The Divisional Round of the NFL’s playoffs begins today, and after a one-year absence, the Green Bay Packers are back. Thanks to their Wild Card victory over the Dallas Cowboys, the Packers earned a date with the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday evening as the second game of what is arguably the league’s most entertaining and exciting weekend of the year.
Green Bay enters Saturday as 9.5-point underdogs, however, the biggest spread of the weekend. That is surely influenced by the fact that the 49ers are the NFC’s top seed while the Packers are the first 7 seed to ever win a playoff game, as well as San Francisco’s string of playoff victories over Green Bay.
But it was just two years ago when a 6th-seeded 49ers team was in a very similar position to this year’s Packers and pulled an upset with the two teams on opposite sides of this year’s matchup. That 49ers squad went 10-7 in the regular season, beat the Cowboys on the road in the Wild Card round, then upset the top-seeded Packers on Saturday night of the Divisional round. Can the Packers do the same? At least one of our writers is predicting it to happen.
The other games on this weekend are all exciting matchups, as every other home team besides the Cowboys won on Wild Card weekend. The AFC games set up for Patrick Mahomes’ first true road playoff game as the 3rd-seeded Chiefs head to Buffalo on Sunday, while rookie phenom C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans face the AFC’s top-seeded Ravens in the weekend’s first game. Then the Detroit Lions get to host a second consecutive playoff game, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading in for the first contest on Sunday.
As expected, all of the home teams are favored this week, though the Bills have the tightest point spread against the Chiefs at -2.5 Check out APC’s picks for all four games below and keep it here for coverage of Packers-49ers and all of the action this weekend!