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NFL playoffs divisional spherical recreation picks, schedule, odds, accidents


The NFL playoffs’ divisional-round schedule for the 2022 season is stacked with nice matchups, and we’ve you lined with what it’s good to know heading into the weekend. Our NFL Nation reporters convey us the largest keys to each recreation and a daring prediction for every matchup.

Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information offers a giant stat to know and a betting nugget for every contest, and our Football Power Index (FPI) goes contained in the numbers with a recreation projection. Matt Bowen picks out a key game-planning matchup to look at in each recreation, and Kevin Seifert tells us what to know concerning the officiating. Finally, Seth Walder and Eric Moody give us last rating picks for each recreation. Everything you need to know is right here in a single spot that will help you prepare for a loaded weekend of NFL playoff soccer.

Let’s get into the total divisional slate, together with Trevor Lawrence vs. Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City, an NFC East battle in Philadelphia, two high-octane offenses going through off in Buffalo and a pair of elite pass-rushers getting after the QB in San Francisco.

Note: New for this season’s playoffs, every group will probably be assured a possession if a recreation goes to additional time.

Jump to a matchup:

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET | NBC | Spread: KC -8.5 (52.5)

What to look at for: The Chiefs had practically 500 yards in opposition to the Jaguars when the groups met in November, and that is with Kansas City committing three turnovers and dropping a possession when the Jaguars recovered an onside kick. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes mentioned he was anticipating a a lot totally different model of the Jaguars this time round, and there is good purpose for that. Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell was on the employees of the Bucs in 2020 when Tampa Bay allowed greater than 500 yards to the Chiefs throughout a late-season recreation after which shut down Kansas City a number of weeks later in Super Bowl LV with a totally totally different recreation plan. — Adam Teicher

Bold prediction: Mahomes and Trevor Lawrence will mix to throw 10 landing passes. Mahomes had 4 of their earlier assembly in Week 10 and has thrown 11 TD passes in his previous three playoff video games. Lawrence is coming off a four-interception, four-TD efficiency within the wild-card victory over the Chargers. It may take 40 factors to win this recreation. — Mike DiRocco

Stat to know: Generating stress was one of many keys to Jacksonville’s late-season surge. The Jaguars had a 38.6% stress fee throughout their five-game win streak to finish the common season, which was second finest within the NFL over that span, and so they sacked Justin Herbert thrice within the wild-card spherical. But the Chiefs led the NFL in go block win fee (74.7%), and Mahomes is No. 1 within the league in QBR (84.7) and completion share (77.2%) when he would not face stress.

Bowen’s game-plan key: The Jaguars have to discover a solution to isolate receiver Christian Kirk in opposition to man protection, which the Chiefs threw at Lawrence 66.7% of the time in these groups’ regular-season assembly. Kirk has the agility to shake protection and get open on high-percentage throws. Read extra at ESPN+.

Injuries: Jaguars | Chiefs

What to know for officiating: Referee Shawn Hochuli’s regular-season crew threw the second-most flags within the league (14.6 per recreation). That included 10 flags for roughing the passer, tied for second most within the NFL. The Chiefs have been particularly delicate about roughing calls since a Week 5 name in opposition to defensive sort out Chris Jones overturned a fumble restoration. — Seifert

Betting nugget: Jacksonville is 8-5 outright and in opposition to the unfold as an underdog, tied for probably the most underdog wins in a single season within the Super Bowl period. And coach Doug Pederson is 6-0 ATS and 5-1 outright as a playoff underdog. No different coach has as many playoff video games as an underdog with out an ATS loss within the Super Bowl period. Read extra at ESPN+.

Moody’s choose: Chiefs 37, Jaguars 27
Walder’s choose: Chiefs 34, Jaguars 27
FPI prediction: KC, 78.5% (by a median of 9.2 factors)

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Matchup must-reads: Why Doug Pederson is the proper coach for the Jaguars … How Andy Reid saved the Kansas City Chiefs … Pederson uncertain Jags are ‘cockroaches,’ however they ‘maintain preventing’

Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: PHI -7.5 (48)

What to look at for: The Giants are available using the momentum of a 31-24 upset win over the Vikings within the wild-card spherical, whereas the Eagles are attempting to get again to dominant kind after going 1-2 to complete the common season. All eyes are on the correct shoulder of Jalen Hurts and the way it will reply to contact. He was not listed on the harm report this week however will not be believed to be 100% wholesome. Good buddy A.J. Brown mentioned the vibe round Hurts is “he’s ready to go, ready to do whatever it takes to get it done.” With the advantage of a few weeks’ relaxation, count on extra designed runs for Hurts after the coaches stayed largely away from them within the regular-season finale. — Tim McManus

Bold prediction: The Giants will rating a particular groups return landing. It’s solely proper on this season of surprises that they get one now. They have not had one but this season — or since 2015 for that matter. Now appears pretty much as good a time as any for no purpose aside from they’re due. — Jordan Raanan

Stat to know: Hurts (760) and Daniel Jones (708) mixed for 1,468 speeding yards within the common season, offering probably the most ever in a QB playoff matchup. It’s additionally the primary playoff matchup during which each quarterbacks had 700-plus speeding yards within the common season. Jones received the vast majority of his speeding yards by way of scrambles (402, third most), whereas Hurts relied on designed rushes (434, third most).



