The National Football League (NFL) inched ever closer to its season final, the Super Bowl, this weekend, with the Wild Card Playoffs thinning the field from 14 teams to only eight. The next round of fixtures takes place on January 21-22, the Divisional Playoff. Whichever teams come out on top of those games progress to their respective Conference Championship games.
The winner of those? They reach Super Bowl LVII and will be one game away from becoming American Football’s champions.
Kansas City Chiefs are the current favorites to win the Super Bowl for the second time in four years, and it is challenging to find a case against that happening. Head coach Andy Reid guided his team to an impressive 14-3 regular season record, which was enough to secure the number one seed in the AFC side of the playoffs bracket, thus negating the need to play in the lottery that is the wildcard playoff games.
Chiefs Have Home Field Advantage and is the Team to Beat
The Chiefs have home advantage over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Divisional Playoffs on January 21. Having the home crowd behind them should only make things easier for the Chiefs. The Chiefs beat the Jaguars 27-17 at the Arrowhead Stadium earlier in the season, and a similar scoreline is expected in this latest game. Those who like to make Vegas bets online should look at backing the Chiefs against the Jaguars because the Chiefs are far too strong. Jacksonville Jaguars lost eight of their opening 12 regular season fixtures, and only an unlikely run of five consecutive victories saw them clinch a playoff spot for only the second time in 15 years.
The other AFC Divisional game sees the Super Bowl’s second-favorites, the Buffalo Bills, take on last season’s losing finalists, the Cincinnati Bengals. The regular season game between the Bills and the Bengals was declared a no-contest on January 2 after the Bills’ Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during the first quarter. Thankfully, Hamlin survived and is on the road to recovery.
Most pundits favor the Bills against the Bengals, but the Bills struggled to beat Miami Dolphins in the wildcard round. The Dolphins’ offense made several significant mistakes during the game, which ultimately cost them dearly. If the Bills play as they did against the Dolphins when they take on the Bengals, they will not progress to their first Super Bowl since 1993.
Can The 49ers Continue Their Winning Streak?
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You have the NFC teams on the other side of the bracket, franchises that are less fancied by bookmakers and American Football fans. Of the NFC teams still in the hunt for Super Bowl glory, the San Francisco 49ers are the most likely to lift the famous Vince Lombardi trophy on February 12. October 23 was the last time the 49ers lost a game, a run of 11 consecutive fixtures without tasting defeat.
Amazingly, the 49ers have embarked on this incredible winning run despite having a rookie playing quarterback.
Season-ending injuries to first-choice quarterback Jimmy Garropolo and back-up Trey Lance left head coach Kyle Shanahan with no option other than throwing Brock Purdy in at the deep end. Purdy was the very last player picked in the 2022 NFL Draft, earning him the unwanted title of “Mr.
Irrelevant.” The former Iowa State man has been nothing short of amazing during his limited game time, and him winning the Super Bowl would be an epic story told for years to come.
Neutral fans hope the New York Giants make it to the Super Bowl. The Giants won the Super Bowl in 2007 and again in 2011 but have only reached the playoffs once since.
After winning six of their first seven games this season, the Giants only managed three more victories but still managed to clinch a playoff place. They overcame the much-fancied Minnesota Vikings in the last round and take on the Philadelphia Eagles on January 22. If the Giants can clip the Eagles’ wings, there is every chance they could cause an upset and win the Super Bowl for the fifth time in their history, but it is a big if.