NFL Wild Card Round Preview
It’s NFL Wild Card Weekend. Is your team playing, waiting, or sitting at home? Either way, let us know your thoughts at Contact@Quartermastersports.com.
Saturday, January 6th 4:20 PM – ESPN
Tennessee Titans (9-7) @ Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
To kick off NFL Wild Card weekend, the Kansas City Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans Saturday afternoon. Marcus Mariota makes his playoff debut for the Titans who barely squeaked into the playoffs. Andy Reid’s Chiefs enter the playoffs riding a four-game win streak.
|KC Pass Offense
||TEN Pass Offense
|TEN Pass Defense
||KC Pass Defense
TyGuy’s Passing Edge: Kansas City
|KC Run Offense
||TEN Run Offense
|TEN Run Defense
||KC Run Defense
TyGuy’s Rushing Edge: Tennessee
TyGuy’s Quarterback Edge: Push
Rongy’s Take: Though DeMarco Murray has already been ruled out, the Titan’s run game shouldn’t suffer without him. Derrick Henry is more than capable of filling Murray’s absence. Regardless, the Chiefs are solid all around and have more explosive weapons on the offensive side of the ball.
Rongy’s Prediction: Kansas City 31-20
Rongy’s X-Factor: Tyrek Hill
Saturday, January 6th 8:15 – NBC
Atlanta Falcons (10-6) @ Los Angeles Rams (11-5)
In Saturday’s second game, the defending NFC champion Falcons travel to LA to take on Todd Gurley and the worst-to-first Rams. The Rams haven’t been in the playoffs since 2004, but Sean McVay and Wade Phillips have the Rams as competitive as anyone in the wide-open NFC. Matty Ice and the Dirty Bird had to claw their way into the playoffs by defeating Carolina in Week 17.
|LAR Pass Offense
||ATL Pass Offense
|ATL Pass Defense
||LAR Pass Defense
TyGuy’s Passing Edge: Atlanta
|LAR Run Offense
||ATL Run Offense
|ATL Run Defense
||LAR Run Defense
TyGuy’s Rushing Edge: Los Angeles (Todd Gurley’s recent play)
TyGuy’s Quarterback Edge: Matt Ryan (Playoff Experience)
Rongy’s Take: The defending NFC Champs versus the upstart feel-good story Rams. 95 out of 100 times, I’d be rolling with the team with playoff experience in Atlanta. On the other hand, Todd Gurley’s dominance over the last quarter of the season is too impressive to ignore. Also, the Falcons are the same team that blew a 28-3 lead. Nothing is safe around those guys.
Rongy’s Prediction: Los Angeles 34-31
Rongy’s X-Factor: Todd Gurley
Sunday, January 7th 1:05 – CBS
Buffalo Bills (9-7) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6)
For the first time in 18 seasons, Bills Mafia is back in the playoffs. Thanks to Andy Dalton and Tyler Boyd, of course. Unfortunately, Buffalo is facing the best defense in football this season, the Sacksonville Jaguars. Further damning the Bills chances is the health of LeSean McCoy, who is currently listed as Questionable. The Jags ended a playoff drought as well. 2007 was the last time they’ve been in the playoffs.
|JAX Pass Offense
||BUF Pass Offense
|BUF Pass Defense
||JAX Pass Defense
TyGuy’s Passing Edge: Jacksonville
|JAX Run Offense
||BUF Run Offense
|BUF Run Defense
||JAX Run Defense
TyGuy’s Rushing Edge: Jacksonville
TyGuy’s Quarterback Edge: Blake Bortles
Rongy’s Take: I want more of Bills Mafia, but Jacksonville’s defense is loaded. Tyrod doesn’t stand a chance, especially if Shady can’t go. Only Blake Bortles can ruin this for the Jags.
Rongy’s Prediction: Jacksonville 28-17
Rongy’s X-Factor: Calais Campbell
Sunday, January 7th 4:40 – FOX
Carolina Panthers (11-5) @ New Orleans Saints (11-5)
In the Big Easy, Cam Newton and Drew Brees meet up in the highest-profile QB matchup of the Wild Card round. The two NFC South foes have already met twice this season with the Saints prevailing in both games. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram have been the best backfield tandem in the league this season and Carolina features one of the best run defenses creating an intriguing matchup.
|NO Pass Offense
||CAR Pass Offense
|CAR Pass Defense
||NO Pass Defense
TyGuy’s Passing Edge: New Orleans
|NO Run Offense
||CAR Run Offense
|CAR Run Defense
||NO Run Defense
TyGuy’s Rushing Edge: Carolina (Cam Newton & Co.)
TyGuy’s Quarterback Edge: Drew Brees (In the Dome)
Rongy’s Take: As a Panthers fan, I’m obviously biased towards Carolina in this one. However, out of the QBs in the NFC playoffs Drew Brees in the Super Dome is the only one that scares me. Cam is capable of anything, we’ve seen it before, maybe we’ll see it again.
Rongy’s Prediction: Carolina 24-21
Rongy’s X-Factor: Cam Newton