Throughout the 2021 NFL season, NFL Network analysts will provide one bold prediction heading into each week’s slate of games (see the full Divisional Round schedule).
David Carr: The Rams’ defense forced Kyler Murray into throwing a pair of interceptions in Los Angeles’ wild-card win. The D shows up in a big way again this weekend against the defending Super Bowl champs, picking off Tom Brady three times — an interception total the G.O.A.T. hasn’t hit in a single game since last season’s NFC title bout.
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Joe Thomas: Joe Burrow has been unstoppable since Week 16, averaging 405 pass yards per game with a 10:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 136.4 passer rating in that span. He’s riding high after leading the Bengals to their first playoff win since the 1990 season and continues his hot streak against the top-seeded Titans on Saturday. Burrow throws for 300 yards and three TDs in an upset victory.
DeAngelo Hall: On Super Wild Card Weekend, the Buffalo Bills scored seven touchdowns (five pass, two rush), while the Kansas City Chiefs had six scores (all passing TDs; five from Patrick Mahomes, one via TE-turned-QB Travis Kelce). When these two teams face off Sunday, I predict they will keep the scoring frenzy going by combining for 11 touchdowns.
Maurice Jones-Drew: The weather forecast for Saturday night’s 49ers-Packers game has the temperature dropping into the single digits with a wind chill below zero. That’s why I trust A.J. Dillon to be a huge contributing factor. So much so that I think he will outrush the 49ers by himself.
Nate Burleson: The Bengals have perhaps the greatest deep threat in the NFL right now in newbie Ja’Marr Chase, who had seven TD catches on deep passes (20-plus air yards) this season to set a rookie record in the Next Gen Stats era. That success continues against a Titans defense that allowed seven scores on deep passes this season (tied for sixth-most in the NFL), as Chase records 150-plus receiving yards and a touchdown (off a deep pass from Joe Burrow).
Marc Ross: In what could be the game of the year with two of the NFL’s brightest starts leading prolific offenses, Bills-Chiefs has many folks anticipating another shootout. These teams averaged 60 total points in their last two meetings. This time, though, it’s a defensive struggle, with Leslie Frazier and Steve Spagnuolo each keeping the opposition under 21 points. Ultimately, Kansas City finds a way to get back to the AFC title game with a last-second field goal.
Full NFL Divisional Round schedule
Saturday, January 22
- Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (4:30 p.m. ET on CBS/Paramount+)
- San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (8:15 p.m. ET on FOX/FOX Deportes)
Sunday, January 23
- Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3 p.m. ET on NBC/Peacock/Universo)
- Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (6:30 p.m. ET on CBS/Paramount+)
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