NFL Playoffs: Here are 10 stories to watch in the second round

NFL Playoffs: Here are 10 stories to watch in the second round

The Bills, Bengals, Jaguars, Cowboys, Giants and 49ers survived the first-round axe. This group is joined by the rested Chiefs and Eagles. Several interesting storylines and facts inform this second round of the playoffs with four Conference Finals spots at stake. The newspaper brings you 10 stories to watch in the duels on Saturday and Sunday to get you in the groove.

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1) Find out the odd…

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As the saying goes, offense sells tickets but defense wins championships. If so, it’s surprising that seven of the eight head coaches rose through the ranks offensively before filling their current roles. Of all the Bills’ pilot Sean McDermott is the only dissident, he who taught the Eagles and Panthers at various levels of defense. This emphasis on attacking coaches is also reflected in the statistics of the teams involved. The Chiefs rank first in runs scored, followed by the Bills (second), Eagles (third), Cowboys (fourth), 49ers (fifth), Bengals (seventh) and Jaguars (nines).

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2) A real home field advantage?

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In the American conference, the Chiefs are the number one seeded team, which gave them the lead and the field lead in the first round. The Eagles did the same in the national conference. Is that a real benefit? Historically, yes, as the No. 1 teams have won 25 of 48 Super Bowls since 1976. More recently, however, the answer is no. Since the 2018 season, the number 1 has had a poor record of seven wins and eight losses in the playoffs. No team has won the Super Bowl in the past four years. It should be noted that last year three of the four teams traveling away won their match in the second round of the playoffs.

3) Spotlight on young quarterbacks

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For once, there are no old guard quarterbacks at this stage of the playoffs. In fact, the group’s dean is Dak Prescott of the Cowboys, who is only 29 years old. The average of the eight quarterbacks is 25 years and 278 days. That’s the lowest average since the NFL merged in 1970. It’s the first time since 2004 that no 30-year-old quarterback has led one of the last eight teams in the competition. The youngest in the group is 49ers rookie Brock Purdy. A rare feat is within reach, as only four rookie quarterbacks in history have reached a conference finals, namely Sean King (1999), Ben Roethlisberger (2004), Joe Flacco (2008) and Mark Sanchez (2009).

4) The last shall be first

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The NFL is the league where struggling teams can recover the fastest. Proof of this is that in the last five seasons, no fewer than four teams have advanced from bottom in their division to a Conference Finals spot the following season. It’s still spectacular as a turn! This year, the Jaguars, whose record has risen from 3-14 to 9-8, could add to that list. So did the Giants, who jumped from 4-13 to 9-7-1. Since 1970, 20 teams have earned their ticket to a conference finals in the season after finishing last in their division, including eight that made the Super Bowl.

5) The disciple faces the master

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The showdown between the Jaguars and the Chiefs will attack two head coaches, Doug Pederson and Andy Reid, who have long been linked. In the 1990s, Reid was the Packers’ quarterbacks coach when Pederson was a reserve quarterback. Then Pederson, in turn, became a quarterbacks coach with the Eagles when Reid was the head coach. He then followed his mentor to Kansas City as offensive coordinator from 2013 to 2015. Now they find themselves in the playoffs, each on their own side. It will be Andy Reid’s 36th career playoff game, which will tie legends Tom Landry and Don Shula behind second-place Bill Belichick (44). Reid could also equal Landry with a 20th win, surpassed only by Emperor Bill Belichick (31).

6) Finally Bengals vs. Bills!

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The Bengals-Bills match promises to be emotional in Buffalo. Safety Damar Hamlin, who went into cardiac arrest three weeks ago in the duel between the two teams, has been hanging out at Bill’s headquarters all week. Imagine the reaction if he were introduced to the crowd before the game! Since the Monday night game had to be canceled in week 17, it will be the first quarterback duel between Josh Allen and Joe Burrow. Burrow will be looking to win a fifth playoff game before turning 27, as only Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson have previously managed.

7) Old Enemies

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Matches between the Cowboys and the 49ers in the playoffs have become an old habit for fans. This is the ninth time these two teams have met in the major tournament. From 1970 to 1972, the Cowboys won their first three matchups. The 49ers enjoyed their revenge in 1981 when a young Joe Montana was spotted. In 1992 and 1993, the Cowboys beat the 49ers en route to two straight Super Bowls. In 1994 it was the Niners turn to win. The last game was last year when the 49ers won 23-17. If the Cowboys prevail, it would be the franchise’s 37th playoff win, a highlight they would share with the Patriots.

8) Athletic duel

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The matchup between the Giants and the Eagles in Philadelphia features two athletic quarterbacks. Jalen Hurts has wowed Eagles fans this season with 760 rushing yards and earned him fourth overall at his position. He also won with 13 rushing touchdowns, a highest among quarterbacks. We mustn’t forget his to Daniel Jones. Incidentally, he finished just behind Hurts with 708 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He ran 17 times for 78 yards against the Vikings last Sunday. This will be the first playoff game in history between two Pivots who have amassed more than 700 rushing yards.

9) Invincible on Saturday

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Are superstitious people in the room? Know that Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has never been defeated on Saturday. In fact, he won all three games played on Saturday at his high school in Cartersville, Georgia. In the college scene, he lost just two games with Clemson in the NCAA, which came on a Friday and a Monday. Since joining the NFL with the Jaguars, he won the final game of the regular season against the Titans two weeks ago on Saturday before repeating himself against the Chargers in the first round of the playoffs last Saturday. All for an immaculate record of 41-0. The Chiefs should have applied to the league to play on Sunday!

10) subscribers to the final

Patrick Mahomes

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Patrick Mahomes

The Chiefs are on a mission to secure a berth in the American Conference Finals for the fifth straight season. Only two teams in the history of the league have accomplished this feat. The Patriots hold the palm with eight straight appearances, from 2011-2018. Otherwise, you have to go back to the 1970s when the Raiders were unlucky in Oakland with five straight appearances, from 1973-1977. Across the NFL, the 49ers are the heavyweights in appearances in the Conference Finals with 17 appearances.

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