Five bold predictions for NFL divisional round: Tom Brady’s heroics lift Buccaneers, Rams make another QB swap


Boys and girls, more playoff football is upon us. The divisional round is here. Eight teams. Four matchups. All in a span of two drama-filled days. And we’ve got just the thing for you ahead of Saturday and Sunday action: Bold predictions!

Can Lamar Jackson upset Josh Allen on the road? Can Tom Brady finally beat the Saints? Can the Browns actually find a way to unseat the reigning champions? That’s what these bold predictions are for.

Here are five to get you ready for the weekend:

1. Lamar Jackson, Ravens stun Bills in snowy Buffalo


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To be clear, we’re not quite sure yet whether Buffalo will actually get snow on Saturday night. But here’s what we are sure of: Lamar Jackson and Co. should be able to run the ball against Sean McDermott’s defense. The Ravens didn’t exactly explode against the Titans in the wild-card round, and we’re still big believers in Josh Allen’s play-making abilities. But something says Jackson’s electricity, coupled with the rest of Baltimore’s ground game, will come up big in what figures to be a blow-for-blow fight to the finish. Here comes another showdown between the 2018 and 2019 MVPs in the AFC title game!

2. Kareem Hunt scores three times in return to Kansas City

The Browns have an uphill battle to beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead, to say the least. Chances are, Patrick Mahomes and Co. will be back in the AFC championship. But that doesn’t mean Kevin Stefanski’s squad will go down without a fight. The Browns are going to lean on their ground game as usual, and that means plenty of touches for Kareem Hunt, who only had one catch against the Steelers — but scored twice. Here, against his old team in the Chiefs, Hunt figures to be just as, if not more, involved as Cleveland looks to hold onto the ball and keep Mahomes on the sidelines with a methodical attack.

3. Tom Brady throws game-winning TD to (finally) beat Saints


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New Orleans has beaten Tampa Bay in five straight matchups. In the last two, Tom Brady has combined for two touchdowns, five interceptions and an 0-2 record. Drew Brees and the Saints, who boast one of the feistiest defenses in the NFL, are thinking Super Bowl or bust. But you know what? Brady has been throwing the ball about as well as he has all year, Antonio Brown has quietly returned to form out wide, and this Bucs offense feels like it’s finally hitting its stride. This game should be close to the finish, but isn’t that exactly the recipe for more postseason heroics from TB12?

4. Drew Brees calls it a career after New Orleans’ defeat

Look, most people expect No. 9 to hang it up at this point, but this would still be major news, especially if it comes right after a Saints’ loss. Brees hasn’t gotten nearly enough respect for his production this season, but he’s put in a Hall of Fame-caliber career. He’s also got a broadcast career locked into place. If the Bucs do knock off his Saints and put an end to his team’s do-or-die run, it’ll be the perfect time to confirm what we’ve all been anticipating, and officially kick off New Orleans’ venture into uncharted waters at QB.


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Sean McVay isn’t revealing whether Goff or backup John Wolford will start against Green Bay, largely because the latter is still recovering from a neck injury suffered early in L.A.’s wild-card win. But here’s the deal: Goff hasn’t been that good, let alone great, for a while. Yes, he’s still fresh off thumb surgery now, but even in the event the Rams “D” plays Aaron Rodgers tough and keeps this thing within reach, McVay’s going to be awfully tempted to turn to either Wolford or, yes, even Blake Bortles to get a spark.





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