The Greatest Story on Turf: Divisional Round
Updated: Jan 22
Eagles vs. Giants
Rags To Riches
The Giants have been a dumpster fire for the last two years. They got rid of their gm, and Saquon seemed like he couldn't stay healthy, and Jones looked like a bust. Then in the eleventh hour, Brian Daboll arrived. All of a sudden, the Giants have started winning games they have no business winning. Daniel Jones has stopped committing turnovers, and now he is starting to look like a franchise guy. The Giants are in the playoffs, and they have already scored their playoff victory. They knocked off the Vikings, who beat them in the regular season. Will the Giant's revenge tour continue? The Eagles struggled to beat the Giant's backups at the end of the season. However, that was a bye ago. The Eagles are coming back healthier and tougher. Can the Giants find a way to come out on top? Will Saquon and Jones play as well as they did in the first round?
The Eagles certainly won't be pulling any punches. Jalen Hurts was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last year. However, last year the Eagles weren't even supposed to be there, but this year they have expectations. Can the Eagles answer the call and get to the Super Bowl? The Vikings may have been knocked off by the Giants, but the Vikings were brutes. The Vikings only had one way to win, and that was to hit teams over the head with their offense. It was easier for Coach Daboll to outcoach a one-strength team. The Eagles are as deadly as they are diverse. The Eagles can beat you in many ways. The last time the Eagles played the Giant's starters, they ran through the Giants with minimal pushback. I don't think the Giants have enough to overcome the talent of the Eagles.
The Jaguars vs. The Chiefs
David vs. Goliath
The Jaguars come into this game with the head of the Chargers already on their mantle. Trevor Lawrence is making the most of his playoff debut. In his first game, he has already knocked off Herbert and put Herbert's Elite status in question. Trevor Lawrence, or the Prince who was Promised as Nick Wright calls him, is making his campaign for king. First, he must take out any heir to the throne in his way. Now that Herbert's gone, he will stand face to face with the King himself, Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes and Lawrence already crossed paths once. Patrick mowed Trevor and the Jags down. Can Lawrence even the score and stake his claim to the Qb throne?
Doug Pederson is coming for revenge. Doug took Philly to the promised land, and they exiled him from the NFL. He has returned with the Prince Who Was Promised, and together they plan to take over the NFL Kingdom. Can they usurp the current monarch?
Patrick Mahomes is the reigning best Qb in the league. He lost his best weapon in Tyreek Hill, and he still won the division and the AFC one seed and put up even better numbers than he did with Tyreek Hill last year. Last year Mahomes fell short of reaching another Super Bowl because he lost patience and stopped taking what the defense gave him. This year Patrick has learned the error of his ways and has sliced up defenses every way with whatever player is open. He is ready to correct last year's mistake and get back to the Super Bowl. Last year Mahomes had a chance to put a surging Joe Burrow in his place, and instead, Burrow made a name at Mahomes's expense. Will Mahomes allow another hot prospect to make a name at his expense, or will Mahomes put the Prince in his place?
Andy Reid needs to put someone in their place as well. Reid will be facing his own disciple Doug Pederson. Has Pederson evolved past Andy Reid? Does Pederson know all of Andy Reid's tricks, or did Reid teach Pederson everything he knows but not everything Andy knows? Can Reid destroy the Super Bowl-winning coach he created?
Both Teams have Super Bowl-winning coaches at the control center. Both Teams have strong situational defenses. I'd give the edge to the Jaguar's defense. Both teams have top-heavy offenses, but I'd take the Mahomes and Kelce over Lawrence and Etienne. There's definitely a good chance the Jags could sling their best shot at the Goliath Chiefs and knock them out of the playoffs. However, I think in order for that to happen, the Chiefs would need to help the Jaguars with their own errors. In a Best on Best game, I trust the Chiefs to come out on top.
Cowboys vs. 49ers
The Cowboys and the 49ers are both storied franchises that haven't felt the cold touch of a Lombardi Trophy since the 90s. However, the Cowboys are the team that is most notably mocked for their shortcomings because they haven't even been back to the Super Bowl since. This generation of Cowboys added a pretty embarrassing entry to their hall of shame when they lost to the seventh-seed 49ers last year in the first round of the playoffs.The last play of the game was a controversial Qb sneak. The Cowboys had no timeouts left, and everyone was scrutinized for that qb sneak. Kellen Moore was questioned for drawing it up, and McCarthy is questioned for allowing it to happen and not having his team ready to execute. Dak was criticized for not sliding sooner.
The failure is fresh in their minds, and the Cowboys have been handed a golden opportunity to prove they are a better team than they have ever been by beating the team that knocked them off last year.
The Cowboys have proven themselves so far. I questioned whether or not the Cowboys were mentally strong because they didn't win the games they were supposed to win. They handled their business against the Bucs. You could tell the Cowboys were playing differently than the Texans, Commanders, or Jaguars game. The team was finishing plays and not giving an inch. The Cowboys had been throwing picks all season, and yet in the playoffs so far Dak hasn't thrown a single pick. However, will all this progress fall apart when the 49er's number-one defense comes to town?
The 49ers are down to their third-string Qb, Brock Purdy. Purdy struggled last week, but he won, and that's all that matters. Will Purdy stand up against better competition? The Cowboys have a worse reputation than the 49ers, but that could change this year. If the 49ers fail to get to a Super Bowl and win, then you have to wonder, if not now, then when? Can defense still be the leading factor in a Super Bowl-winning team?
Bills vs. Bengals
Josh Allen is the Cinderella story of the NFL. He came from a small college and went to an off the map Bills team and played poorly. Everyone wrote Josh Allen off except the Bills. They stuck by him and he paid them back in full by becoming elite. Josh Allen has become one of the best Qbs in football and along with Stefon Diggs and Sean McDermott's top flight defense the Bills have become a top team. All they need to do is complete their story with a happy ending.
However there is a new Cinderella story in the NFL. Joe Burrow went to a big school and balled out and he was drafted number one overall to an even worse team than the Bills. Joe took a team that hadn't won a playoff game in 30 years and went to the Super Bowl with them. Joe Burrow and the Bengals are looking for their happy ever after as well.
The Bills couldn't beat the Chiefs but the Bengals have always beaten the Chiefs. The Bills and Bengals didn't get a chance to face each other last year because the Bills lost the coin toss . Last year we had to wander what would have happened? This year we were supposed to see the Bills and Bengals for the first time but then the Hamlin injury happened. Now it's gonna happen when it matters most. Win or go home, who's the better team and Qb?
Both the Bengals and the Bills struggled a bit to beat divisional opponents who didn't have their starting qbs. The Bengals seemed pretty susceptible to the run. The Bills aren't a great running team but Devin Singletary , James Cook , and Allen are certainly capable of doing it. Can the Bills take advantage of the Bengals weaknes? Josh Allen had several turnovers against the Dolphins will turnovers be his undoing against the Bengals?