The Greatest Story on Turf Divisional Round 2024
Divisional Round 2024, the Story of every game delivered to you every week, counting down to the most interesting story of the week, complete with predictions.
4. Lions vs. Buccaneers
Excitement in the Air
This may be the most wholesome game of the playoffs because, either way, one of these underdog teams is going to the conference championship. In one corner, you have the Detroit Lions, who have been the definition of a losing franchise. Their coach was made fun of for his kneecap speech, but he stayed true to himself and led this team to victory. You got a number one picked QB, Jared Goff, who was thrown away in Detroit like a broken toy, but he embraced that Detroit Dan Campbell never-say-die attitude and rose from the ashes like a Phoenix. Even before the wins, it was evident how good this team would be based on how hard they played when they were completely outmatched. Now, they are one of the best teams, and they are trying to go all the way for Detroit and all the underdogs and anyone who knows what it's like to be counted out.
In the other corner, we have the Buccaneers, who were supposed to fall off after Brady. Todd Bowels was criticized as a bad coach, and people called for his job. It's his second year and his second NFC South division title, and his team just blew out the defending NFC Conference champions to get the first playoff win of his two-year tender. The Bucs players have shown how good they still are, even though Brady is gone. Then there is Baker, another number one overall quarterback thrown away by the Browns and Panthers, rehabilitated when he took a temporary position under Sean Mcvay. When he went to the Bucs, people didn't expect Baker to make a difference for the Bucs. Given what they had, I expected them to make playoffs, but even I didn't expect Baker to be as good as he has been. He left the Browns, found himself in another good situation, and proved he could win. Bake has been doubted his whole career, but has he finally found his franchise home?
3. Texans vs. Ravens
The Texans have never made it to the conference championship before, but then again, a QB as young as CJ Stroud had never won a playoff game before wildcard weekend. The Texans are a young team trying to win and make history. The Browns destroyed the Texans in the regular season, but the Texans came back and turned the tables in the playoffs. The Ravens also destroyed the Texans in the regular season. Can the Texans turn the tables on the number one seed, Ravens?
This year is about more than just winning a Super Bowl for Lamar and the Ravens. Lamar has the chance to not only win the biggest prize in sports but to do it while also winning MVP and proving that QBs like him can win the Super Bowl and kill the narratives of bigots that QBs who look like him and play like him aren't good QBs. A Super Bowl win would cement Lamar in his rightful place as one of the two best QBs in the NFL, and it would help all black QBs out there. You are a QB. You don't need to be switched to another position because you are athletic. You don't have to be someone other than yourself to be a QB. You can be authentically you.
Before Lamar can break generational curses, he has to right the wrongs of the last MVP run and win his first seed game. It may be tough because with rest comes rust, and the Texans are hot, but history is on the line. Who is going to make it?
2. Chiefs vs. Bills
The Chiefs have owned the Bills. At their highest point, the Chiefs waxed the Bills in the conference championship. In Josh Allen's best playoff or game performance ever, the Chiefs still beat the Bills. It seems that no matter how good the Bills are, the Chiefs are always just a little bit better when it matters most. The Bills are facing KC for a third time in the playoffs, and the Chiefs have no Tyreek Hill, and Kelce has been average. If the Bills can't beat the Chiefs now, they never will. The Bills have been playing playoff football for weeks to even make it to the playoffs and play this game. This is their arch nemesis. If they can get by the Chiefs, they can do anything.
But It won't be easy. The Chiefs have a championship pedigree and have activated in the playoffs. The defense is stifling and will be tough for Allen to handle, and now Rice has emerged as the number one receiver for the Chiefs, and that's all Mahomes needs. The third game in the Bills vs. Chiefs rivalry will be played at the Bill's home stadium for the first time ever. Mahomes will be in his first-ever road playoff game. Can Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs win on the road in the playoffs, or will Josh Allen and the Bills Mafia smother them?
1. Packers vs. 49ers
The Battle of Bay
Matt Lafleur and Kyle Shanahan are considered some of the best offensive minds in the NFL, and they come from the same tree. Kyle is the overwhelming favorite in this match-up, given that he has the best or second-best roster in the league. The 49ers have run over most of their opponents, and the Packers look like prime candidates to be crushed by the 49ers in their march to the conference championship.
However, what Green Bay just pulled off was an outcoaching for the ages. The Packers have already faced a superior force and picked them apart in Dallas. Matt Lafleur and Kyle Shanahan know each other better than most coaches in this spot would. Matt comes into this game having got his former OC Luke Getsy fired by just undressing him on national TV twice and putting the former Packer's coach Mike McCarthy's job in question after being thoroughly outcoached and embarrassed at every level. Can Matt do the same thing to Kyle, or will Kyle reveal Lafleur's kryptonite?