Gurley rushing the ball with their top-ten rush defense and get out of LA with a 27-24 victory!

Give us your Super Bowl Prediction, who is in it, who wins and by what score?

I believe Super LII will be the Pittsburgh Steelers vs Philadelphia Eagles. It will be an “All Pennsylvania” Super Bowl with the Eastern part of the state going up against the Western part!

It’ll be a great game, but I think the Steelers walk away with a 33-27 win over the Eagles. Le’Veon Bell will prove to be too much for the scrappy Eagles defense. Nick Foles will show everyone that he’s better in the playoffs than he was at the end of the regular season, but will fall short of winning Philly it’s first ever Super Bowl victory!

6Matthew Garrett — Lead Writer @ GoingFor2

In a dream scenario, the best Super Bowl matchup, in your opinion, would be _______?

The NFL wants to see two old guys go at it in New Orleans and New England and I’d be perfectly okay with that. As a man that loves great trash talkers, I can’t help but root for a Jacksonville/Atlanta Super Bowl. I understand that the odds of that are extremely long but sign me up for two weeks of Jalen Ramsey bumpin’ his gums to Julio Jones. I’d also like to see how dominant that defense can be against a team with so many weapons. The only problem with that matchup is having to watch Blake Bortles….trust me, no one outside of Jacksonville is championing for a Bortles Super Bowl.

Every year there seems to be one storyline that dominates the rest, i.e. Peyton Mannings retirement tour, Patriots pursuit of perfection, the Saints winning a Super Bowl for a city still recovering from Hurricane Katrina from four years previous. What is this year’s storyline? Is their one yet?

Right now the biggest story has got to be the biggest “what if” in Philadelphia sports history. That is, what if Carson Wentz doesn’t tear his ACL against the Rams? He was an MVP candidate and the Eagles were on fire with their most realistic shot at a championship since the T.O./McNabb days. Seriously, think about it. Odell goes down, Zeke gets suspended, they just happen to find a world-class kicker off the waiver wire, and all the balls that didn’t bounce the Eagles way in 2016 did in 2017. Will that ever happen again? I seriously doubt it. I’m not saying Wentz can’t lead Philadelphia to the promised land; I’m saying the stars probably won’t align the way they did this year.

If Minnesota makes it to the Super Bowl then the main story becomes how they’re the first team to ever host a Super Bowl and how defense still wins rings.

Give us your Super Bowl Prediction, who is in it, who wins and by what score?

Let’s live life on the edge, okay? Even with a torn calf, I’m saying that AB and Pittsburgh walk into New England and exorcises their demons. New Orleans rides Kamara all the way to the Super Bowl and we have a showdown between two powerful, balanced offenses.

The Saints beat the Steelers 35-27 and Drew Brees puts the Saints back in salary cap hell with one more huge contract…Joe Flacco style.

7Ralph Uriarte Jr. – MomentumShift Media Manager & Writer @ GoingFor2

Let’s fast forward to the Conference Championship games, and let’s assume everything plays out exactly as it should. That puts the Steelers going to New England to face the Patriots, what do they need to do in that game to finally beat the Patriots?

The Patriots have looked human at times this year, they didn’t always look so dominant, despite their record.

The Steelers had some gritty wins and losses that came down to referee decisions. But they looked strong down the stretch, even after Antonio Brown missed games with an injury. The reason was Juju Smith Schuster.

Juju AND “A.B.” together will be the reason the Steelers beat the Patriots and move on to the Superbowl.

The Patriots don’t have the defensive ability to shut down two star wideouts at the same time.

Steelers defense will get to Tom Brady and make his life miserable. Brady does not like pressure in his face and the Steelers know it.

The Atlanta Falcons have just won the Super Bowl, and their MVP is ______? And why?

Devonta Freeman will be the MVP. In years past, Julio Jones was “the guy”, but lately it seems to be Freeman. Compare Freeman’s 7 touchdowns compared to Julio’s 3. Freeman has averaged 11 touchdowns the previous 2 years, I fully expect him to get to that mark by the end of the playoffs as well.

