The NFL playoffs are right here, and with them comes the added drama of Monday evening’s first wildcard recreation and two matchups from groups assembly for the third time this season that may anchor the opening weekend of the postseason.
Patriots-Payments III on Saturday evening and Monday’s third contest between NFC West rivals Cardinals and Rams sandwich a weekend the place parity – and familiarity – must be on show. A rematch between the Raiders and Bengals and a contest between the Cowboys and the 49ers, two of the NFL’s most iconic franchises, must also gas the drama after Las Vegas and San Francisco each labored extra time to say their playoff spots.
This weekend, nonetheless, the NFL’s sudden-death-overtime guidelines will apply: the size of extra time is quarter-hour from 10, and there will probably be no query of kneeling as video games proceed till somebody scores.
This is a have a look at the wildcard spherical of the NFL playoffs, with all picks hit towards the unfold.
Final week’s document: 6-10
Common season document: 129-143
All instances are Japanese.
The video games on Saturday
Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals, 4:30 p.m., NBC
Line: Bengal -5.5 | Complete: 49.5
There are few tales this postseason extra attention-grabbing than the Raiders (10-7), a workforce that was as soon as thought of dominated out of playoff rivalry till ending the common season by clinching 4 straight one-score Received video games to safe a wild card spot. They face an offense from the Bengals (10-7) that thrived beneath Joe Burrow, who comes into play with a tear after throwing for over 300 yards in three of his final 4 begins.
2021 NFL season information and evaluation
- Playoff Predictions: Our ideas for the wild card spherical.
- The rationale each playoff workforce will lose: All however one remaining workforce have a deadly flaw.
- The Buccaneer offensive works due to this man (and Tom Brady): Byron Leftwich has adjusted fixtures for a hodgepodge of stars, substitutes and holdovers.
- NFL coaches fired thus far in 2022: The Texans’ firing of David Culley leaves the league with just one head coach who’s black.
Burrow might reap the benefits of the Raiders’ secondary, probably the most susceptible unit on the Las Vegas protection, which has conceded over 300 passing yards 4 instances this season. Professional Bowl defensive finish Maxx Crosby and different linemen can construct strain towards a Bengals entrance that has dropped 55 sacks. However the Bengals have a back-up in Joe Mixon, who completed third within the league in speeding yards (1,205) and will thrive as a receiver on check-down routes towards the Raiders’ zone-based protection. Cincinnati simply beat Las Vegas in Week 11 and there is little cause to consider it will not occur once more. Select: Bengal -5.5
New England Patriots at Buffalo Payments, 8:15 p.m. CBS
line: payments -4 | Complete: 42.5
Spherical 3, anybody?
Each good combat wants a 3rd installment, and this assembly between the Payments (11-6) and the Patriots (10-7) might be akin to the primary in Week 13 when New England allowed Mac Jones to aim simply three passes to his win over Buffalo . Forecasts in Orchard Park, NY, name for temperatures round 0 levels on Saturday and a 30 p.c probability of snow, a prospect that in flip favors a heavy reliance on the continued recreation.
The Payments’ protection allowed for league lows in yards and factors in the course of the common season however was susceptible to the run. When the groups met in late December, a Buffalo win, the Payments compelled Jones to a 14-of-32 passing efficiency with no landing pictures and two interceptions. Jones has taken on extra offensive load in latest weeks and is wanting just like the rookie he’s, and trusting a first-year passer to beat the road unfold within the chilly towards a rising workforce is not precisely a protected guess . Select: Payments -4
The video games on Sunday
Philadelphia Eagles on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. Fox
Line: Buccaneer -8.5 | Complete: 49
Tom Brady endures mentions of Tremendous Bowl LII and the Philly Particular as he prepares for the Eagles (9-8), who turned their season round by focusing a lot on the run that Philadelphia with the best speeding common within the league graduating (159.7 yards per recreation). The Eagles’ save performs straight into a serious Tampa Bay power, as they’re giving up simply 92.5 working yards per recreation, the third lowest within the league.
And the injured Buccaneers (13-4) starters trickle again into the lineup. Coach Bruce Arians stated Monday he expects working again Leonard Fournette (hamstring), linebacker Shaquil Barrett (knee) and edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) to play on Sunday. That bodes effectively as they attempt to defend their Tremendous Bowl championship and never relive Brady’s nightmares. Select: Buccaneers -8.5
San Francisco 49ers on the Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. CBS
Line: Cowboys -3 | Complete: 50.5
That is the tightest span of the wild-card weekend, and for good cause: The 49ers (10-7) can counter something Dallas does effectively defensively. The brief dropbacks and fast assaults which are the cornerstones of Coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense nullify linebacker Micah Parsons’ potential to generate strain and sacks (he has 13 this season). San Francisco does not depend on deep throws which may neutralize Trevon Diggs, the Dallas cornerback who led the league in interceptions (11).
Regardless of the punches Dallas (12-5) took towards Philadelphia’s backups final week, the Cowboys’ offense has suffered extra continuously from misunderstandings between Dak Prescott and his receivers and inconsistent working play. Behind versatile receiver Deebo Samuel and a protection that has averaged simply 260 yards in its final 4 regular-season video games, the 49ers might be trying to safe an upset or a minimum of hold the rating uncomfortably shut. Select: 49er +3
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas Metropolis, 8:15 p.m., NBC
Line: Kansas Metropolis -12.5 | Complete: 46
One might argue that the Steelers (9-7-1) are the happiest workforce within the postseason as they capitalized on the Colts’ inexplicable collapse in Week 18 towards the Jaguars to sneak into the playoffs. That magic – and Ben Roethlisberger’s NFL profession – was to finish towards Kansas Metropolis (12-5), who blew Pittsburgh by 26 factors in Week 16.
Kansas Metropolis coach Andy Reid expects Tyreek Hill (heel) and working backs Darrel Williams (toe) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (shoulder) to play. Certain, Kansas Metropolis was underpowered of their season-ending win over the Broncos, however nothing in Pittsburgh’s latest performances suggests the Steelers are something greater than a bump. Select: Kansas Metropolis -12.5
Matchup on Monday
Arizona Cardinals on the Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. ESPN
Line: Aries -4 | Complete: 49.5
The Cardinals (11-6), the perfect workforce within the NFL by October, have misplaced 4 of their final 5 video games and given up dwelling subject benefit, and so they should now journey to face division rivals the Rams (12-5). Arizona might get much-needed assist if JJ Watt, who returned to coaching this week after a three-month absence, turns into obtainable though his standing continues to be unsure. Receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who has a knee damage and has not performed since Week 14, will probably be unavailable.
Matthew Stafford ended the season tied for first place within the league at Interceptions (17), and his decision-making will come beneath microscopic scrutiny in the course of the playoffs as Common Supervisor Les Snead turned over draft capital to Detroit to behave for him . However for the primary spherical a minimum of, he can relaxation assured that the Cardinals’ errors are extra damaging: Arizona has been marked for a minimum of six penalties in every recreation over a five-game interval and has fumbled an outrageous 17 heart quarterback snaps this season. Select: Aries -4
How guess traces work
A fast introduction for these unfamiliar with betting traces, favorites are listed subsequent to a unfavorable quantity that signifies by what number of factors they should win to cowl the unfold. For instance, Raiders -5.5 means Las Vegas should beat Chicago by a minimum of 6 factors for its backers to win their guess. Gamers can even guess on whole factors or whether or not the mixed scores of the groups within the recreation will probably be over or beneath a preselected variety of factors.