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2022-2023 NFL Divisional Round Predictions

By Christopher G. Hetu

C/O to sportingnews.com


And then there were eight... what a great start to the NFL Postseason last week, as a lot of great matchups in the Wildcard Round and now we hit the next stage in the playoffs. Some games went exactly the way we expected them to go but others not as much. Either way last week showed which teams are truly ready for the next level in this crazy NFL Postseason.


Will the Jaguars be able to march into Arrowhead and compete 60 minutes against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas Chiefs? Are the Giants and the Cowboys for real this season and will we get see a great epic showdown between Josh Allen and Joe Burrow? Either way only four teams will be able to move onto the conference championship, each of them will punch their ticket this weekend. Who's it gonna be? Let's dive in.


AFC


(4) Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8) vs. (1) Kansas City Chiefs (14-3)

Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO

Kickoff: Saturday 1/21 4:30 PM EST NBC

Spread: -8.5 Chiefs

C/O to chiefswire.usatoday.com


Jacksonville Jaguars

The script truly couldn't have been written any better for the Jacksonville Jaguars last weekend when they hosted the Los Angeles Chargers. This matchup was not an easy one however, the Jags came out in one of the worst shapes we've ever seen. Heading into halftime down 27-7 with Trevor Lawerence throwing 4 first half interceptions, 3 of them coming in the first quarter. Everyone had seemingly given up on this team, whatever was said in that locker room, it worked...

The Jags stormed back in the second half, looking like a brand new team out of nowhere. Lawrence threw for 288 YDs, 4 TDs and 4 INTs and each of his touchdown passes were caught by four different weapons on offense. With a great emergence offensively and defensively the Jaguars held the Chargers to only a field goal in the second half. Setting up Riley Patterson for a 36 yard field goal to win the game and complete the comeback 31-30. The Jaguars are without a doubt an on the rise team and they look to make some noise this week on the road in Kansas City.


Kansas City Chiefs

Coming into this season, we knew the Chiefs were going to be one of the top teams in the AFC, except one catch no Tyreek Hill. Sending him to Miami in the offseason many wondered if out with Hill and in with Juju Smith-Schuster would mean a step back in terms of offensive production. Plus the AFC West only got better roster wise this offseason meaning more competition, but boy were we wrong. Patrick Mahomes (5,250 YDs, 41 TDs, 12 INTs) is on his way to his second NFL MVP Award and potentially his second Super Bowl appearance in the last five years.

Despite being without Hill, Mahome's lead the league in passing yards and touchdowns, finding targets such as Travis Kelce, Juju Smith-Schuster and Jerick McKinnon to name a few. Only suffering 3 losses on the season, to the Bills, Bengals and yes I know the COLTS of all teams. Regardless this team is the number 1 seed in the AFC for a reason and they're ready to make another push for a Super Bowl Title.


Game Overview

This is probably one of the most anticipated matchups for this weekends playoff series, as it should. A cinderella like story out of the Jaguars taking on the juggernaut Chiefs and it should be an entertaining one. Expect a lot of passing and high scoring to occur as both quarterbacks have a boat load of weapons to throw to. Expect potentially a Jaguars comeback late in the game but overall the Jaguars simply aren't quite there yet. Going down early against the Chiefs can only ensure your doom and the Chiefs look like they are even better than last season. It'll be a nail bitter of a game but at the end of day the Chiefs will be heading to their fifth straight conference championship appearance and one step away from being in the Super Bowl.


FINAL SCORE: Chiefs 41 Jaguars 31


(3) Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) vs. (2) Buffalo Bills (13-3)

Location: Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY

Kickoff: Sunday 1/22 3:00 PM EST CBS

Spread: -5.5 Bills

C/O to bengalswire.usatoday.com


Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals look to be in full swing after a big win against their divisional rival last weekend, but it was a very tough win to say the least. Playing the Ravens back in Week 18 really showed because Baltimore came into this matchup ready to play. Tyler Huntley put on a solid showing, giving the Ravens a 10-9 lead going into half. The pass and run game were in full swing for the Ravens while the Bengals continued to struggle but stay alive and competitive in the matchup.

Tied at 17-17, the Ravens marched down to Bengals 2 yard line in the early 4th quarter, Huntley fumbled the ball and Sam Hubbard picked it up taking it 98 yards to the house. Putting the Bengals up 24-17 in what would be the final score of the matchup. Despite looking rough in the game and sacked four times, Joe Burrow (209 YDs, 1 TD, 0 INTs) and the Bengals did enough to take down their division rival and now look to take on a very tough opponent in the Bills.


Buffalo Bills

Talk about a tough game last weekend, boy was I so wrong, the Dolphins came ready to play. The Bills lead the game 17-0 in the early second quarter, however some solid drives from the Dolphins, forcing several three and outs pushed the Bills into a tough position. At half time Buffalo lead 20-17, with the Dolphins hot on their tail, the Bills shifted into overdrive. Trailing 24-20, the Bills put together two great drives where Josh Allen connected with both Cole Beasley and Gabe Davis to put the Bills up 34-24 late in the third quarter.

Despite the Dolphins putting up a late score in the 4th, it was too little too late, and several conversions later the Bills walked away with a 34-31 victory. Josh Allen was sacked 7 times in a game where he threw for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Bills had a tough divisional rivalry game themselves but were able to take care of business and live to fight another day.


Game Overview

The moment we've all been waiting for, the matchup that never was back in Week 17 for obvious reasons of course. Being hosted in Buffalo this time around, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow meet for the first time ever, the script could not have been written any better than this! Expect heavy pass as both run games have been rather lackluster and potentially a lot of sacks on either quarterback. But this one should be a very narrow game, you have to like what Cincinnati brings to the table. But after last weeks showing you have to question a little bit, granted it was a divisional rival and the same argument could be made for Buffalo as well. However, Cincinnati had their chance last year and it is now to time for the next AFC powerhouse to make a chance to run for the Super Bowl.


