NFL Divisional Round Preview


Pike Temple, Sports Editor

The NFL Wildcard round did not disappoint; after upsets and nail-biting endings, the best of the best moved on to the next round. However, in the Divisional round, the real Super Bowl contenders will separate themselves from the rest of the pack. 

Divisional Round: 

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs 

The Jaguars pulled off one of the greatest playoff upsets in recent history. After being down 27-0 at half time, the Jags fought their way back to win 31-30. Jacksonville QB Trevor Lawrence had a rough start to the game, throwing 4 interceptions in the first half, but he finished strong to throw 4 TD passes down the stretch. However, playing the Chiefs this weekend, Lawrence will need to take better care of the ball against the high powered. Patrick Mahomes is a monster in the playoffs and I don’t think the Jags will be able to win a shootout. Even with a lesser receiving core from past seasons, Mahomes will manage the game and put points on the board. I question the Jacksonville defense and their ability to stop a passing attack with such a lackluster secondary. The Chiefs were well deserving of the #1 seed and will knock off the Jags and end their exciting playoff run.

New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Giants pulled off the upset and clinched a spot in the divisional round. Now going up against their division opponent in the Eagles, New York is primed to take down the #1 seed in the NFC North. After an impressive performance in the win over Minnesota, Daniel Jones has proved he can win in the playoffs. Danny Dimes has also proved he can be the Giants franchise after playing pretty well in his 4th season in the NFL. Who knew a coaching change could revolutionize his performance? With that in mind, the Eagles are one of the strongest teams in the playoffs and unfortunately for the Giants, Philadelphia’s roster is the flashier between the two. Yes, the Giants took down the Vikings in the Wildcard round, but Minnesota proved to be a fraudulent opponent. The Eagles, led by Jalen Hurts, have been on a tear this season and will dash New York’s Super Bowl hopes.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Buffalo Bills

The Cincinnati Bengals will face the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional round. The Bengals barely beat the Ravens, but a similar story can be said for the Bills victory over the Dolphins. Both offenses did not play as well as expected and quarterbacks Josh Allen and Joe Burrow will both look to rebound and put up better performances this week. That being said, both teams are extremely potent on the offensive side of the ball when playing to their potential. This game is hard to predict, both teams are Super Bowl candidates and well coached. For the simple fact that the Bills put up 31 points in the Wildcard round, I’m going to pick the Bills to win this one. Although both offensive lines struggled last week (against good defensive fronts), Cincinnati’s Burrow is the less mobile of the two QBs and could struggle if he’s constantly running for his life.

Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Cowboys had an impressive win against an inferior Buccaneers team. Still, Dak Prescott deserves credit for the way he played on Monday night. Prescott’s sensational 5 TD performance led Dallas to one of the more dominant wins over Wildcard Weekend. The Cowboys will now fly to San Fran and play Brock Purdy and the 49ers. After a nail-biting first half, San Francisco were able to knock off the Seahawks in convincing fashion after a better 2nd half. Now a rematch from last season’s Wildcard round is on the horizon. Although the Cowboys shut down the Bucs, Dak still needs to prove that he can be consistent in the playoffs and put his team on his back like he did against Tampa Bay. That being said, I think Brock Purdy’s chain mail will get pierced by a terrifying Cowboys defensive front. The Cowboys will move on to the NFC Championship game for the first time since 1996.


Super Bowl Prediction Post Wildcard Weekend: Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia has the best roster in the NFL, and the Eagles are NFC favorites to make it to the Super Bowl. An inner-division clash with the Giants in the Divisional round should be a thriller, but the Eagles have a stronger offense and better QB. Philadelphia is the most proven squad out of every remaining team in the playoffs. Week in and week out, the Eagles have been one of the more consistent teams all year.