Why Stephen A. thinks the Giants are ‘taking place’ vs. the Eagles

Stephen A. Smith explains why the Giants will not beat Jalen Hurts and the Eagles on Saturday.

Bowen’s game-plan key: Looking for an X issue participant who may play a job within the Giants’ upset bid? Receiver Richie James has seen not less than six targets in every of his previous three video games, and New York ought to attempt to get him unfastened off the ball in opposition to man protection and let him use his catch-and-run traits to make performs in massive spots. Read extra at ESPN+.

Injuries: Giants | Eagles

What to know for officiating: Referee Clete Blakeman’s regular-season crew tied for the fourth-most flags within the NFL at 14.4 per recreation. But it threw solely 30 flags for offensive holding, tied for the fifth fewest. That might be of be aware for the Eagles, who dedicated the NFL’s fourth-most holding fouls (30), as they attempt to sluggish the Giants’ energetic defensive entrance. The Giants drew the NFL’s fourth-most offensive holding calls throughout the common season (24). — Seifert

Betting nugget: New York is 17-5 in opposition to the unfold and 14-8 outright as a playoff underdog within the Super Bowl period. That’s probably the most wins, the perfect profitable share and the perfect cowl share by any group as a playoff underdog within the Super Bowl period. Read extra at ESPN+.

Moody’s choose: Eagles 33, Giants 31
Walder’s choose: Eagles 34, Giants 10
FPI prediction: PHI, 80.1% (by a median of 9.9 factors)

Matchup must-reads: Respect for Giants QB Jones is ‘going up’ across the NFL … How GM Howie Roseman constructed the perfect roster within the league … ‘We have an elite quarterback’: Giants laud Jones after victory … Sanders is having the breakout 12 months he all the time knew he may … Hurts: ‘Got a bounty on me each week’

Read also  Dolphins fireplace DC Josh Boyer after three seasons in position

Sunday, 3 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: BUF -5.5 (49)

What to look at for: The Bills and Bengals will meet in Orchard Park, New York, after the regular-season assembly between the 2 groups in Cincinnati was initially postponed after which canceled due to Bills security Damar Hamlin struggling cardiac arrest on the sphere within the first quarter. Both groups come into this recreation using lengthy win streaks (9 for the Bengals and eight for the Bills), making this the seventh-ever playoff assembly between groups on profitable streaks of not less than eight video games, and the primary earlier than the convention championship spherical. The Bills are 4-0 in residence playoff video games below coach Sean McDermott, whereas the Bengals gained two playoff highway video games in 2021. — Alaina Getzenberg

Bold prediction: The Bengals will drive three turnovers. They have pressured 11 turnovers within the postseason in 5 video games relationship to final 12 months’s wild-card win over the Raiders. With Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen turning over the ball at a excessive fee, Cincinnati’s opportunistic protection will probably be seeking to bait Allen into dangerous performs. Allen turned the ball over thrice within the wild-card spherical after main the NFL in turnovers throughout the common season (19). Per Elias Sports Bureau, solely two gamers have led the league in turnovers and nonetheless reached the convention championship spherical over the previous 45 seasons (Eli Manning in 2007, Jim Kelly in 1992). If Cincinnati can efficiently create turnovers, the Bengals can have a superb probability of returning to the AFC title recreation. — Ben Baby

Stat to know: Cincinnati receiver Ja’Marr Chase has 9 straight video games with not less than seven receptions, the fifth-longest streak because the 1970 merger (together with playoffs). And Buffalo receiver Stefon Diggs has three 100-yard receiving video games within the playoffs with the Bills — the second most in Buffalo historical past behind Andre Reed’s 5 — after going for 114 yards within the group’s wild-card win.

Bowen’s game-plan key: The Bengals ought to look to blitz slot cornerback Mike Hilton to generate stress on Allen. Cincinnati blitzed defensive backs at a fee of 10.7% this season, tenth most within the league, and Hilton is usually a disruptor in these spots. Read extra at ESPN+.

