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NFL Wild Card Schedule with Wild Card Betting Lines
Saturday, January 6
There aren't many teams that the Patriots should be afraid of this year in the AFC, but Kansas City could be one of them. It was a tale of three seasons for Kansas City. The team started the year at 5-0 and was the last undefeated team standing. The Chiefs beat the Patriots, Eagles, Chargers, Redskins and Texans in that span and looked for anything they were going to be one of the best teams in the NFL. Then they went 1-5 in their next six games, including losing to the Giants and Jets.
But with four straight wins under their belts, the Chiefs have to feel good about themselves again, especially with a Tennessee team coming to town that hasn't had much to feel good about.
Sure, the Titans beat the Jaguars last week, but Jacksonville had absolutely nothing to play for. Two wins over Jacksonville are the only two the Titans have this year over playoff teams, making this a huge, uphill battle for the visitors.
This is clearly going to be the most highly-anticipated playoff game of the first week of the playoffs. The defending NFC champs are playing against the newest upstart in the NFC, and the winner is going to be thought of as a real contender to get to the Super Bowl in what is thought of as a wide-open conference.
The Rams had a massive improvement this season under Sean McVay, winning 11 games and leading the NFL in scoring at 29.9 points per game. Jared Goff has an argument to be Comeback Player of the Year after a pathetic rookie campaign, and Todd Gurley isn't going to finish any worse than second in the MVP voting.
The Falcons, though, are riding high right now. They've won six of their last eight games, and the only teams they've been beaten by since the middle of October are New England, Carolina, Minnesota and New Orleans. Of course, these are the teams the Dirty Birds are going to have to beat if they want to win the Super Bowl, but at least they're back in the playoffs, effectively ending the "curse of the Super Bowl loser."
Sunday, January 7
It's time to circle the wagons again in Buffalo. The Bills are back in the playoffs for the first time in almost two decades, and they haven't actually won a game in 24 years.
Buffalo had a tumultuous season, one that included the benching of Tyrod Taylor for Nathan Peterman (who promptly threw five interceptions in the first half at the Chargers), the trading of Sammy Watkins before the start of the season and a coach who pretty much admitted that his team was working towards the future after Taylor was injured late in the year.
But the Bills are here, albeit probably for a relatively short stay.
Jacksonville has seen the world open up in front of it. The Jaguars have already won at Pittsburgh this year, and a win in this game would send them back to the Steel City for a rematch against a very beatable team. How far can this team go? It's surely going to be up to this defense. This team was dubbed "Sacksonville" for a reason, and anything less than a dominant performance from this defensive line for the next few weeks will leave the team woefully short of its goals.
The Panthers had their way with most of the NFL this season, but they couldn't figure out how to tame the Saints. They lost both of the regular season meetings between these two teams, and that's why this game is being played in the Bayou instead of out on Tobacco Road.
Carolina knows what it takes to beat some really good teams, though. The club has victories over the Bills, Patriots, Falcons and Vikings this year, and their win at Detroit in Week 5 proved to be crucial as well. Let's not forget that this team is two seasons removed from winning the NFC, and Cam Newton is playing like an MVP once again.
When the Saints won their first Super Bowl with Drew Brees, the key for them was to play better than average defense and actually run the ball a little bit. They do both now, effectively hiding the fact that Brees looked like he was on the verge of being done at several points this season. If you haven't watched Alvin Kamara yet, get ready for a show. He finished this season with 728 rushing yards, 826 receiving yards and 347 return yards, leading the team with 14 touchdowns.
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