NFL Divisional Saturday Playoff Preview By Rich Coutinho @ The New York

Two great playoff matchups tomorrow as teams try to earn a spot in the NFL’s final four. Stars will be all over our TV screens but I will take you inside the matchups and give you my official predictions.

Rams At Packers–435PM FOX

The first game will pit the Green Bay Packers against the Los Angeles Rams and this is a classic playoff matchup between a great quarterback in Aaron Rodgers–my MVP pick in league this year against a Ram defense that is hard hitting, stingy and an expert at producing turnovers.

The connection that Rodgers has with All Pro WR Davante Adams is obvious but Adams must deal with Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey whom I think in the best at his position in the NFL. Coupled with the pass rushing ability of the Rams defense as the duo of Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd put constant pressure on the passing game.

But on this day the Ram defense is facing #1 scoring offense in the league as Rodgers and Adams combined on over 76% of their pass plays this year the second highest rate in the NFL in the last 20 seasons. Rodgers is not as mobile as he was a few years ago but still steps up in the pocket well and his accurate tosses will be hard to defend.

On the offensive side, The Rams MUST establish a running game as Cam Akers must duplicate his great day he had in the first round versus the Seahawks. This is key because it could open up the play action plays which could help Jared Goff get open receivers in the middle of the Packers secondary.

I think this game will be closer than most think but a last minute drive by Aaron Rodgers will send the Packers to the NFC Championship game as they beat the Rams 31-28

Ravens Vs Bills —815PM ET NBC

This is a great matchup between 2 of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL–Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson. For Allen, he must be very concerned about a Ravens defense that blitzed more than any team in the NFL. But Allen deals with the blitz well as no NFL quarterback threw more touchdowns versus the blitz. He did it 17 times this year and that breaks the back of an opponent.

Last week Lamar Jackson became the 6th quarterback in NFL history to rush for more than 100 yards in a playoff game as he ran for 136 yards against the Titans. But to me in this game Jackson must first develop the drop back passing offense which could in turn open up a myriad of running options for him and the Ravens. Wide Receiver Marquise Brown could be a key cog in that plan as well as tight end Mark Andrews whom Jackson has a great connection with and he has the skills to catch a ball in a crowd which could be real helpful on those tough 3rd and long plays.

This game pits 2 signal callers who were members of that 2018 quarterback class. Jackson has faced members of that class 7 times and is 6-1 in those games in which he has passed or ran for a total of 22 touchdowns.

Both teams are red hot but I believe this special playoff run for Lamar Jackson will continue with a convincing 31 to 17 win over the Buffalo Bills

Tomorrow I will preview the Bucs and Saints game as well as the Chiefs and Browns. In my opinion this is the best weekend of the NFL seasons–4 great games with a trip to the Conference Championship Game on the line.

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