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NFL playoff predictions: Packers and Titans on Super Bowl collision course | NFL

Crew that shall be most missed within the postseason

The Los Angeles Chargers. Further possibilities to see Justin Herbert doing Justin Herbert issues ought to be treasured. Brandon Staley’s facet was flawed – their run protection would seemingly have doomed them in any playoff matchup – however Herbert’s excellence would have balanced the scales, giving the Chargers a shot at inflicting an upset. OC

It will have been extra enjoyable to see Justin Hebert’s Chargers making the playoffs somewhat than the Pittsburgh Steelers (it’s a disgrace their head coach flunked the Prisoner’s Dilemma) however in all honesty, the present NFL postseason format is forgiving sufficient that any workforce that doesn’t qualify doesn’t should. HF

The Chargers and it’s not even a detailed second. It’s a disgrace Los Angeles couldn’t eke out the, uh, tie towards Las Vegas as a result of the NFL world deserves to see Justin Herbert and all his items within the postseason. Between Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, the Chargers have as explosive an offense as anybody, and their protection was beginning to get wholesome – although not wholesome sufficient to cease Las Vegas on third-and-5 in time beyond regulation. Welp. MJ

The Baltimore Ravens. They’re at all times a troublesome out, and their rivalry with the Titans has been one thing of a standing appointment these previous few years. However their loss to the Steelers within the season finale means one other yr of Lamar Jackson having to listen to that he can’t make a deep playoff run. If solely he had been wholesome … AL

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Excessive-seeded workforce liable to going out early

The Dallas Cowboys are loaded on each side of the ball. However the Niners are simply the sort of workforce that may give them hassle. Kyle Shanahan’s offense remains to be working the ball at will. On protection, they’ve one of many highest pressures charges within the league when speeding simply 4 and taking part in protection behind. Dak Prescott is a founder member of the Do Not Blitz membership. The one probability to sluggish the Dallas offense: create strain with 4 pass-rushers. The Niners can try this, and they will churn out yards on the bottom, backing up Dallas’ ferocious move rush. OC

The Tennessee Titans are solely the highest seed within the AFC as a result of any individual needed to be, not as a result of they have been heads and shoulders above the remainder of the convention. If star working again Derrick Henry ends up returning and taking part in like peak Derrick Henry, they need to be a major downside to everyone. If not, a one-and-done wouldn’t be surprising. HF

Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen and the Buffalo Payments launch their run at a primary Super Bowl look for the reason that 1995 season towards the New England Patriots. {Photograph}: Icon Sportswire/Getty Pictures

The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. The 2-time defending AFC champions could make a number of errors throughout wild-card weekend and nonetheless prime the Steelers. Past that, if Patrick Mahomes and co remotely resemble their first-half-of-the-season selves, a workforce that was turnover susceptible and shot itself within the foot with dumb penalties, they might see a divisional spherical exit. The protection has been astounding the second half, however did give up over 800 yards up to now two video games. MJ

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Phrase is that they’re just a little skinny at broad receiver … AL

Darkish horse to win

Once you begin placing collectively the right playoff cocktail, you begin with three issues: A protection that may strain with 4; a quarterback that may create magic on third downs; an offense that may hit three or 4 splash performs a recreation. The Cincinnati Bengals tick all of the bins. There are points on the sides – their linebackers aren’t adequate; the working recreation isn’t constant – however these are playoff desires, dependent on matchups. The Bengals have all the championship wants. OC

Do the Buffalo Payments rely as a darkish horse? Perhaps not initially of the season, nevertheless it appears like Buffalo’s inventory has dropped after practically letting the New England Patriots sneak in to win the division. Nevertheless, the Payments ended the season on a relative upswing. An iffy AFC discipline and a Josh Allen sizzling streak may lead to an unlikely Super Bowl look. HF

Sure, the San Francisco 49ers barely squeaked into the playoffs but when they play like they did within the second half towards the Rams, they will beat anybody. The celebrities should align. Jimmy Garoppolo should play mistake-free soccer. Kyle Shanahan should get inventive with Deebo Samuel’s utilization from the get-go. And the secondary should play the ball of their life towards Dallas and any future opponents. MJ

Have you ever heard? Derrick Henry, the league’s most expertise rusher, is returning to a Titans workforce that locked up the No 1 seed in his absence. Be afraid, Chiefs followers. Be very, very afraid. AL

A very powerful participant shall be …

Joe Burrow. The Bengals have an opportunity to string collectively upsets if Burrow is ready to proceed his latest sizzling streak. The Cincy offensive line isn’t adequate to constantly block playoff-caliber pass-rushes, however Burrow has a manner of slipping and sliding out of strain, of extending performs, and punishing defenses when he does so. OC

