The NFL's "Super Wild Card Weekend" may not have fully lived up to the billing but it set the stage for what is shaping up to be an intriguing Divisional Round as the playoffs march on. Hopefully, the league's version of the "Final Four" will produce closer games than the Wild Card Round, which saw just two contests decided by fewer than seven points.
The Divisional Round also means the No. 1 seeds in each conference will be in action, starting with AFC top seed Tennessee hosting Cincinnati on Saturday. The Titans could have two-time league rushing champion Derrick Henry back in the lineup against a Bengals coming off of their first playoff victory in 31 years after beating the Raiders 26-19 at home.
Later that night, Green Bay welcomes San Francisco to Lambeau Field as Aaron Rodgers and the No. 1-seeded Packers look to avoid becoming the 49ers' latest upset victim. San Francisco punched its postseason ticket with a Week 18 overtime win on the road against the Los Angeles Rams and last Sunday knocked off NFC East champion Dallas 23-17 in AT&T Stadium. The 49ers have some injury concerns worth monitoring while Green Bay had the benefit of a bye last week.
On Sunday, the first game pits the Rams against the Buccaneers. Matt hew Stafford got his long-awaited first career playoff victory and in impressive fashion, as Los Angeles easily handled Arizona 34-11 on Monday night. Likewise, Tampa Bay had little trouble dispatching of Philadelphia last Sunday, but the defending Super Bowl champions added to their list of injured players in the 31-15 win and must face a Rams team that has already beaten them this season (34-24, Week 3 in Los Angeles).
The Divisional Round wraps up with a highly anticipated rematch of last season's AFC Championship Game between Buffalo and Kansas City. This will be the third meeting between these teams in Arrowhead Stadium in less than a year. The Chiefs won the first, 38-24 last January to advance to Super Bowl LV, but the Bills got some payback earlier this season, dominating Kansas City 38-20 back in Week 5. Both teams come into this game off of blowout victories last weekend, Buffalo embarrassing New England 47-17 and the Chiefs overwhelming the Steelers 42-21.
So which teams will advance to the conference championship games? Athlon's own Rob Doster (@AthlonDoster), and Ben Weinrib (@benweinrib), along with AthlonSports.com contributors Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) and Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) predict the winners for every divisional playoff game.
NFL Divisional Round Predictions
|Rob Doster||Bryan Fischer||Ben Weinrib||Aaron Wilson|
AFC Divisional: Cincinnati at Tennessee (Sat.)
NFC Divisional: San Francisco at Green Bay (Sat.)
NFC Divisional: Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay (Sun.)
AFC Divisional: Buffalo at Kansas City (Sun.)
Super Wild Card Weekend
Note: Detroit-Pittsburgh in Week 10 ended in a tie.