FOX Sports Betting Analyst
The divisional spherical has come to a detailed. With solely 4 groups left within the NFL playoffs, how do I rank my favorites to win the Super Bowl?
Here are final week’s rankings. After a turbulent weekend, lots has modified.
1: Cincinnati Bengals
I’m responsible, identical to most who cowl the NFL, of not respecting the Bengals’ probabilities to return to the AFC championship recreation after they gained the convention final season. But right here they’re, getting ready to face Kansas City as soon as once more after dominating the Bills in Buffalo. The Bengals beat up the Bills within the trenches, even with out three beginning offensive linemen. I can not clarify why the Bengals offense continues to work with out their beginning offensive line. Their operating recreation was higher right now than it was final week. Joe Burrow continues to be Joe Cool. That dude makes each single throw that is wanted, avoids strain within the pocket with ease and is prepared for each state of affairs. The Bengals protection continues to be criminally underrated. They pressured, hit and disrupted Josh Allen all recreation. It was the Bills’ lowest scoring output of the season.
The Bengals completely need to be the favourite in Kansas City this weekend. They’ve crushed the Chiefs three straight instances, together with final season on this actual recreation. This Bengals workforce is extra well-rounded, being higher on protection and particular groups. The Bengals don’t make crippling errors, have horrible turnovers or unhealthy penalties. This helps them towards a Chiefs workforce that may be sloppy. If the Bengals get by the Chiefs, I feel you’d really feel superior about their probabilities to win the Super Bowl this season.
2: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles regarded nice Saturday towards a Giants workforce that wasn’t gifted sufficient for the second. However, elite groups ought to crush weaker opposition at this stage of the season, in order that simply checks a field for me. While Jalen Hurts has stated he is not 100%, it did not present on Saturday evening.
The Eagles offense, with proper sort out Lane Johnson gutting it out, mashed the Giants line of defense. The Eagles protection did its half, together with a line of defense that met nearly no resistance. Things shall be a lot harder this weekend towards the 49ers, however Philadelphia’s offensive line and quarterback ought to give them an edge over San Francisco. The Linc is a troublesome place for the visiting workforce to win, and if the Eagles do win, they won’t face a greater protection within the Super Bowl. They’re a lot better within the trenches than every other workforce left.
Eagles’ Jalen Hurts accounts for 3 TDs in blowout victory over Giants
Jalen Hurts displayed his versatility as he accounted for 3 TDs and 188 whole yards within the Philadelphia Eagles’ 38-7 victory over the New York Giants.
3: Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have the most effective offense left within the postseason, however their quarterback has an ankle damage. Mahomes injured his ankle late within the first quarter towards Jacksonville, then sat out the second quarter earlier than taking part in your complete second half. He regarded off within the third quarter however performed nicely contemplating his limitations within the fourth. He’s going to play towards the Bengals, however how wholesome will he be?
Can the Chiefs offense remedy the Bengals protection, which appear to solid a spell on the high-powered group, shutting them down with a wide range of coverages and high quality pass-rushing?
The Chiefs protection has performed higher of late, with their youthful secondary gamers beginning to present some abilities as they acquire expertise. However, their lack of ability to generate strain with 4 pass-rushers has me apprehensive towards the Bengals. Sitting in zone and never permitting the massive play can work for some time, however except you pressure unfavourable performs, Burrow will simply take the straightforward yards to maintain his offense shifting.
On prime of that, the Chiefs particular groups aren’t particular. They are ranked thirty second for a purpose. They gave Jacksonville brief fields a number of instances and that is a brutal system towards the Bengals.
Lastly, the Bengals have the Chiefs’ quantity. I can not rank Kansas City forward of Cincinnati till the Chiefs beat this iteration of the Bengals.
4: San Francisco 49ers
Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts…Brock Purdy. One shouldn’t be just like the others. And that is what units aside the 49ers. They are probably the most gifted workforce of the ultimate 4 left, however have the worst quarterback. The Niners scored one landing on Sunday, regardless of getting the ball on the Cowboys’ 21-yard line after an early Dak Prescott interception.
Brock Purdy is nice when the offense is on schedule, operating the ball, finishing brief passes and staying out of lengthy third downs. But any unfavourable performs put this offense in a foul place the place Purdy doesn’t have a lot success. He does not make the particular performs that both of the three quarterbacks left within the postseason could make.
“We’re the best in the world:” Fred Warner speaks about 49ers’ protection
Fred Warner spoke with Erin Andrews after the San Francisco 49ers’ victory over the Dallas Cowboys. He touched on the protection limiting the Cowboys offense to 12 factors and being excited to play towards the Philadelphia Eagles.
Now, can the Niners win with their protection doing all of the work? Maybe. Could they maintain the Eagles after which both the Chiefs or Bengals to only 24 factors? Maybe. It’s doable. I’m simply not betting on it.
Geoff Schwartz performed eight seasons within the NFL for 5 completely different groups. He began at proper sort out for the University of Oregon for 3 seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 choice his senior yr. He is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @GeoffSchwartz.
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