We are down to eight teams still chasing Super Bowl LVII as we hit the NFL playoffs’ divisional round. And anything can happen — Jacksonville turned a 27-point deficit into a wild-card win last weekend — if things go right.
So we dug into the tape to pick out keys to victory — one offensive and one defensive — for every team this weekend. These are the game plan blueprints that can help all eight teams reach the conference championships. Based on what I’ve seen on tape and with some help from the numbers, we can get a better feel for how coaching staffs will scheme for personnel, game situation and coverage. And with a few big underdogs in the divisional-round slate, we also picked out an X factor player who could play a big part in pulling off an upset.
Here are the game plan keys for all four games, along with the ESPN Football Power Index projections for each matchup.
Jump to a matchup:
JAX-KC | NYG-PHI
CIN-BUF | DAL-SF
When: Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC
Line: KC -8.5 (52.5)
FPI prediction: KC by 9