The first predictions, early lines, and quick analysis of the next batch of NFL Playoff Divisional round games.
Well that was fun, but holy (bleep) does this next round of the NFL Playoffs look amazing
Even the blowouts – San Francisco over Seattle and Dallas over Tampa Bay – were entertaining in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs.
It would’ve been interesting to see what the Minnesota offense could’ve done at San Francisco, but getting Giants and Eagles with an NFC Championship appearance on the line is special. Dallas at San Francisco? For people of a certain age, that just sounds massive.
Bengals and Bills? This HAD to happen, and let’s go Jaguars – let’s see that attack against Kansas City (and help me with my belief that Jacksonville might be this year’s Cincinnati).
When our game previews come out – after the news of the week happens and there’s even more of a deep dive – these can and might change, but …
2023 NFL Playoffs Divisional Round: Saturday
Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs
Saturday, January 21
NBC, 4:30 ET
GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
First Thought Instant Analysis: We can’t have another No. 1 AFC seed go out right away, can we?
Kansas City is rested, it’s got the weapons that last year’s No. 1 AFC Tennessee didn’t have, and it should be able to take what Justin Herbert and the Chargers did against Jacksonville to another level.
But the Chief defense doesn’t really take the ball away.
That shouldn’t matter since Trevor Lawrence should be good for at least one big mistake on his own, but it really comes down to this …
How fast can Lawrence settle in?
He’s been so hyped and so amped and so off the last few games that he just needs to get off to a decent start and not try to do a gajillion things at once on each play. That, and he needs to read the Chief defense far, far, far better than he did early against the Chargers.
Lawrence will be good, the Jaguar offense will be great, and … Brandon Staley isn’t coaching the Chiefs.
It’ll be a back-and-forth fight with a ton of scoring and a whole lot of big plays, but this week the Jaguars aren’t going to be able to get over the big run from Patrick Mahomes and company coming in the second quarter.
First Thought No Research Prediction: Kansas City 34, Jacksonville 23
Early Line No-Look Guess: Kansas City -7.5
Actual Line: Kansas City -8.5, o/u: 51.5