Super Wild Card Weekend was an amazing way to kick off the NFL playoffs and included some great moments. I went 5-1 on straight up winners and 4-2 on my best bets. This weekend's slate should be even better than last weekend's slate, which means we will be in for quite the weekend.
Rams V Packers
The Rams took down Russell and the Seahawks fairly easily and dominated the game for the full 60 minutes. The defense came to play, not allowing Russ to do too much and providing a TD. Aaron Donald was as dominant as ever and was a beast in the trenches. Jared Goff came in after John Wolford got rocked by Jamal Adams. On Saturday, they will face the NFC favorite Packers led by an explosive offense highlighted by probable MVP winner Aaron Rodgers and one of the best receivers in the league, Davante Adams. Their rushing attack is also very impressive as they have an offensive line that has just ran through every opponent this year and Aaron Jones is one of the most underrated players in the league. This matchup favors the Rams in my opinion as it looks like it will be snowing in Green Bay and both teams will look to run more than they usually do. The Rams ran the ball very effectively versus the Seahawks as Cam Akers ran for 138 yards and a TD. The Seahawks and the Packers are both pretty bad defensively so I see the Rams being effective on the ground once again. As for the Packers, I believe they will be more balanced on offense opposed to the Rams ground and pound. They will try to open the pass game between Rodgers and Adams but the duo won’t be as effective as they usually are because of Jalen Ramsey. They will run the ball but won’t run it well. Aaron Donald and the suffocating Rams front seven won’t allow Jones to do anything. I think this matchup is amazing for the Rams as I think their run attack will chew enough clock to keep Rodgers off the field and their defense will come to play once again and lead them to a huge upset win over Rodgers and the Packers.
Final Score: Los Angeles 24- Packers 21
Favorite Bet: Rams +6.5
Ravens V Bills
Lamar finally did it! He won a playoff game! The Ravens in my opinion had the most impressive performance of last weekend, battling from a 10-0 deficit against a team that has bullied them in recent meetings. They dominated the second half and completely shut down Derrick Henry. The Bills won but their performance was not anything special as it felt like the Colts lost the game rather than the Bills won. It looks like it is going to be a chilly night in Buffalo with a possibility of rain. These conditions favor the Ravens greatly as the Bills will be without running back Zack Moss and Devin Singletary has not yet proven he can be an every down workhorse back. JK Dobbins has emerged as a threat out of the backfield and the Ravens also have Gus Edwards who is not great but is serviceable as a backup. I believe the Ravens will dominate the ground game and keep Josh Allen and the Bills off of the field. The Bills will get their fair share of points just because of how explosive Josh Allen is but this Ravens defense is no joke as they completely shut down Tennessee in the second half of last week's game. If Lamar can keep the ball safe and the Ravens stick to what they are good at (running the ball), I see them winning in a close one.
Final Score: Baltimore 27- Bills 24
Favorite Bet: Ravens +3
Browns V Chiefs
The Browns are coming off a huge win last week and ruined my 6-0 sweep. However this week they won’t be gifted a TD on the first play of the game and are going up against an insane offense that can score on any given play. Led by Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs look to win their second consecutive super bowl and rightfully so. They are clearly the best team left and I expect them to put on an absolute clinic versus the Browns. It's as simple as the Browns just won’t keep up. Baker played great last week but in many situations the Browns had great field position and were running the ball at will, that won’t happen this week. Baker will have to go score for score against the best player in the league and he will end up making mistakes and giving Mahomes and the Chiefs great field position which is the last thing you want to do going up against a team like them. Baker was great last week but you can’t count on him playing that well every week as he has had some very poor performances against bad teams. I’d be amazed if the Chiefs win this one by less than 17
Final Score: Cleveland 20- Kansas City 42
Favorite Bet: Chiefs -10
Buccaneers V Saints
The Buccaneers won last week but their secondary looked terrible, letting guys run wild all over the field and Taylor Heinecke made them pay. Thankfully, Tom Brady and the offense played great and put up 31 points on one of the best defenses in the league. The offensive line was the one question mark I had heading into last weekend but they really stepped up and played great giving Tom all the time he needed to go through his progressions and make the right decisions. The Saints did what everyone expected and dominated the Bears. They ran the ball effectively and were incredible on third down converting on 80% of the time. The Bears offense had nowhere to go as the O line could not block and Javon Wims dropped an easy TD. Now, the Bucs and the Saints meet for a third time. The Saints absolutely dominated the first two meetings, as their front seven just ate Tampa’s offensive line alive. However, Tampa’s offensive line has improved greatly since their second matchup and showed it against Washington last week. The one thing the Bucs did well in their regular season matchups was shutting down Alvin Kamara, not letting him eclipse over 100 total yards in either matchup, I expect them to do the same this time, but noodle arm Brees will have a solid game against the worst secondary left in the playoffs. Everyone is all over this Saints team, knowing they beat the Bucs twice already and seeing them decimate the Bears. But let's be real, is Tom Brady really going to lose to the same team three times in one year? I think not. The Bucs will be inspired to win and the Saints will head into this one thinking they’re top dog after what happened earlier this season. Tom Brady carries the Bucs to a huge playoff win.
Final Score: Bucs 30- Saints 24
Favorite Bet: Buccaneers +3
AFC: Ravens @ Chiefs
NFC: Rams @ Buccaneers