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2022 NFL playoffs: Case for each Divisional underdog

It’s time for the 2022 NFL playoffs to enter the Divisional round, and here’s why each underdog can cover their spread.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+8.5) at Kansas City Chiefs

For the Jaguars, this is about finding a way to steal possessions. When the two teams played at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 11, the Chiefs turned the ball over three times and allowed an onside kick to start the game … and still won 27-17. Jacksonville needs to have a similar turnover ratio but this time take advantage. On that afternoon, it only turned into seven points, and they were in garbage time.

Additionally, the Jaguars have to find some way to harass Patrick Mahomes. They’ve not been a good pressure team all year, with Josh Allen leading the team with six sacks. Somehow, they need to ratchet it up.


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New York Giants (+7.5) at Philadelphia Eagles

The Giants know what the score is. They need to run the ball at Philadelphia with a combination of star back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones. If New York can do it effectively, the clock will play to its favor, limiting possessions for Jalen Hurts and Co.

Speaking of Hurts, Big Blue’s defense must find a way to slow the running game and then put pressure on the ailing quarterback, who is trying to prove he’s fully back from a shoulder injury. Kayvon Thibodeaux and Dexter Lawrence will be critical here.

Cincinnati Bengals (+5) at Buffalo Bills

Why are the Bengals getting five points here? The line opened at four and has since jumped a point, but people wanting to bet Cincinnati must be thrilled. The Bengals have won nine straight games and right now, are playing the best of perhaps any team in football.

If the line can block for quarterback Joe Burrow — which is a concern with potentially three starters out — Cincinnati should be able to throw constantly against a weakened Buffalo front. The Bills haven’t been the same defensively since losing edge rusher Von Miller to a torn ACL on Thanksgiving.


Read: Lamar Jackson ‘Really Wants To Win’ Say Ravens Teammates


Dallas Cowboys (+3.5) at San Francisco 49ers

Dallas needs to pressure rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, and hope to force him into a few mistakes. If the trio of Dorance Armstrong, Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence can do so, the Cowboys have a real shot of walking away with a win.

The other factor will be quarterback Dak Prescott avoiding turnovers. He led the league with 15 picks in the regular season despite missing five games. If Prescott can keep the ball away from the Niners and make a couple of big throws, look out.

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