2023 NFL Playoff predictions: Do Seahawks have any more magic?

(Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

Wild Card Round Saturday with the Seahawks

Seahawks vs 49ers

The Seahawks needed help in the final two weeks of the season to sneak into the playoffs. Through most of the season, it appeared the Minnesota Vikings were set to be the number 2 seed, but a late charge by Brock Purdy and San Francisco helped them overtake the Vikings for the valuable number 2 seed.

The 49ers may be the most talented team in the league, but the question has been whether Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy, could keep this magical run going. He’ll be matched up with likely comeback player of the year Geno Smith, who must play a near-perfect game for the Seahawks to have a shot. The weather will be nasty and wet should make this a closer game than people think, but the overwhelming talent wearing red and gold proves to be too much in the end.

Prediction: SF over SEA 24-16

Chargers vs Jaguars

A fascinating wildcard matchup that pairs two young franchise quarterbacks playing in their first playoff games. It is also a matchup of two teams with some dark and disappointing playoff histories that they’re hoping to improve on.

The Jacksonville Jaguars won their final five games of the season to finish 10-7 and will be hosting their first playoff game since the 2017 wildcard. First-year head coach Doug Pederson deserves a ton of credit for turning the culture around in Duval while getting talented quarterback Trevor Lawrence back on track.

The Chargers, led by the incredibly talented Justin Herbert, are one of the most frustrating teams to watch this season. Loaded with talent all over the field, the Chargers have left a lot to be desired, especially with offensive play calling, and the decision-making by second-year head coach Brandon Staley. The inexplicable decision to play their starters in week 18, a game that would not impact their playoff seeding in any way, cost them Mike Williams to a fractured back. A team that appeared to be a sneaky super bowl contender a week ago now looks like a team that needs to win in order for the coach to keep his job.

I think Herbert is a better quarterback than Trevor Lawrence right now, but I prefer Doug Pederson’s history and coaching in this game over Staley

Prediction: JAX over LAC 23-21