American Football

Cincy Jungle staff picks for Divisional Round of NFL Playoffs and open thread

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Cincy Jungle staff picks for Divisional Round of NFL Playoffs and open thread
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Who will be making it to the conference title games? Our staff weighs in.

We are down to the final eight teams competing for a Super Bowl in the 2022 season. Of course, Cincinnati Bengals fans are pulling for the upset against the Buffalo Bills this weekend, but that is only one game we will be seeing.

We will be seeing the Philadelphia Eagles host the New York Giants on Saturday. The Eagles swept the Giants in the regular season, but divisional rivals in the playoffs can have funky games. This will also only be Jalen Hurts’ second playoff game after getting blown out by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season when they barely made the playoffs.

This is a far different team, however. Hurts has made use of A.J. Brown being acquired to transform the passing attack to complement a great running game taking advantage of Hurts’ dual-threat ability.

New York and Daniel Jones are not supposed to be here. This is example A of how important coaching can be in the NFL. Head coach Brian Daboll has Jones and this offense humming along, and they went into Minnesota to upset the Vikings last week. He has turned a team that wasn’t anticipated to be anywhere close to a contender into a team who could conceivably upset the No. 1 seed in the NFC if things can bounce their way a little.

The AFC will also feature a young quarterback coming off one of the greatest NFL comebacks you will ever see head into Kansas City to try and dethrone the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Trevor Lawrence started out his Wild Card game against the Los Angeles Chargers as poorly as you could. He had four interceptions in the first half and the team trailed by 27-0 at one point.

Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars turned things on in the second half, taking things one drive at a time, and eventually defeated the Chargers on a game-winning field goal.

While that is an incredible story, things only get harder as these Jaguars will take on the established Chiefs and likely MVP Patrick Mahomes. Some expected the Chiefs to take a step back with their division seemingly getting better and the team being forced to trade away Tyreek Hill.

That simply didn’t happen. Mahomes had one of his best seasons, and the Chiefs look every bit of the AFC contender that they have been for the past few seasons.

Can they fend off a scrappy young team of cats looking to prove themselves this year? Or will they fall prior to the AFC Championship game?

Here is who our staff is taking, as well as today’s open thread, so join the fun!

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