Divisional Matchup One- Rams vs Packers
The first of the divisional matchups this weekend starts in Green Bay with a matchup between the Rams and the Packers. As of right now, the Packers seem like heavy favorites with a 7 point spread. We are pretty sure that Jared Goff is healthy enough to start, but how much will he be able to produce is a big question.
There are also questions about Aaron Donald going into the game as well. He picked up a pretty bad rib injury last week vs Seattle, but the team says he will be ready to go. Donald being active is just another problem for the Packers offensive line to deal with.
The Packers are coming off of a bye and have the #1 seed in the NFC. They have one of the top offenses in the league. The Rams have one of the top defenses in the league which sparks the excitement for this match up. In the end, the field and the conditions in Green Bay will be too much for Goff to stay comfortable in and I predict a double digit victory for the Packers, which could be the largest of the Divisional round.
Divisional Matchup Two- Ravens vs Bills
This is a matchup between two excellent quarterbacks who want to prove their worth by performing well in the post season. Both Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen are under tons of pressure to advance. They are waiting on big contracts with their respective teams and want to prove that they can win the big one.
Josh Allen had his breakout year this year, taking the league by storm and definitely in the MVP discussion, what comes next is a playoff success. They had the success last week against the Colts but will they be able to do it again vs Baltimore?
Lamar Jackson had an up and down season coming off of winning the MVP, but he turned it on at the right time which resulted in his team going on a 6 game winning streak to close the year out. The Bills have the ability to score on anyone but the questions come on defense. They have a really hard time stopping the run and that is something Baltimore excels at.
I see a similar game plan for the Ravens as the Tennessee game last week. My prediction is that the Ravens will win in Buffalo by a touchdown.
Divisional Matchup Three- Browns vs Chiefs
The Browns are coming off of their first playoff win in over 22 years against the Steelers last week. Baker Mayfield and company finally got the demons out of that city and they seem ready to roll into Kansas City with the same mentality. They beat the Steelers the same way they have been beating most teams this year and that is with their extremely strong running game. They have one of, if not, the best offensive line in football and will use that to the advantage on Sunday.
This will be the Chiefs first big game in a very long time. They cruised through the regular season with a 14-2 record and have home field in the AFC. In order for the Browns to have a chance in this game, they need to do two things.
One thing is they need to execute the run game in order to run the clock and keep Mahomes off the field as much as possible. The other thing they need to do is score touchdowns and not field goals. Settling for three points on drives, especially early in the game will not play well for the Browns, who are going against the most explosive offense in the league.
My prediction is the Chiefs will get up big early and will sit on a lead like they usually do, they’re shouldn’t be any issues for them in a game like this.
Divisional Matchup Four- Bucs vs Saints
This will be the most intriguing matchup of the weekend as Tom Brady and the Bucs take on Drew Brees and the Saints for the third time this season. The Saints beat the Bucs both times and handled them without any trouble for both of those games. This time, we will see Tom Brady in the playoffs with another team, and the Saints better be ready for it. Since losing 38-3 in Week Nine on Sunday Night Football, the Bucs offense has really improved and mostly thanks to the great passing of Brady.
The Saints can obviously score on anyone but so can the Bucs. What this game will really come down to is who shows up on defense in clutch time. The Bucs secondary has been very inconsistent this year but they will need to be on the top of their game this weekend. My prediction is that Tom Brady will out duel Drew Brees when it matters the most and this may be his last game. The Bucs should take this by 1-3 points, which may result in a typical game winning drive for Tom Brady.