Bold predictions for the NFL divisional round
All away teams win
Ok, let’s get freaky. Who’s to say all the away teams this weekend can’t win? The 49ers have had more recent success in the playoffs than the Packers, the Bills beat the snot out of the Chiefs earlier in the season, the Rams looked marvelous against the Cardinals, and the Bengals’ offense looks unstoppable.
I think this would be great for the league, too. Just imagine the Bengals and Bills representing the AFC in the championship game for a minute. Two fanbases that have been through much would get to see their young quarterbacks battle it out for a trip to the Super Bowl.
And in the NFC, seeing Matthew Stafford potentially on the doorstep of a Super Bowl appearance would be awesome. I think he’s been underrated his entire career, so seeing him have that success would be awesome.
During the Wild Card weekend, only one away team won: the San Francisco 49ers. I think it’s very possible that all away teams win this weekend. There are solid arguments to be made for each team, and since Wild Card weekend wasn’t super competitive, perhaps this weekend is different.
In the NFC especially, I like the away team’s coaches much better. Both Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay might be in a tier of their own in terms of acumen and game planning.
As for Bruce Arians, I think it’s clear his team’s success is because of Tom Brady, and Matt LaFleur hasn’t really shown us much in the playoffs, and I also tend to think his team is too Aaron Rodgers-heavy.
We’ll see what happens this weekend, but I would expect some fireworks in the unpredictable NFL.