(Photo : Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – DECEMBER 31: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs with the ball through the fourth quarter in opposition to the Cincinnati Bengals at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on December 31, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri.
We at the moment are solely sooner or later away from NFL Playoff Football! Heading into this yr’s NFL Wild Card Weekend we now have some thrilling matchups to uncover. Let’s kick issues off with a few of our Picks and Predictions all through these playoff video games.
Panzini’s Picks and Predictions: The Future is Now Old Man
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Texans 24 – Browns 14
For our first sport of the weekend, we now have the Houston Texans internet hosting the Cleveland Browns. This is unquestionably a sport to be excited for. It appeals on many various ranges, headlining each quarterbacks and Cleveland’s prime ranked protection. Let’s begin on the Houston facet of issues and provides our reasoning as to why we consider they’ll edge out the Browns.
Last week we principally witnessed how the Texans star rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud will carry out underneath the pressures of playoff soccer. Well, he did not crack, truly he broke out much more. Starting the sport off sizzling with a 75-yard landing go to wideout Nico Collins on his very first play of the sport and persevering with to play wonderful soccer all through the match. Finishing the sport with 264 passing yards, two touchdowns, and a 134.1 passer ranking.
This sport is vital to take a look at as a result of final week’s match in opposition to the Indianapolis Colts was a quasi-playoff sport, being that the loser was knocked out of the playoff race; additionally, the Texans received it on the Colts house stadium.
This is not to discredit the Browns and what they’ve completed this season, as their protection has been taking part in lights out all yr lengthy and Joe Flacco has appeared to have discovered the fountain of youth. But listed below are the components that we consider will decide the end result. The final time Stroud performed a prime protection was in opposition to the New York Jets, and the Jets made Stroud look each bit like a rookie earlier than he sustained a concussion and left the sport.
So if the Cleveland protection exhibits out, they’ll run away with the win massive time. Now on the opposite finish, Flacco has performed extraordinarily properly with the Browns on this run, placing up tons of passing yards and touchdowns as well. But there’s one flaw in Flacco’s sport, he nonetheless is popping over the ball. If the Texans can decrease Flacco’s manufacturing and capitalize on his turnovers, they’ll see themselves edging this sport out in the long run.
Panzini’s Picks and Predictions: Tip of the Arrow
Saturday, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Chiefs 20 – Dolphins 35
Our second sport on Saturday is huge receiver Tyreek Hill and the Miami Dolphins heading over to Arrowhead to tackle the Kansas City Chiefs. In Hill’s return to his former staff’s house stadium, the Dolphins look to place up a greater battle in opposition to the Chiefs in contrast to final time these groups performed one another. Tyreek had an underwhelming sport after they performed in Germany, however this time round we expect Hill goes to attempt to put a proof level on his return.
Both groups are heading into this sport a bit banged up on either side of the ball, but when it begins to show right into a shootout, Miami definitely has the higher hand in fireplace energy. The Chiefs offense has been slacking the previous few weeks. And actually, when watching their video games, they appear to be too reliant on penalties to bail them out or quarterback Patrick Mahomes to make a jaw dropping play, just for the receiver to in the end drop the ball.
Panzini’s Picks and Predictions: Bills on Parade
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Bills 28 – Steelers 14
On to Sunday, we now have the Buffalo Bills inviting the Pittsburgh Steelers to Highmark Stadium to play. Both groups have had an thrilling last weeks of the season with the Steelers squeaking their manner into the postseason and the Bills main a fabulous second half of the season cost in an eventual coup of the AFC East Division Title from the Dolphins.
Most have a look at this sport as one sided, particularly for the reason that Steelers can be with out star linebacker T.J. Watt; as if Bills quarterback Josh Allen wasn’t already a handful to comprise. The Bills sadly have an issue that they play all the way down to their opponents and allow them to grasp round in video games. Even although they have been on the flip facet of this in opposition to the Dolphins final week, we nonetheless cannot absolutely belief the squad fairly but.
Pittsburgh prides itself on robust protection and sticking in video games lengthy sufficient to grind out a win. But we really feel as if the Bills could also be an excessive amount of to deal with and the Steelers offense will not be capable of match the output of the Bills offense. But even when the sport might look shut early, we will see the Bills ultimately pulling away with the win.
Panzini’s Picks and Predictions: Love to Hate the Cowboys
Sunday, 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Cowboys 38 – Packers 21
As a lot as lots of people would really like for the Cowboys to lose, we extremely doubt they are going to let this one slip. The Green Bay Packers journey to Dallas to face their former coach, Mike McCarthy. McCarthy, who is claimed to be on the sizzling seat if the Cowboys have been to lose, will look to face his floor and defeat his former employer. The Packers come into this sport on a excessive as younger quarterback Jordan Love is proving to be the following Green Bay quarterback for years to come back.
The Packers might have gone on a three sport win streak to shut out the season and a playoff spot, however the Cowboys staff is to not be taken calmly. Wide receiver Ceedee Lamb and quarterback Dak Prescott have been turning up the Dallas offense the previous couple of weeks, and would possibly show to be an excessive amount of for Green Bay. At occasions it has appeared as if Lamb can run any route and get open at will. Love might run into just a few issues on offense, and a type of issues being Cowboys stud linebacker, Micah Parsons.
Panzini’s Picks and Predictions: Motor City Memories
Sunday, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Lions 21 – Rams 24
What shapes as much as be a twilight zone matchup with Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff taking part in in opposition to their former groups. The Rams go to the Lions at house in a particularly anticipated sport between the 2.
Stafford has been main the Los Angeles Rams to a narrative e-book season, making the playoffs in a yr that the staff was considered rebuilding. Goff and the Lions have made the bounce they meant, constructing off of final yr’s late success into this season. Both groups are kind of evenly matched, probably excessive octane offenses and middle-pack defenses ought to equate to an entertaining sport. In the top, we will see Matthew Stafford profitable the sport on a final second drive as he all the time did when taking part in in Detroit. This could be a tragic ending to the Lions season after lastly making it to the postseason as NFC North Division Title winners, however the script would simply be too good to go up.
Panzini’s Picks and Predictions: Philly is Hurts-ing
Monday 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time
Buccaneers 20 – Eagles 24
Finally to cap off the NFL Wild Card Weekend, we now have the Philadelphia Eagles touring to Florida to tackle the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Earlier within the yr, we’d’ve thought the Eagles would manhandle the Buccaneers on this matchup. But now on this state of the season, we now have the Eagles wanting very exploitable whereas Tampa Bay has caught fireplace within the later portion of the yr.
To emphasize simply how reverse the positions of those two groups are, the Eagles have misplaced 5 of their final six video games; in the meantime the Bucs have received 5 of their six final video games. This match can actually lead to both staff’s favor. The Eagles could also be banged up fairly badly on offense however have confirmed to turn into a resilient staff particularly within the playoffs. The Philadelphia protection goes to need to step up with the intention to comprise quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers, who can erupt for factors at any given second.
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