Greatest Story on Turf: Divisional Playoffs

Updated: Jan 24

4. 49ers vs. Packers

Storyline: The Last Dance

Aaron Rodgers boldly proclaimed that it would be the Last Dance for him this year with the Packers before the season started. In the actual Last Dance, MJ, the greatest basketball player of all time, won his sixth title to close out his dynasty. Rodgers doesn't have a dynasty. Despite his talent, he only has one Super Bowl. However, he is the type of player who would compare himself to MJ and call his shot before the season.

Rodgers called his shot when he was drafted, and the 49ers passed on him. He said they would regret it. They are 3-0 against him in the playoffs. He can't let them go 4-0 against him in the playoffs and knock him off. Also, Rodgers kicked up a lot of dust this year with the public, the media, and his own organization. It's only okay if he can back it up with wins. The Packers are the one seed. He got everything he wanted. There are no more excuses. It's time to put up or shut up. Rodgers will define his legacy on the field against the 49ers. He will either win, go on and get another chance to win a Super Bowl, which will beat Brett Favre and tie Bart Starr as the greatest Packer QB, or he will lose, and go down and be known as the guy who couldn't get it done in the playoffs?

The 49ers are coming off a big win against the Cowboys. They are the hottest team in the playoffs, but they are banged up. What's their big reward for all that? Facing the number one seed Packers. They know their Super Bowl window is closing, and if they are to redeem themselves and reclaim what they lost in 2019, they have to go through the Packers again. They ran into the Packers earlier this year and the Packers stole a win in the last 37 seconds of the game. However, it's a different story. Now, it's playoffs, where the 49ers have a 3-0 streak. It feels like fate has ordained that these two teams stand in each other's paths for ultimate success one last time, the last dance.

Prediction 49ers


3. Bengals vs. Titans

Storyline: Cool Joe Burrow vs. King Henry

The Titans have formed like Voltron in the playoffs. They get to attack the Bengals at full strength. However, the Bengals have been playing. They are loose, and they are hot. They are in the flow of the game. However, Mike Vrabel doesn't lose off byes. They're just so many interesting facets of this game. For example, did you know Zac Taylor, current Bengals head coach, coached Ryan Tannehill at Texas A&M and worked as his QB coach when he was with the Dolphins? Both teams have very scrappy defenses and some of the best playmakers in the playoffs. Joe Burrow has an advantage against the Titans secondary, but the Titans have an edge against the Bengals offensive line. The Bengals have been overachieving all year. Can they continue that streak and upset the number one seed? Or has the AFC messed up by letting the Titans get healthy with the one seed? Are we about to see this sleeping giant wake up and make a Super Bowl run? Either way, we know one thing is for sure. These two teams have strong identities, and either Derrick Henry or Joe Burrow is going to win it for their respective team.

Prediction Titans


2. Rams vs. Bucs

Storyline: Bucs Days of Future Past

Tom Brady has had an MVP season, holding his team together as it has fallen apart all year due to injury. He defeated the Eagles once again, his defense has reemerged, and Leonard Fournette has returned. Still, the Bucs offensive line is banged up, and so is the receiving core. The Bucs are close, but they are weaker than they were last year.

And yet, they face a challenger more hungry and dangerous than anyone they faced last year. Even last year, the only teams that really whooped the Bucs were the Bears and Saints, and that's because of all the pressure they put on Brady. Last year, the Rams didn't have the QB and Aaron Donald was hurt so the Bucs didn't have to see the Rams in the playoffs. But this year, they got Stafford, a QB vet from another team, and they are making a run in his first year, sound familiar? Also, Donald's healthy. It's not just last year's Rams though. The Rams have gone all in and now have an embarrassment of riches on both sides of the ball and now look to be the favorites to play a home Super Bowl game. That's right, the Bucs are playing this year's version of them.

Prediction Rams


1. Bills vs. Chiefs

Storyline: Sunrise or Sunset?

Is the sun rising in Buffalo and setting in Kansas City? There has been a lot of talking between the bases and the media. However, it's time to leave no doubt on the field. The last time these two teams met in the playoffs, the Chiefs absolutely demolished the Bills to the point that the game was tedious to watch long before it was over, and that was a Chiefs team that got wrecked in the Super Bowl. The Bills didn't forget that because they absolutely crushed the Chiefs in the regular season this year. However, it doesn't matter until they can do it when the lights shine brightest in the playoffs. The Bills dismantled the Patriots and have established themselves as the new major players in the AFC, but can they leapfrog the Chiefs? Or are the Chiefs still the top dogs? I'll say this, the Bills used to puff their chest at the Chiefs, and everyone laughed because, of course, the Chiefs were the alpha team. Now, that we see the Bills challenging the Chiefs, there's no laughing. We want to see what will happen.

Prediction Bills

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