Road to LV


After the first round of the playoffs, only eight teams remain in the Divisional Round. Photo credits: Sporting News.

Gage Gohl, Sports Editor

With eight teams remaining in the NFL playoffs this season, the Divisional Playoff round will be kicking off Jan. 16 for the chase for Super Bowl LV.

Los Angeles Rams:

With already one upset victory for the Rams, they are rolling with lots of momentum into the Divisional Round against the Packers. Although the Rams earned themselves a victory in the previous round, they also lost some key players in their victory over the Seahawks. Quarterback, John Wolford, got carted off the field on a stretcher after a neck injury, forcing former starting quarterback Jared Goff to step into the game during the middle of his recovery from surgery on his thumb. Former defensive player of the year Aaron Donald, along with receiver Cooper Kupp, went down with injuries as well, but should be ready to go by their game against the Packers.

Green Bay Packers:

After clinching home field advantage for the playoffs, along with a first round bye in week 15, the Packers have had a bit of some time off between their week 17 matchup and their Divisional Round against the Rams. The high powered offense between Rogers, Jones and Adams will be a large test for the rolling defense of the Rams. The key to success for the Packers is coming out ready to go from the opening kickoff after some time off. 

Baltimore Ravens:

The Ravens defeated the Titans 20-13 in the Wild Card round holding the NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry to only 40 yards. Everyone knows that the Ravens’s offensive firepower is always a threat with quarterback Lamar Jackson present. Their defense has also proved to be one of the best of the league all season, so it is just a matter of whether this team can put it all together against the Bills. 

Buffalo Bills:

After a nailbiter in the Wild Card round against the Colts, the Bills were able to sneak past into the Divisional Round after a 27-24 victory. With MVP candidate quarterback Josh Allen and NFL recieving leader Stefon Diggs on the offensive side of the ball, the Bills are fully capable of putting up points on any given possession. The recurring question again is whether or not the defense will prevail against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in the Divisional Round.

Cleveland Browns: 

After upsetting the Steelers in dramatic fashion 48-37 in the Wild Card round, they will match up against the Chiefs in their next round. The Browns offense has been rolling as of late, as shown last week when putting up 48 points in a playoff game. Their weakness has definitely been on the defensive end, ranking on the lower end of the league defensively. Facing the former NFL MVP and firepower offense at every position of the Chiefs will be a huge test to how far they can go in the remainder of the playoffs.

Kansas City Chiefs:

The Chiefs, finishing 14-2 this season, will look to pick up where they left off in the regular season and make a run for back-to-back championship wins this playoff, starting with a game against the Browns. With an offense of the Chiefs caliber led by Patrick Mahomes, and a solid defense to back them up, the Chiefs will continue to look to dominate this season in their Divisional Round against the Browns. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

After a 31-23 win over the Football Team in the first round, the Buccaneers will match up against the Saints in the Divisional Round. With an unlimited amount of talent on the offensive side of the football, the Bucs defense will be the deciding factor against the Saints veteran offense. Tom Brady who has seen plenty of playoffs in his career will look to bring another team deeper into the season. 

New Orleans Saints:

With the Saints earning themselves a first round bye this playoff, they will look to shake off the rust very quickly against the Buccaneers. With Drew Brees finally back after missing several games due to injury, the Saints also lost star running back Alvin Kamara for the Divisional Round. Both the Saints offense and defense have proved to be capable of winning big games, so it is all a matter of whether their short time off, along with the absence of Kamara, will be enough against the Buccaneers.