Injuries: Bengals | Bills

What to know for officiating: Referee Carl Cheffers’ regular-season crew tied for the fourth-most flags within the NFL at 14.4 per recreation. The Bengals dedicated the NFL’s third-fewest penalties throughout the common season (95) however had been flagged for seven of their win over the Ravens within the wild-card spherical. The Bills, who ranked No. 19 within the NFL throughout the common season with 115 flags, received out of the wild-card spherical with solely three penalties. — Seifert

Betting nugget: Cincinnati is 15-4 in opposition to the unfold on the highway because the begin of final season, together with 7-2 ATS this season, 7-1 ATS in its previous eight video games and 4-0 ATS in its previous 4 video games on the highway. And the Bills are 3-7-1 ATS of their previous 11 video games. Read extra at ESPN+.

Moody’s choose: Bills 27, Bengals 24
Walder’s choose: Bills 31, Bengals 20
FPI prediction: BUF, 65.2% (by a median of 4.5 factors)

Matchup must-reads: Bengals say LT Williams has dislocated kneecap … Miller brings Super Bowl trophy to encourage Bills … Bengals proprietor needs to maintain Burrow for lengthy haul … Untold tales on the making of Bills star Allen … Bengals, Burrow not shopping for underdog tag vs. Bills … Hamlin at Bills facility nearly day by day as he recovers

Read also  Chiefs, hobbling Patrick Mahomes headed to fifth straight AFC title recreation

Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: SF -4 (46.5)

What to look at for: Niners quarterback Brock Purdy has handed each take a look at positioned earlier than him up to now, however the Cowboys’ protection represents the largest problem Purdy and the 49ers’ offense have confronted. The Cowboys led the NFL in stress share (39%) and completed second in sacks per dropback (8.6%) throughout the season. Purdy has dealt with stress effectively in a smaller pattern, with 4 landing passes and no interceptions when below duress since turning into the starter in Week 14. How he handles what Dallas throws at him will go a great distance in figuring out a winner on this traditional playoff rivalry. — Nick Wagoner

Bold prediction: Brett Maher will make a 47-yard discipline purpose to win the sport in opposition to the 49ers to ship the Cowboys to their first NFC Championship Game because the 1995 season. After lacking 4 point-after makes an attempt within the wild-card win in opposition to the Buccaneers, all eyes will probably be on Maher. And he’ll present the type of the kicker who set the Cowboys’ file for factors in a season and missed simply three discipline purpose makes an attempt and three PATs throughout the common season. Now that’s daring. — Todd Archer

Stat to know: Dallas’ Micah Parsons and San Francisco’s Nick Bosa know a factor or two about getting after the quarterback. Parsons led all defenders throughout the common season with 74 pressures, whereas Bosa ranked third with 58. And Parsons led all edge defenders in go rush win fee this season (30.4%), whereas Bosa ranked ninth (21.5%). Bosa topped the NFL in sacks with 18.5, whereas Parsons was seventh (13.5).



Woody downplays additional relaxation for 49ers: ‘Nobody cares!’

Damien Woody and Bart Scott suppose that the remainder disparity between the Cowboys and 49ers will not play a job of their divisional matchup.

Bowen’s game-plan key: Can Dallas get quarterback Dak Prescott to the perimeters? I actually like the concept of Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore scheming extra play-action and boot ideas. This season, together with final week’s wild-card recreation, San Francisco has allowed 8.1 yards per try on play-action throws and seven.9 yards per try on boot play-action. Both rank twenty second within the league. Read extra at ESPN+.

Injuries: Cowboys | 49ers

What to know for officiating: Referee Bill Vinovich’s regular-season crew continued its lengthy streak of throwing the fewest flags within the NFL, averaging 10.9 per recreation. That development has usually prolonged into the postseason as effectively. It will probably be examined on this recreation, although. The Cowboys dedicated the NFL’s sixth-most penalties this season (125), whereas the 49ers had been shut behind with 120 flags. Vinovich threw 4 flags for roughing the passer, and just one referee (John Hussey) threw fewer. — Seifert

Betting nugget: Dallas has misplaced seven straight playoff video games as an underdog (2-5 ATS). Its final playoff upset was within the 1992 convention championship recreation in opposition to San Francisco (+4). And whereas Dallas is 13-5 ATS on the highway because the begin of final season, San Francisco is 8-1 ATS as a house favourite this season (8-2 ATS general at residence) with six straight covers. Read extra at ESPN+.

Moody’s choose: 49ers 34, Cowboys 27
Walder’s choose: 49ers 30, Cowboys 28
FPI prediction: DAL, 53.2% (by a median of 0.9 factors)

Matchup must-reads: Prescott rebounds with ‘assertion recreation’ in Cowboys’ wild-card win … 49ers’ Purdy would be a part of uncommon membership with win over Cowboys … Jerry Jones attracts comparability to ’90s dynasty after Cowboys finish highway playoff skid … How DeMeco Ryans of 49ers grew to become prime NFL head-coach candidate … Cowboys signal kicker Vizcaino amid Maher’s woes


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