NFL Playoff Preview

A look ahead to Super Wildcard Weekend


Photo credit: The Parker Weekly

The NFL playoffs have arrived. Heading into super wild card weekend, here is a playoff preview into each matchup this weekend, as well as insight into the one-seeded Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans.


(7) Pittsburgh Steelers vs (2) Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are heavy favorites playing at home against the bottom seeded Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers barely squeaked into the postseason, clinching a spot in week 18 after defeating the Baltimore Ravens on a last second field goal. The Chiefs are 5-1 at home in the playoffs since 2018, and they’re coming into this game as the hottest team in the NFL, having won 9 out of their last 10 games. This year, Kansas City has one of the best pass rushes in the NFL, which is an indicator that they will try to blitz often against veteran quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers have a very tall order to fill going up against the defending AFC Champions.

(6) New England Patriots vs (3) Buffalo Bills

These two AFC East rivals have been neck and neck all season. The Buffalo Bills barely edged out the Patriots in the race for the division. This game features two of the best defenses in the NFL, and two very promising young quarterbacks. Superstar Buffalo quarterback, Josh Allen, has had an MVP caliber season, throwing for over 4000 yards and over 30 touchdowns. Likewise, Patriots rookie quarterback, Mac Jones, is in heavy contention for Offensive Rookie of the Year, leading his team to 10 wins as only a rookie. Bill Belichick and his Patriots walk into freezing cold Buffalo looking to come home with an upset.

(5) Las Vegas Raiders vs (4) Cincinnati Bengals

The Raiders are entering the playoffs coming off of a huge win against the Los Angeles Chargers, in the NFL season finale. The Raiders won after kicker Daniel Carlson connected on a 47 yard field goal in the final seconds of overtime. For the first time since 2013, the Cincinnati Bengals won the AFC North. Cincinnati has arguably the best quarterback-wide receiver duo in the NFL, with Joe Burrow (QB) and Jamarr Chase (WR). Both Burrow and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr are playing in their first postseason games. While the Bengals are clearly the better team, the Raiders are walking into the postseason red hot.

(1) Tennessee Titans

Half way through the season, the Titans lost their best player, superstar running back Derrick Henry. Despite the loss of Henry, the Titans have manufactured an amazing season. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is having a career year, and he has stepped up leading the offense in place for the injured Henry. The Titans defense has played mediocre, however they have one of the best offenses in football. Any team playing this rested Titans team with an offense that can score at will, should prove to be a very tough matchup.



(7) Philadelphia Eagles vs (2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The defending Super Bowl champion, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are heavy favorites playing in Tampa Bay against the Eagles. While playing against Tom Brady is not an easy task, do not sleep on the Eagles. The Eagles have won 6 out of their last 7 games, and second year quarterback Jalen Hurts is starting to come into his own. Hurts have acted as a dual threat quarterback, beating teams through the air and on the ground. The Eagles also led the NFL in total rushing yards this year, led by the two headed monster of Miles Sanders and Boston Scott. While the Eagles have the best rushing attack in the league, the Buccaneers have been the best run stopping defense in the NFL this year, surrendering only 93 rushing yards per game. If Jalen Hurts plays like he has in the past seven games, the Eagles have a chance to shock the defending Super Bowl champs.


(6) San Francisco 49ers vs (3) Dallas Cowboys

The 49ers are coming off of a huge week 18 win in overtime over the Los Angeles Rams. While San Francisco has a great front seven on defense, they are playing against one of the best offenses in the league in the Dallas Cowboys. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and star wide receiver CeDee Lamb are both having career years under offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. The Cowboys star running back, Ezekiel Elliot, has shown glimpses of getting back to his old ways alongside breakout running back, Tony Pollard. The 49ers enter this playoff affair with question marks regarding the future at the quarterback position. After selecting Trey Lance 3rd overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, many questioned the future of Jimmy Garoppolo, who has been mediocre during his tenure in the Bay. Garoppolo must play exceptionally if his team hopes to compete with the high powered Dallas offense. 

(5) Arizona Cardinals vs (4) Los Angeles Rams

The Arizona Cardinals enter the playoffs having lost 4 out of their last 5 games. On the opposite sideline, the Los Angeles Rams enter the matchup as NFC West champions, winning 5 out of their last 6 games to clinch the division. Regardless of how these two teams finished their respective regular seasons, fans around the NFL expect nothing less than a high-scoring thriller. This NFC West matchup features two high-powered offenses, with two great quarterbacks in  Arizona’s Kyler Murray and Los Angeles’s Matthew Stafford. Additionally, the game features great receiving weapons in Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr for the Rams, and DeAndre Hopkins and AJ Green for Arizona. On the defensive side of the ball, the Rams are led by two generational talents in defensive tackle Aaron Donald, and cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The Cardinals match the Rams talent with future hall-of-fame defensive end J.J. Watt, who is returning after missing time with an injury. With an immense pool of talent on both sides of the ball, expect this to be a premier game in Super Wildcard Weekend.

(1) Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers enter the playoffs as the favorites to win the Super Bowl. All-time great quarterback Aaron Rodgers has emerged as the clear favorite to win his second straight MVP. Lining up 30 yards away from Rodgers, star receiver Davante Adams, is having another All-Pro season. Simply put, the Green Bay offense is one of the best in the NFL. The constant knock on the Packer is their poor ability to stop the run on defense. Many Packers games this season came down to a single score, because the Packers struggled to stop the run. Regardless of how many points the offense puts up, for the Packers hope to hoist the Lombardi trophy, the front 7 on defense has to step up against the rushing game. If the Packers can just hold their own on defense, with an offense like this, expect them to make a deep run into the postseason.