One more season in NFL it is coming to its end. The 18 weeks of the regular season flew by and now we are in the stage of win or die, the Wild Card Round of the National Football League it will give us division games, titanic rivalries and teams thirsty for revenge.
Before analyzing each game, let’s remember the teams that won the first seed in the American Conference (AFCfor its acronym in English) and the National Conference (NFC), teams that bye the first week of the playoffs.
Los Chiefs of Kansas City they capped another season at the top of the AFC with a 14-3 record and AFC West champions for the seventh consecutive time. hand in hand Patrick Mahomeswho finished 18 weeks as the NFL’s leading passer with 5,250 yards, is shaping up to be a serious candidate to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy.
On the other hand, in the National Conference there are the Philadelphia Eagles who dominated the NFC East for the first time since 2019 with a 14-3 record. Division that contributes 3 teams in the playoffs and that celebrates 18 seasons without repeating a consecutive winner since these same Eagles won 4 consecutive division titles between 2001 and 2004.
Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers, Pete Carroll frente a Kyle Shanahan
Once again these squads that share the West of the National face each other. Both teams have met 49 times counting the two occasions this season where the San Francisco 49ers they won at home in week 2 (25-7) and away in week 15 (21-13) at the Seattle Seahawks.
However, in the postseason the balance is in favor of Pete Carroll’s team, the only precedent that exists was in the game for the NFC Championship in 2013 when the “Seahawks” beat the “Niners” 23-17 in the CenturyLink Field.
San Francisco comes to this meeting as NFC West champion for the first time since 2019 with a 13-4 record and 10 consecutive victories, the last loss for Kyle Shanahan’s team was against the Chiefs of Kansas City (43-22) on October 23, 2022.
From the hand of “Mr. irrelevant”, Brock PrudyThe last pick in the 2022 Draft and who has commanded the 49ers since Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury, has won each of his first 4 NFL starts, becoming the fourth rookie quarterback to do so since signing. openings for the first time in 1950.
He joins Ben Roethlisberger (2004), Phil Simms (1979) and Mike Kruczek (1976) on that list.
On the other hand, Seattle got into the playoffs with the help of the Detroit Lions by beating the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. Will coach Pete Carroll have enough to break down the 49ers defensive wall?
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, the redemption of Doug Pederson
It would not be a surprise to see the coach Doug Pederson being named Coach of the Year. Pederson went from having one of the worst records in the NFL (3-7) with the Jacksonville Jaguars making the playoffs and winning the AFC South for the first time since 2017 with a 9-8 record.
This young rivalry has faced each other 13 times with the balance in favor of los angeles chargers with 9 victories, while the “Jags” only with 4. The last time they met was in Week 3 of this regular season that just ended with the victory of Doug Pederson’s team (38-10).
Trevor Lawrence vs. Justin Herbert, quarterbacks with enough arm to give us a game full of passing attack. Herbert had 4,739 yards to become the second-best passer in the league, while Lawrence ranked ninth with 4,113.
For the playoff game, according to the main Las Vegas sportsbooks, the Chargers start as 1.5-point favorites.
Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills, a historic series that Miami dominates
The Dolphins and the Bills meet again for the third time this season with a victory for each side. On September 25, in the activity of Week 3, Miami beat Buffalo 21-19 and in the rematch, in Week 15, Sean McDermott’s team beat the “Fins” 32-20.
The Bills clinched the AFC East title for the third straight year with a 13-3 record. On the other hand, the Miami Dolphins they concluded the season 9-8 and clinched their ticket to the postseason in the final week of the season by defeating the Jets 11-6.
This historic series in the NFL is dominated by Miami with a record of 66 wins, 55 losses and one tie. However, in the postseason they have met four times with a favorable balance for the Bills with 3 wins and a single loss. All 4 games happened in the 90s.
Two Wild Card Round games (1995 and 1998), one Divisional Round (1990) and one AFC Championship Game (1992). The only win for the “Fins” was in the 1998 playoffs at home.
Throughout this year it has become clear that Miami can not carburete without its star quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. In case he arrives healthy for the Wild Card Round game he will be a danger to the Bills defense, otherwise they will have little chance of winning.
In Las Vegas they favor Buffalo by 10 points, will Mike McDaniel’s squad have the key to stop Josh Allen?
New York Giants vs Minnesota Vikings, the moment of the “Vikes” to show that they are not overrated
Throughout the year the Vikings as a whole have shown that their 13-4 winning record and their NFC North title are deceptive. During the 18 weeks of the regular season, his defense was a mess and it was clear in the 4 losses he had: 40 points against Dallas, 24 against Philadelphia, 34 against Detroit and 41 against Green Bay.
The “Vikes” finished in position 30 allowing 25.1 points per game with 427 total units received in 17 games.
On the other hand, there are the Giants of coach Brian Daboll, a candidate for Coach of the Year, who turned this franchise into a winning and competitive team. He went 9-7-1 this year and advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
The history of this series is dominated by the Giants with 18 wins and 12 losses, of which 3 have been in the postseason. The last time they met on the gridiron was in Week 16 with the Vikings’ 27-24 victory in Minneapolis.
The last time they met in the playoffs was in the year 2000 with a humiliation of the New Yorkers to those of Minneapolis 41-0. The other two postseason matchups were in 1993 and 1997, the Giants won the first (17-10) and lost the second (23-22).
Can the Vikings show that they are serious candidates to reach the Super Bowl?
Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals
Like the game between Miami and Buffalo, it is the third time this year that the Ravens and Bengals have met. They met last Sunday and the Cincinnati beat Baltimore 27-16 to clinch the AFC North title for the second straight year.
The tough rivalry that exists between the two teams was divided this season with one win per side, however, the Ravens dominate the series with 28 wins and 26 losses. They have never met in the postseason.
The pace of Baltimore’s offense will depend on the presence of Lamar Jacksonthat it is still unknown if he will play the Super Wild Card Weekend. The quarterback has missed 4 games with a shoulder injury and the offense has shown that he has a dependency on the University of Louisville quarterback.
The Bengals start as favorites next Sunday by 6 points.
Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dak vs Tom Brady
They see each other again Dak Prescott y Tom Brady on the grills. The last time they met was in Week 1 when the Bucs defeated the Dallas Cowboys 19-3. Brady has a 7-0 record when he faces the Lone Stars.
On the other hand, the Cowboys dominate the series against the Buccaneers, in 21 games they have won 15 and lost 6. Dallas reaches the playoffs with a scandalous defeat on the last day against the Washington Commanders and leaving many doubts with their quarterback. Dak Prescott has been intercepted on at least one occasion in the last 7 games.
Tampa Bay became champion of the most mediocre division in the NFL, the NFC South, as with a losing record of 8-9 they conquered said title and managed to secure their place in the postseason in Week 17.
Regardless of the stats and numbers, you can never take Tom Brady off the table when it comes to the postseason.
Wild Card Round Dates and Times
Games on Saturday, January 14:
– Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers.
Place: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California.
Time: 15:30 pm Mexico time.
– Los Angeles Chargers vs Jacksonville Jaguars.
Lugar: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida.
Time: 19:15 pm Mexico time.
Games on Sunday, January 15:
– Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills.
Lugar: Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, Nueva York.
Time: 12:00 pm Mexico time.
– New York Giants vs Minnesota Vikings.
Lugar: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Time: 15:30 Mexico time.
– Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals.
Lugar: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Time: 19:15 pm Mexico time.
Game on Monday, January 16:
– Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Place: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida.
Time: 19:15 pm Mexico time.