JAGUARS @ CHIEFS
Last week’s incredible comeback by the Jaguars will never be forgotten by those who watched it. Down 27-0 in the second quarter they rallied back for a 31-30 win, and their reward is getting to go to Kansas City and face a rested Chiefs team. But before you count the Jags out, just remember the Chiefs tend to play a little flat in this spot. Last year’s Divisional game was the all-time classic against the Bills which ultimately ended in a Chiefs win but could’ve easily been a loss. The year before saw the Chiefs as big home favorites against an undermanned Browns team, yet the Browns hung around until the end. It ended 22-17, but Cleveland forced the Chiefs to convert a fourth down with the game on the line. And the year before that Kansas City found themselves down 28-0 to the Texans before coming back to win. Jacksonville is talented enough hang around in this game if the Chiefs come out slow. The Jags have won seven of their last eight games, right up there with the Chiefs who are winners in ten of their last eleven. Arrowhead Stadium will be buzzing and it’s part of the reason Kansas City finds themselves just above touchdown favorites. Can Trevor Lawrence lead these young Jaguars into the eye of the storm, or will one of the league’s best quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes, find himself in his fifth consecutive AFC Championship?
BENGALS @ BILLS
The Bengals survived last week’s tough test against the Ravens, thanks to a late 99-yard fumble return for a touchdown. But after losing offensive tackle Jonah Williams to injury this Cincy offensive line is banged up, and that could play a huge part in this Divisional Round matchup in Buffalo. It wasn’t easy for the Bills either. The shorthanded Dolphins nearly pulled off the biggest NFL Playoff upset ever with third string quarterback Skylar Thompson. Now can the Bills respond against a significantly better Bengals team? This game should be entertaining between two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but Vegas gives the Bills the edge to come out on top. A win would be massive for Buffalo, who has come so close in recent years to getting over the hump. In 2020 they reached the AFC Championship, only to lose to the eventual big game runner-up Kansas City. Last year in this very round they were 13 seconds away from moving on before Patrick Mahomes led a historic drive that led to a Chiefs win. But Josh Allen has this team and fanbase believing this is their year to win their first ever big game. It was the Bengals last year who stunned everyone, reaching the big game but coming up just short. Can they get back to the top this year? There’s a lot on the line in Buffalo this Sunday.