ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 09: Dawson Knox #88 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates during the fourth quarter against the New York Jets at Highmark Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

  • Raiders vs. Bengals:

    The Raiders and Bengals game will kick off a chaotic wild card weekend. This game will produce two quarterbacks getting their first career playoff starts. Joe Burrow is currently looking like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL today. The Raiders pass rushers Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue will need to get to Burrow fast in order to contain this Bengals offense. If Burrow finds a stride early it could be a long day for the Raiders. Burrow led the league in completion percentage (70.4%) and yards per attempt (8.9) this season, this also makes him the youngest player to do it at the age of 25. All of those stats do help when your wide receiver is Ja’Marr Chase who recorded the most receiving yards by a rookie with 1,455 yards this season.  

    After a chaotic year with their head coach being fired and one of their best receivers involved in a deadly car crash the Raiders fought to get themselves into the playoffs. This will be David Carr’s first playoff start and he will be looking to make a statement. He will have his best receiver in Hunter Renfrow who led the team in catches and receiving yards. The Raiders will also have tight end Darren Waller who is always a threat to make things happen from anywhere. Both franchises will want this one badly as both have not won a playoff game in at least 18 years.  

  • Patriots vs. Bills:

    This game will be freezing with temperatures looking to be around 0 degrees. In recent games Bills quarterback Josh Allen has had trouble with his accuracy holding a completion percentage of 49.3. Allen has also had trouble passing in freezing temperatures. He has the second worst completion percentage over the last 15 seasons. The Bills as a whole will be looking to prove that last year was not a fluke where they were able to get to the AFC conference championship game.  

    In week 16 the Patriots lost to the Bills and their rookie quarterback Mac Jones did not play well. He went 14-32 for 145 yards and two interceptions. With the freezing temperatures it will be interesting to see how Patriots coach Bill Belichick will use Jones. On the other side of the ball the Patriots defense was good this year. Their defense held their opponents to the second lowest completion percentage all year. A divisional game with a lot on the line and a lot to prove by both teams.  

  • Eagles vs. Buccaneers:

    Over the past two years the Bucs have been the league’s top ranked run defense. The last two weeks they have not looked like their selves, giving up over 100 yards in their last two games. They will have their hands full with the Eagles who have changed their identity to a run-heavy team. The Eagles average six yards per carry while the Bucs defense give up 4.6. Expect to see the Eagles play with nothing to lose as they try to take down the defending champs.  

    The Bucs offense will not be at full strength with wide receiver Chris Godwin out, running back Ronald Jones II will be out with an ankle injury and the other running back Leonard Fournette will be a game-time decision. Tom Brady will need other guys to step up in order to make it to the next round. Their defense is a little shaken up too with Jason Pierre-Paul questionable to play as well as Shaqil Barret and Lavonte David. If those three are not able to play the Eagles will look to run the ball all over the shorthanded Bucs.  

  • 49ers vs Cowboys:

    This is arguably the most anticipated game of wildcard weekend. The Cowboys coming into this season had a lot of expectations. A great defense led by rookie Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs who led the league in interceptions with 11. The offense was back to full strength with quarterback Dak Prescott back from injury. He has weapons like Amari Cooper, Ceedee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott. The defense will have to try and stop this run heavy Niners offense by not letting Niners wide receiver get to the outside on his runs. The offense will need big plays to keep them in the playoffs. Will this be the year the Cowboys can put it all together.  

    The Niners will look to ride their work horse Deeboo Samuel who can erupt for 200 yards on any given day. If he is able to get to the outside it will be a long day for the Cowboys defense. Despite the Cowboys having the interceptions leader their secondary gives up 6.3 yards after the catch, second most in the league this year. Samuel is first in the league with 10 yards after catch making him a tough tackle. Samuel’s ability to play receiver or running back gives any team problems.  

  • Steelers vs. Chiefs:

    When these two teams met 16 it was a one-sided game with the Chiefs winning 36-10. Patrick Mahomes career QBR against the Steelers is 91.9 which is his highest against any team. The Chiefs will try to keep tight end Travis Kelce involved a lot as well as their other weapons like Tyreek Hill and counting on big explosive plays to try and repeat what they did to the Steelers earlier this year.  

    This could possibly be Ben Rothelisberger’s last game the Steelers should play with no pressure. Just a will to win and to look to stop the big plays from the Chiefs. Look for the Steelers to try and run their running back Najee Harris a lot as he set the team rushing record with 1,200 yards this season. The Steelers have momentum rolling into this game winning their last two.  

  • Rams vs Cardinals:

    These teams split the regular season series with both teams winning on the road. The Cardinals were a great road team this year going 8-1. Kyler Murry will have to put on a show in order to beat this Rams team. He will have James Connor with him who had 18 touchdowns this year, third most this season. On the other side of the ball the Cardinals got a stud back in JJ Watt. This will give their defense an extra edge going into this game. With Watt on the field their opponent drop backs are 31% opposed to when he is off the field which goes down to 23%.  

    The Rams built a team that on paper looks like it should be a big contender for the super bowl. Sometimes we don’t always see that super bowl team. The offense is stacked with guys like Odell Beckam Jr. And Cooper Kupp. As well as running back Sony Michel who had 554 rushing yards since week 12 which was third most. Matthew Stafford will have to cut down on the turnovers and the offensive line will have to hold up. Their defense is star studded as well with guys like cornerback Jalen Ramsey who can lock any receiver down and defensive end Aaron Donald who is always up for defensive player of the year. The last time these two teams played Donald had three sacks. Look for him to cause chaos to help his team go on a super bowl run.

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