Jaguars, Bills, Bengals all advance out of Super Wild Card Weekend
The Super Wild Card Weekend isn’t quite over yet, as the Cowboys and Buccaneers square off on Monday night, but the AFC matchups are set for the Divisional Round. The Jaguars will take on the Chiefs on Saturday Jan. 21 at 4:30 p.m. ET and the Bills will host the Bengals on Sunday Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. ET.
The Jaguars erased a 27-0 deficit against the Chargers to advance and face the Chiefs, who beat the Los Angeles twice during the regular season. Doug Pederson faces his mentor Andy Reid in what should be a great coaching battle, but the line suggests that the game may not be all that close, with the Chiefs opening -9.5 at DraftKings. The line did drop shortly after being posted.
The Bills and Bengals had their Week 17 Monday Night Football game postponed because of Damar Hamlin’s terrifying injury, but will now meet with even more on the line on Sunday. The Bills were -2.5 in Cincinnati for that first meeting and got off to a slow start before Hamlin went down and needed extreme medical attention on and off the field. Buffalo is -3.5 at home for the rematch.
The Chiefs are -8.5 or -9 with a total of 51.5 in the market for Saturday’s game against the Jaguars. Kansas City went 14-3 in the regular season, including a 27-17 win over the Jaguars back in Week 10. That game wasn’t as close as the final score would suggest, as the Chiefs had 171 more yards of offense than the Jaguars. Kansas City was -3 in turnover margin to keep that game close.
The Chiefs actually led 20-0 before the Jaguars put together a five-play, 61-yard touchdown drive in the waning seconds of the first half. The only other touchdown they scored in the game came in garbage time on what would be their final possession.
Pederson was on Reid’s staff with the Eagles from 2009-12 and with the Chiefs from 2013-15 and also a player for the Packers in 1996 when Reid was an assistant offensive line coach and in 1997-98 when Reid was the quarterbacks coach.
Will familiarity lead to a close game? Will the second-half Jaguars show up instead of the first half ones? Our hosts, guests and writers will have wall-to-wall coverage of this one to help you along.
To say that football was secondary when Hamlin went down is an understatement, but the huge playoff implications of that game are now at the forefront with the Bengals on the road to take on the Bills. Who knows what would have happened on Jan. 2 in that game, but the Bills finished 13-3 and the Bengals finished 12-4, so this one is closer to Lake Ontario than the Ohio River.
The Bills are -3.5 with a total of 50 after nearly finding a way to lose to Skylar Thompson and the Dolphins in the Wild Card round. The Bengals also did their best to fail in a big favorite role, as they needed a 98-yard fumble recovery touchdown and a fourth-down stop inside the red zone to escape with a 24-17 win.
The Bengals are no strangers to winning on the road in the playoffs. They did it against Tennessee and Kansas City last postseason to win the AFC and take on the Rams in a “road” game at SoFi Stadium for Super Bowl LVI, where they came up just short in a neutral setting.
We’ve got plenty of time to break this one down on air and at VSiN.com, so follow along all week for the latest.
VSiN NFL Links for the Divisional Round