The news site of Glacier Peak High school

The Edge

The news site of Glacier Peak High school

The Edge

The news site of Glacier Peak High school

The Edge

NFL Divisional Round Preview

Detroits+Ford+Field%2C+pictured+here+during+a+game+between+the+Lions+and+Seahawks%2C+will+once+again+play+host+to+a+playoff+game+this+weekend.
Gavin Gardner
Detroit’s Ford Field, pictured here during a game between the Lions and Seahawks, will once again play host to a playoff game this weekend.

With Wild Card Weekend in the books, two new teams are set to enter the fray of the NFL playoffs. The divisional round matchups are set, and after two rather surprising letdowns from NFC favorites, the oath to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl is wide open for the taking. Here’s the slate of games for divisional series weekend.  

Baltimore Ravens vs Houston Texans (Saturday, 1:30 PM) 

The Texans rode a defensive masterclass of a third quarter to a convincing victory over the Cleveland Browns last weekend. Back to back pick-sixes by the Houston defense, including Steven Nelson’s 82-yard grab and go that set the record for the longest playoff touchdown in franchise history, helped bump the Texans’ lead from 10 points to 24 by the time the quarter ended. Joe Flacco and the Browns held momentum early with two touchdown drives, but CJ Stroud and the Texans offense blew the game open near halftime with two quick scores to take a 24-14 lead into the locker room for halftime. The victory is the first for the Texans since early 2020 when they defeated Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round 22-19, just a week before their shocking defeat in Kansas City in which they blew a 24-0 lead in mere minutes. Heading to Baltimore, the Texans will look to avenge their loss from the last divisional round appearance, and their loss from week one of this season.  

For Baltimore, it’s their first appearance in the divisional round since 2021, where they lost on the road against Buffalo. This time however, they enter the playoffs with a bye week under their belt as the AFC’s top seed. After Lamar Jackson found no suiters in the offseason free agency market, it seemed the Ravens may look to move on from him at the end of the year. He’s spent the season proving the doubters wrong, in route to a likely second MVP of his young career. Though Jackson and the Ravens numbers pop off any stat sheet, they’ve never been able to get past the second round of the playoffs with Jackson at the helm, dropping divisional round games in 2020 and 2021. Jackson will look to lead his team back to the AFC Championship where they haven’t been since Joe Flacco brought them a Super Bowl back in 2012.  

San Francisco 49ers vs Green Bay Packers (Saturday, 5:15 PM) 

Last weekend, the Packers became the first seven seed to ever beat a two seed in the playoffs. Jordan Love’s 272 passing yards and three touchdowns, along with Aaron Jones’ three touchdowns on the ground were enough to send Dak and the Cowboys packing. Green Bay was in command the entire afternoon, setting the tone early by jumping out to a 27-0 lead before the half. Dallas got one score back before the break, but 16 of their 32 points came during garbage time. With Love proving he can shine under the bright lights of the playoffs; Packers fans are hoping they have yet another elite quarterback ready to lead their franchise for 10+ years.  

Out in the Bay Area, hopes are high, and excitement is palpable as the 49ers prepare to open their playoff campaign. While the Eagles fell off over the course of the year, San Fran only got stronger as quarterback Brock Purdy continued to develop. The 49ers have stayed (mostly) healthy over the course of the year and running back Christian McCaffery is preparing to make a comeback for the playoff matchup. These two teams have lost the tie that binds them, that being former Packers QB and Bay Area native Aaron Rodgers, but it’s often a memorable affair when these two teams meet up. San Francisco has long been the Packers nemesis in the playoffs, having sent Green Bay home four of their last five times meeting. This weekend’s game with be the NFL record tenth meeting between the two storied franchises, as Green Bay looks to snap the four-game playoff losing streak they hold against the 9ers. 

Detroit Lions vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday, 12 PM) 

The Baker Mayfield redemption story survived another week, as Tampa shocked the league and took down the Philadelphia Eagles. Philly couldn’t get anything going, and Mayfield’s Bucs clicked on all cylinders on the way to a convincing 32-9 victory in front of their home crowd. Tampa jumped out to an early 10-0 lead and never looked back, shutting down the Eagles offense and even finding a way to stop the infamous “Tush Push” that Philly had perfected throughout the season. Now it’ll be their turn to head on the road, as the Bucs go north to take on the Lions. Trash talk between the two teams has already begun, as both squads look to prove they belong among the NFL elite. If you told a die-hard fan five years ago that the Lions would play the Buccaneers in a highly anticipated playoff game, you might get called crazy, but nowadays both teams are legit, and a spot in the NFC Championship game is on the line.  

As for the Lions, they were on the other side of a classic Matthew Stafford performance, as they just survived their former QB’s late rally to sneak out a 24-23 victory. The win had the Lions faithful in tears, as many saw their team win a playoff game for the first time in their lives. “I’m looking forward to the Bucs vs Lions game because it’s Detroit’s first divisional round game since 1991,” Ayush Shah said. Shah, like many others across the country, will be tuned in on Sunday to see if Jared Goff, Dan Campbell and company can continue their march to Vegas.  

Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, 3:30 PM) 

Would it be the NFL playoffs without a matchup between Josh Allen’s Bills and Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs? Though they didn’t meet in the postseason last year, the two have gone head-to-head six times since the 2020 season, with the series tied at three. Many remember Patrick Mahomes needing only 13 seconds to get the Chiefs downfield, setting up Harrison Butker for the game tying field goal, then winning the game on the first drive of overtime. This time, Mahomes will be on the road for the first time in his playoff career. The only times he’s taken the field for a postseason game away from the comforts of Arrowhead Stadium have been the three Super Bowls he’s appeared in. After easily dispatching the Dolphins in a game that saw upwards of 10 fans admitted to the hospital for frostbite due to wind chill, KC will have to head to one of football’s most hostile environments as they visit Bills Mafia. 

The Bills have won the last two meetings with the Chiefs, one being thanks in part to KC wide receiver Kadarius Toney’s infamous offside blunder, but Buffalo could really take the upper hand with a playoff win. Allen is yet to beat the Chiefs in the playoffs, but a win to send Buffalo to the AFC championship game would be a great way to silence those that doubt him. With Bills Mafia ready to be loud and proud, Buffalo will have to find a way around KC’s stout defense in the cold. The Bills offense has the weapons to win against the Chiefs, but with weather uncertain they’ll need to make multiple game plans to prepare.  

“I’m super excited for this weekend, especially seeing a lot of young guys who I’ve watched since college making an impact on the game today. It’s fun seeing these guys perform at a high level, and I have the Ravens taking it all,” Isaiah Cuellar said. While young stars like CJ Stroud, Brock Purdy, and Jordan Love make waves throughout the world of football, the biggest names of the playoffs aren’t too old either. Each of the remaining quarterbacks in this year’s field are under 30, with Jared Goff being the oldest at only 29 years old.  

One of the most highly anticipated games of the weekend is the renewal of the Packers-49ers rivalry. “[The game I’m looking forward to is] definitely Green Bay vs the 49ers,” Cade Willis said. “I love to see upsets and I’ve been a fan of Jordan Love since his first start. Hearing all the critics talk about him and watching him prove them all wrong has been a blessing to see. I can’t wait to watch the Packers upset the 49ers and make everyone open their eyes on the Packers.” 

 

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Trevor Butler, Staff

Comments (0)

All The Edge Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.