Between the four major sports, predicting the NFL postseason is by far the hardest.

That’s because the NHL, NBA and MLB playoffs are all series-based; and as we’ve heard a million goddamn times: Anything can happen in one game.

Which is why the NFL, postseason or regular season, is so exciting to watch and a gambler’s worst nightmare. Clearly, there is a small group of “elite” franchises that have regularly appeared in the playoffs recently – New England, Pittsburgh, Green Bay and Baltimore to name a few – but we’ve also seen seven different Super Bowl champions in the last seven seasons.

There’s a good chance that trend continues this season. Eight of the teams participating in the 2016 postseason, including three of the four top seeds, haven’t won a title anytime recently. Here’s a breakdown of the field and their last Super Bowl victory:

New England: 2015
Seattle: 2014
Green Bay: 2011
Pittsburgh: 2009
Denver: 1999
Washington: 1992
Kansas City: 1970
Arizona: Never
Carolina: Never
Cincinnati: Never 
Minnesota: Never
Houston: Never

The NFC’s top two seeds, Carolina (2004) and Arizona (2009), have both made appearances in the big game since the turn of the century, which also presents the opportunity for Super Bowl rematches against New England and Pittsburgh, respectively.

Either way, there’s no doubt the mix of new-school contenders and perennial favorites makes for an unpredictable bracket. With that being said, here’s how we (a.k.a. Peter and Brian) see the 2016 NFL Playoffs unfolding.

2016 NFL Playoff Picks

Peter Hahn

NFC Wild Card

These two games are the exact opposite.

Normally a title contender, Green Bay is an underdog to the typically very bad Redskins. The pressure is on Kirk Cousins and Washington, and I can’t tell if Aaron Rodgers is hustling us or if the Packers actually suck right now.

And coming off consecutive NFC titles, nobody thinks the red-hot Seahawks will lose to the solid yet boring Vikings – despite Seattle having to play in frigid Minnesota.

In the end, I respect the hell out of Kirk Cousins and Jay Gruden but think they fold now that they’re expected to win. Minnesota certainly won’t lose 38-7 again, but Seattle just has too much going for them.

Green Bay over Washington

Seattle over Minnesota

AFC Wild Card

I’m disappointed that Kansas City and Houston, the league’s two cinderellas this year, have to play each other first round. Especially because we have an all-AFC North matchup in the playoffs for what seems like the fifth straight season.

The AFC side of the bracket is an absolute crapshoot, so I’ll go with experience at quarterback in the wild-card matchups. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, who lost first round last year, are hungry for another playoff run – and like Cousins, I see AJ McCarron regressing on the big stage.

Chiefs QB Alex Smith apparently loves the playoffs. In three postseason games, the former top overall pick has 9 touchdowns, 0 picks and an average of 291 passing yards. The Texans defense has been absurd to close out the season, but Kansas City’s is pretty damn good too – and I like their skill players over Houston’s.

Pittsburgh over Cincinnati

Kansas City over Houston

NFC Divisional

In the defensive slugfest, I like Cam Newton and Carolina’s magical season to continue. Seattle has revenge going for them after the Panthers won in their house Week 6 – but if any player can make big plays on the vaunted Seahawks D this time of year, it’s Newton.

I’m thinking similarly on the other side of the ball, where Carolina’s physical and explosive defense contains Russell Wilson.

No matter who comes to Arizona, I’ll take the Cardinals to move on after a special 13-3 regular season. Carson Palmer wants that first career playoff win, and even if Rodgers (or Cousins) gets hot – their defense is still good enough without Tyrann Mathieu.

The emergence of David Johnson has given Bruce Arians’ offense weapons everywhere you look.

Carolina over Seattle

Arizona over Green Bay

AFC Divisional

After watching Peyton Manning come in to clinch the AFC’s top seed, I got a really good feeling about Denver. Both running backs looked explosive and we know the defense is lights out.

