Predictions for every NFL wild-card game

Are you ready for some playoff football, Chiefs Kingdom?

The Kansas City Chiefs have the week off as the NFL’s No. 1 seed, but six games will be played during the wild-card round of the playoffs this weekend. Some of those games will help determine Kansas City’s opponent in the divisional round.

We’re doing things a bit differently this weekend with our predictions post this week. Instead of our predictions for a singular game, below you’ll find all of our picks for the playoff games on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as well as our thoughts on which team the Chiefs will face in the divisional round of the playoffs:

Charles Goldman's predictions:

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  • 49ers (2) vs. Seahawks (7): 49ers 27, Seahawks 13

  • Chargers (5) vs. Jaguars (4): Jaguars 31, Chargers 22

  • Dolphins (7) vs. Bills (2): Bills 33, Dolphins 11

  • Giants (6) vs. Vikings (3): Giants 27, Vikings 26

  • Ravens (6) vs. Bengals (3): Bengals 28, Ravens 17

  • Cowboys (5) vs. Buccaneers (4): Cowboys 24, Bucs 21

  • Who will the Chiefs play in the divisional round: Jaguars

I expect the AFC side of things to go as the oddsmakers do. Justin Herbert will keep the Chargers in the game against the Jags, but the absence of Mike Williams will be noticeable (and likely spells the end of the Brandon Staley era in Los Angeles). The Bills will roll over a depleted Dolphins team. The Bengals-Ravens game will be closer than expected in the third meeting between the teams this season.

On the NFC side of things, Brock Purdy will be aided by the 49ers’ stellar defense against a motivated Seahawks team and do just enough to get them to the divisional round. The Giants will upset an overachieving Vikings squad despite Justin Jefferson’s best efforts. If you read the KCSN Daily newsletter, you’ll know I expect the Cowboys to get a win over Tom Brady’s Bucs. Let’s just say Mike McCarthy needs to win this game and will be highly motivated to do so.

These outcomes mean the Chiefs will get Doug Pederson’s Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium for the second time this season. It’s a favorable matchup for Kansas City, but they’re playing better now than they were eight weeks ago, especially Trevor Lawrence. If this happens, I’ll also be weary about the prospect of facing Jags S Andre Cisco a second time after his reckless hits on JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in Week 10.

Nick Roesch's predictions:

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

  • 49ers (2) vs. Seahawks (7): 49ers 27, Seahawks 24

  • Chargers (5) vs. Jaguars (4): Chargers 24, Jaguars 20

  • Dolphins (7) vs. Bills (2): Bills 34, Dolphins 17

  • Giants (6) vs. Vikings (3): Giants 23, Vikings 20

  • Ravens (6) vs. Bengals (3): Bengals 28, Ravens 16

  • Cowboys (5) vs. Buccaneers (4): Buccaneers 38, Cowboys 35

  • Who will the Chiefs play in the divisional round: Chargers

The NFC games will be the most fun of the weekend in my opinion. I think Tampa Bay and Dallas will turn into a shootout, with Tom Brady once again pulling out some playoff magic and securing a last-second victory. Seattle being a division rival of San Fransisco will allow them to keep it close, but the better overall talent of the Niners will prevail.

My upset of the weekend is the Giants over the Vikings. Minnesota is perhaps the worst 13-win team in NFL history, possessing the 31st-ranked total defense and a quarterback in Kirk Cousins that can’t win big games. I think Saquon Barkley will wear down the Viking defense all day and Daniel Jones will make a couple of clutch plays.

The Ravens and Dolphins will be without their starting quarterbacks, putting somewhat of a damper on wild card weekend this year. I would be especially high on the Ravens if they had a healthy Lamar Jackson, but here we are. I can’t see a scenario where the Ravens or the Dolphins pull an upset.

If my prediction about Miami having no shot is correct, that means the Chiefs will play the winner of the Chargers-Jaguars game. The Jaguars would be the more favorable matchup for the Chiefs, but I don’t think they’re ready for this level of football. Even without Mike Williams, the Chargers have more playmakers than Jacksonville.

Having to face L.A. for a third time would be a daunting task, but the Chiefs should be up for it. You know Andy Reid will have plenty of tricks up his sleeve and will have a great game plan coming off a bye-week.

Ed Easton Jr.'s predictions:

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

  • 49ers (2) vs. Seahawks (7): 49ers 28, Seahawks 10

  • Chargers (5) vs. Jaguars (4): Chargers 20, Jaguars 17

  • Dolphins (7) vs. Bills (2): Bills 35, Dolphins 14

  • Giants (6) vs. Vikings (3): Giants 24, Vikings 21

  • Ravens (6) vs. Bengals (3): Bengals 27, Ravens 13

  • Cowboys (5) vs. Buccaneers (4): Buccaneers 23, Cowboys 14

  • Who will the Chiefs play in the divisional round: Chargers

A tough matchup between division rivals, but the 49ers will overpower the Seahawks with their exceptional defense and clutch plays from Brock Purdy. An upset that is well overdue from their hard-fought regular season matchup a few weeks ago, as the Giants will use that outcome as motivation to win in Minnesota. Tom Brady in the postseason again, plus a shaky Cowboys team that struggles in big moments, are all the ingredients needed for a Buccaneers victory.

The Jaguars will be riding the momentum from last week’s AFC South division-clinching victory, but it won’t be enough, as Justin Herbert will outduel Trevor Lawrence in a close contest. The Bills will continue to carry the emotional spirit of Damar Hamlin into wild-card weekend and dominate the Dolphins, who will once again be without Tua. The Bengals are focused on defending their AFC crown as they face division rival Baltimore in consecutive weeks ending with the same result.

The Chargers should have enough on both sides of the ball to defeat the Jaguars setting up a third matchup with the Chiefs, who swept them during the regular season.

Wesley Roesch's predictions:

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

  • 49ers (2) vs. Seahawks (7): 49ers 31-17

  • Chargers (5) vs. Jaguars (4): Jaguars 31-30

  • Dolphins (7) vs. Bills (2): Bills 27-13

  • Giants (6) vs. Vikings (3): Giants 27-24

  • Ravens (6) vs. Bengals (3): Bengals 38-10

  • Cowboys (5) vs. Buccaneers (4): Cowboys 21-20

  • Who will the Chiefs play in the divisional round: Jaguars

The NFC side is tricky. I feel like any of the squads could make a surprise Super Bowl run if they get hot. The Seahawks seem like the longest shot, but the other two games should be close. I’ve gone back and forth with the Dallas-Tampa Bay game, and it’s so hard to pick against Tom Brady, but ultimately I think the Cowboys are the better team this year.

I don’t think there will be any upsets on the AFC side. I wouldn’t consider the Jaguars to be an upset over the Chargers because they’re favored in some places and the Chargers are banged up and have a tendency to blow big games. The Bills and Bengals appear to be locks given that the Dolphins and Ravens are both playing backup quarterbacks. If Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa and Ravens QB Lamar Jackson were playing, I’d actually consider the underdogs in those matchups.

With no upsets on the AFC side, the Chiefs should meet the Jaguars in the divisional round. That should be a good game and I’d expect Jacksonville to play Kansas City closer than it did the first time around, but the Chiefs should ultimately get the win in that contest.

Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire