The NFL playoffs kicked off with an up-and-down “Super Wild Card” weekend, and everyone had a blast. The Chargers gave away a huge lead, the Bucs flipped in prime time on Monday, and the Bills suffered a complete disaster against the Dolphins. Oh, and there was plenty more. In this space, the results were ugly, partly due to the inexplicable crisis at Buffalo near the end of the first half, and there are fewer blocked games this time of the year. Alas, we are moving on, and the Divisional Round is here starting on Saturday.
Before we roll into this week’s card, let’s measure the overall performance of the season.
- Wild Card: 1-4
- 2022 season: 49-42-2
Come and find these winners.
TEASER: Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5) over New York Giants
This is quite square, which scares me, but I think there is value here. Kansas City should be able to come home against an overmatched Jacksonville team, and Andy Reid is 30-6 with more than 10 days to prepare. New York is a public side at this point, but Philadelphia has the rest, the (much more talented) roster, and the ability to maintain a game plan to keep Daniel Jones in the pocket. Give me your favorites.
Buffalo Bills (-5.5) over Cincinnati Bengals
Buffalo has all kinds of sharp action here, pushing the line up despite the public perception of Cincinnati as an underdog. The Bills played with their food last week and will have to be better here. I think Buffalo will be able to heat up Joe Burrow because of Cincinnati’s offensive line, and here comes Josh Allen.
Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals BY 49 points
This looks like it could be a shootout but, as mentioned above, the Bengals may not be able to protect Burrow as needed. I also think Cincinnati’s defense is a little lackluster, and being able to get 49 here helps. We’ll go home at 27-17 or something.
Dallas Cowboys (+4) over San Francisco 49ers
Dallas probably isn’t as good on offense as it was on Monday afternoon, and the Cowboys always seem to be on the grassroots side. That’s not really the case here, though, as the Niners are getting all kinds of accolades with Brock Purdy at the helm. Purdy struggled mightily early against Seattle and, while he realized it, Dallas is a different animal.
Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers BY 46.5 points
I trust both of these defenses to a reasonable degree, and I’m certainly lower on the Purdy experience than most. I have some fear that Dallas can beat a San Francisco middle school but, if that happens, at least we’ll probably get the horror out the window.