FINAL SCORE: Bills 28 Bengals 26


NFC


(6) New York Giants (9-7-1) vs. (1) Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)

Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA

Kickoff: Saturday 1/21 8:15 PM EST FOX

Spread: -7.5 Eagles

C/O to bigblueview.com


New York Giants

What a game the Giants played last weekend, truly exposing the mediocre secondary that the Minnesota Vikings had brought to the table. The Giants offense was moving the ball the most efficiently I have ever seen them do all season. Daniel Jones finished the game with 301 passing yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions, while also rushing for 78 yards on the day.

Saquan Barkley put the Giants on the board twice and Isaiah Hodgins who was signed late in the season put up over 100 yards receiving including catching a touchdown. The Giants defense played exceptional forcing this high scoring Vikings offense to have to punt the ball away several times and held Justin Jefferson under 50 yards receiving. Wasn't an easy task, but the Giants walked away with a 31-24 win on the road and will continue their road trip to their archival, the Philadelphia Eagles.


Philadelphia Eagles

What a phenomenal season it's been for the Eagles, finishing the season third in the league offensively and second in the league defensively. Jalen Hurts was making an MVP push for himself with over 4,000 total scrimmage yards and 29 total touchdowns. Miles Sanders finished with a career year of 1,269 YDs, and 11 rushing TDs, big seasons out of Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert were others to note. But the biggest piece of the offense had to be the acquisition of A.J. Brown in the NFL draft this year. Making a trade with the Tennessee Titans, they landing the superstar wideout who finished with 88 receptions for 1,496 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns. Despite losing Hurts for two games that were both losses late in the year, this team secured the number 1 seed in the NFC and now control their own destiny here in the 2022-2023 NFL postseason.


Game Overview

What a matchup to witness this Saturday, these two teams will face off for a third time this season. The Eagles swept the Giants in the regular season matchups, back in Week 14 48-22 and then 22-16 back in Week 18. I'd expect strong offensive play from both sides but it'll be a defensive slug fest. The Giants have shown they have something to prove this postseason despite a lack of superstars on their offense besides Saquon Barkley.

Jalen Hurts does not sound like he's completely one hundred percent and that is a key piece of Philadelphia to defeat New York. But I like cinderella stories and the Giants might be making a case to be like the '07 and '11 Giants we saw Eli Manning lead to Super Bowl Titles. The Eagles appear to be pretender's with an easy schedule this regular season and the Giants will stun everyone with a huge playoff upset against the number one seed.


FINAL SCORE: Giants 26 Eagles 24


(5) Dallas Cowboys (12-4) vs. (2) San Fransisco 49ers (13-4)

Location: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA

Kickoff: Sunday 1/22 6:30 PM EST FOX

Spread: -4 49ers

C/O to 49ers.com


Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys put together quite a performance last weekend against the GOAT in Tampa Bay. The Cowboys took full advantage of a Buccaneers squad that limped into the postseason and got much needed revenge from Week 1. Dad Prescott got the monkey off his back, throwing for over 300 yards and scoring 5 total touchdowns on the day with no turnovers.

Despite Tom Brady throwing for over 300 yards, the Cowboys held the Buccaneers to two scores in a 31-14 victory. It was quite a statement win as this was the first time the Cowboys have won a road playoff game in over 30 years. This Cowboys team is one we haven't seen in a long time, and they will hit the road once again with a chance to punch their ticket to the NFC Championship game.


San Fransisco 49ers

Domination...in the second half that is, the Niners have been an amazing squad to watch all season, and they came through once again last weekend. The Seahawks led the game 17-16 but only scored 6 points in the second half as the Niners put up 25. Brock Purdy (332 YDs, 3 TDs, 0 INTs) is having quite the story as Mr. Irrelevant and will likely hold the starting job for not just the remainder of the postseason but maybe even next year.

The offense finally appears quite healthy as both Christian McCaffery and Deebo Samuel finished with over 100 yards in scrimmage respectively. And that Niners defense being led by players such as Nick Bosa and Fred Warner prove this is a Super Bowl worthy team. The Niners once again are making a strong case as front runners to compete for the NFC Crown next weekend.


Game Overview

This matchup will be a rematch of last season when Jimmy Garoppolo led the Niners to a 23-17 victory over the Cowboys in Dallas last season. The Cowboys have not forgotten that loss last year and we'll see a game much of the same as last year. Two of the top teams in the NFC get to clash and this will probably be the most anticipated matchups of the weekend.

But once again, the Niners will walk away victorious in the affair, this team is built to win NOW... and they will be able to dominate the Cowboys in the second half after trailing the game early. High scoring will be the name of the game in this one and it will come down to one simple mistake made by the Cowboys offensively, allowing Robbie Gould to punch the Niners ticket to the conference championship game next weekend.


FINAL SCORE: Niners 39 Cowboys 36


Divisional Round Weekend

There you have it, another weeks prediction all set and ready to go! A lot of exciting matchups to view this weekend, but will all of the ones stated above hit correctly? Which games are you once again excited for? A big showdown in the San Fransisco Bay, a chilling matchup in the tundra's of Buffalo, a cinderella story trying to claim relevance in Kansas City, and a divisional rematch over in Philadelphia!

Be sure to keep an eye out for the conference championship picks next weekend right here on Fans Only Sports Network. Also be sure to check out Unapologetic with Chet and Duffy on Sunday when we cover last weeks playoff games and the ones going currently in the Divisional Round! Follow us on Instagram @chetu98 and @t.j.d See you all next week!


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