The Wild Card round is officially upon us and there are a ton of exciting games on the slate this weekend. Division rivalries headline the first wave of postseason action with some other rematches looking enticing as well. Let’s take a deeper look at five of the best upcoming games for the first round of the postseason.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Cincinnati Bengals
Despite all the adversity that they had to suffer this season, the Las Vegas Raiders made it into the playoffs. They have a tough matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals in the opening round of playoff action. Cincinnati ended their season with a loss but had some starters resting for that matchup. The Raiders met with the Bengals at home earlier this season and got crushed 32-13. Now, with the matchup being played in Cincinnati again, the Bengals will look to roll again.
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills
The New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills will meet for the third time this year. New England won the first matchup in very rough weather. They met two weeks later and the Bills dominated that game from start to finish. The Patriots haven’t looked great these last few weeks; can they get their mojo back?
San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys
Even though a lot of people didn’t expect it, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Los Angeles Rams to get into the playoffs last week. Jimmy Garoppolo and Deebo Samuel led the way. They didn’t get any favors in their opening matchup, though, as the Dallas Cowboys are their opponents in the Wild Card round. Dallas just dropped 50 points against the Philadelphia Eagles and won by 30 with five defensive starters missing – including Trevon Diggs and Micah Parsons.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Nobody thought we would be seeing the Pittsburgh Steelers here but the Indianapolis Colts lost and the Los Angeles Chargers followed suit. Pittsburgh was throttled by the Kansas City Chiefs just a few weeks ago and the question is can they make adjustments in time? The home-field advantage could also play a factor here, as the Chiefs have been great at home in the postseason throughout the Andy Reid era.
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
The Arizona Cardinals started the year off as the best team in the league, winning each of their first seven games, but finished 11-6. Kyler Murray is a phenomenal quarterback with some good weapons but star wideout DeAndre Hopkins isn’t available to them this weekend.
As for the Rams, they lost their shot at the No. 2 seed by losing to the 49ers. Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp are a seriously deadly combination as Stafford threw 41 touchdowns this season – second-most in the NFL. However, he’s thrown eight interceptions in the last four weeks. He’ll have to avoid turnovers if the Rams are to make a deep run.