NFL Divisional playoffs: 5 things to watch this weekend
The 2022 NFL Divisional playoffs are here. It’s time to look at five things which could swing the games one way or the other.
5. Which team is the one who makes fatal mistakes?
There’s always a team or two who make enough mistakes to take themselves out of the game. Is it going to be an underdog who gets blown out in a big way. Will it be a favorite who has two fumbles and a few interceptions?It’s always impossible to predict who that team will be — although you could look at squads like the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, who have high turnover numbers — but it’s going to happen.
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4. Do the Bills take advantage of the Bengals’ ravaged O-Line?
Speaking of Buffalo, the big question against Cincinnati is whether it can get pressure with a four-man rush. The Bills have struggled mightily since Thanksgiving in this department, when they lost edge rusher Von Miller to a torn ACL against the Detroit Lions. If Buffalo can’t impact Joe Burrow despite him having three backup offensive linemen, it’s going to be a long, tough game for the Bills, even at home in western New York.
3. How do the Jaguars limit Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs?
The Chiefs are the more talented team on both sides of the ball, but the Jaguars are playing terrific football lately as winners of their last six. In this matchup, Jacksonville’s 28th-ranked pass defense will have to slow down Patrick Mahomes, who torched them for over 300 passing yards and three touchdowns back in a Week 10 victory at Arrowhead Stadium. What can Jacksonville do differently this time around, or does Mahomes have another huge game?
2. Will the Giants be able to run the ball?
For the New York Giants, they must pound the rock effectively and relentlessly against the Philadelphia Eagles to avoid the dreaded three-game sweep. Philadelphia hasn’t been great against the run, ranking 17th. However, the Eagles have an excellent pass rush and two top-tier corners. If New York is going to keep this close and give itself a chance to win late on Saturday night, it starts with running back Saquon Barkley and the legs of quarterback Daniel Jones.
1. Can Dak Prescott have another big game for the Cowboys?
Dak Prescott was incredible against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night, throwing for 305 yards and four touchdowns on the road. This weekend, it’s a tougher chore with the San Francisco 49ers and their top-ranked unit. Can Prescott find a way to torch the weak part of the Niners’ defense and attack the corners with CeeDee Lamb taking a leading role?