Hey everyone, this is Sam. Thank you for joining me once again. We need to breakdown the NFL AFC Divisional Football games. Here’s a look at the NFL playoff picture, Sports Obsessive’s NFL predictions, and the schedule of games. Let’s get into our AFC Divisional NFL predictions!
Divisional Round Schedule
#6 Rams at #1 Packers (Sat. 4:35 pm EST)
#5 Ravens at #2 Bills (Sat. 8:15 pm EST)
#6 Browns at #1 Chiefs (Sun. 3:05 pm EST)
#5 Bucs at #2 Saints (Sun. 6:40 pm EST)
Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills (Saturday 8:15 pm EST)
TOM: The Ravens are not a team that are built to play from behind. We have heard it all season long and for the most part this has been true. Baltimore has come back from a deficit only four times this season to win the game. Buffalo has one of the highest-scoring offenses in the NFL. Should the Bills get a lead this week, I am not sure the Ravens have either the offensive firepower to keep up with them or the defensive prowess to limit them to a score. This would allow them to come from behind.
I predict a box score very similar to last week for the Ravens. We should also expect to see another 100 yard rushing day for Jackson with likely two touchdowns on the ground. I am also expecting at least two interceptions from the Bills secondary. Buffalo should be able to find ways to run up the score for at least 28 points this week. If so, they will secure their ticket to the AFC Championship.
Winner: Bills 28-17
KEITH: This is the most interesting game of the weekend for me because I believe the Bills are a better team and should win. However, the Ravens bring a style of play that will give the Bills fits at home in the cold. This is another strength-on-strength game where the Ravens’ elite secondary will be matched up with the Bills’ elite passing attack. Stefan Diggs continues to be one of the best receivers in football. He should get his Saturday night, but Jimmy Smith, Marlin Humphries and the Ravens’ fifth-best pass defense should be able to give this Bills team fits.
The Bills don’t run the ball well, but it doesn’t slow them down at all. As the NFL’s second-best scoring offense, the Bills put up points behind Josh Allen’s elevation to the elite tier of NFL QB royalty.
The Ravens on the other side boast the best running offense in the NFL. If they are gonna win, they will need to control the clock with Dobbins, Edwards, and Jackson. If they pummel the Bills soft, 22nd-ranked run defense then the key to stopping any elite QB is to limit his opportunities. The game features the best two QB’s from the 2018 NFL draft and they are both elite in different ways. I can see this game going either way, but in the end, I believe the Bills at home find a way to pull it out in an instant classic.
Winner: Bills 24-21
CAEMERON: I thought the Bills were going to lose last week, but I was wrong. This team is for real. I expect they’ll keep rolling as Baltimore comes to town. Of course, the Ravens have been on an upswing themselves, but I still don’t really think that their style of offense is going to be able to carry them this year. They’ll score some points, but Buffalo will score more. Both defenses are good. That’s not what it is going to look like in this one. We are going to see both QBs breaking off big runs and I think we see a lot of points.
Winner: Bills 45-35
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday 3:05 pm EST)
TOM: At first glance, you would think this an easy prediction of a Kansas City win and move on. The truth is that it really is not that simple. The Chiefs are led by arguably the most dynamic player under center that may have ever lived. They also have the fastest man on turf in Tyreek Hill. In my opinion, the Chiefs have the greatest tight end that has ever played football in Travis Kelce.
Why do I say it’s not so simple to predict a winner then? The Browns demolished the Steelers defense last week by putting up 48 points. Granted, it was also due to a very strange start to the game by the Steelers, but I consider the Steelers and the Chiefs to be of similar ability on defense. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are punishing runners with equally good receiving skills. Baker Mayfield has finally come into his own and has developed a very good rapport with Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins. Mix in a smattering of Austin Hooper in the end zone, and I dare you to just dismiss the Browns in any game.
Last week, I predicted a Browns win over the favored Steelers. There is a large part of me that wants to call a second straight upset and a Browns win. However, I do not think Patrick Mahomes will falter in this test.
This has all the potential to be a high scoring shootout.
Winner: Kansas City 45-38
KEITH: What can you say about the Browns? They lost to the Jets in week 16 for the second Jets win of the season. The Browns had a major Covid-19 outbreak that led to that loss. They barely squeaked by a Steelers team that rested most of their starters in week 17. This was the game the Browns had to have to make the playoffs. Then they had their first playoff game since 2002 and their head coach had to miss it due to Covid-19. But what did they do? They came out and steamrolled the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Wild.
I like the Browns and what they have built in Cleveland. I actually like the Browns’ chances in this game. Again, the NFL is a game of matchups and the Browns matchup well on offense against the Chiefs’ defense. However, I can’t in good faith believe the Browns will win this game. Facing perennial MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs’ explosive offense will be a challenge for the Browns’ pass defense. If Baker Mayfield can stay on schedule, and the Browns can find a way to score first and run the rock, they will have a chance at a close game. However, I don’t see it happening. I see the Chiefs coming out in Arrowhead Stadium and taking it to the upstart Browns. This game becomes a two-score affair with the Browns chasing most of the afternoon.
Winner: Chiefs 37-21
CAEMERON: Oh hey, Cleveland beat the Steelers in the playoffs! That’s just about like winning a Super Bowl, right? I’m pretty sure it is, or at least it feels like it as a Browns fan. It sure would be nice if they’d play in actual Super Bowl sometime in my life, but I’m afraid I don’t think it will be this year.
Kansas City has been rolling and I don’t see that coming to a sudden end this week. Mayfield and Co. will likely put up some points. I wish I could predict that they’ll win. But frankly, unless they get a touchdown on the first play of the game and jump out to a massive first-quarter lead, I don’t think they have much of a chance in this one. (I do hope that I am wrong on this!).