Is it boring to say Inexperienced Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who on the very least is probably the most attention-grabbing participant within the postseason? Rodgers has been the most effective participant in soccer on the sector and a lightning rod off it. your repute has taken successful when consultants begin spreading (apparently baseless) rumors that you’ll sit out the freaking Super Bowl. HF

Joe Burrow
Joe Burrow has Cincinnati Bengals followers dreaming of their first playoff win since 1991. {Photograph}: Kirk Irwin/Getty Pictures

Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers hasn’t received a Super Bowl in a decade. He’s misplaced back-to-back NFC championship video games. Nothing to scoff at for a pedestrian quarterback, however Rodgers is in a unique league. With the No 1 seed and a ferocious protection, Rodgers has by no means been as properly positioned to win a title. Whether or not he does may go a protracted method to figuring out his future, which may have a significant domino impact on the league. MJ

QAron (aka Aaron Rodgers). The Chiefs no less than know they will rely on Chad Henne to win a recreation for them. But when the presumptive league MVP goes down? The Packers’ title hopes will fall to Jordan Love – and all of us obtained a glimpse of how that mission goes when the Pack fell to the Chiefs in Week 9. AL

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AFC championship recreation

Chiefs over Bengals OC

Chiefs over Payments HF

Titans over Payments MJ

Titans over Chiefs AL

NFC championship recreation

Packers over Buccaneers OC

Buccaneers over Packers HF

Packers over Buccaneers MJ

Packers over Cardinals AL

Super Bowl LVI

Packers over Chiefs. When making an attempt to determine contenders, you must take a look at the certainties. Two issues are sure in regards to the Packers: In Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams, they’ve the surest connection of any quarterback and playmaker within the league; Rodgers doesn’t flip the ball over. These are sound constructing blocks. On prime of that, you possibly can add a fearsome move rush, versatility at linebacker – which permits them to toggle to totally different appears to be like relying on the matchup – and, if wholesome and out there, a real shutdown nook, the likes of which it’s powerful to seek out elsewhere within the playoffs. There are considerations. Inexperienced Bay’s particular groups unit is a catastrophe of doomsday-ish import; the workforce’s offensive line has struggled in safety for a lot of the yr. However neither of these flaws has been sufficient to offset Rodgers’ precision and lack of turnovers. Inexperienced Bay steal possessions. And after they have the ball, they’ve the surest quarterback-receiver tandem within the league. Of all of the contenders, they’ve the fewest warts. OC

Chiefs over Buccaneers. How a couple of Super Bowl rematch with a unique final result? This season’s Chiefs have a greater protection than the earlier version whereas the high-scoring offense is usually the identical. In the meantime, the division-winning Buccaneers received’t must survive the playoffs as a wild-card workforce. Search for the Chiefs will to dish out revenge in a changing-of-the-guard recreation: an erratic Tom Brady will present his age for the primary time and Patrick Mahomes will clinch a Super Bowl MVP trophy earlier than the fourth quarter has even ended. HF

Packers over Titans. Tennessee will make a valiant run aided by AJ Brown, who has been phenomenal since returning, and Derrick Henry, probably the most impactful rusher in soccer. Sadly for the Titans, they may face off towards probably the most impactful participant within the recreation, who’s manner overdue for a second Super Bowl ring. The Pack have been already well-positioned seeding and expertise sensible, and they’ve a powerful observe file of profitable shut video games this season (5-1 in video games determined by three factors or much less). Add within the attainable returns from harm of left deal with David Bakhtiarti, cornerbacck Jaire Alexander and linebackers Za’Darius Smith, three of their finest gamers, and the Packers are sitting fairly. MJ

Packers over Titans. Once more, if nothing occurs to Rodgers, Inexperienced Bay should not have any downside neutralizing Tennessee’s play-action assault on the way in which to claiming a fifth Lombardi trophy for Titletown. They’ve been the category of the league all season, and their file may truly present it if Rodgers hadn’t missed that Week 9 Chiefs recreation with … you realize. A second ring, and presumably one other Super Bowl MVP nod with it, may not change the dialog in regards to the league’s finest all-around passer relative to the GOAT Tom Brady or baby-GOAT Pat Mahomes. However it might promote Rodgers into that all-time nice echelon simply beneath it – the place Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and co reside. It’s only a disgrace all of it has to finish right here, as Rodgers appears bent on shifting on from the Packers after this season. AL

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