And then there were eight.
The expanded 2021 NFL playoffs have reached the point we’re all accustomed to. Despite last week’s SUPER Wild Card weekend, we are back to our normal eight-team field for the divisional round. Between the Rams, Packers, Ravens, Bills, Saints, Buccaneers, Chiefs and Browns, one of those teams will be walking away from the season with the Lombardi Trophy.
And while there certainly are some favorites among this group, it does feel like the league has properly separated the wheat from the chaff. All eight of these teams should be considered serious contenders for the crowns, and that’s made all the more clear by our picks this week.
There is no 100 percent consensus among our staff for any of the four games on this weekend’s docket. The closest we got was all but one of our employees picking the Chiefs over the Browns, and all but two picking the Packers over the Rams. As far as the other two go, it’s clearly a toss-up. The Bills-Ravens game should be an entertaining one between an AFC team that’s accustomed to games like this and a team that is looking to make its first deep playoff run in decades. As for Bucs-Saints, who doesn’t love a big divisional playoff game? The Saints destroyed the Bucs twice in the regular season, but Tamps is playing well and playoff Tom Brady is another beast.
Here’s a look at our picks for Divisional Round weekend. You can also see our picks against the spread and our over/under picks by clicking on the tabs above everyone’s name.