NFL playoffs divisional spherical sport picks, schedule, odds, accidents

The NFL playoffs’ divisional-round schedule for the 2022 season is stacked with nice matchups, and we have now you lined with what it’s essential to know heading into the weekend. Our NFL Nation reporters carry us the most important keys to each sport and a daring prediction for every matchup.

Moreover, ESPN Stats & Data offers an enormous stat to know and a betting nugget for every contest, and our Soccer Energy Index (FPI) goes contained in the numbers with a sport projection. Matt Bowen picks out a key game-planning matchup to look at in each sport, and Kevin Seifert tells us what to know concerning the officiating. Lastly, Seth Walder and Eric Moody give us closing rating picks for each sport. All the things you need to know is right here in a single spot that can assist you prepare for a loaded weekend of NFL playoff soccer.

Let’s get into the total divisional slate, together with Trevor Lawrence vs. Patrick Mahomes in Kansas Metropolis, an NFC East battle in Philadelphia, two high-octane offenses going through off in Buffalo and a pair of elite pass-rushers getting after the QB in San Francisco.

Word: New for this season’s playoffs, every group can be assured a possession if a sport goes to extra time.

Leap to a matchup:

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET | NBC | Unfold: KC -8.5 (52.5)

What to look at for: The Chiefs had almost 500 yards in opposition to the Jaguars when the groups met in November, and that is with Kansas Metropolis committing three turnovers and dropping a possession when the Jaguars recovered an onside kick. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes stated he was anticipating a a lot completely different model of the Jaguars this time round, and there is good cause for that. Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell was on the employees of the Bucs in 2020 when Tampa Bay allowed greater than 500 yards to the Chiefs throughout a late-season sport after which shut down Kansas Metropolis a number of weeks later in Tremendous Bowl LV with a very completely different sport plan. — Adam Teicher

Daring prediction: Mahomes and Trevor Lawrence will mix to throw 10 landing passes. Mahomes had 4 of their earlier assembly in Week 10 and has thrown 11 TD passes in his previous three playoff video games. Lawrence is coming off a four-interception, four-TD efficiency within the wild-card victory over the Chargers. It’d take 40 factors to win this sport. — Mike DiRocco

Stat to know: Producing strain was one of many keys to Jacksonville’s late-season surge. The Jaguars had a 38.6% strain charge throughout their five-game win streak to finish the common season, which was second finest within the NFL over that span, they usually sacked Justin Herbert thrice within the wild-card spherical. However the Chiefs led the NFL in move block win charge (74.7%), and Mahomes is No. 1 within the league in QBR (84.7) and completion share (77.2%) when he does not face strain.

Bowen’s game-plan key: The Jaguars have to discover a method to isolate receiver Christian Kirk in opposition to man protection, which the Chiefs threw at Lawrence 66.7% of the time in these groups’ regular-season assembly. Kirk has the agility to shake protection and get open on high-percentage throws. Learn extra at ESPN+.

Accidents: Jaguars | Chiefs

What to know for officiating: Referee Shawn Hochuli’s regular-season crew threw the second-most flags within the league (14.6 per sport). That included 10 flags for roughing the passer, tied for second most within the NFL. The Chiefs have been particularly delicate about roughing calls since a Week 5 name in opposition to defensive sort out Chris Jones overturned a fumble restoration. — Seifert

Betting nugget: Jacksonville is 8-5 outright and in opposition to the unfold as an underdog this season, tied for essentially the most underdog wins in a single season within the Tremendous Bowl period. And coach Doug Pederson is 6-0 ATS and 5-1 outright as a playoff underdog. No different coach has as many playoff video games as an underdog with out an ATS loss within the Tremendous Bowl period. Learn extra at ESPN+.

Moody’s decide: Chiefs 37, Jaguars 27
Walder’s decide: Chiefs 34, Jaguars 27
FPI prediction: KC, 78.5% (by a median of 9.2 factors)

Matchup must-reads: Why Doug Pederson is the right coach for the Jaguars … How Andy Reid saved the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs … Pederson uncertain Jags are ‘cockroaches,’ however they ‘maintain preventing’

Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET | Fox | Unfold: PHI -7.5 (48)

What to look at for: The Giants are available in driving the momentum of a 31-24 upset win over the Vikings within the wild-card spherical, whereas the Eagles are attempting to get again to dominant type after going 1-2 to complete the common season. All eyes are on the appropriate shoulder of Jalen Hurts and the way it will reply to contact. He was not listed on the damage report this week however isn’t believed to be 100% wholesome but. Good buddy A.J. Brown stated the vibe round Hurts is “he’s ready to go, ready to do whatever it takes to get it done.” With the advantage of a pair weeks’ relaxation, count on extra designed runs for Hurts after the coaches stayed largely away from them within the regular-season finale. — Tim McManus

Daring prediction: The Giants will rating a particular groups return landing. It is solely proper on this season of surprises that they get one now. They have not had one but this season — or since 2015 for that matter. Now appears pretty much as good a time as any for no cause aside from they’re due. — Jordan Raanan

Stat to know: Hurts (760) and Daniel Jones (708) mixed for 1,468 dashing yards within the common season, offering essentially the most ever in a QB playoff matchup. It is also the primary playoff matchup during which each quarterbacks had 700-plus dashing yards within the common season. Jones received nearly all of his dashing yards through scrambles (402, third most), whereas Hurts relied on designed rushes (434, third most).