But then I got this jolt of doubt thinking about Manning in cold weather and love the thought of Roethlisberger making an underdog run. Basically, I have no idea what’s going to happen so I’ll take the Steelers.

Even though the Patriots have looked like shit lately, you have to go track record here. The Chiefs’ run ends, and we get Brady vs. Big Ben.

Pittsburgh over Denver

New England over Kansas City

NFC Championship Game

At some point, I think Cam’s lack of weapons catches up to him. Palmer and Arians do enough to beat Carolina’s defense and keep moving on.

Arizona over Carolina

AFC Championship Game

If I’m going to ride Roethlisberger and their offense this far, no point in stopping now.

Pittsburgh over New England

Super Bowl

A rematch of the barnburner in 2009 – when Bruce Arians was on the other sideline – I see Pittsburgh running out of gas and Larry Fitzgerald adding a ring to his Hall of Fame resume.

Arizona Cardinals over Pittsburgh Steelers

Brian Lendino

NFC Wild Card

The NFC Wild Card intrigues me. A lot. It’s going to be like negative 20 degrees with wind chill in Minnesota on Sunday, and it’s going to be outside. Score one for sitting on the couch.

Seattle should handle Minnesota though weather is always the great equalizer. The Pete Carroll-Russell Wilson duo has been to back to back Super Bowls now and that’s huge.

Green Bay still has Aaron Rodgers. Remember that before you write them off, I would be none too surprised if the Packers squeaked out a win. Ultimately, I’m going with “You Like That?!” to win a close one.

Seattle over Minnesota

Washington over Green Bay

AFC Wild Card

What the NFC Wild Card will provide in entertainment value, the AFC Wild Card will provide in premium hangover viewing material. Slow and methodical, you’ll probably forget the game is even on.

I’ll take Big Ben and Antonio Brown over Marvin Lewis…again. And give me the home team in the matchup between two of the league’s premiere defenses in 2015.

Pittsburgh over Cincinnati

Houston over Kansas City

NFC Divisional

Seattle is going into Carolina and upsetting Cam Newton. Newton will win MVP for the regular season, but Russell Wilson is going to steal his thunder in the playoffs. Russ just makes one more play when it’s all said and done.

Washington is in over its head going on the road to hostile Arizona. Hell, Washington falls flat on its face just about every time it’s on the road, so I’ll roll with the 13-3 Cardinals.

Seattle over Carolina

Arizona over Washington

AFC Divisional

Just start preparing yourselves for Brady vs. Manning one final time.

Denver over Pittsburgh

New England over Houston

NFC Championship Game

Nothing like a solid divisional rivalry to decide the NFC champion. Both teams have everything you look for in a Super Bowl participant: Great QB, smart head coach, strong defense and strong running game. No disrespect to Carolina, or any of the other teams in the NFL but I truly believe these are the two best teams in the league.

Carson Palmer deserves him a Super Bowl. At the very least a trip to one. He’ll get that after Arizona beats Seattle and marches on to San Francisco.

Arizona over Seattle

AFC Championship Game

Peyton Manning could easily retire this offseason. That, mixed with the Patriots returning to the very game that the deflate-gate scandal took place one year prior, the AFC Championship is loaded with storylines.

That alone makes it worth watching. But this would also be a regular season rematch, wherein a Brock Osweiler-led Broncos’ team handed the Patriots their first loss of the season.

New England avenges that and moves on to face Arians and the Cardinals.

New England over Denver

Super Bowl

The Patriots are the NFL’s model organization for success but to be quite honest, under the direction of Steve Keim and Bruce Arians the Arizona Cardinals are building their own case for that claim.

This would be one hell of a game. The Pats are the seasoned vets with the smartest minds in the game, have been there before. While on the other end you have two guys in Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald who deserve championships more than anyone and have worked their asses off to get to where they are.

I’ll take the Cardinals. 31-27.

Arizona Cardinals over New England Patriots