The Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs seemed to be all about the kickers. What will the divisional round hold?
Kicking stole the show in the Wild Card Round. The Bears missed a last-second field goal on what NBC called a “double doink” and, therefore the Eagles won. Ravens kicker Justin Tucker recorded his first playoff miss from 50 yards and avoided giving Baltimore an additional three points. And Seahawks kicker Sebastian Janikowski went down injured while kicking a 53-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter against Dallas.
Now, the NFL playoffs move on to the Divisional Round, with the Colts, Cowboys, Chargers, and Eagles moving on from the Wild Card round. They will play the Chiefs, Rams, Patriots, and Saints, respectively. Here’s a preview, in less than 100 words each, of what to expect in each of the four divisional matchups.
Colts at Chiefs (KC -5.5, Sat. 4:35 PM, NBC): Andrew Luck and the Colts looked nearly perfect against the Texans on Saturday. But they haven’t seen Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs QB who is the top candidate for MVP. For Kansas City, the bye-week couldn’t have come at a better time, as they will get several of their key defensive players back in the lineup. Expect a high-scoring game from two of the best QBs in the NFL.
Cowboys at Rams (LAR -7, Sat. 8:15 PM, FOX): The Rams have a power team on offense, finishing 2nd in the league in points scored and yards gained. That shouldn’t be a problem, though, for this Dallas team who held the Seahawks, the top rushing team, to just 73 yards rushing. But they’ll still have to find a way to slow down Jared Goff if they want to advance to the NFC championship game.
Chargers at Patriots (NE -4.5 , Sun. 1:05 PM, CBS): It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since Tom Brady and Philip Rivers last met in the postseason. As Rivers looks to secure his legacy, Brady hopes to go to his ninth Super Bowl. But with the Patriots having a far-from-perfect season, this might be the Chargers’ chance to finally get to the AFC Championship Game with LA’s great receivers and running backs and New England’s poor defensive performance.
Eagles at Saints (NO -9, Sun. 4:40 PM, FOX): This is the only matchup in this round where the teams met in the regular season, as the Saints crushed Philly 48-7. But that was with Carson Wentz and not the playoff hero Nick Foles. Drew Brees is probably having one of his best seasons ever, but Foles can prove that he is a difference-maker and get by the the top team in the NFL. Really, the only reason why the Eagles have any chance in this game is because of Nick Foles, and it will be interesting how the QB will play to get the reigning champs back in the Super Bowl.
It will be interesting to see what happens in this round and which four teams will have the chance at playing for a Super Bowl spot next week.
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