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The NFC wildcard weekend will have a new, yet (somehow) familiar look to it in 2022. We have matchups that feature old goats vs. new kids on the block, a part three to a division rivalry and a classic throwback to the glory days of the 90s.
Yes ladies and gentlemen this weekend will definitely be a world wind of excitement, lets take a look at the NFC matchups!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4) vs Philadelphia Eagles (9-8) – Sunday 1:00 PM
The Buccaneers roll into the playoffs with a high seed and a bunch of question marks. The defending champs have a slew of injuries and a few new faces filling in those spots. Can Tom Brady and company advance to another Super Bowl?
Philadelphia’s tough running has pushed them into the playoffs. This marks the third time in four seasons they’re playing in wild card weekend. Can the Eagles take Tom Brady down in the postseason again?
Tampa Bay: Running Back Le’Veon Bell – Bell’s running and catching skills could make up for a few injuries on the Bucs’ offense. He can quickly become a target out of the backfield, which Brady has used to his advantage over the years.
Philadelphia: Wide Receiver DeVonta Smith – With injury concerns in the Eagles’ backfield, Jalen Hurts will most likely need to throw a bit more. Smith will have to step up his game and use his quickness to turn short passes into big gains.
Prediction: Tampa Bay win, 30-21. As much as I think the Eagles will execute their game plan, I can’t see them advancing past the Bucs.
Dallas Cowboys (12-5) vs San Francisco 49ers (10-7) – Sunday 4:30 PM
When the 49ers and Cowboys play the game has a classic feel to it. There was a time when these two teams used to play each other and the winner would be heading to the Super Bowl. This match up might not be for all the marbles, but it’s huge nonetheless.
Dallas can put up points in bunches, leading the NFL in scoring. San Francisco has big play capabilities all over the field and they’re riding a hit streak coming into the playoff. This should be one of the better matchups of the weekend.
San Francisco: Running Back Elijah Mitchell – San Francisco establishing a rushing attack will keep them balanced on offense and Dallas off the field. Mitchell should get plenty of carries and his production could determine the outcome of this game.
Dallas: Tight End Dalton Schultz – Dallas has an array of wide receivers and the 49ers will have their defense focused on stopping them. Shultz should have a lot of room to work the middle of the field and make some big plays.
Prediction: San Francisco wins, 31-27. I think the 49ers has everything that’s needed to win the Super Bowl outside of a top quarterback.
Los Angeles Rams (12-5) vs Arizona Cardinals (11-6) – Monday 8:15 PM
The Rams have done everything conceivable to make a playoff run. They made a bunch of trades and kept a core of players that have had playoff success. Sean McVay has accomplished everything in this league except winning a title.
Arizona was the talk of the NFC for most of the season. A late losing streak knocked them off of their pedestal and made them a road team with double digit wins. Will the Cardinals knock that bad taste out of their mouth and advance past the wild card round?
Arizona: Safety Budda Baker – Baker will have his hands full with the high powered Rams’ offense. Arizona will need his help in coverage and maybe even need him to force a turnover if they want to have a chance in this one.
Los Angeles: Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. – Beckham Jr. was acquired by the Rams to make big plays and score touchdowns. With most of the defense focusing on Cooper Kupp, Beckham needs to exploit one-on-one matchups in the Cardinals’ secondary.
Prediction: Los Angeles wins, 28-23. This game is the ultimate rubber match, with both teams beating the other in the regular season. Home field could be the difference here.