Why Stephen A. thinks the Giants are ‘taking place’ vs. the Eagles

Stephen A. Smith explains why the Giants will not beat Jalen Hurts and the Eagles on Saturday.

Bowen’s game-plan key: Searching for an X issue who might play a task within the Giants’ upset bid? Receiver Richie James has seen not less than six targets in every of his previous three video games, and New York ought to attempt to get him unfastened off the ball in opposition to man protection and let him use his catch-and-run traits to make performs in large spots. Learn extra at ESPN+.

Accidents: Giants | Eagles

What to know for officiating: Referee Clete Blakeman’s regular-season crew tied for the fourth-most flags within the NFL at 14.4 per sport. But it surely threw solely 30 flags for offensive holding, tied for the fifth fewest. That could possibly be of notice for the Eagles, who dedicated the NFL’s fourth-most holding fouls (30), as they attempt to decelerate the Giants’ energetic defensive entrance. The Giants drew the NFL’s fourth-most offensive holding calls through the common season (24). — Seifert

Betting nugget: New York is 17-5 in opposition to the unfold and 14-8 outright as a playoff underdog within the Tremendous Bowl period. That is essentially the most wins, the most effective successful share and the most effective cowl share by any group as a playoff underdog within the Tremendous Bowl period. Learn extra at ESPN+.

Moody’s decide: Eagles 33, Giants 31
Walder’s decide: Eagles 34, Giants 10
FPI prediction: PHI, 80.1% (by a median of 9.9 factors)

Matchup must-reads: Respect for Giants QB Jones is ‘going up’ across the NFL … How GM Howie Roseman constructed the most effective roster within the league … ‘We have now an elite quarterback’: Giants laud Jones after victory … Sanders is having the breakout yr he all the time knew he might … Hurts: ‘Received a bounty on me each week’

Sunday, 3 p.m. ET | CBS | Unfold: BUF -5.5 (49)

What to look at for: The Payments and Bengals will meet in Orchard Park, New York, after the regular-season assembly between the 2 groups in Cincinnati was initially postponed after which canceled on account of Payments security Damar Hamlin struggling a cardiac arrest on the sector within the first quarter. Each groups come into this sport driving lengthy win streaks (9 for the Bengals and eight for the Payments), making this the seventh-ever playoff assembly between groups on successful streaks of not less than eight video games, and the primary earlier than the convention championship spherical. The Payments are 4-0 in house playoff video games below coach Sean McDermott, whereas the Bengals received their two playoff highway video games in 2021. — Alaina Getzenberg

Daring prediction: The Bengals will drive three turnovers. They’ve pressured 11 turnovers within the postseason in 5 video games courting to final yr’s wild-card win over the Raiders. With Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen turning over the ball at a excessive charge, Cincinnati’s opportunistic protection can be trying to bait Allen into dangerous performs. Allen turned the ball over thrice within the wild-card spherical after main the NFL in turnovers through the common season (19). Per Elias Sports activities Bureau, solely two gamers have led the league in turnovers and nonetheless reached the convention championship spherical over the previous 45 seasons (Eli Manning in 2007, Jim Kelly in 1992). If Cincinnati can efficiently create some turnovers, the Bengals could have a great likelihood of returning to the AFC title sport. — Ben Child

Stat to know: Cincinnati receiver Ja’Marr Chase has 9 straight video games with not less than seven receptions, the fifth-longest streak for the reason that 1970 merger (together with playoffs). And Buffalo receiver Stefon Diggs now has three 100-yard receiving video games within the playoffs with the Payments — the second most in Buffalo historical past behind Andre Reed’s 5 — after going for 114 yards within the group’s wild-card win.

Bowen’s game-plan key: The Bengals ought to look to blitz slot cornerback Mike Hilton to generate some strain on Allen. Cincinnati blitzed defensive backs at a charge of 10.7% this season, tenth most within the league, and Hilton could be a disruptor in these spots. Learn extra at ESPN+.

