Geno Smith, Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) prepares to throw a pass under pressure from Dallas Cowboys defensive end Sam Williams (54) in the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
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2022 NFL playoffs: 1 reason each wild card team can win

The 2022 NFL playoffs are about to begin on Saturday afternoon. Here’s one reason why each of the six wild card teams can win their game.

Seattle Seahawks (+9.5) at San Francisco 49ers

The Seahawks have the advantage on the perimeter. While the Niners have perhaps the league’s best defense, they don’t have elite corners. Charvarius Ward was brought in during free agency, signing him away from the Kansas City Chiefs. Ward is a good corner, but he’s not going to shut down Tyler Lockett or D.K. Metcalf. If Seattle is going to upend its NFC West rival, it’ll be because the Seahawks can win on the outside for chunk yardage.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5) vs. Los Angeles Chargers

The Jaguars should be able to cause the Chargers’ front problems. Los Angeles has two excellent pass rushers in Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa. However, the Jaguars throw the ball very quickly, which could negate the edge pressure we normally see from the aforementioned duo. Additionally, this is a Jacksonville team which loves to run with second-year back Travis Etienne. He could slash through a bad run defense all night.

Miami Dolphins (+13) at Buffalo Bills

The Dolphins have two of the fastest players on earth in receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. If they are to pull off one of the league’s true stunners of all time, it’ll be because Hill and Waddle make some enormous, lengthy plays. This is a spot for Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel to creatively get the ball in their hands, allowing quarterback Skylar Thompson to impact the game as little as possible.

New York Giants (+3) at Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have the worst defense in the playoffs. You can both run and pass on Minnesota, which has been torched by almost every team it has faced. The Giants don’t have elite weapons, but running back Saquon Barkley could and should go nuts, while receivers Darius Slayton and Richie James will find room to roam. New York’s aim should be 30 points.

Baltimore Ravens (+8.5) at Cincinnati Bengals

The Ravens can create some turnovers. Cincinnati is terrific, but it is missing 40 percent of its offensive line with right guard Alex Cappa and tackle La’el Collins both out. Baltimore can get pressure and hurry quarterback Joe Burrow, getting him to throw at corners Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. With Tyler Huntley under center for the Ravens, that’s the path.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Buccaneers have Tom Brady. Brady has won more playoff games than almost every franchise in the NFL, and while the Cowboys are the better team, they also turn the ball over at an alarming rate. If this game is close late, Brady is going to walk Tampa Bay down the field and into the Divisional round.

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