We started the super wild card round in a not-so-great way, going 4-2 each. There are four games to play this week and picking the winners doesn’t get any easier.
The division round picks appear below. As you will see, MDS picked two of the underdogs for cover. I picked one to cover and one to win.
Whatever the outcome, this weekend’s games should be great.
Jaguars (+8.5) at Chiefs
take MDs: To have the Jaguars already in the divisional round as freshman Doug Pederson and sophomore Trevor Lawrence is a great sign of where this team is headed. But they’re not yet on the level of the team that Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes have in Kansas City. The Jaguars’ impressive season ends here.
The choice of MDS: Chiefs 30, Jaguars 20.
Florio’s opinion: The chiefs are on alert. It won’t surprise me at all if the Jaguars win the game. You are relaxed. You have nothing to lose. The Chiefs may be peering past the Jaguars while a much-hyped Bills rematch looms. But ultimately I’m confident that Patrick Mahomes will find a way to move forward. Even if it’s not nearly as easy as people think.
Florio’s choice: chiefs 30, jaguars 27.
Giants (+7.5) at Eagles
take MDs: Brian Daboll did an amazing job getting Daniel Jones into a playoff game like he did against the Vikings last week. This week against a much better Eagles defense I find it hard to believe Jones can do it again. Jalen Hurts will bring Philadelphia a lot of points and Jones and the Giants won’t be able to keep up.
The choice of MDS: eagles 31, giants 17.
Florio’s opinion: It happened in 2008 when the Eagles defeated the top seeded Giants. It happened in 2007 when the Giants defeated the top seeded Eagles. And it could happen again if the Giants retaliate 15 years later. The Giants are gaining momentum and improving at the right time. The Eagles have been shaky the past few weeks. Daniel Jones and Dexter Lawrence have become superstars before our eyes. Saquon Barkley is running as hard as ever. Isaiah Hodgins is the guy who defies defense and refuses to be taken seriously. Brian Daboll passed Kevin O’Connell last week and could be ready to pass Nick Sirianni. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing has been easy for the Giants this year. Expect a Saturday night classic that the Giants could actually win.
Florio’s choice: giants 24, eagles 23.
Bengal (+5.5) on bills
take MDs: Both the Bengals and Bills struggled to beat overwhelmed opponents last weekend, but I expect a well-played game between them on Sunday. Josh Allen will make another big play in the fourth quarter than Joe Burrow and that will be the difference.
The choice of MDS: Bills 24, Bengal 20.
Florio’s opinion: The Bengalis are salty in many things. And that might be enough to earn a second annual divisional round road win. But the Bills will get a big boost from a pre-game appearance (if that happens) by Damar Hamlin, and quarterback Josh Allen will find his way back into the AFC Championship. It would help if someone other than receiver Stefon Diggs stepped in as well.
Florio’s choice: Bills 31, Bengal 24.
Cowboys (+4) at 49ers
take MDs: After watching the Cowboys dominate the Buccaneers on Monday night, I’m tempted to spring a surprise here. But I think Brock Purdy will do just enough to keep the 49ers offense moving, and the 49ers defense will force Dak Prescott into a few turnovers to win a low-scoring game.
The choice of MDS: 49ers 17, Cowboys 16.
Florio’s opinion: The 49ers have a collection of badasses who can roll out of bed and run through a brick wall. And while coach Kyle Shanahan has downplayed it, he knows that two extra days will make a world of difference, especially with Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn being interviewed for the Broncos job when he should otherwise be preparing to crack Shanahan’s code and not having cracked his own code.
Florio’s choice: 49ers 24, Cowboys 17.