NFL 2022 Divisional Round Recap
This season just gets crazier and crazier. We're down to the final four after the Chiefs just skated by the Jaguars, the Eagles thwarted the Giants, the Bengals upset the Bills, and the 49ers shutdown the Cowboys. We move on to a highly-touted Championship Week, but first, let's review this past round's best moments.
Photo: Adrian Kraus/Associated Press
Championship Round Power Rankings
*With not much movement outside of the top 10, I'll only be showing the top 16 this week*
Divisional Round Awards
Offensive MVP: Joe Burrow - Cincinnati Bengals
Despite the heavy snowfall, Burrow threw on a rope all game long. He had an adjusted completion rate of 80.6%, which was the 2nd highest in the Divisional Round, and he threw for 242 yards and 2 TDs. He also had 0 turnover worthy plays and added 4 rushes for 31 yards. He was pressured 12 times, but was sacked only once despite missing three starting offensive linemen. He put up a big day in an even bigger upset win against Buffalo.
Defensive MVP: Haason Reddick - Philadelphia Eagles
Haason has flown under the radar all year as a pass rushing demon, and this game was his perfect center stage performance. Against a Giants offense coming off their best game of the year, he recorded 7 pressures and 1.5 sacks on just 24 pass rush snaps, giving him an insane 29.17% pressure rate. He also added 3 total defensive stops, and posted an 89.7 overall PFF grade. He had a huge game in a rout against a scrappy Giants squad.
Trench Tyrant: Jason Kelce - Philadelphia Eagles
The House's Trench Tyrant of the Year takes home this week's edition of the award. He posted an 81.6 pass blocking grade as he allowed 0 pressures on 27 pass block snaps. He also helped the Eagles rush for 268 total yards and 3 TDs on the day, with 102 of those yards and 1 TD coming between the tackles. It was a dominant day up front, and Kelce was a large part of it.
Special Teams MVP: Robbie Gould - San Francisco 49ers
Robbie had a great game kicking the pigskin in the Divisional Round, as he nailed all 4 of his field goal attempts. He hit 2 field goals longer than 40 yards, including a 50 yarder to end the first half, as added 12 of the 49ers 19 points to the scoreboard. Robbie himself would've tied the Dallas Cowboys, and that's enough to claim this week's STMVP.
Championship Round Predictions
*Winner marked in bold lettering*
49ers vs Eagles
I really really like this Eagles team this season, but I don't see them being able to compete with the 49ers offensively or defensively. I think the 49ers matchup better against the Eagles than the other way around, and even then it'll still be a tight game. Expect both teams to play abnormally, as both defenses are each other's Kryptonite.
The Eagles rank top 5 in usage for 11-personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs) packages, and they also rank in the top 5 for inside zone usage. The 49ers defense allows 3.2 yards per carry against inside zone out of 11-personnel, the lowest in the league. On the flip size, the 49ers use 21-personnel (2 RBs, 1 TE, 2 WRs) and run outside zone more than any other team in the league. The Eagles defense allows 3.2 yards per carry against outside zone out of 21-perosnnel, the lowest in the league.
I think the 49ers will be more creative, and they have the more versatile personnel to do so. Two top notch offenses and defenses clash, give me the 49ers in a low scoring 20-14 bought.
Bengals vs Chiefs
Despite the Mahomes injury, I think the Chiefs finally get a win over the Bengals this time around. With more weapons being available for this game (Kadarius Toney, Mecole Hardman, CEH, etc.), the Chiefs should be able to expose at least one weakness in the Bengals defense. On the flip side, Cincinnati will have Joe Mixon for this game, and he should do well considering how Samaje Perine torched this defense last time these teams met.
This game should be a shootout, as neither defense had an answer the last time these two played - despite being depleted offensively. I got the Chiefs in a 37-34 bout, sending KC to the Super Bowl to rematch the 49ers.
Photo: Reed Hoffman/Associated Press
As per usual, we got the four best teams in the leagues to square off through the final three games of the year. All four teams have done more than enough to get this far, and we'll see which two will earn a trip to Super Bowl LVII.