After a spectacular wild card weekend, we are back with our divisional round picks this week! Here’s how things work: all five of us here at 366 Sports made picks for each game and we took the average of all the picks to decide on an outcome. This is how it played out:
Matt and Jon: 5-1
Dan and Noah: 4-2
We had a pretty strong week last week individually and as a group.
This weekend is a really weird weekend. We have two games that have very large spreads (JAX @ KC and NYG @ PHI) and two games that are closer (CIN @ BUF and DAL @ SF). It’s a weird weekend. Chiefs and Eagles fans should feel pretty confident in their respective teams, they beat the Jaguars and Giants during the regular season. The other two games feel like toss ups.
We’re gonna do something different this week than last week. The playoffs generally come down to three things: Coach, Quarterback, and Defense. If a team has a better coach and quarterback, they generally win. If a team has a better quarterback and defense, they also generally win. If a team has a better coach and defense, they should win – but they opposing team’s QB could elevate their team to victory. We’ll be breaking down all three categories for each game.
Let’s get into game picks!
Jaguars (4) @ Chiefs (1)
Matt: Chiefs 30, Jaguars 24
Dan: Chiefs 31, Jaguars 24
Dylan: Chiefs 34, Jaguars 28
Jon: Chiefs 31, Jaguars 27
Noah: Chiefs 30, Jaguars 17
Average: Chiefs 31.2, Jaguars 24
Coach: Reid vs Pederson – Chiefs win
Quarterback: Mahomes vs Lawrence – Chiefs win
Defense: Chiefs win
Trevor Lawrence hasn’t lost a football game on Saturday since before high school but he’s also never played Patrick Mahomes on Saturday. The Jaguars had a great run this season. But the Chiefs check the box in all 3 big categories. It’s going to take a huge game from Lawrence to win.
Giants (6) @ Eagles (1)
Matt: Eagles 31, Giants 23
Dan: Eagles 27, Giants 17
Dylan: Giants 28, Eagles 24
Jon: Giants 27, Eagles 24
Noah: Eagles 28, Giants 20
Average: Eagles 26.8, Giants 23
Coach: Sirianni vs Daboll – Tie
Quarterback: Hurts vs Jones – Eagles win
Defense: Eagles win
The Eagles are the number one seed for a reason and they only lost 1 game with Jalen Hurts as their QB. Nick Sirianni is a really good football, so is Brian Daboll. The Eagles just have a massive advantage on defense (6th best in DVOA) compared to the Giants (29th). The Giants have struggled offensively all season vs strong defenses. They had a nice run vs a dead Colts team and Minnesota twice – but expecting this offensive unit to outmatch Philadelphia is a tall task. The Eagles are just too strong of a roster.
If the Giants do win this game – which is very possible – they’ll need to play the perfect game. Daniel Jones is going to have to continue to play at a super high level and they’ll need to force Hurts to turn the ball over – even then it’ll still be close.
Bengals (3) @ Bills (2)
Matt: Bills 26, Bengals 24
Dan: Bills 27, Bengals 24
Dylan: Bills 31, Bengals 28
Jon: Bills 27, Bengals 20
Noah: Bills 34, Bengals 31
Average: Bills 29, Bengals 25.4
Coach: McDermott vs Taylor – Bills win
Quarterback: Allen vs Burrow – Tie
Defense: Bengals win
I think this game is going to be super close – like last second field goal kind of close. Josh Allen and Joe Burrow are on the same level in terms of QB play – even if Burrow is currently outplaying Allen. Burrow is going to be missing 3 starters on the OL this weekend though. The Bengals are just too injured this year to make run – which is why everyone here is picking the Bills.
Cowboys (5) @ 49ers (2)
Matt: 49ers 30, Cowboys 27
Dan: Cowboys 23, 49ers 20
Dylan: 49ers 27, Cowboys 24
Jon: 49ers 24, Cowboys 20
Noah: 49ers 21, Cowboys 20
Average: 49er 24.4, Cowboys 22.8
Coach: McCarthy (lol) vs Shanahan – 49ers win
Quarterback: Prescott vs Purdy – Cowboys win
Defense: 49ers win
Are the Cowboys good or is Tampa really, really bad? Has Dak gotten over his turnover problem yet or is Tampa really, really bad? Dallas looked really good last week but the Bucs are really, really bad. Meanwhile, the 49ers beat a better Seahawks team by 18 points, have scored 30+ in 7 of their last 9 games, and allowed 20 or less points in 7 of their last 9 games.
The 49ers are really good at football.