The NFL playoffs are in full swing, and the divisional round is right around the corner. Kicking things off Saturday, the AFC is up first, while the action concludes Sunday with an NFC showdown on FOX.
Let’s get to it!
Blazin’ 4: Cowboys cover vs. 49ers, Bills narrowly beat Bengals
Colin Cowherd shares his NFL divisional-round picks in his latest “Blazin’ 4” roundup.
Cowherd’s pick, score prediction: Jaguars +8.5, Chiefs win 28-20
Cowherd’s thoughts: “The Jags are a young team. … They’ve won six straight. They’ve won eight of their last 10. Their defense has held three of their last four opponents to less than 20 points. … Since Week 14, they’re averaging 29.5 points per game and their point differential is second in the NFL. They’ve also got the look, they’ve got players, they’ve got dudes. … Kansas City is only 7-9 against the spread. Opposing quarterbacks have a 95 passer rating against the Chiefs. That is the highest passer rating allowed among the remaining eight playoff teams. You can move the ball against them. I think Kansas City leads, maybe big, and Jacksonville comes back with a late cover.”
No. 6 New York Giants (+7.5) at No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles (Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET, FOX and the FOX Sports App)
Cowherd’s pick, score prediction: Giants +7.5, Eagles win 27-20
Cowherd’s thoughts: “I’m going to take the points, although Philadelphia is better. Eleven of the last 13 NFL playoff games have been decided by a touchdown or less. … The offense for the Giants is not giving the ball up — second-fewest giveaways in the league. Philadelphia’s going to [need] to have long drives against this very good defense. The Eagles had a first-round bye. Last year, the two teams with a bye lost, and they were not playing great into the bye. They struggled in turnover differential, their points per game were down, and they’re dinged up. Jalen Hurts … remember his playoff game? He completed 53% of his throws. I think Philadelphia’s going to look a little rusty. I think the Giants’ defense is going to make them earn their points. I think Philadelphia is better, but I’m going to take the 7.5 points.”
Cowherd’s pick, score prediction: Bills -5.5, Bills win 31-23
Cowherd’s thoughts: “I think the Bills are going to win and going to cover, and it really comes down to a cluster injury at the worst time. The Bengals are missing both of their offensive tackles and Alex Cappa. I don’t think you can overcome that. … [The Bills have] won 12 of their last 13 at home. Even when they don’t play well, they win. They’ve had multiple takeaways in three straight games, and Josh Allen has been unbelievable in the playoffs — like a better version of himself. The Bengals — because of three offensive line starters out — are no longer going to have a vertical passing threat. They threw for under 220 yards in back-to-back games against the [Baltimore] Ravens. They can’t throw the ball deep because Joe Burrow doesn’t have the time. I think the Bills win. If their O-line was intact, I’d feel the exact opposite. I saw Patrick Mahomes without his tackles get crushed in a Super Bowl. I think Cincinnati is in trouble here.”
Cowherd’s pick, score prediction: Cowboys +3.5, 49ers win 27-24
Cowherd’s thoughts: “[The Cowboys] led the NFL in red-zone scoring. So, when they get close, they get seven points — not three. They have more Pro Bowlers than San Francisco — seven-to-six — so it’s not a lack of talent. Take out the stinker against the Commanders. Since Week 7, they’re averaging 32 points per game, 390 yards and their third-down percentage is first. This is a very good situational team. They’re good on third down. They’re good in the red zone. They’re going to get some sevens instead of threes. Brock Purdy was tight in the first half last week. What do you think he’s going to be like against the Cowboys, easily the best defense he’s faced since becoming a starter?”
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