NFC No. 6 seed Los Angeles Rams at NFC No. 1 seed Green Bay Packers, 3:35 p.m. CST (FOX, FOX Deportes)
Jared Goff’s thumb looks like Favre’s leg after a game against the Saints. A A Ron Rogers and Jones both look great for GB. Devonte Adams might be the best WR in the game and he’ll have a tough matchup against Jalen Ramsey. Aaron Donald has a broken rib and if he is slowed at all, I don’t see much of a chance for the Rams defense. Even if everyone was 100% healthy for the Rams I would probably pick the Packers. I want to be wrong. I want to come on next week and talk about how I was a fool and the media fooled me into liking the Pack. I think they are for real and they are my pick to go to the Super Bowl. I hate it. It is gross. We have to hope for an upset here, but I don’t think it is coming. I don’t think this game will be particularly entertaining. The QB situation for the Rams is bad and GB will be eyeing Cam Akers and the run game.
Prediction: Packers 27 - Rams 13
AFC No. 5 seed Baltimore Ravens at AFC No. 2 seed Buffalo Bills, 7:15 p.m. CST (NBC, Universo)
Our old friends Stephon Diggs and Leslie Frazier will take on last year’s MVP Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. The Ravens are coming in hot. They won 4 of their last 5 regular season games. After starting slow in Tennessee, their offense heated up and came back in a blink of an eye. Lamar Jackson is as dangerous as ever. He looks healthy and ready to go. Their passing game is sneaky good too. However, the Bills are no pushover. This isn’t the Bills of the 2000s. Josh Allen is a legit top 5 QB this year. He is playing well and he and Diggs seem to have excellent chemistry. I expect a very entertaining game and this is the game I am looking forward to the most this weekend. I have a few things from other teams inside my house that I have received by going to away games and other events. I actually have a Buffalo Bills bobble head that I purchased 20 years ago. They have always had a soft spot in my heart. Probably because I rooted so hard for them to beat the Cowboys in the Super Bowls. I don’t have a good feeling about this one. I think it is going to be a shootout. I hope Leslie Frazier comes in with a plan to stop that potent offense.
Prediction: Bills 34 - Ravens 31
AFC No. 6 seed Cleveland Browns at AFC No. 1 seed Kansas City Chiefs, 2:05 p.m. CST (CBS, CBS All Access, ESPN Deportes)
The Browns finally got a playoff win! Their prize? Patty Mahomes and the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs. Andy Reid has his team playing well after a mediocre start. Mahomes is the best QB IMO. The Browns defensive line is really good, but any team that depends on Sendejo can’t be trusted in the secondary (PFF 42.9 is Viking IOL level). They allowed Pittsburgh to storm back into a game that should’ve been over at halftime. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce likely prove to much for that defense. I don’t see this being a complete blowout though. KC’s defense is ok. The Browns offense looked good against the Steelers and if they can continue to play well, they can put up some points. It likely won’t be enough, but I am looking forward to seeing Baker Mayfield play again. They have had some COVID issues and they have only 6 days between games. We’ll see if their OL can recover after quite a few injuries against the Steelers. I expect Stefanski to come in with a good game plan.
Prediction: Chiefs 30 - Browns 20
NFC No. 5 seed Tampa Bay Buccaneers at NFC No. 2 seed New Orleans Saints, 5:40 p.m. CST (FOX, FOX Deportes)
The matchup of the old guard. The ageless Tom Brady vs the very aged Drew Brees. Everyone expects this to be Brees’ last season. Tom Brady will likely be back next year as he has already said. I hope this is Brees’ last game. I dislike the Saints more than anyone outside of Green Bay. I also will take some joy in tarnishing Bill Belichick’s record. If he misses the playoffs while Tompa is going to the NFCCG it will be excellent. I think the Bucs might also have a chance at taking down GB. The Bucs have WRs for days. Antonio Brown looks like he did in Pittsburgh before he fell apart. Mike Evans is healthy. Leonard Fournette is showing why he was so highly drafted by the Jags. This offense is good. However, the defense is suspect at best. They gave up 23 to Taylor Heinicke and the Football Team. I would worry about Alvin Kamara going off like he did against the Vikes on Christmas Day. Michael Thomas is done pouting and ready to go in the playoffs. The Saints still are very talented on offense. Their defense is better than the Bucs. I think Tom Brady will find a way because that is what he does in the playoffs. Tom looks motivated and ready to go unlike last year.
Prediction: Tompa 24 - Saints 20