With Super Wild Card Weekend now behind us, eight teams are left to play in the Divisional Round on Saturday and Sunday. The AFC’s and NFC’s No. 3 and No. 4 seeds, both lost at home. The No. 2 seeds both advanced and will be playing host to the No. 5 seeds.
The four teams in the conference title games will be ____________. pic.twitter.com/IsKqvlh9Zp
— #DivisionalRound on NBC (@SNFonNBC) January 11, 2021
The AFC’s final-four teams remaining are the Bills, Ravens, Browns, and the defending Super Bowl Odds Chiefs, who will be back in action after having a week off. The No. 1 Chiefs will be play the No. 6 Browns on Sunday, and the No. 2 Bills await the No. 5 Ravens on Saturday. Can anyone in the AFC find a way to take down Patrick Mahomes and Co. in Kansas City?
Baker’s the oldest starting QB left in the AFC playoffs and he’s not even 26 😳
Mayfield — 25 years, 272 days
Mahomes — 25 years, 116 days
Allen — 24 years, 235 days
Jackson — 24 years, 4 days pic.twitter.com/6kG5jZrd5A
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 11, 2021
The NFC’s final-four teams remaining are the Saints, Buccaneers, Rams, and the Packers. No. 1 Packers will host the No. 6 Rams on Saturday, and the No. 2 Saints will host the No. 5 Buccaneers on Sunday. Legendary-QBs Drew Brees and Tom Brady will face-off in their first playoff game against each other
Let’s take a look at the four games slated this coming weekend and I will tell you why each team can win and then tell you why they will or will not win.
No.1 Packers vs No. 6 Rams — Saturday, 4:25 p.m. ET – FOX
No. 1 Green Bay Packers: (-350 Moneyline)
Why will the (13-3) Packers win this game? The Green Bay Packers will be well-rested for their matchup at Lambeau Field with the Rams. Aaron Rodgers has been the best QB in the loaded-NFL and he should capture the third MVP trophy of his career. Rodgers is leagues ahead of whoever the Rams start at QB (Jarred Goff or John Wolford) and he should be able to put up plenty of points with a healthy supporting cast. The Packers No. 1 ranked scoring offense (31.8) should be able to find ways to score on the Rams’ No. 1 ranked scoring defense (18.5).
How can the Packers lose this game? If the Packers cannot control the line-of-scrimmage for at least parts of this game, then they will lose. If All-Pro DT Aaron Donald and the Rams can stop the run and get after Rodgers, then the QB may make mistakes and allow the Rams to pull off the up-set.
Coach T’s odds the Packers win: -380
Aaron Rodgers vs Aaron Donald next week🍿
The two highest-graded players in the NFL (94.5) pic.twitter.com/fJj343RWje
— PFF (@PFF) January 11, 2021
No. 6 Los Angeles Rams: (+290 Moneyline)
How can the (10-6) Rams win this game? The Rams can win this game the same way they took down the No. 3 Seahawks – behind stellar defense and a solid rushing attack. They were able to hold Russell Wilson to a QBR of 17.6 while sacking him five times – all without Donald for most of the second half. The Rams led the entire game and controlled their lead through rookie RB Cam Akers, who finished with 176 total-yards and one TD. The Rams front-seven should be able to find success against Green Bay’s great-offensive line because the Packers will be without first-team All-Pro LT David Bakhtiari the rest of the season due to an injury.
Why will the Rams lose this game? Seattle had a good season but their offense has been lost as of late which was the perfect foe for a hungry Rams defense. The Packers offense has looked unstoppable of late and the Rams have to come to play in the cold of January in Wisconsin. The Packers won six straight to end the season and their defense was a big part of their success, allowing 18.5 points a game during their winning streak.
Coach T’s odds the Rams win: +320
No. 2 Bills vs No. 5 Ravens — Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET – NBC (Upset Alert!)
No. 2 Buffalo Bills: (-140 Moneyline)
Why will the (13-3) Buffalo Bills win this game? The Bills barely escaped Super Wild Card Weekend with a 27-24 victory over the No. 7 Colts. The Bills captured their first playoff victory since 1995 behind stellar-play from their All-Pro QB Josh Allen, and some miscues by the Colts. The Bills will need to clean things up defensively if they want to try and contain Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ top-ranked rushing attack. The Bills’ No. 2 scoring offense led by the connection between Allen and the regular-season receiving yards leader Stefon Diggs, is the reason the Bills will win this game.
No team was blitzed more in 2020 than the Buffalo Bills.
No team’s defense blitzed more in 2020 than the Baltimore Ravens.