Give us your Super Bowl Prediction, who is in it, who wins and by what score?

Carson Wentz comes out of the rafters of U.S. Bank stadium like a wrestling scene and the whole ACL injury turns out to have been faked and just a ploy to play possum. Wentz and the Eagles defeat the Steelers 14-31.

In the real world though, I think the Rams beat the Steelers. Final score 38-31.

8Courtney Harden – Radio Host of “The Real Deal” – MomentumShift

The L.A. Rams have just won Super Bowl LII and their MVP is _____? And why?

If the LA Rams won Super Bowl their MVP would be Todd Gurley. Gurley has become the ultimate weapon out of the backfield. One of the top 2-3 running backs in the NFL and a regular season MVP candidate.  He makes the Rams offense more dangerous when he is running and receiving, and that sets up Jared Goff to open up the offense even more. There you have it, MVP of the Super Bowl

Every year there seems to be one storyline that dominates the rest, i.e. Peyton Mannings retirement tour, Patriots pursuit of perfection, the Saints winning a Super Bowl for a city still recovering from Hurricane Katrina from four years previous. What is this year’s storyline? Is their one yet?

This year’s storyline was the NFL Ratings are down for the second year in a row.  There are a variety of reasons, major injuries to the stars, protests, play on the field have been subpar, concussions, domestic violence etc..  I believe this is a concern and the NFL has to do something to get the ratings back on track.

Give us your Super Bowl Prediction, who is in it, who wins and by what score?

Super Bowl Predictions, I am going with Philly Eagles in NFC and Patriots in the AFC.  Eagles win their first Super Bowl 27-23.

9Geoff Lambert – Founder of GoingFor2

Looking at all the matchups for this weekend and the potential matchups for next weekend, give me your “upset alert” pick, and why?

Looking at the Wildcard Weekend, I don’t think any matchup would necessarily be considered an “upset”, so we will look at the Divisional Round. I think the Rams will beat the Falcons,  and the Saints will beat the Panthers in the Wildcard Round. If it plays out like that, then the Saints will have to travel to the Vikings and that will be my upset pick. This may be the only time this has ever been said about the Saints in their history, “Their defense and running game will be the difference when they beat the Vikings to go to the Super Bowl.”

Saints defeat the Vikings in overtime 34-to-31.

Your job is transferring you to a remote island with no TVs or internet, but before you go you can watch one playoff matchup, not the Super Bowl, what game is it and why?

I think a lot of people would go to the Steelers at Patriots as the most intriguing playoff matchup, but I, however, will go a different route. I want to see the upstart Jacksonville Jaguars go into Heinz Field and meet the team they defeated 30-to-9 earlier in the season. A game that saw Ben Roethlisberger throw five interceptions and held the powerful Steelers offense to three field goals. I think with that 30-to-9 early season victory by the Jaguars, this game will end up being a chippy, low scoring, old fashion brawl of an NFL game — and who doesn’t want to see that? I predict this game will happen and the Jags go into Heinz field and upset the Steelers in a low-scoring affair that comes down to the wire. Jags win 17-to-13 with their defense on the field to end the game on — wait for it — a Ben Roethlisberger interception.

Give us your Super Bowl Prediction, who is in it, who wins and by what score?

Well, I think I already gave away one of my Super Bowl picks with the Saints upsetting the Vikings in the divisional round. Who from the AFC could the possibly meet? I would love to predict a second upset with the Jags beating the Patriots to meet the Saints in the Super Bowl, however, I like being bold, not stupid. The Patriots meet the Saints in the Super Bowl and they defeat the Patriots in what will be a classic matchup between two Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Drew Brees has all the tools he needs on offense to match the Patriots scoring and it will come down to “who has the ball last”. The Saints win on a Will Lutz field goal 41-to-38.

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