5 bold predictions for the NFL Divisional roundBy Matt Verderame
We have four intriguing games for the 2020 NFL Divisional Round, and here are five bold predictions to look for over the weekend.
5. Bills-Ravens is a classic
This could come down to a field goal in the final seconds — Justin Tucker would likely love that. Baltimore and Buffalo are evenly matched despite being built very differently. This should not be only the best game of the weekend but could be the best game of the year in the cold, windy weather of Buffalo.
4. Tom Brady completes less than 60 percent of his throws
The Saints know how to pressure Brady, and it starts with the edge pairing of Cameron Jordan and Trey Frederickson. New Orleans doesn’t have to blitz to rattle the 43-year-old, something which has helped it win the two prior matchups this season. Look for the Saints to drop seven often and hit Brady repeatedly, something which will force him into some throwaways and hurried attempts.
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3. Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb combine for less than 125 rushing yards
Everyone knows the Cleveland Browns must run the ball, and do it effectively, to beat the Kansas City Chiefs. This, presumably, includes the Chiefs. Kansas City has been very good down the stretch this year, permitting only one 100-yard game by a team against it since Week 11 (not including Week 17 when starters sat). Cleveland will pound the ball early, but if the Browns fall behind, they’ll have to throw often.
2. The Rams will sack Aaron Rodgers at least three times
The Los Angeles Rams have one of the best fronts in the league led by Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd and Michael Brockers. The trio has combined for 29 sacks on the campaign, and while Donald is dealing with a rib injury heading into their tilt with the Green Bay Packers, don’t expect him to slow much. Green Bay has an excellent line but is without stalwart left tackle David Bakhtiari, who tore his ACL in December.
1. The Ravens rush for more than 220 yards
The Buffalo Bills may beat the Baltimore Ravens, but look for the Ravens to gash the Bills on the ground throughout Saturday night. Buffalo is T-22nd in yards per carry against (4.6) while Baltimore is tops in the league offensively in the metric at 5.5 YPC. Between Lamar Jackson, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, the rock will be run by the Ravens.