After the longest season in NFL History, we have finally made it to the playoffs. After securing the number one seed of their respective conferences, the Packers and Titans will get a week off as they prepare for the divisional round. As for the other 12 teams, they start this week and I’ll be breaking down who I have prevailing in each game.
Raiders vs Bengals
This is the game that I’m most excited for as I believe it’s the most evenly matched game and it’s between 2 teams that have had significant playoff droughts. No matter what happens Sunday, one of these teams will get their first playoff win in many years. As to who that franchise will be, it’ll all depend on the aerial attack of each team. Both of these teams are known for having potent offenses, led by their star QBs so I do believe this game will be a shootout. As to who will win that shootout: after seeing what Cincinnati did to a red hot Kansas City team, I’ll give them the edge and predict for Burrow to get his first career playoff win.
Winner: Cincinnati Bengals
Patriots vs Bills
Now the Bills are my favorite team, so I’ll try my best to hide my bias but I really do favor the Bills in this matchup. While it’s hard for me to go against Belichick in the playoffs and this Pat’s team is very talented, I just don’t think Mac Jones and company will be able to keep pace with the high flying Bills’s offense.
Winner: Buffalo Bills
Steelers vs Chiefs
The Chiefs walk into this game a clear favorite but I believe it’ll be a lot closer than people think. The Steelers have the pass rush to make Mahomes uncomfortable and they also have the quick passing game and consistent running game to keep KC’s aggressive defense on their toes, while I do believe Kansas City will win this game, I don’t expect them to pull away until the final 4-5 minutes of the game.
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs
Cardinals vs Rams
Cardinals vs Rams is similar to the Pats Bills matchup in the sense that It’ll be the 3rd time these 2 teams face off against each other. The Cardinals won the first matchup and LA took the 2nd. Both teams have been clear contenders all year and are pretty evenly matched, so I believe this matchup will come down to coaching, and if it does, I’m putting my money on Sean Mcvay.
Winner: Los Angeles Rams
49ers vs. Cowboys
This game is similar to the Raiders Bengals game in which it could go either way. Both of these teams predicate themselves on establishing the run although Dallas’s run game has lost steam recently. The Niners have looked unstoppable recently, making a 14 point comeback against their divisional rival Rams to sneak into the playoffs. They are much more dangerous than your average wild card team and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if they beat Dallas this weekend. With that being said, that doesn’t mean I think they will beat Dallas this weekend, as Dallas will be at full strength after coming off of a drubbing of fellow playoff team, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Winner: Dallas Cowboys
Eagles vs Buccaneers
Our last game that will be covered for wild card weekend is arguably the most lopsided game. The Eagles snuck into the playoffs after going on a late season run while the Bucs look like one of the best teams in football led by Tom Brady who is enjoying another MVP like season. But look closer at this matchup, and you see the Eagles have a legitimate shot to win this game. While the Bucs have the best run defense in the NFL, the Eagles have arguably the best running game in the NFL. Philly may not have the best defense, but they Bucs are deeply depleted on offense (although they do expect to get Leonard Fournette back this week). Look closer into this matchup, and there’s a real shot for an upset, and while the Bucs are you’re reigning super bowl champs, I truly believe COTY candidate Nick Sirianni will lead this group to one of the biggest playoff upsets ever.
Winner: Philadelphia Eagles