Accidents: Bengals | Payments

What to know for officiating: Referee Carl Cheffers’ regular-season crew tied for the fourth-most flags within the NFL at 14.4 per sport. The Bengals dedicated the NFL’s third-fewest penalties through the common season (95) however have been flagged for seven of their win over the Ravens within the wild-card spherical. The Payments, who ranked No. 19 within the NFL through the common season with 115 flags, received out of the wild-card spherical with solely three penalties. — Seifert

Betting nugget: Cincinnati is 15-4 in opposition to the unfold on the highway for the reason that begin of final season, together with 7-2 ATS this season, 7-1 ATS in its previous eight video games and 4-0 ATS in its previous 4 video games on the highway. And the Payments are 3-7-1 ATS of their previous 11 video games. Learn extra at ESPN+.

Moody’s decide: Payments 27, Bengals 24
Walder’s decide: Payments 31, Bengals 20
FPI prediction: BUF, 65.2% (by a median of 4.5 factors)

Matchup must-reads: Bengals say LT Williams has dislocated kneecap … Miller brings Tremendous Bowl trophy to inspire Payments … Bengals proprietor needs to maintain Burrow for lengthy haul … Untold tales on the making of Payments star Allen … Bengals, Burrow not shopping for underdog tag vs. Payments … Hamlin at Payments facility virtually every day as he recovers

Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET | Fox | Unfold: SF -4 (46.5)

What to look at for: Niners quarterback Brock Purdy has handed each check positioned earlier than him up to now, however the Cowboys’ protection represents the most important problem Purdy and the 49ers’ offense have confronted so far. The Cowboys led the NFL in strain share (39%) and completed second in sacks per dropback (8.6%) through the season. Purdy has dealt with strain properly in a smaller pattern, with 4 landing passes and no interceptions when below duress since changing into the starter in Week 14. How he handles what Dallas throws at him will go a great distance in figuring out a winner on this basic playoff rivalry. — Nick Wagoner

Daring prediction: Brett Maher will make a 47-yard area aim to win the sport in opposition to the 49ers to ship the Cowboys to their first NFC Championship Recreation for the reason that 1995 season. After lacking 4 point-after makes an attempt within the wild-card win in opposition to the Buccaneers, all eyes can be on Maher. And he’ll present the type of the kicker who set the Cowboys’ report for factors in a season and missed simply three area aim makes an attempt and three PATs through the common season. Now that’s daring. — Todd Archer

Stat to know: Dallas’ Micah Parsons and San Francisco’s Nick Bosa know a factor or two about getting after the quarterback. Parsons led all defenders through the common season with 74 pressures, whereas Bosa ranked third with 58. And Parsons led all edge defenders in move rush win charge this season (30.4%), whereas Bosa ranked ninth (21.5%). Bosa topped the NFL in sacks with 18.5, whereas Parsons was seventh (13.5).



Woody downplays further relaxation for 49ers: ‘No one cares!’

Damien Woody and Bart Scott assume that the remainder disparity between the Cowboys and 49ers will not play a task of their divisional matchup.

Bowen’s game-plan key: Can Dallas get quarterback Dak Prescott to the sides? I actually like the concept of Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore scheming extra play-action and boot ideas. This season, together with final week’s wild-card sport, San Francisco has allowed 8.1 yard per try on play-action throws and seven.9 yards per try on boot play-action. Each rank twenty second within the league. Learn extra at ESPN+.

Accidents: Cowboys | 49ers

What to know for officiating: Referee Invoice Vinovich’s regular-season crew continued its lengthy streak of throwing the fewest flags within the NFL this season, averaging 10.9 per sport. That pattern has usually prolonged into the postseason as properly. Will probably be examined on this sport, although. The Cowboys dedicated the NFL’s sixth-most penalties this season (125), whereas the 49ers have been shut behind with 120 flags. Vinovich threw 4 flags for roughing the passer, and just one referee (John Hussey) threw fewer. — Seifert

Betting nugget: Dallas has misplaced seven straight playoff video games as an underdog (2-5 ATS). Its final playoff upset was within the 1992 convention championship sport in opposition to San Francisco (+4). And whereas Dallas is 13-5 ATS on the highway for the reason that begin of final season, San Francisco is 8-1 ATS as a house favourite this season (8-2 ATS total at house) with six straight covers. Learn extra at ESPN+.

Moody’s decide: 49ers 34, Cowboys 27
Walder’s decide: 49ers 30, Cowboys 28
FPI prediction: DAL, 53.2% (by a median of 0.9 factors)

Matchup must-reads: Prescott rebounds with ‘assertion sport’ in Cowboys’ wild-card win … 49ers’ Purdy would be part of uncommon membership with win over Cowboys … Jerry Jones attracts comparability to ’90s dynasty after Cowboys finish highway playoff skid … How DeMeco Ryans of 49ers turned prime NFL head-coach candidate … Cowboys signal kicker Vizcaino amid Maher’s woes