The NFL playoffs are here and it’s Wild Card weekend! From here on out it’s win or go home. Unfortunately these teams missed out on a first round bye and will have to play an extra game, but some of these teams could ride the momentum of a victory all the way to the Super Bowl. Each game has been broken down below along with each matchup prediction. Who will move one step closer to being Super Bowl champions?
TITANS @ CHIEFS
There are 3 big reasons why the Chiefs have a huge advantage in this game. First, they have home field advantage. Second, this game features two quarterbacks on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. Alex Smith led the NFL in passer rating, while Marcus Mariota has the lowest quarterback rating of any quarterback in the playoffs. Third, the Chiefs have the NFL’s rushing leader in Kareem Hunt, while the Titans will be without DeMarco Murray. Marcus Mariota and Derrick Henry will have to have a monster day to pull off a win on the road, and I don’t see that happening.
FALCONS @ RAMS
Atlanta’s defense gave up an average of 19.7 points per game during the regular season. That’s pretty dang good if you ask me. Unfortunately for the Falcons defense, they have to play the top scoring offense in the NFL. Todd Gurley is a candidate for MVP this season after running through, over, and around just about everyone. The Rams played pretty consistently throughout the season, while the Falcons have been up and down. Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Sammy Watkins and more will be too much to handle for Atlanta’s defense.
BILLS @ JAGUARS
Among all the teams in the playoffs, there’s only one team who ranks last in points scored and points allowed per game. That team is the Bills. On the other side, the Jaguars were 5th in points scored and 2nd in points allowed. Tyrod Taylor has been the better quarterback of the two teams throughout the year, but who knows if Lesean McCoy will play?? Leonard Fournette has been great for this Jaguars offense most of the year, but his recent games haven’t been. The biggest difference I can see in this game has to be the Jaguars defense. The Jaguars were second in the league in sacks, and their secondary isn’t bad either.
PANTHERS @ SAINTS
When I look the matchups in this game, I have to think about the weapons each quarterback has. Drew Brees has Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, and Ted Ginn Jr. Cam Newton has Jonathan Stewart, Christian McCaffrey, Devin Funchess, and Greg Olsen. When I look at the running backs, I like both sets, but New Orleans has the advantage. Ingram is a 1,000 yard rusher and Kamara averaged 6.1 yards per carry. Both Stewart and McCaffrey average 3.7 or less. Looking at the receivers, the Saints have a clear advantage. Carolina’s top receiver had less than 1,000 yards, and he isn’t a true number one. The Saints have a true number one wide out, along with a running back in Alvin Kamara who does what McCaffrey does for the Panthers, only better. New Orleans has too many weapons and they’ll put them to good use once again.