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Predictions for the NFL Playoffs: Our Division Round Elections

Few thought the Los Angeles Rams or the Cleveland Browns would go that far, and the Buffalo Bills would be far more successful than expected. The Baltimore Ravens are back in contention, the pair of 40 quarterbacks will face New Orleans and everyone is afraid (or should be) afraid of the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City bosses. The wheat is separated from the chaff and the divisional circle will narrow things down even more.

Here’s a look at the NFL playoff games this weekend. Unlike the regular season, elections are not made against the distribution of points.

Los Angeles Rams in Green Bay Packers,, 16:35, Fox

Line: Packers -6.5 | Total: 45.5

Much will be done about the relationship between Aries coach Sean McVeigh and Packers coach Matt Lafler. LaFleur served as McVay’s offensive coordinator in 2017, and they were offensive aides together at Washington headquarters from 2010 to 2013. They are key figures in the offensive revolution, but if you’re hoping for a high-end affair, you may want to give it a try. another game.

Green Bay led the NFL in the result, thanks to the reverse season by Aaron Rodgers, who competed for the Most Valuable Player Award. His success came with the help of Aaron Jones’ run (1459 yards from a fight), the vertical threat from Marquez Valdes-Scantling (20.9 yards per reception) and the general brilliance of Davante Adams (115 catches, 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns)).

But if there’s a team designed to slow down the Packers, it’s the Rams.

Few defenses can be combined with the relentless breakthrough of Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd, and while Rodgers is not easily worried, several times he has shown weakness in recent years occur when he is under constant pressure. Complicating matters is the absence of the star on the left of David Bahtiari, whose season ended with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in week 16.

Jones could be offset by the Rams’ top seven, who finished third in the NFL in running defense – yes, Donald is also leading the way there. Green Bay, relying on the home threat from Valdes-Scantling, is risky due to its propensity to miss passes.

This leaves the most intriguing match like the one between cornering defender Jalen Ramsey and Adams, who can make a case as the best and most underrated current receiver.

“You know me, I’d like to stand up to anyone and have as good and good as possible,” Adams said this week when asked about Ramsey.

On neutral ground and with equal health, this can lead to a disorder of the rams. But Green Bay is fighting hard to gain the home lead in the playoffs, and that hard work can be the team’s saving grace. It is expected to be around 30 degrees at the start in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Rams quarterback Jared Goff has been removed in just a few weeks from surgery on the thumb of his throwing hand. He seems to be struggling with his grip last week, and the cold, combined with the Packers’ good enough defense, should give Green Bay all the benefits it needs. Select: Packers

Baltimore Ravens in Buffalo accounts,, 8:15 p.m., NBC

Order: accounts -2.5 | Total: 50

The Ravens have not lost a game since December 2nd. The accounts have not lost any since November 15. Both have weather-resistant violations and defenses that can change the game. Both overcame some psychological weight in the wild card round – Buffalo won his first win since season after the 1995 season; Lamar Jackson of the Ravens won the playoffs for the first time.

There are countless reasons to pull for both teams – and a lasting belief that any team that advances just signs up to lose to Kansas City in the next round – but it’s hard to believe that Buffalo, even at home , can slow down the running of the Baltimore game.

When the Ravens hit the reset button after a lull in mid-season, the team focused almost all of its attack on running quarterback Lamar Jackson and running defenders JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards. That led to Baltimore’s drive for 230 yards or more in four of its last five regular season games, including a ridiculous 404 – the fifth fastest yard in NFL history – in a 17-week win over Cincinnati. This continued in the wild card round, with the crows running 236 yards.

This season, Buffalo ranked 17th in defense, but that ranking would have been worse if the teams had not been forced to switch to deal with Biels’ electrical disruption. This can be seen from the fact that Buffalo ranks among the six worst defenses of the NFL in the yards of carry (4.6) and fast touchdowns (21).

The Bills defense has several players capable of breaking seriously, but much of that comes in the secondary. On a cool day in Orchard Park, New York, the crows could focus on the movement of the ball, and it’s hard to see that the bills could stop them. Buffalo’s offense can’t be counted, even against a solid Ravens defense, but Baltimore must control the clock and the game. Select: Ravens

Cleveland Browns in Chiefs of Kansas City,, 3:05 p.m., CBS

Line: Chiefs -10 | Total: 56.5

For all intents and purposes, Cleveland advanced to the divisional round after just over 13 minutes of his wild card game against Pittsburgh. A play in the playoffs has rarely gone by so fast, with the Browns’ defense forcing three quick turns and breaking them to the end of the deal, leading 28-0 with 1 minute 56 seconds in the first quarter.

The Browns’ 48-37 win should not be written off as a coincidence – Cleveland has had its best team since coach Bill Belichick walked into the sidelines in the mid-1990s – but taking advantage of Ben Rotlisberger’s mistakes is very different. from forcing Patrick Mohammes into some, so to expect a repeat of this lightning start would be foolish.

Kansas City could return Clyde Edwards-Heller from a terrifying-looking hip injury in week 15. Even if they don’t, a combination of Le’Veon Bell and Damien Williams provides enough balance that Mahomes should be able to crush Cleveland’s secondary with deep passes to the wide receiver Tyrick Hill and throws from below to the tight end of Travis Kielce.

Cleveland’s occasional foul shows an explosion – last week’s effort was the franchise’s most successful game since the 1954 NFL season – and the Browns can chew the clock thanks to a superb combination of running defenders Nick Chub and Karim. Hunt. But even Baker Mayfield’s most ardent believers must fight to take him in a direct match with Mohammed. The Browns aren’t pushers, but they probably can’t do much to get in the way of Kansas City. Select: Chiefs

Tampa Bay Bookachers in The Saints of New Orleans,, 18:40, Fox

Order: Saints -3 | Total: 52

The oldest starting quarterback left in the AFC playoffs is Baker Mayfield, who is under 26 by April. Three of the four participants in this conference were selected for the first round of the 2018 draft. By the time one of the four started playing in the NFL, Tom Brady had already won five Super Bowls and Drew Bryce was approaching Dan Marino’s record for crossing. of careers.

The young players have largely rethought the quarterback’s position, using their mobility to facilitate their passing while contributing to an accurate explosion. Yet Brady and Bryce, museum-quality examples of a forgotten era of pocket passers-by, continue to lead serious contenders for the Super Bowl in the second week of the playoffs.

In fact, this game should not be determined only by its famous quarterbacks. Brees’s Saints have had a lot of insults this season – going back, Alvin Camara led the NFL with a total of 21 touchdowns – but he relied just as much on the defense that Dennis Allen, the team’s defensive coordinator, built into the power plant.

Tampa Bay also have a talented young defense – the support on this side of the ball undoubtedly played a role in Brady’s decision to sign there – and in recent weeks the buccaneers have started to really click on the attack. The team’s wealth of opportunities to receive – broad receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown; close to Rob Gronkowski – drives Brady to his best statistic season of at least 2017 and one of the best in his career.

The regular season matches between these teams were funny. The Saints won both, with a total score of 72-26. And they play at home, which plays a role for them, even if the impact is reduced by the small crowds that the team is entitled to accept. The Buccaneers are a good enough team to be respected – in many ways it feels like a topping, but the Saints are rightly narrow favorites in what may be the most competitive game of the weekend. Select: Saints.

All times are eastern.

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