Playoff soccer is not simply upon us anymore. It is totally underway! The primary six matchups of the 2020 NFL postseason are formally within the books because of Tremendous Wild Card Weekend, with six groups advancing and the opposite six packing their baggage for the 2021 offseason. You realize what meaning now, proper? It is time to look forward to our subsequent weekend of January motion.
Beneath, you may discover immediate previews of all 4 Divisional Spherical showdowns, together with data on how you can tune in and an early outlook for every contest:
Date: Sunday, Jan. 17 | Time: 3:05 p.m. ET | TV: CBS
Opening line: Chiefs -9.5
Final assembly: Week 9, 2018 (Chiefs 37, Browns 21)
Overview: Nobody noticed this one coming! After dropping 48 on the Steelers to upset their AFC North rivals, declare their first playoff win since 1994, and snap a 17-game dropping streak in Pittsburgh, the Browns are the discuss of the league. Now they get a fair taller activity: Going through the reigning Tremendous Bowl champions at Arrowhead. The Chiefs are coming off not solely every week of relaxation however a 14-2 season that noticed them cruise to the No. 1 seed regardless of seemingly enjoying at half-speed for stretches of 2020. With coach Andy Reid, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight finish Travis Kelce and wideout Tyreek Hill, they continue to be essentially the most harmful contender within the league.
Early outlook: It is laborious to not respect the Browns, and with coach Kevin Stefanski returning to the sidelines and All-Professional guard Joel Bitonio set to return to the lineup, they need to a minimum of have probabilities to lean on their floor sport once more. However contemplating they scored practically 50 in opposition to Pittsburgh and nonetheless got here near surrendering a late comeback, they will want a near-perfect efficiency — and maybe just a few uncommon Mahomes slip-ups — to win in Kansas Metropolis. By no means say by no means, however the Chiefs have greater than sufficient weapons to power Cleveland to claw out of a deficit slightly than attempt to protect one.
Date: Saturday, Jan. 16 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET | TV: NBC
Opening line: Payments -2.5
Final assembly: Week 14, 2019 (Ravens 24, Payments 17)
Overview: If the Browns-Chiefs matchup is among the most attention-grabbing for the Cleveland storyline, this one would possibly properly be essentially the most entertaining of the bunch. Josh Allen and the Payments are recent off a 27-24 nail-biter in opposition to the Colts, whereas Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are coming off their very own shut win in opposition to Tennessee. At peak kind, either side are able to wowing with their big-play skills — Baltimore within the type of Jackson’s legs, and Buffalo with Allen’s freaky pocket mobility and downfield chemistry with Stefon Diggs. Protection is not at all times the robust swimsuit for both crew, however you could be certain they’re going to deliver splashy performs to the desk.
Early outlook: Oddsmakers are proper to mainly deem this a fair matchup early on. The best approach to boil this one down is to concentrate on the QBs: Which younger signal-caller can seize the highlight? Buffalo’s run “D” is susceptible, which can bode properly for Jackson, Gus Edwards, J.Okay. Dobbins and the Ravens’ secure of ball-carriers. On the flip facet, the Ravens have been feisty in opposition to the go, however Allen and Diggs have related to roll over even high secondaries. It is a true toss-up. If it comes down to creating performs by the air, maybe Buffalo’s the safer play, particularly at dwelling with an additional day of relaxation.
Date: Saturday, Jan. 16 | Time: 4:35 p.m. ET | TV: Fox
Opening line: Packers -7
Final assembly: Week 8, 2018 (Rams 29, Packers 27)
Overview: This can be a comparatively sudden matchup, with Los Angeles in some way upsetting one-time MVP favourite Russell Wilson and the Seahawks to advance, full with quarterback Jared Goff on the mend from thumb surgical procedure. Between rookie runner Cam Akers, dependable wideouts Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, and star defenders Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, they have sufficient expertise to provide Inexperienced Bay a run for its cash. However the Packers are the No. 1 seed for a motive; with Aaron Rodgers dominating all 12 months, they have one of many smoothest offensive assaults within the NFL. They will even be coming off every week of relaxation.
Early outlook: The Rams would possibly truly match up fairly properly if Aaron Donald is wholesome. L.A.’s No. 1 protection is able to flushing Rodgers out of the pocket, and Ramsey vs. Davante Adams shall be a battle to observe all night. The one difficulty: Jared Goff hasn’t proven his once-elite flashes for some time, and even on a so-so day, Rodgers will get Inexperienced Bay in the long run zone. Matt LaFleur can be a greater coach than Sean McVay, which may make a distinction in a good sport. The Pack ought to be sizable favorites.
Date: Sunday, Jan. 17 | Time: 6:40 p.m. ET | TV: Fox
Opening line: Saints -3.5
Final assembly: Week 9, 2020 (Saints 38, Buccaneers 3)
Overview: You simply knew these two groups would meet once more. Welcome to Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees, Half III. New Orleans has owned the Buccaneers currently, successful 5 straight in opposition to Tampa Bay and outscoring Brady’s squad 72-26 this 12 months. The Saints, who’re coming off a 21-9 rout of the Bears, shall be assured after roughing up Bruce Arians’ top-10 offense twice in 2020. However Brady has confirmed down the stretch that his arm is much from lifeless, delivering dimes to all three of his high targets — Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and an emergent Antonio Brown, who helped lead Tampa Bay’s 31-23 wild-card win over Washington.
Early outlook: Everybody and their mom goes to draw back from betting on the Bucs contemplating how these rivals have matched up thus far, however Brady nonetheless gives fairly a bit greater than Brees as a downfield level guard, if you’ll. The query is, can the Saints make life laborious on him for a 3rd straight assembly? This has the makings of a shootout, which implies it could come right down to which top-10 “D” (Saints No. 4, Bucs No. 6) comes up with the crunch-time turnover.