The Weekend Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs was stacked with four more impressive matches. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the keys to every match, a bold prediction for each match and the final result selection.
Plus, ESPN’s stats and info provide must-know stats for every game, and Soccer Strength Index (FPI) enters into numbers with matching rating (on a scale from 1 to 100) and game drop. Dave Berman of ESPN Chalk parses useful nuggets, and Matt Bowen points out a major match to watch as well. It’s all here to help you prepare for a weekend filled with NFL playoffs.
Jump into the match:
LAR-GB | BAL-BUF
CLE-KC | TB-NO
Saturday, 4:35 PM ET | Fox
Conformity rating: 82.8 | Spread: GB-6.5 (45.5)
What to watch: The Packers were No. 1 in the NFL in scoring. The Rams were the No. 1 defense in scoring. Packers ranked 1st for ESPN’s pass block win rate and run block win rate. The defensive duo of rams Aaron Donald And the Leonard Floyd Combined to create 90 compressions, the maximum of any swipe-up pair. Throw in the reception of All-Pro Green Bay Davant Adams Against All-Pro LA full-back corner Galen Ramsey, And this is the final battle of power versus force. Rob Dimofsky
Bold prediction: From 75 and sunny to frigid tundra, the rams’ defense is not afraid of cold temperatures. Green Bay Quarterback Aaron Rodgers He may have thrown only 89 picks in 6,587 passes during his career, but Rams’ defense is on alert. Watch a Ram player in the corner to pick Rodgers and bring him back in his sixth defensive touchdown of the season. Lindsay Terry
Stat to find out: Rodgers and Adams have reached out to the Packers 76.7% of their attempts this season, the second highest among the duo 60 QB-WR with 150 attempts in the past 20 seasons. But will Ramsay be up to the task on the other side of the melee streak? The Pro Bowl receivers got 37% of their passes when Ramsey was the closest defender this season, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. This is the lowest level any defensive full back will allow. Ramsay also ranks in the top five with the lowest completion percentage on allowed expectations (minus 9.3%), per NFL Next Gen Stats.
Bowen Matching Key: The rookie rams are running back Cam Akers He looked like a veteran in victory over the Seahawks. Now look for Coach Sean McVay to mix them up in one- and two-tight combos, using area layouts and interior / exterior gaps, to open up clean corridors for the Akers. Read more.
Bet block: He has hit the most in each of the last five Green Bay matches. But while Ramez’s surprise win exceeded the total, tickets were cashed in 11 of the last 13 games of the regular season in Los Angeles. Read more.
Terry’s Choice: 23 Ramez, 20 packs
Dimovsky’s Choice: Packers 24, Rams 20
Predicting FPI: GB 65.1% (5.1 points)
It should read conformance: Floyd was revived in the first round of passing by the Rams … the good (cold) and the bad (Donald) of the Packer against the Rams … Donald has a rib injury: I feel good Rodgers is the Packers’ player who has only 89 interceptions on 6,587 assists – and he hates every single one of them … Wolfford excluded, Juve to start
Dan Orlowski predicts that Rams’ defense will cause offensive problems for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Saturday, 8:15 pm ET | NBC
Conformity rating: 94.3 | Spread: BUF -2.5 (50)
What to watch: The Ravens have attacked their opponents more frequently than any other NFL team this season with 41% of the opponent’s drawdown – but Buffalo Josh Allen Ready for it. Face more blitzes than any other midfielder during the regular season. And damage them. Faced with a lightning attack, he led the NFL in 17 touchdown passes (and had two more last week in the Wild Card Tour), finishing second in QBR (93.4) and finishing fourth in the yards per touchdown at 7.4. – Marcel Louis Jacques
Bold prediction: Crows’ Lamar Jackson He would become the first midfielder to push 100 yards in consecutive play-off matches. He only produced the sixth rush game for 100 yards by the qualifying midfielder in the Wild Cards Tour last weekend when he ran for 136 in Tennessee. The bills have not allowed the quarterback player to gain more than 61 accelerating yards over the past two seasons Keeler MurrayAnd the Cam Newton And even Jackson – who held 40 yards in Buffalo 13 months ago. Jamieson Hensley
Stat to find out: Bill recipient Stephon Digges She scored 128 yards in last week’s win. The only players in the history of the Beals franchise to have had two 100-yard games in a one-season run are Hall of Famers James Lofton (1990) and Andre Reed (1992). Diggs led the entire NFL in receipt that season with 1,535 yards.
Bowen Matching KeyExpecting to see more coverage of 3 bills this week, Baltimore should get the recipient Marquis Brown Loose in the specific concepts that allow Jackson to attack blanks in the middle of the field or hit with bullets playing on the field. Read more.
Bet block: The Ravens covered seven games in a row. The only team with the longest streak this season? Billing, from 9-17 weeks (eight in a row). Read more.
