NFL Playoff Round-Up: Divisional Weekend
I went 5-1 with my picks straight up during Wild Card Weekend. In the words of Happy Gilmore: “Some might call it luck, I’d like to call it…well, luck I guess. So what?!” If somebody had told me Tom Brady planned on retiring during the pre-game ceremony, I would not have picked the Bucs to win. They looked absolutely terrible. I shoulda picked Dallas. Oh well.
Let’s keep the momentum going, fellas. Divisional Round upcoming!
Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs:
- Teams are evenly matched in terms of passing yards allowed to QBs, rushing yards allowed to RBs, and receiving yards allowed to WRs.
- KC Edge: Jacksonville gets dominated by TEs implying Travis Kelce could be the difference in the game.
- If Trevor Lawrence plays well (like not throwing 4-INTs in the first half), the game could be high scoring.
Kansas City should win
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles:
- Both teams’ offenses are similar. They want to run first and throw when the opportunity presents itself. Each team’s QB is also mobile and can pick up a first down by running.
- However, the NY Giants are significantly worse than the Philadelphia Eagles versus every position except QB-rushing yards allowed. In this case, the two teams are roughly even.
- That being said, if Jalen Hurts is truly injured, everything is out the window.
- But with both teams at full strength, Daniel Jones would have to play a monster game, rushing for well over 100 yards for the Giants to stay competitive for 4 quarters.
- As I say that though, the Giants appear to be playing very well recently while Philly has not. Jalen Hurts missed a few games down the stretch, they had a bye week, and have not shown a rhythm. This is the third time these divisional opponents will face each other this year. At the moment, both are trending in different directions. Crazier things have happened, but I still gotta give the overall edge to Philly.
Philadelphia should win
Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills:
- Cincinnati is even in terms of passing yards allowed to the QB position, with a slight edge over Buffalo.
- Buffalo is slightly worse than Cincinnati at stopping the run (RBs) and worse at allowing passing yards to WRs.
- Cincinnati is significantly worse than Buffalo versus the TE position. While Dawson Knox is not generally considered a difference maker in the manner of a Travis Kelce, he could have an outsized impact in this game.
- These two teams seem pretty evenly matched as a whole. I give the edge to Cincinnati since they have better WRs than Buffalo overall (Chase, Higgins, Boyd vs Diggs, G.Davis)
Cincinnati wins, but it feels like a coin flip!
Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers:
- The 49ers give up notably more passing yards than the Cowboys to the QB position.
- Both teams are vulnerable to the WR position and relatively stout versus the TE position, meaning the team’s respective offenses should flow through CeeDee Lamb and Brandon Aiyuk more so than Dalton Schultz and George Kittle.
- The biggest edge in this game goes to San Francisco who are statistically the best team in the NFL at stopping the run (vs RBs). This is exactly how the Cowboys offense likes to operate, through Ezekiel Elliott & Tony Pollard.
- The 49ers hybrid Swiss army knife Deebo Samuel should have another huge day operating as both an RB and WR.
- This is a very tough call because while the 49ers have played very well lately, the QB edge still goes to the Cowboys statistically. Also, Dak Prescott is a proven veteran whereas Brock Purdy is still a rookie.
- Overall these teams are very evenly matched. The rushing edge for the 49ers could be the difference, but more importantly, Brock Purdy not turning into a pumpkin could be the more significant difference and is largely unknown. Dak will need to be on top of his game Sunday to keep his team in the game since rushing the ball will not be an option.
My heart says Cowboys, but my head says 49ers. I am torn but the Cowboys win, and I absolutely hate the pick