The National Football League’s wild-card games Despite the fact that Saturday and Sunday were both exciting, the schedule for the divisional round will be determined by two additional games that will take place on Monday. This is because the Steelers’ game against Buffalo was postponed due to a snowfall.
All right, let’s begin with the agenda for Monday:
NFL Wild-Card Round: Steelers at Bills
The roads that the Bills and the Steelers followed to arrive at this game contain an uncanny amount of similarities. Both teams have experienced the loss of key players for extended periods of time and have also put together winning runs that concluded the season despite having slim odds of making the playoffs.
In addition, both teams decided to terminate their offensive coordinators in the middle of the season, making them the first playoff teams to do so since the Baltimore Ravens in December of 2012. The Steelers are looking for their first victory in the playoffs since 2016, while the Bills have a record of 13-2 in playoff games played at home since 1970.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will have a difficult time containing quarterback Josh Allen throughout the postseason. Allen is the only player in the history of the National Football League playoffs to average 250 passing yards and 50 rushing yards a game (minimum of five games), and he also has the most combined average yardage (343.9).
It will be the third week in a row that the running back for the Steelers, Najee Harris, will have rushed for at least one hundred yards. Over the course of their most recent three games, opponents have rushed for an average of 103 yards per game against the Steelers, making their running defense the most difficult they have faced in at least a month.
On the other side, Harris had two games in which he rushed for more than one hundred yards. With temperatures expected to be below freezing, wind gusts of up to fifty miles per hour, and the possibility of light snow, the Steelers will rely largely on their ground game to win tomorrow’s game. Harris, who played in the backfield alongside Jaylen Warren, earned 255 touches during the regular season, which was the fewest in his three-year NFL career. This allowed him to remain as fresh as possible for the playoffs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have won nine games by a single touchdown during the regular season, making them the team with the most wins in a single season in the history of the franchise.
The left tackle for the Buffalo Bills is a player named Dion Dawkins. Due to the absence of T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith has become an even more vital member of the Steelers’ pass rush rotation. Highsmith should have an easy day for Allen if Dawkins, who has had a tremendous season and ranks fourth in pass block win rate among tackles, is able to shut down Highsmith.
Pittsburgh needs to be able to run the ball between the tackles in an efficient manner. During the regular season, Harris and Warren had a solid performance, and Buffalo’s inside runs allowed 4.6 yards per carry, which ranked 30th in the National Football League.
One of the most trusted officials in the National Football League will be present for this game. For the past three years, Carl Cheffers has officiated the Super Bowl twice, and for the past seven years, he has refereed the game three times. During the regular season, his side had the third-lowest number of flags thrown in the league, with 12.1 flags thrown per game.
During the regular season, the Steelers had an over/under record of 10-7, while the unders had a record of 11-6. During the regular season, the Bills had an over/under record of 7-10, while the unders had a record of 11-6.
NFL Wild-Card Round: Eagles at Buccaneers
After the Buccaneers suffered a 25-11 defeat at home on “Monday Night Football,” Buccaneers inside linebacker Devin White made a prediction that this would be the rematch that would take place in Week 3. On the other hand, various groups have developed divergent strategies. At the same time as the Eagles have lost five of their previous six games, the Buccaneers have won five of their most recent six games.
Since senior assistant Matt Patricia takes over as head coach of the Buccaneers in Week 15, the Buccaneers’ defense will also undergo some changes. Baker Mayfield, quarterback for the Buccaneers, is struggling with a rib injury in addition to an ankle issue, and Jalen Hurts, quarterback for the Eagles, is dealing with a finger injury on his throwing hand. Both quarterbacks are dealing with ailments.
On the ground, Rachaad White, who plays for the Buccaneers, will have more than 125 yards. During their most recent matchup, the Eagles were able to limit Tampa Bay to a total of 41 rushing yards. However, since then, the run defense has taken a nosedive, currently allowing an average of 142 yards per game over the course of the last seven games. Mayfield, who is now experiencing an injury, may rely on White in both the ground game and the short passing game.
Blitz ball security has been a challenge for Hurts, who has thrown five touchdown passes and eight interceptions, respectively. At no point during this season did any quarterback commit more than eight turnovers when being blitzed. Over the course of this weekend, Hurts will be going up against a Tampa Bay defense that blitzed at the third-highest rate during the regular season.
The index finger is hurting. Thursday was the day when he disclosed that he had not thrown a ball since Week 18, when he sustained an injury to his finger. If that injury prohibits him from throwing the ball on Monday night, then the situation is vastly different from what it was before.
When it comes to the running game, can D’Andre Swift aid Philadelphia? During the third week of the season, he carried for 130 yards against Tampa Bay, and the Eagles could benefit from inserting him into their running game in order to develop a rhythm.
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