— Matt Parrino (@MattParrino) January 11, 2021
How can the Bills lose this game? The Bills gave up 27 first downs, 472 total yards, and were dominated in time of possession 25:43 to 34:17 by the Colts. The Bills gave up 163 rushing yards to the Colts’ No. 11 ranked rushing attack and the Ravens are showing-up to Buffalo with the NFL’s No. 1 rushing attack (191 yards per game). Lamar Jackson is a huge difference maker compared to Colts’ QB Philip Rivers, and the Ravens defense is better than the Colts’ defense. The Bills will lose this game because their defense will not be able to slow down the Ravens’ rushing attack. Oh and, Josh Allen is due for some mistakes.
Coach T’s odds the Bills win: Even
— NFL (@NFL) January 11, 2021
No. 5 Baltimore Ravens: (+120 Moneyline)
Why will the (11-5) Baltimore Ravens win this game? The Ravens avenged their early Wild Card exit of last season by taking down the Titans in Tennessee, 20-13 on Sunday. Lamar Jackson captured his first playoff win in three tries by rushing for 136 yards and a TD and throwing for another 179 yards with one INT. Baltimore’s defense was key in their victory, holding the league-rushing-champ Derrick Henry to 40 yards on 18 carries. The Ravens defense will have another huge test this week, but this time they will need to shift their focus to stopping the league’s No. 2 passing-attack. The Ravens’ No. 2-ranked scoring defense (18.9) has the pieces to slow-down the Bills enough for Jackson to make enough plays to win the game.
How can the Ravens lose this game? Jackson struggles in the passing game will lead to the Ravens struggling to convert on some big third-downs. Josh Allen continues his MVP-caliber season, by picking apart the Ravens secondary in the first half, and allowing the Bills to jump out to a lead. The lack of a go-to star-WR for Jackson to go to when they need to air it out is the reason Baltimore will lose this game.
Coach T’s odds the Ravens win: Even
No. 1 Chiefs vs No. 6 Browns — Sunday, 3:05 p.m. ET – CBS
No. 1 Chiefs: (-500 Moneyline)
Why will the (14-2) Chiefs win this game? The Chiefs are rested, healthy, and ready to defend their title from last season. Patrick Mahomes averaged 3.3 passing-TDs and 300.3 passing-yards in his three playoff games last season, which he capped off with a Super Bowl MVP. Coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs’ front-office have built something special in Kansas City. TE Travis Kelse (No. 2) and WR Tyreek Hill (No. 8) are both in the top-10 on the receiving-yards leaderboard and have show-cased their talents all year in Reid’s system with the NFL’s half-billion-dollar man (Mahomes) at the helm. The Chiefs’ offense is the ‘best-unit’ of any football team I have ever seen play the sport. The Chiefs will beat the Browns sheerly because, on an off day, the Chiefs at home are better than the Browns.
Coach T’s odds the Chiefs win: -400
Baker Mayfield vs Patrick Mahomes next week
Their 2016 game was legendary
🍿 125 points
🍿 1708 yards
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 11, 2021
No. 6 Browns: (+400 Moneyline)
How can the Browns win this game? By capitalizing on any mistakes and controlling the line of scrimmage. The Browns’ top-ranked offensive-line should be able to handle the Cheifs up-front which should allow Cleveland to run the ball with some success. Once the Browns get RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt going on the ground, the play-action passing will open-up downfield. QB Baker Mayfield cannot afford to make mistakes and has to do a good job managing the game to give himself a shot to win it late. It’s been 25 years since the Browns won their last playoff game and back then the team (Browns) who won the battle upfront would have been favored in a matchup like this — but that was before players like Mahomes existed in systems like Reid’s – which has changed how the sport is played. I like the Browns’ odds though…
Coach T’s odds the Browns win: +300
No. 2 Saints vs No. 5 Buccaneers — Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET – FOX
(12-4) Saints: (-165 Moneyline)
Why will the Saints win this game? The Saints will take care of business and prove they are the better team as they have already done twice. New Orleans did not just beat Tampa, they dominated them, 38-3 in Week 9 and 34-23 in Week 1. The Saints are the most complete team in the NFC when Brees is playing well. Sean Payton and his staff are better coaches and more equipped than Bruce Arians and his staff. It’s crazy to think the Saints won 12 games without their star-WR Michael Thomas catching a TD all year and Brees missing time. All-purpose-man Taysom Hill defines in one-player just how good and versatile the Saints have become.
Coach T’s odds the Saints win: -180
— NFL (@NFL) January 11, 2021
(11-5) Buccaneers: (+145 Moneyline)
How will the Buccaneers win this game? Tom Brady in the playoffs. Honestly, I do not need to say much more than that if you have watched any playoff football the past 20-years? Brady is 31-11 in the playoffs with six rings and practically every playoff passing record you could think of. Brady does not need Belichick to win a big playoff game. He has crushed the dreams of many good QB’s and teams before and if the Bucs are going to advance they will need vintage Tom Brady. The weapons are there for Brady to beat the Saints, but he will need his defense to get some stops.
Coach T’s odds the Buccaneers win: +160