NFL Divisional Playoffs Game Previews

EIGHT TEAMS REMAIN STANDING

AS NFL ENTERS DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS​

Playoff football is a harmonious symphony, and the volume is about to rise.

The NFL has reached the Divisional stage of the 2020 playoffs and the two conferences have distinctly different personalities.

In the AFC, the average age of the four starting quarterbacks on gameday will be 24 years and 345 days, marking a single conference’s youngest group of starting quarterbacks in the Divisional round of the playoffs in NFL history.

The NFC, meanwhile, features three of the most prolific quarterbacks in league annals. Tampa Bay’s TOM BRADY (six Super Bowl wins), New Orleans’ DREW BREES (one) and Green Bay’s AARON RODGERS (one) have combined for eight Super Bowl victories, more than any group of starting quarterbacks ever in a single conference’s Divisional round.

Kicking off the weekend on Saturday (4:35 PM ET, FOX/FOX Deportes), the LOS ANGELES RAMS and the NFL’s No. 1-ranked scoring defense (18.5 points allowed per game) travel to meet the league leader in scoring offense (31.8 points scored per game), Rodgers and the GREEN BAY PACKERS.

Then, two of the league’s most electrifying young players square off in Western New York on Saturday (8:15 PM ET, NBC/Universo), when LAMAR JACKSON and the BALTIMORE RAVENS travel to clash with JOSH ALLEN and the BUFFALO BILLS.

BAKER MAYFIELD, like Jackson and Allen a member of the NFL Draft Class of 2018, leads the CLEVELAND BROWNS into Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday (3:05 PM ET, CBS/CBS All Access/ESPN Deportes) to square off against PATRICK MAHOMES and the defending Super Bowl champion KANSAS CITY CHIEFS.

And in the crescendo, the two ageless quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes in NFL history – Brady (581) and Brees (571) – face off when the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS travel to face the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6:40 PM ET, FOX/FOX Deportes).

The Divisional playoff schedule:

Saturday, January 16

NFC:    4:35 PM (ET)     Los Angeles Rams (11-6) at Green Bay Packers (13-3) (FOX, FOX Deportes) 

AFC:    8:15 PM (ET)     Baltimore Ravens (12-5) at Buffalo Bills (14-3) (NBC, Universo) 

Sunday, January 17

AFC:    3:05 PM (ET)     Cleveland Browns (12-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (14-2)

(CBS, CBS All Access, ESPN Deportes)

NFC:    6:40 PM (ET)     Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-5) at New Orleans Saints (13-4) (FOX, FOX Deportes)

A look at the four games in the Divisional round of the 2020 NFL playoffs:

LOS ANGELS RAMS (11-6) at GREEN BAY PACKERS (13-3)

Saturday, FOX/FOX Deportes, 4:35 PM ET      

  • Green Bay is playing a postseason game in a 34th season, surpassing the DALLAS COWBOYS (33 postseasons) for the most in NFL history. With a victory, the Packers would tie the PITTSBURGH STEELERS (36 postseason wins) for the second-most postseason wins in league annals, trailing only the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (37).
  • Under head coach MATT LAFLEUR, who took the team’s reins in 2019, the Packers have won 13-or-more games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1996-97, when they advanced to Super Bowls XXXI and XXXII.
  • LaFleur, who worked with Rams head coach SEAN MCVAY in both Washington and Los Angeles, has 26 regular-season wins, surpassing STEVE MARIUCCI (25, 1997-98) for the second-most by an individual in his first two seasons as an NFL head coach in league history. Only GEORGE SEIFERT (28, 1989-90) has more.
  • Green Bay led the NFL with 31.8 points per game, the second-highest total in franchise history (35.0 points per game in 2011), and paced the league by scoring touchdowns on 80 percent (48 of 60) of its red-zone possessions.
  • The Rams allowed the fewest points per game (18.5), fewest yards per game (281.9), fewest passing yards per game (190.7), and ranked second in sacks (53) in the NFL this season.
  • In the Rams’ 30-20 Wild Card win at Seattle, running back CAM AKERS registered 176 scrimmage yards (131 rushing, 45 receiving), third among rookies in postseason history. Only Washington’s TIMMY SMITH (213 in Super Bowl XXII on Jan. 31, 1988) and the Houston Oilers’ BILLY CANNON (178 on Jan. 1, 1961) had more. Akers’ 131 rushing yards were eighth-most among rookies in NFL postseason history.
  • Rams defensive lineman AARON DONALD, who had two sacks in his team’s Wild Card win, tied for second in the league with 13.5 sacks in 2020 and became the fourth player since 1982 with at least eight sacks in each of his first seven seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers DERRICK THOMAS and REGGIE WHITE, as well as DEMARCUS WARE.
  • Donald has 85.5 sacks in his first seven seasons and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer DERRICK THOMAS (85) for the most sacks by a player in his first seven seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.
  • Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS led the NFL with a career-high 48 touchdown passes this season, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (48 touchdown passes in 1984) for the fifth-most touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history.
  • Rodgers led the NFL with a 121.5 passer rating, the second-highest single-season mark by a quarterback in NFL history, trailing only his 122.5 rating in 2011.
  • Rodgers enters Saturday’s game having thrown a touchdown pass in 14 consecutive postseason games.
  • Packers wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS led the NFL with 18 touchdown receptions, tied for the third-most touchdowns by a wide receiver in a single-season in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers RANDY MOSS (23 touchdowns in 2007) and JERRY RICE (23 touchdowns in 1987) had more.

BALTIMORE RAVENS (12-5) at BUFFALO BILLS (14-3)

Saturday, NBC/Universo, 8:15 PM ET

CLEVELAND BROWNS (12-5) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (14-2)

Sunday, CBS/CBS All Access/ESPN Deportes, 3:05 PM ET

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (12-5) at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (13-4)

Sunday, FOX/FOX Deportes, 6:40 PM ET

GAME PREVIEWS COURTESY NFLmedia.com

Posted in NFL
RELATED ARTICLES
NFL Week 7 Preview
4 days ago
NFL News Week 5
2 weeks ago
NFL Week 4 Preview
3 weeks ago
NFL Week 3 Preview
1 month ago
NFL News
1 month ago
1ST & GOAL Week 3
2 months ago
Solheim Cup News
2 months ago
Solheim Cup News
2 months ago
Solheim Cup News
2 months ago
Toronto Blue Jays 8/11 Roster Moves