Super Wildcard weekend has passed, and a few teams are moving on. With the one seeds now back in the action, here is a preview and my predictions of the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.
Bengals vs Bills
This is a “rematch” of these two squads from a few weeks ago. That game was the Damar Hamlin scare, so it was never finished. If finished, maybe the Bengals would’ve won and had home field for this game. The game was not finished, which was the right call due to the circumstances, so now the Bills will have home field. Each of these teams come in shaky wins against fellow division opponents. It’s hard to play a team three times, but both these teams prevailed to be 2-1 respectively. Now, they come in with a chance to go to the AFC title game. The big story for the Bills will be the turnovers. They dominated Miami on the stat sheet, but three turnovers helped Miami drop 31 on the Bills.
For the Bengals, it will be how will they protect Joe Burrow. He has been hit a lot the last few games now, and the Oline is slowly losing guy after guy. These are two of the best and upcoming young teams in the NFL. The Bengals look to get back to the Super Bowl for a second year in a row, while Josh Allen looks to go to his first. My prediction is the Bills will move on. As much as I like the Bengals, they are missing three of their five starters on the offensive line. To go along with that, Damar Hamlin is rumored to be coming back to join the team. He won’t be playing. But, seeing him on the sideline gives the Bengals not only the Bills to deal with, but that crowd will be LOUD.
Jaguars vs Chiefs
After an improbable comeback the Jaguars survive and move on to face the one seeded Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead. The Jags have been a storybook team, as they went from last place last year to the divisional round this year. Trevor Lawrence has taken a step forward this year, and it seems like he is starting to fully become himself again. This Jaguars team will have a tough challenge ahead however, as Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs look to get back to the Super Bowl.
The one week off can be tough for some teams, so we will have to see how the Chiefs respond. These teams played back in week 13, and Mahomes had a field day. The final score would be 27-17, and Mahomes went 26 for 35 with 331 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. The Chiefs will look for more of the same, as they look to clinch a berth to the AFC title game. My prediction is the Chiefs will win, but I think the Jaguars have a good chance to cover. The Chiefs have been known to struggle covering the spread sometimes in the playoffs, and -8.5 feels like a bit much for this game based on the Jags last game.
Giants vs Eagles
This Divisional round matchup is round three of Giants vs Eagles, The Eagles are up 2-0 in the series, but this game feels a bit different. The Giants are coming in off maybe their best game of the year. Daniel Jones had a field day against the Vikings defense, and they seemed to have little answers to stop him. Saquon Barkley had a good game as well, with a lighter workload than most expected. Brian Daboll and Wink Martindale have done wonders in their first year as coaches. This Giants team has done wonders with a roster that almost everyone would have said will not make it to the second round at the beginning of the year.
When it comes to the Eagles, they were dominant all season. They were on pace to go 16-1 before Jalen Hurts got injured. The last few weeks were rough for the Eagles, as the injuries piled up. The week off should hopefully help with the injuries, but the Eagles will have a tough matchup ahead. My prediction is Giants cover the +7.5, and I think they may even win it. Daniel Jones showed a side of him many have not seen before. The giants seem to be playing their best football at the best time, so this could be a massive upset spot for them. I think MR.. Daniel Dimes has the chance to have another massive game here.
Cowboys vs 49ers
Both of these teams come off dominating wins, and get a rematch from last year. For the 49ers, it took until the fourth quarter to put their division foe away. For the Cowboys, it took basically a quarter to beat down the Bucs. The Cowboys come in after beating the absolute life out of a Bucs team that limped into the playoffs. That game was the BEST Dak Prescott has ever personally seen. He just seemed to know what to do when, and did it very effectively. This Cowboys team has been one of the better ones in recent history, and now they get a chance to prove it against a very impressive 49ers team.
Speaking of, the 49ers have been a MONSTER in the NFC. Since starting Christian McCaffery, the 49ers are 11-0 and he has 1200+ yards and 11 touchdowns. He came over from Carolina and gave this team a huge spark. Another huge piece that has done wonders for the 49ers is MR. Irrelevant Brock Purdy. He has come in and done a masterful job of leading this offense, and he has been really effective. He went from the third string quarterback to now he has looked like he might be QB1 next year. The 49ers are three point favorites. My prediction is I think they cover and win. The Cowboys are good, but the 49ers are that much better. With an elite defense and rushing attack the 49ers should be able to take control of this game late and pull away with the ground game.
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