Hensley’s Choice: Ravens 24, bills 23
Louis Jack’s Choice: Bills 24, Ravens 21
Predicting FPI: BAL 51.4% (average score 0.5)
It should read conformance: From logo trampling to beer hustle and bustle: The Ravens ‘Peters has an unpredictable passion … Daboll went beyond X and O to revive Bills’ crime and his career … Silencing their critics: Ravens ‘Jackson was named best player, the Bills’ Allen next? … Allen’s growth is shown in his first playoff victory with the Bills … Bills once again to host a limited number of fans in a tag team match against Ravens
Sunday, 3:05 pm ET | CBS
Conformity rating: 62.4 | Spread: KC -10 (57.5)
What to watch: The Chiefs fought a season-long battle unsuccessfully to force the opponents to kick more field goals and score fewer touchdowns when in the red. They allowed TD on 77% of opponents’ rides within the 20, which was the worst in the league. This game would be a good time to fix the problem. Browns are distinguished by their attacking efficiency within the 20, scoring a drop 74% of the time. This was the third best player in the NFL. Adam Techer
Bold prediction: A 2016 college shootout remake, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes And Browns QB Baker Mayfield You will combine for seven touchdowns. But Mahomes got the ball last this time and pushed KC to the next round with a winning campaign. – Jake Trotter
Stat to find out: Brown runs back Nick Chubb He has scored a TD in seven consecutive matches, the longest streak ever recorded by a Brown player since 1970 (Bo Scott has also gone seven in a row). The Browns is 10-3 when Chubb plays this season, with TD scoring fast in 12 of those 13 games, with an average accelerating 163.0 yards per game and 4.8 yards per load as a team. Without tugging? Cleveland is only 2-2 with 95.5 yards per lunge per game, 3.9 yards per lunge and zero points on the ground.
Bowen Matching Key: With a heavy, area-heavy approach of two deep shells, Brown can “outgrow” the seams and exterior columns. This will force the Mahomes to throw under the windows and contain the deep ball game. Read more.
Dan Orlowski advises Browns to play explosively and focus on defense for a chance to defeat the Chiefs.
Bet block: The narration of “Andy Reid off a bye” is getting a lot of attention and his record 8-3 farewell (regular season or playoffs) with The Chiefs is good. But he’s only 6-5 on the point difference in those matches, with less than 6-4-1. Read more.
Trotter selection: 35 heads, 34 browns
Teicher’s choice: 27 heads, browns 22
Predicting FPI: KC 81.3% (an average of 11.7 points)
It should read conformance: Ghostbuster Mayfield expels evil spirits and gives Brown confidence … Smoked Sausage, Black Pearl, and Ferrari Right: How Chiefs creatively name their wild plays … Legend of Mayfield and Mahomes’ 2016 saga … Since the release of Hunt, the Chiefs have had seven different defenders leading them Very quickly … Kingsbury Mayfield gave Chefs Mahoms and Browns a chance when the others passed by
Sunday, 6:40 pm ET | Fox
Conformity rating: 97.0 | Spread: No-3 (52)
What to watch: You might have heard that this game will feature a pair of future named Hall of Fame squad players Tom Brady And the Drew Press. It’s their first big break, and it could be the last because Bryce is considering retirement after the season. Brady tries to reach a convention championship match for the fourteenth time, while Bryce seeks his fourth appearance. Both are surrounded by the first six defenses, too. While New Orleans dominated the regular season streak (wins 34-23, 38-3), Bucs has been one of the hottest teams in football over its current five-game winning streak. – Mike Triplett
Bold prediction: Pirate reception Antonio Brown You will score two touchdowns. He was a teammaker on offense, lining up all over the field and really picking it up since the Bucs faced the Saints last time – when Brown still only had three exercises with the team under his belt. Brown has scored in four games in a row, including last week’s victory. – Gina Lynn
Stat to find out: New Orleans Cornerback Marshon Latimore Lined up on the other side of the Bucs receiver Mike Evans Over 72 routes during their last three matches against each other, according to NFL Next Gen Stats data. Evans had no reception on six goals in those plays. But Tampa Bay has options even if Evans is filled again. tight end Rob Gronkowski He has 12 qualifying players, tied with John Stalworth for second place ever (Jerry Rice, 22). And brown receptors Chris Goodwin Both had five TD catch points since Week 14 (including playoffs), and tied more in NFL during that period with Stefon Diggs and Davante Adams.
Bowen Matching Key: Pressure is a big part of Tampa Bay’s defense identity. I think we’ll see Sim pressure from Tampa, speed up the process for Breez. Todd Bulls’ defense achieved a lightning rating of 37.5% in its Week 9 match against the Saints. Read more.
Bet block: Think of the cover of the Saints? If so, it’s worth noting that the bottom items are 7-1 in the last eight New Orleans covers. Read more.
Domonique Foxworth shatters the Buccaneers’ Keys to defeat the Saints, stressing the importance of Rob Gronkowski.
Lean Choice: Saints 27, Pirates 24
Triplet Choice: Saints 26, Pirates 23
Predicting FPI: No, 53.6% (average of 1.2 points)
It should read conformance: Brady’s Bucs Team Enhanced Since Last Saints Encounter … The Last Round of Brees-Brady Rivalry May Be Most Important … Brady’s Tampa Timeline: Events That Marked His First Year as Buc … A Beautiful Mind: How Saints’ Camara Remains ‘two steps forward’