Tennesse Titans vs Kansas City Chiefs
To kick off the wild card round, we will see a matchup a majority of fans have no interest in, Tennesse Titans vs Kansas City Chiefs. This matchup would be a lot more interesting if the Chiefs continued their success and did not fall off. Anyways, this game is going to be the least exciting game for a couple of reasons, the Titans probably do not belong in the playoffs, and the Chiefs with Andy Reid as head coach will find a way to lose this game. The Chiefs offense is extremely exciting stacking up with Kareem Hunt in the backfield, Tyreek Hill at wideout and Travis Kelce banging around at the tight end position. The weapons are there and they should most likely win this game. Among the Titans roster, Marcus Mariota will be starting in his first playoff game ever. The young QB compares to Alex Smith decently, Mariota’s QB rating is 79.3, completion percentage is 62 percent, he’s only thrown for 13 passing touchdowns, but has racked in 3,232 passing yards this season. The Titans have a great defense and much of the reason they are here, some decent wideouts and two iffy running back the Titans are going to be relying on Mariota and their defense to win. I think this game stays close and we see a decent game but at the end, we all know how it will end up. Chiefs on top.
Atlanta Falcons vs Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are definitely the best team to be here among wild card teams and if they lose it would be devastating after how successful they were this season and how quickly they turned their fortune around. Todd Gurley posting MVP like numbers similar to Adrian Peterson did when he won the MVP in 2012. Gurley looks like an absolute train out there and has carried this Rams team to a handful of wins this season. The Rams finished 1st in the NFC West with an 11-5 record as the Falcons finished 3rd in the NFC South, 10-6. After a Super Bowl trip, last season the Falcons have the experience factor on the Rams and this will be Jared Goff(possible MVP) first playoff game. The Rams have not seen a playoff berth in god knows how long. But with this explosive offense, and solid defense I think this is the Rams game to lose. The Falcons have to get back to running a more versatile offense and using one of the best receivers in football Julio Jones, Matt Ryan will need to step up and play like he did last year in the playoffs. By no means do I want the Falcons to win, but there is something telling me they have a chance. I hope the Falcons lose because the Rams story is way more exciting then the Falcons and I’d much rather see the Rams play on. The Falcons had their chance to do something and they blew it, now the Rams chance is alive and hopeful, the first year in a new city, new stadium what’s a better story than that. Go Rams!
Buffalo Bills vs Jacksonville Jaguars
This is like the Super Bowl for these two teams as both of them have not seen the playoffs nor successful seasons in quite some time. The Bills last made the playoffs in 1999 and the Jaguars last made the playoffs in 2008 when David Gerrard was the QB! This is going to be probably my favorite game of the wildcard round. Blake Bortles and Tyrod Taylor battling it out, LeSean McCoy carrying the Bills to a victory, Bortles tossing the skin around for 300 plus passing yards. Anything is possible for this game, these two teams are a toss-up. I cannot even pick a favorite because neither team really has any x-factors that make them stand out. The Jaguars defense is a big factor but they are definitely beatable, and the Bills offense is a problem but again they have the weapons to get it done. I can’t say what will come of this game, I think we see a Jaguars win, but the Bills could easily upset them. Just go into this game, a bit tipsy and ready to continue that buzz into the night game.
Carolina Panthers vs New Orleans Saints
In terms of talent wise and competition, this game is probably going to be the best game of the wild-card round. The Panthers had a blunder of a season after making the Super Bowl now bounce back into the playoffs vs a very experienced QB Drew Brees. The Saints one-two punch out of the backfield is about the best in the NFL right now, rookie Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram look to be running the table for the Saints. But Cam Newton and his amazing pre/post playoff game interviews are back. Newton will try and tear open his chest a few times this game and lead the Panthers to a victory in Superdome. The Saints home field advantage is major here and Drew Brees playing in his 12th playoff game, the veteran gun slinging QB will look to connect with Michael Thomas to lead the Saints to their seventh playoff win(since Brees has been QB). I think this game comes down to the wire, possibly a shootout, possibly a real low scoring, defensive game. It will be tough to see a low scoring game as both offenses are very strong, Christian McCaffery will look to match another rookie Alvin Kamara in both their first playoff games during their first season, as Cam Newton will look to outplay the veteran Drew Brees. A lot of headlines going into this game and smart they saved the best for last. I think Saints come out with this one and Brees is going to be wrapped up in a body bag moving onto to the divisional round.