NFL Playoff First Thought Predictions, Lines, Bracket, Super Bowl Pick

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Playoff First Thought Predictions, Lines, Bracket, Super Bowl Pick

College Football Predictions

NFL Playoff First Thought Predictions, Lines, Bracket, Super Bowl Pick

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2022 NFL Playoffs Wild Card Round: Sunday, Monday

NFC: 7 Philadelphia Eagles at 2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday, January 16
FOX, 1:15 pm
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Seriously, how healthy is Tampa Bay? The team might be on a streak of seven wins in the last eight games, and the offense figured it out against Carolina to close things out and move up to the two spot, but there are a whole lot of banged up parts. Here’s the thing though … the run defense.

Philadelphia has to run to win, it was held to 100 yards in the 28-22 home loss back in Week 6, and it’s not about to go off against the best run D in the NFL. That, and Tom Brady isn’t getting bounced out in the first round.

Knee-Jerk No Research Prediction: Tampa Bay 34, Philadelphia 20
Early Line No-Look Guess: Tampa Bay -9.5
Actual Line: COMING, o/u: COMING


NFC: 6 San Francisco 49ers at 3 Dallas Cowboys

Sunday, January 16
CBS/Paramount+/AmazonPrime/Nickelodeon, 4:40 pm
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Can Dallas stay hot? The offense leads the NFL in yards and points, it was breathtaking against both Philadelphia and Washington over the last three weeks – hanging 56 and 51, respectively – and now the pressure is on against a San Francisco team that has a way of never losing its head.

The 49ers make this very, very tough with a as quiet a downfield passing game as any in the league – Deebo Samuel makes a lot of noise, though – to go along with a defense that has a way of holding up when absolutely needed. It held up well against the high-powered Bengal, Ram, and Viking offenses over the second part of the season, but the Cowboys will barely survive with their own D making up for a shaky day from the O.

Knee-Jerk No Research Prediction: Dallas 23, San Francisco 20
Early Line No-Look Guess: Dallas -5.5
Actual Line: COMING, o/u: COMING


AFC: 7 Pittsburgh vs 2 Kansas City

Sunday, January 16
NBC/Peacock, 8:15 pm
GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: No one’s going to give the Steelers any prayer of hanging around considering they slipped in – more like the Colts choked their way out – and lost 36-10 in Arrowhead in Week 15.

And everyone will be right.

The Steelers will come out fired up, Kansas City will be a little sleepy to start, and it’ll seem like a shocker might be in the works after the first quarter, and then the Chief running game will settle things down and the Patrick Mahomes and the passing attack will follow.

Knee-Jerk No Research Prediction: Kansas City 34, Pittsburgh 16 
Early Line No-Look Guess: Kansas City -11.5
Actual Line: COMING, o/u: COMING


NFC: 5 Arizona Cardinals at 4 Los Angeles Rams

Monday, January 17
ESPN/ESPN2/ABC/ESPN+, 8:15 pm
SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Yeah, good luck trying to figure out the flakiest of the two flaky-great teams in this tournament.

It was Arizona’s world in a 7-0 start, but it couldn’t figure out how to win home games – it beat the Rams on the road in Week 4 and lost in Glendale in Week 13. It closed losing four of its last five.

The Rams were rolling with five straight wins, but they gagged away a halftime lead for the first time in the Sean McVay era in the overtime loss to San Francisco with the high-powered offense inexplicably stalling. That loss might be a plus, though – the LA defense is going to be plenty ticked after the way the 49er game ended.

Knee-Jerk No Research Prediction: Los Angeles Rams 26, Arizona 23
Early Line No-Look Guess: Los Angeles Rams -6.5
Actual Line: COMING, o/u: COMING

NFL Playoff First Thought Predictions
Wild Card: Saturday | Wild Card: Sunday
Divisional Round: NFC | AFC
Conference Championships
Super Bowl Prediction

NEXT: 2022 NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Early Predictions

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