After which there have been eight groups remaining within the race for Tremendous Bowl 55. With the divisional spherical of the 2021 NFL playoffs right here it is time for an additional spherical for picks and predictions towards the unfold.
Though the slate drops from six video games throughout wild-card weekend to a mixed 4 this Saturday and Sunday, there’s nonetheless loads of good two-day motion between the AFC and NFC matchups. There are two robust favorites and two gentle favorites among the many dwelling groups this week.
Here is to attempting to construct on our stable success navigating by means of the numbers from final week:
NFL playoff picks, predictions towards the unfold
- Recreation of the Week: Ravens at Payments (-2.5, 50 o/u)
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC
This recreation will reside as much as the billing of being a dynamic passing and working duel between 2018 first-round quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen. The Payments’ defensive weak point is towards the run, which is able to permit Jackson, J.Ok. Dobbins and Gus Edwards to get going between the tackles and across the edges. The Ravens are stable towards the run however, regardless of some having some good, skilled cross rushers and cornerbacks, they’ve lapses in stress and protection, which may expose them additional with their frequent blitzes.
Jackson will do loads of harm on the bottom and Allen can have his share of key bodily runs. It should come right down to which quarterback could make a number of extra large cross performs off script. Jackson will see Tre’Davious White comprise Marquise Brown, left leaning totally on tight finish Mark Andrews in an awesome matchup. The distinction would be the Payments’ Stefon Diggs, who can persistently get the higher of Marcus Peters exterior to spice up Allen.
Choose: Payments win 27-24 and canopy the unfold.
Sunday, 3:05 p.m. ET, CBS
The Browns got here out searching for large performs and takeaways towards the Steelers and have been profitable, finally closing out their AFC North rivals with Nick Chubb and the ability working recreation. Chubb and former Chiefs characteristic again Kareem Hunt can be vital to the possibilities of a second consecutive (and far larger) highway upset.
Baker Mayfield cannot get right into a pure chuck-fest with Patrick Mahomes as a result of he would not have the identical all-around weapons and is going through the a lot harder of the 2 general cross defenses. The Browns must play ball management, selecting good spots for Mayfield to hit on large performs off play-action and bootlegs after which make sure that they lean on Chubb and Hunt most to complete within the crimson zone.
The Chiefs will counter by relentlessly throwing with a rested Mahomes. The Browns merely do not need anybody who can cowl extensive receiver Tyreek Hill deep or tight finish Travis Kelce on intermediate routes. The aim can be leaping off to a big lead and limiting the Browns’ use of the run, placing Mayfield in uncomfortable conditions towards Frank Clark, Chris Jones and the remainder of the Chiefs’ cross rush. Mayfield additionally must be cautious throwing to the center of the sphere with safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorenson looming.
The Browns will not have solutions for Mahomes. The Chiefs will discover loads for Mayfield within the second half.
Choose: Chiefs win 34-17 and canopy the unfold.
- Upset of the Week: Buccaneers (+3, 52 o/u) over Saints
Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET, Fox
Tom Brady’s first recreation as a Buccaneer was tough in New Orleans in Week 1. His second shot on the Saints was even worse at dwelling in Week 9. However Brady wasn’t enjoying practically on the identical stage in both earlier assembly as he’s now, absolutely locked into his extensive receivers, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. He is set at tight finish, too, whether or not it is Cameron Brate or previous buddy Rob Gronkowski working the routes. The Saints have developed extra protection points everywhere in the discipline and after seeing their protection twice on movie, Brady will alter into probably the most snug matchup, most each time.
The Bucs and Saints each cease the run effectively, so it can come down which fortysomething quarterback, Brady or Drew Brees, can keep away from the large errors but additionally ship large performs. Brady has merely been the extra spectacular passer with the stronger arm for his age and has extra guys who may cause matchup issues. Brees can have success engaged on shorter routes to Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, however Evans, Godwin and Brown can be of larger assist to Brady.
Choose: Buccaneers win 34-31.
Saturday, 4:35 p.m. ET, Fox
The Rams will make this a recreation due to their working recreation. Their offensive line pushed across the Seahawks with Andrew Whitworth again and the contemporary legs of rookie Cam Akers has made the speeding assault central once more. Jared Goff can be slightly more healthy to make the most of that, working play-action to Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. The Packers will deal with a few of that by placing cornerback Jaire Alexander on Woods.
On the opposite aspect, Aaron Rodgers will see Davante Adams locked up with Jalen Ramsey and is aware of heart Corey Linsley and the remainder of his robust inside offensive line must maintain Aaron Donald at bay, particularly with the sting compromised with out left deal with David Bakhtiari. Rodgers and Aaron Jones do not discover it straightforward at first, however then Rodgers finds tight finish Robert Tonyan and different matchups he likes away from downfield and Jones will go to work on a worn-down group within the second half.
The Rams’ protection makes a press release towards the MVP QB in Inexperienced Bay, however they cannot do sufficient to verify the Rams’ offense outscores no matter Rodgers leads the Packers to do.
Choose: Packers win 24-20 however fail to cowl the unfold.
Stats of the Week
- Wild-card playoff straight up: 5-1
- Wild-card playoffs towards the unfold: 3-2
- Season straight up: 169-93
- Season towards the unfold: 135-119