Barnwell predicts the entire NFL playoff bracket: 13 games, one Super Bowl champion

    Bill Barnwell is a staff writer for ESPN.com.

Time to preview the 2021 NFL playoffs by running through my playoff bracket. I’ll pick winners for each of the six games we’re going to see this wild-card weekend and project who wins the games that follow and who will make it all the way to Super Bowl LVI. In all, I’ll break down 13 different matchups and why I think they’ll favor one team or the other.

Of course, it goes without saying that this bracket will not be correct. Even if we were being generous and assuming that my pick had a 65% chance of winning each game, the chances of hitting 13 consecutive selections are just over 240-to-1. Injuries, COVID-19 absences and bad luck will pop up. Even with a 17-game season, we overestimate how much we actually know about each team and its true talent level. This makes the playoffs hard to predict and wildly entertaining to watch.

Regardless, here’s my bracket. I’ll start with wild-card weekend and work my way to the Super Bowl. Let’s begin with the AFC side, where the Steelers were given a new lease on life in the final seconds of the regular season. Can they keep Ben Roethlisberger’s career going with a miraculous playoff run?

AFC wild-card weekend

(7) Pittsburgh Steelers at (2) Kansas City Chiefs

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