The NFL’s first-ever Super Wild Card Weekend is in the books, and our attention now turns to the eight teams and four games that make up the divisional round.
Here’s a quick look at each of this weekend’s playoff matchups.
Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers (-7)
The first game of the weekend is the tale of three quarterbacks. For the host Packers, it’s the likely MVP and guaranteed Hall of Famer in Aaron Rodgers. For the visiting Rams, it’s two ailing quarterbacks who were able to claw their way to a win at Seattle on Saturday.
John Wolford is expected to be fine by Saturday after his frightening neck injury against the Seahawks. Jared Goff, still recovering from surgery on a broken thumb, played well in relief but is clearly limited by the injury.
Goff was gutsy, but Los Angeles advanced because of a great game by Aaron Donald and the Rams defense. If the Rams are going to slow down Rodgers and keep it close, they will need an all-time performance from Donald. They will have to hope he will be recovered enough from a rib injury he suffered when Russell Wilson landed hard on them, forcing Donald out of the game.
Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills (-3)
This is another interesting quarterback matchup between two players from the 2018 NFL Draft.
Lamar Jackson was told that he couldn’t play quarterback, but he won the NFL MVP in 2019. Josh Allen didn’t complete enough passes to be successful in the NFL, but he just finished fourth in the league, completing 69% of his passes.
The Ravens can run, and stopping the run is the Bills’ weakness. But Stefon Diggs has been spectacular for Buffalo, leading the league in receptions and receiving yards. According to online betting sites, that will be enough to get the Bills over the top.
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs (-10)
Break out the Cleveland Browns. From being a playoff participant for the first time since 2002 to becoming a playoff winner for the first time since 1994. The reward for them is the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are currently favored at +185 in Super Bowl betting odds.
This game has the largest online point spread in the sportsbook weekend, with the Chiefs favored by 10 points. But Myles Garrett will present problems for a Kansas City offensive line that is missing multiple starters. And the two-headed running back monster of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb will find room to run.
This won’t be a repeat of Patrick Mahomes vs. Baker Mayfield in 2016 when, as college quarterbacks, they combined for 1,279 yards passing. But definitely look for lots of offense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-3)
A week after the NFL experimented with a game on Nickelodeon, maybe this weekend it will try out the History Channel as Tom Brady takes on Drew Brees. They have combined for 41 years of professional football, 159,562 passing yards, 1,152 passing touchdowns, and 85 years of life.
These two have also already played each other twice this season – an opening week New Orleans win by 11, and then a 38-3 New Orleans rout in which Brady threw three picks and Brees threw four touchdowns.
Round three ends the divisional round weekend.