NFL Divisional Round Preview

  • Post Author
    by Sports director
  • Post Date
    Sat Jan 22 2022

Author: Noah Clark

We have made it through Super Wild Card weekend and nothing was super about it. Now, though, we move on to the next round so let's take a look at these four huge matchups. 


Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans

When I look at both of these teams, I see different styles of offenses. Run heavy offense versus a pass-heavy offense. The Bengals come into this game as one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this season. Quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja'Maar Chase could be the NFL's next great QB-WR duo.

On the other side, the titans come in as the number one seed in the AFC, have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and are getting their superstar running back Derrick Henry back after sitting out with an injury since week eight.

The biggest key in this game is going to be pressure. These two teams have one thing in common, most sacked. While Burrow was the most sacked QB in the league with 51, Ryan Tannehill was the second most sacked QB this season with 47. If either team wants to win, they need to get their pass rushers going and create some chaos.

While I think the Titans could win this game, the history and stats do not hold up well for when the Titans have home-field advantage. The last two times they held it, 2000 and 2008, they lost in the first round. The Bengals on the other hand have a playoff game under their belt and have some momentum.

I expect this to be a good game, but I'm giving it to the Bengals and putting them in their first conference title game since 1988. 

Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs

This matchup puts two of the AFC's best teams and best players against each other. A rematch of last year's AFC championship game should be fun to watch.

The only teams I think could stop the Chiefs could be the Bengals and the Bills. The Bills came into this season failing to live up to the expectations most people set for them, but they are still in the playoffs and playing at a high level. They have the number one defense in the NFL, not to mention their incredible QB, Josh Allen.

The Chiefs have been in this spot for the last three years and have proven there isn't a challenge they can't overcome. Take the start of the season, for example, the Chiefs were at one point having to fight for the last wild card spot, and now they have the two seed. They are back into the postseason and rolling with Patrick Mahomes who is playing some of his best football yet.

These two teams are fun to watch, but who wants it more? The thing to watch basically will be the strengths of this team, the Chiefs offense vs the Bills defense. The Chiefs have the home-field advantage, but can the Bills come in and pull off the upset? Mahomes is great, but he will at some point force a throw that will ultimately change the game. 


San Fransisco 49ers vs Green Bay Packers

This will be a fun and closely contested matchup. Both teams have met each other several times in the postseason, and this will be their fourth playoff matchup in the last ten years. These teams, coaches and players know each other very well, so it's no secret that this is a rivalry.

When I look at the Niners, they play physical defense and offense, and they have the playmakers. Deebo Samuel has been all over the field this season and will again be accounted for against the Packers.

For the Packers, it's a Super Bowl or bust at this point. They have the roster to do it and are favored to win the title by most people. The biggest question is whether or not this will be Aaron Rodgers last chance at a Super Bowl with Green Bay. Rodgers has played well in the playoffs but has struggled to get over the NFC championship game hump. This team so far has been incredible. They have a chance to sweep the two toughest divisions in football this year and without several of your all-pro players.

This game will be focused on the running game and if either team can establish it. The team that can be the most successful on the ground will have the best chance to advance to the NFC championship game. The Packers' running game has been solid, and I think they will be stable against the Niners, especially in the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field. 

Los Angeles Rams vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Depending on the Packers/Niners game, this could decide how the NFC is played out the rest of the postseason. This is a classic unstoppable force meeting an unmovable object.

The Rams have had an outstanding season and may have found the answer at QB with Matt Stafford. Additionally, we already know the defense for the Rams can be stellar when put up to the task.

On the other side, the Bucs have been rolling into the postseason and look to be the first team since the 03-04 New England Patriots to win back-to-back Super Bowl's.

The key to this game is going to come down to the QBs. Tom Brady has been in this spot so many times and has won many times; however, Stafford has not been in this spot. This is his first time playing in the divisional round. Stafford must be careful and protect the ball from the Bucs defense; otherwise, it will cost them, and Brady will eat them alive.

Brady has had a historic season and has a shot at winning his fourth MVP this season. He is the all-time leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns and has won more Super Bowls than all 32 teams in the NFL. The big thing for the Bucs in this game is that they have Brady and a great defense under Todd Bowles. Unfortunately for the Bucs, they have not been very healthy. Brady was able to play well last week with the injuries dealt to the Bucs, but now he's going up against a Rams team that will be hungry and healthy.

I could see this game playing out either way, but I have to give the slight edge to the Rams. While the odds say the Rams' offense is starting to click at the right time, and in the playoffs, it's time someone knocks off the bad boys of the NFL.