We kick off the NFL playoffs with a tripleheader of great matchups as the Colts take on The Bills followed by a Rams/Seahawks matchup while the prime time encounter will pit the Buccaneers against the Washington Football Team. Here is my look at each of the games with a prediction.
Colts vs Bills 1PM On CBS
This is an interesting matchup pitting a veteran quarterback in Philip Rivers against a tough Bill defense while Josh Allen will be trying to engineer the first Bills playoff victory since 1995 . The Colts will force their defensive game plan to be more blitz happy and that could backfire with the arm and playoff experience of Rivers. While the Bills come into this contest red hot do not count out the Colts who have a two-pronged offensive attack with the arm of Phillip Rivers and the running skills of Jonathan Taylor and that could be the key in this game. If the Colts run the ball well, it will eliminate possessions for the Bills and I see this as an upset special Colts 30 Bills 28
Seahawks vs The Rams 440PM On Fox
This game will be decided on how the Rams could move the ball on a stingy Seahawk defense and they may be forced to do that with a backup quarterback if Jared Goff can not play. Meanwhile, I look for Russell Wilson to spread the ball around and look for Seahawk running game to pose problems for the Ram defense. Seahawks defense will unveil a plethora of blitz packages and I sense they will win the turnover battle making it a tough day for the Rams Prediction: Seahawks 27 Rams 20
Buccaneers vs Washington Football Team: NBC 815PM
Tom Brady has really put the Bucs in this playoff game because he has been given the time to throw and that could be an issue in this contest as the Washington football team knows how to pressure a quarterback. Chase Young of Washington was pretty adamant when he said this week, “Tom Brady, I’m coming.” And he must lead his teammates into the Buc offensive backfield to have any chance of an upset. Brady is 26-7 in the playoffs when being sacked 2 times or fewer while he is only 4-4 when sacked 3 times or more. And this Washington defense knows how to get to the quarterback.
Speaking of sacks, I expect the Bucs to turn up blitz packages of their own to see how mobile Alex Smith really is and that will be interesting to watch.
The intangible here is this Washington had to hear all week they do not belong in the playoffs getting a New Year’s gift from the Eagles and I think that will motivate them big time in this one. In fact I see them beating Brady and the Bucs 24-21 in overtime in this one.
Tomorrow I will preview the Sunday tripleheader as we all get the treat of 6 NFL playoff games in a 48 hour period. Should be a fun weekend.