Super Wild Card Weekend lived up to the billing as a few unexpected results have set up what figures to be a fascinating Divisional Round as the NFL playoffs continue.
Four of the six road teams won last weekend as the fifth and sixth seeds in both the AFC and NFC advanced. While none of these teams should be taken lightly, the Divisional Round also means that top seeds Kansas City and Green Bay are set to enter the fray.
The Packers will get the Divisional Round started on Saturday when they host Los Angeles. The Rams put the clamps on Russell Wilson and Seattle's offense last week and Jared Goff, surgically-repaired thumb and all, came off of the bench in a 30-20 victory. Pulling off two road upsets in a row is quite the challenge, especially against Aaron Rodgers and the NFL's top-scoring offense but if anyone is up for the task, it's Aaron Donald (assuming he's healthy) and the league's No. 1 defense.
After that it's Baltimore vs. Buffalo in an extremely intriguing matchup. Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen are similar in playing style in that they can make just as much happen with their legs as with their arm. Both are coming off of impressive showings in the Wild Card Round as well, so this one could come down to which defense makes more stops or comes up with a big takeaway.
On Sunday, Kansas City starts its path back to the Super Bowl by hosting upstart Cleveland. The Browns shocked everyone by dominating Pittsburgh 48-37 on the road last Sunday night, but the defending champs will present a new set of challenges. As explosive as Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' offense can be, don't forget improved play by the defense was just as important to their Super Bowl run last season. Meanwhile, Cleveland should be closer to full strength for this game after head coach Kevin Stefanski and some key players missed last week due to COVID-19 protocols.
And the final game of the Divisional Round is one for the record books as Tampa Bay vs. New Orleans not only features two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Drew Brees, it will mark the oldest matchup at the position in NFL history. It also will be the third meeting this season between the NFC South rivals with the home team winning the first two. So advantage Saints?
So which teams will come out on top this weekend and advance to the conference championship games? Athlon's own Rob Doster (@AthlonDoster) and Ben Weinrib (@benweinrib), along with AthlonSports.com contributor Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer), predict the winners for every game this week:
NFL Divisional Round Predictions
Wild Card Round
^Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia in Week 3 ended in a tie.