EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 07: Jalen Hurts #1 and Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles enter the game against the New York Giants during their game at MetLife Stadium on January 07, 2024 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

As the dust is finally settling from the shocking departures of Bill Belichick from New England and Pete Carroll in Seattle, the NFL playoffs kick-off Saturday with six fascinating match-ups.

We got the upstarts (Browns and Texans).

We got a revenge game (Stafford vs. Goff in Rams vs. Lions).

We got Kansas City’s version of the Ice Bowl (Dolphins vs. Chiefs)

We got the red hot Bills taking on the Steelers.

And we got coaches on the hot seat (see Mike McCarthy with Dallas, Nick Sirianni with Philly).

What more can someone ask for out of the road to the Big Show in Vegas?

  • CLEVELAND (11-6) @ HOUSTON (10-7)

    There is a lot to like about the Browns coming into the postseason. They won four in a row before their season finale last week, and Joe Flacco has turned back the clocks to 2012. He looks like a totally different player than the one that suited up for the Jets in 2021 and 2022. This is a rematch of a Week 16 matchup the Browns won going away 36-22. The difference is there was no C.J. Stroud under center for Houston in that game. Stroud is back, and looked great agianst Indy in the division clincher last week. This will come down to which defense steps up in crunch time.

  • MIAMI (11-6) @ KANSAS CITY (11-6)

    It is expected to be zero degrees with a wind chill of minus-30 at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday night when the Chiefs and Dolphins meet. Obviously this is a huge problem for Miami, a team that is used to the warm weather and has lost its last 10 games in outdoor games where the temperature is below 40 degrees. But this doesn’t help Kansas City either. Both teams have to play in this weather. Expect a low scoring contest where running the football matters. In short expect a heavy dose of ex-Rutgers start Isiah Pacheco to carry the load for K.C. This is a flawed Chiefs team. Patrick Mahomes’ receivers have let him down all year. But they face a very flawed Miami Dolphins team that can’t wait to get out of the bad weather.

  • PITTSBURGH (10-7) @ BUFFALO (11-6)

    Ask anyone when the Bills lost to the Eagles 31-28 at the start of December if they thought Buffalo would make the playoffs, they would shake their heads ‘no.’ But here are the Buffalo Bills! The number 2 seed in the AFC Playoffs and division champs for the fourth straight year. They won their last five in a row, and next to Baltimore are the NFL’s hottest team right now. Expect that to continue with the beat up Steelers rolling into town. The Steelers don’t muster much offense and will be without defensive stalwart T.J. Watt in this one.


  • GREEN BAY (9-8) @ DALLAS (12-5)

    A throwback to the glory days, as the Packers and Cowboys meet in another rendition of their heated playoff rivalry. There is no way Dallas loses this game, right? Not a chance! Not with a string of 16 straight wins at home, right? Ha ha ha. It is the Cowboys after all, and they almost always disappoint in spots like this.  There are even rumblings that if Dallas should slip up in this postseason, Jerry Jones will have no qualms about going after Bill Belichick. The Packers have played great down the stretch, and Jordan Love (32 TD vs. 11 INT) looks like the real deal. This will be a wild, perhaps high scoring contest as Love and Dak Prescott go nuts.  So I ask again, do we trust the Dallas Cowboys?


  • LA RAMS (11-6) @ DETROIT (12-5)

    A lot is being made about Matthew Stafford’s return to Detroit, but this is also Jerrod Goff’s opportunity to get even agianst his old team, the Rams. It’s ironic that four years ago we had the Goff for Stafford trade that shook up the NFL. Stafford won the Big Game with the Rams two seasons ago. Goff is looking for his first with the once woebegone Lions. The Rams have played great this season, especially in the second half, but Detroit is ready to blow the roof off this stadium for a Lions home playoff game.

    PICK: LIONS 28 – RAMS 24

  • PHILADELPHIA (11-6) @ TAMPA BAY (9-8)

    This is a must win for Philly. Not just becuase it’s a playoff game, but potentially for the future of Head Coach Nick Sirianni who is reportedly on the hot seat after the the Eagles went from 10-1 to 11-6. Five losses to end the year is bad no matter how you cut it. This is a get right game if there ever was one for Philly. The Bucs are only in the playoffs because someone had to win the NFC South. Tough spot for Todd Bowles and company.

    PICK: EAGLES 26 – BUCS 10

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