As the first-ever Super Wild Card weekend has drawn to a close, the NFL world will shift its gaze to the Divisional Round next weekend. With the Titans and Packers drawing first round byes, they will have an extra week of rest to help with taking down the Bengals and 49ers, respectively. The other NFC matchup will feature the Los Angeles Rams squaring off with Tom Brady and the Bucs in Tampa. Finally, the last matchup of the weekend will showcase the gritty Buffalo Bills taking on the Chiefs in Kansas City.
Below, SBS will break down each matchup and offer picks for each game in the divisional playoff round.
|NFL Divisional Round Weekend Matchups|
|Titans vs. Bengals||Titans -3.5||+100||+100||+100|
|Packers vs. 49ers||Packers ML||-245||-245||-245|
|Bills vs. Chiefs||Bills +2||-107||-107||-107|
|Rams vs. Bucs||Bucs -3||-105||-105||-105|
In a matchup that could feature the return of All-Pro running back Derrick Henry, Titans vs. Bengals will be a showcase in strength vs. strength. Tennessee is coming off of their first bye in the playoffs since 2008 and finished the season in a flourish to notch the No.1 overall seed in the AFC. Meanwhile, the Bengals are coming off a controversial, yet solid, win over the plucky Las Vegas Raiders. Quarterback Joe Burrow was marvelous in the win and he presents the most difficult matchup for Tennessee since they faced Patrick Mahomes in week seven.
Prediction: If Henry can shake off the rust quickly, look for the Titans (-3.5) to quickly gain the advantage in this one thanks to some added rest and the home field advantage.
In a rematch of their week five showdown, Buffalo travels to Kansas City for what should be a high-powered brawl. The Bills are coming off an electric trouncing of the Patriots, 47-17, at home and are firing on all cylinders, finishing the regular season with a four-game winning streak. The Chiefs, who narrowly missed getting a first round bye, easily dismantled the Steelers and Big Ben in the Wild Card, 42-21.
Prediction: Though it is very difficult to beat a team twice in the same NFL season, Buffalo has a great chance to do so in Kansas City. While the Chiefs team that lost 38-20 earlier in the year to the Bills is much different than the one we see now, Buffalo is riding a hot streak that few can contain. Just ask Mac Jones and the Pats.
A rematch from the regular season (Green bay won 30-28 in San Francisco), the 49ers and Packers clash will be a classic 90’s throwback showdown. Green Bay is fresh off of their bye and head coach Matt LaFleur said on Pardon My Take this will be the optimal amount of rest for his squad. San Francisco is coming off a thrilling victory over the Cowboys in Dallas, 23-17.
Prediction: This could be perhaps the closest matchup of the divisional round as the 49ers pose many threats to the weaknesses of the Packers. That said, in even matchups in the NFL, the better quarterback will usually give one squad the advantage. That’s why taking the Pack on the money line is the play here.
Our NFL Divisional round breakdown concludes with Tom Brady holding down the fort against the Los Angeles Rams. Brady and the Bucs were easily able to handle the Eagles in the Wild Card round, 31-15. What’s more impressive, is Tampa Bay was able to overcome the numerous departures on the offensive side of the ball. Los Angeles was able to blast the Cardinals in a lopsided shootout that saw quarterback Matthew Stafford outgun Arizona’s Kyler Murray.
Prediction: This matchup has the makings of the highest scoring game of the weekend. With two elite quarterbacks squaring off, this will be an awesome game to watch. With Tampa cruising right now and finding ways to win even without key personnel, the Bucs are the pick here.
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