AFC Divisional Round Preview – Three Young Guns And A Vet

Eric Urbanowicz
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After a crazy wild card round, the NFL Playoffs head into the divisional round with two match ups that should have fans on the edge of their seats. Starting with the Cincinnati Bengals going on the road to the face the Tennessee Titans, and ending with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Buffalo Bills, the AFC may have the more exciting games to watch this weekend.

The future of the NFL will be on full display as three quarterbacks under 27 face off, with only one being a seasoned veteran. As these four teams fight for their playoff lives, who will win and who will go home?

 

Cincinnati Bengals (10-7) vs. Tennessee Titans (12-5) – Saturday, 4:30 PM

Last week Cincinnati won their first playoff game in over three decades, defeating the Las Vegas Raiders, 26-19. Despite a last minute push by Las Vegas, Cincinnati held on and forced an interception to seal the deal. Now they look to build upon that win.

As for Tennessee, coming off their first round bye week, they to look pick up where they left off. With many pieces finally looking healthy, the NFL gets to see if all the hype that surrounded this team in the off-season was worth it. Either way, this should be exciting for them.

 

X-Factor:

Cincinnati: Wide Receiver Tee Higgins – . With cornerback Kristain Fulton holding down Ja’Marr Chase, this means Higgins will be matched with Janoris Jenkins, giving Cincinnati an edge. If they can take advantage, it should open up the pass game a little more for quarterback Joe Burrow.

Tennessee: Running Back Derrick Henry – Tennessee hasn’t had the best passing attack this year, meaning they’ve needed the  run game to pull a lot of weight. If Henry can’t regain form in his first game back, Tennessee may be in trouble on offense.

Prediction: Tennessee Wins, 27-21. Joe Burrow will make it to the bigger stage one day, but Tennessee is too efficient with their drives.

 

 

Buffalo Bills (11-6) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (12-5) – Sunday, 6:30 PM

After dismantling the old guards in the AFC, Buffalo and Kansas City meet for the second time this year. Last time, Buffalo edged out KC 38-20 at Arrowhead Stadium. That was in October, and not a playoff scenario: how will they fare in a higher stakes game?

 

X-Factor:

Buffalo: Tight End Dawson Knox –  While quarterback Josh Allen will do a bulk of the work, Knox may prove to be a bigger threat than Stefon Diggs.

Kansas City: Safety Tyrann Mathieu – Mathieu was able to intercept Allen twice in their previous match up. The “Honey Badger” is really good at mind games: expect him to turn the heat up to whole new level once the game is on the line.

Prediction: Buffalo wins, 34-24. This should be the game that will propel Allen-Mahomes to Brady-Manning/Elway-Favre levels.

Eric Urbanowicz

Connecticut

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