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THE MOJ: How NFL playoffs will unfold as we count down to Bills/Chiefs

Mahomes taking to playoff game road for the first time to face Allen in Buffalo should be a treat
The marquee matchup of this week’s NFL playoff slate features Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills hosting Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs photos

Given last week’s success during NFL Wildcard Weekend (3-3 straight up but 5-1 against the spread), we’ve decided to keep this thing rolling for you.

TEXANS at RAVENS -9.5, Saturday 1:30 pm

This is not the same Texans team that lost 25-9 to the Ravens in the first week of the season. It’s a team that’s evolved. It takes care of the football and has developed a running game in the last couple of months with Devin Singletary. It also features an outstanding young quarterback in C.J. Stroud. The Ravens boast an outstanding defense, which is ranked #1 when it came to scoring, and quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is arguably the NFL’s MVP. I doubt Jackson will throw two interceptions for touchdowns in this one as Joe Flacco did last week to aid the Texans. And Stroud’s performance outdoors this season gives me cause for concern. In five outdoor games, Stroud’s QB rating was 85.1 compared to 108.3 indoors.


PACKERS at 49ERS -9.5, Saturday 5:15 pm

Green Bay showed that their performance in the second half of the season wasn’t a fluke in the game against Dallas. A healthy offensive line and a healthy running back in Aaron Jones have allowed quarterback Jordan Love to be lights out but now they have to face the juggernaut known as the 49ers. The problem is that everything that Green Bay does well, San Francisco does better – especially on defense where the 49ers have a decisive advantage. Then you look at all the impact players on the 49ers roster such as Christian McCaffrey, Nick Bosa and Brandon Aiyuk. And let’s not forget about Brock Purdy. San Francisco should be able to run the ball against Green Bay, which ranked 28th in rush defense, and control this game in the process.


BUCCANEERS at LIONS -6.5, Sunday 12 pm

Coming off their first playoff win in 32 years, the Lions are playing with poise. An example of that poise against the Rams was red zone execution on both sides of the ball, which basically won the game for the Lions. Detroit running backs Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery provide a solid one-two punch which should allow the Lions to exploit the Bucs secondary - something Philadelphia could not do. The Lions will get their points, so the question is can quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay offense keep up? I don’t think so but the Bucs have been a solid play on the road this year going 8-1 against the spread and we will lean on that trend.


CHIEFS at BILLS -3, Sunday 3:30 pm

The NFL saved the best for last. Excluding the Super Bowl, this will be the first time Patrick Mahomes plays a playoff game on the road. That being said, I don’t expect him to wilt. It’s a matchup of great quarterbacks between Mahomes and Buffalo’s Josh Allen. Allen has consistently put up numbers against the Chiefs over his career. In 2022, Allen threw for three touchdowns against Kansas City. In two games during the 2021 season, he found the end zone seven times via the air. And finally in 2020, he had four touchdown strikes in two games against the Chiefs. Buffalo will get their points but if this turns into a track meet, the Chiefs are in trouble as their offense is not as explosive as it has been in the past.


Veteran B.C. sports personality Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich writes twice weekly for Black Press Media.

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