Super Wild Card Weekend had it all. We watched a game that came down to the very last play, we saw the San Francisco 49ers upset the Dallas Cowboys, and then we had a couple blowouts. OK, maybe a few blowouts. Don't expect to see many blowouts in the divisional round, as the cream is beginning to rise to the top.
We went 5-1 in our official CBS Sports NFL playoff bracket, as our upset pick of the Las Vegas Raiders did not come to fruition. Our bracket is still intact, and our final four and Super Bowl picks haven't been eliminated ... yet. Below, we will try to predict the entire NFL playoff bracket game by game. We'll update this each week as we march further and further into the postseason. Let's jump in.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
(4) Cincinnati Bengals at (1) Tennessee Titans
The Bengals won their first playoff game in 31 years this past weekend, but now have to take a trip to Music City to face the No. 1 Titans. Nissan Stadium is going to be rocking, as Derrick Henry is expected to make his return to the field after missing the last two and a half months. It remains to be seen if he will look like the same running back who rushed for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns in just eight games played, but this team is going to run the ball -- even if D'Onta Foreman has to play a significant role.
Cincy beating Tennessee may end up becoming a "sexy" upset pick, but the Bengals may be missing multiple starters along the defensive line. Larry Ogunjobi was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury, Mike Daniels suffered a groin injury, backup Josh Tupou missed last week with a knee injury and Trey Hendrickson is in concussion protocol. That's not good news when you're preparing to limit one of the best run offenses in the league.
The Bengals are 0-7 all time in road playoff games. I'm taking the Titans to advance to the conference championship.
Projected score: Titans 27-23
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(3) Buffalo Bills at (2) Kansas City Chiefs
A rematch of last year's AFC Championship game. Actually, these two teams faced off in October, and the Bills blew out the Chiefs by 18 points in Kansas City. The Chiefs fell to 2-3, and people really began to question Patrick Mahomes and Co. As we know, Kansas City bounced back and finished the year on a 10-2 run.
I imagine this could be one of the best games of the postseason, but I'm going to give the edge to the Chiefs. They have made the AFC Championship three years in a row, and they will make it four.
Projected score: Chiefs 35-31
(6) San Francisco 49ers at (1) Green Bay Packers
The Packers have the best odds to win the Super Bowl, and for good reason. Rodgers had another incredible season and should win his second straight MVP award. The Packers are also expected to return pass-rusher Za'Darius Smith after he played just one game in the regular season. The only thing in my mind that can hold the Packers back from yet another NFC Championship appearance is Aaron Rodgers' toe. He's optimistic about the injury, however, and said that he will be 100% by the divisional round. Green Bay defeats San Fran by controlling time of possession.
Projected score: Packers 26-20
(4) Los Angeles Rams at (2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Matthew Stafford recorded what was probably one of the biggest wins of his career in September against Tom Brady, as he threw for 343 yards and four touchdowns in the Week 3, 34-24 victory. Brady threw for 432 yards but just one touchdown. He was also the leading rusher with 14 yards and one score.
I say this is where the Buccaneers not having Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown hurts. The Rams jump out to a quick lead and ward off a late comeback. L.A. has played well when considered an underdog, going 2-0 against the spread in that setting this season with a margin of victory of 8.5 points.
Projected score: Rams 29-24
(2) Kansas City Chiefs at (1) Tennessee Titans
A rematch of the AFC Championship game from two years ago. These two teams also played earlier this season, as the Titans upset the Chiefs in Week 7, 27-3. It was one of the most bizarre outcomes of the entire season, as the Chiefs were held to their fewest points scored since 2012. The Titans had just upset the Bills less than a week earlier on "Monday Night Football" and were down several starters on defense, yet came out and completely dominated. Tennessee's best cornerback, Kristian Fulton, was placed on IR, first-round pick Caleb Farley tore his ACL earlier in the week and then safety Amani Hooker and reserve cornerback Chris Jackson were inactive with injuries. While they were undermanned, the Titans allowed just 41 passing yards in the first half. It was Kansas City's secondary that struggled mightily, as A.J. Brown broke loose for 133 yards and a touchdown.
Mahomes and the Chiefs are much better than they showed Oct. 24, and they will prove it on Championship Sunday.
Projected score: Chiefs 30-25
(4) Los Angeles Rams at (1) Green Bay Packers
As for the NFC side of things, we get a Week 12 rematch. Back in late November, the Packers beat the Rams, 36-28, at Lambeau field. The final score was much closer than the game actually was, as the Rams scored 11 unanswered in the fourth quarter.
That morning, ESPN's Dianna Russini reported that Stafford was dealing with pain in his throwing arm, his elbow, a sore ankle and chronic back pain. He was noticeably off in this game, while the Packers offense looked like a well-oiled machine. Randall Cobb caught four passes for 95 yards and a touchdown in just the first half!
The Packers are too good. While they have lost two straight NFC Championship games and three in the past five years, Rodgers finds a way to get it done.
Projected score: Packers 31-26
Super Bowl LVI
(2) Chiefs vs. (1) Packers
This is the Super Bowl we have been eyeing for the past two years. These two teams were supposed to face off in the regular season in 2021, but Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19! Mahomes was set to face Rodgers in 2019 as well, but dislocated his kneecap the week before. The football gods have actively tried to stop a matchup between these two signal-calling deities from occurring, but they won't be able to this year.
Two explosive offenses and two capable defenses. The emotional roller coasters both of these fanbases have been riding over the past few months rival any amusement park's creation -- especially when it comes to the Packers. They really thought they were about to lose their legendary quarterback, but he returned, won another MVP and led them to the Super Bowl. It just seems fitting that they win, right? Rodgers hoists the Lombardi Trophy again, and he remains with the Packers for the rest of his career.
Projected score: Packers 30-28