And then there were four teams left in the hunt for Super Bowl 55.
The NFL Divisional round did not disappoint with the end of Drew Brees's career, Patrick Mahomes's injury, and Buffalo’s domination over Baltimore. Two legends will square off for the first time on the NFC side with Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. On the AFC side, two young guns Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen will battle it out. There are a ton of storylines going into these two games but at the end of the day, only two teams will advance. Let’s take a look at the matchups this weekend.
#1 Green Bay Packers vs. #5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The matchup we have always wanted is finally here with Tom Brady taking on Aaron Rodgers for a chance to go to Super Bowl 55. This game is a rematch of the week six meeting, which saw Tampa Bay dominate Green Bay 38-10. Both teams have changed a lot since this matchup and different players are on the teams as well. These two teams have been playing their best football when it matters.
Tampa bay is coming off a strong road victory against the Saints with a great defensive performance. Ultimately this game will come down to if the Buccaneers defense can show out again and slow down the number one offense in the NFL. Tampa will need to get physical at the line of scrimmage with Davante Adams and force long third-down conversions.
If Tampa can have some success on defense then they will have a shot to win, otherwise, this game will get ugly quick. Tampa Bay will need to get the ground gaming going against a mediocre rush defense that Green Bay has. Once they get the run game going, Tampa can open up the play-action with some big shots down the field. I think Brady can keep pace with Rodgers but I think Green Bay pulls away late. This is Aaron Rodger’s first conference championship at home and I think he will jump at this opportunity. I hope I’m wrong.
Prediction: Packers 34 Buccaneers 30
#1 Kansas City Chiefs vs. #2 Buffalo Bills
Another week six rematch pits Kansas City against Buffalo for a shot to go to Super Bowl 55. Kansas City took the first meeting 26-17 in Buffalo. Unless something drastic happens, Patrick Mahomes will be leading the Chiefs out on the field Sunday night.
Buffalo wins this game if Mahomes doesn’t play, but even with him in they have a good shot. Buffalo is red hot on offense with Josh Allen clicking with his favorite target Stefon Diggs. Buffalo’s defense has stepped up as well, holding Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to just three points last week.
If Buffalo can force Kansas City to fight for every yard and make them run the ball they can win. Kansas City just has to play their game and make sure Mahomes is fully healthy. The Bills will need to get their run game going so they don’t have to rely on Allen all game throwing for first downs.
This game will come down to who can stop the other’s offense first with both teams being top-five offenses. Kansas City averaged 415 yards a game, while the Bills averaged 396 yards a game. Patrick Mahomes has been here before and knows how to win the close games especially at home. I think this will be a high-scoring game that will have multiple lead changes but the Chiefs will prevail.
Prediction: Chiefs 31 Bills 27