The wild-card round has certainly lived up to its name, in between all the Burger King commercials. Four of this weekend's five playoff games were back-and-forth affairs decided by a single score, with the underdog covering in all four and winning two of them straight up.
The victor in Monday night's contest between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will travel to San Francisco in the divisional round to take on the 49ers. BetMGM has released lines for the three matchups already set in stone and they look like this:
Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs (-8.5)
While the Chiefs were enjoying a bye, Jacksonville was busy raising the bar on "Chargering." Trevor Lawrence shook off four first-half interceptions to erase a 27-0 deficit and complete the third-largest comeback in NFL playoff history against a Chargers franchise for whom imploding is as commonplace as waking up in the morning. The quarterback's reward for the 31-30 win was twofold: a night out at the Waffle House and a trip to Kansas City.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs opened as 9.5-point favorites, but that line has dropped a full point since Sunday night. The two teams met in Week 10, with Kansas City dominating at home, 27-17. The loss dropped Jacksonville to 3-7 heading into their bye week. The Jags won six of their final seven regular season games and claimed the AFC South as Lawrence threw 12 touchdowns to just two interceptions over that span.
Both teams finished the season ranked in the top nine in offensive DVOA and in the bottom half in defensive DVOA, so it's no surprise this matchup carries the highest point total of the divisional round, at 51.5 points.
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5)
Madden ratings adjusters, it's time to bump Daniel Jones up to 99. New York's QB went full Vanilla Vick versus the Vikings, throwing for 301 yards and two scores and leading the Giants in rushing with 78 yards on 17 carries.
Philadelphia's defense surrendered the fourth-most rushing yards per game to quarterbacks this season (26.4). The 6.5 yards per carry they allowed to the position ranked second-worst. Giants quarterbacks totaled 107 rushing yards on 12 carries versus the Eagles in 2022.
Nick Sirianni's team swept the season series against their NFC East rivals, beginning with a 48-22 rout in New York in Week 14. Philly faced the Giants' B-squad in Week 18, as Brian Daboll rested his starters with New York locked into the sixth seed. The Eagles staved off a fourth-quarter rally from Davis Webb and Kenny Golladay to escape with a 22-16 victory that clinched the NFC's top seed.
Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills (-4.5)
These two were expected to cakewalk to victory against backup quarterbacks on Sunday and it looked like that would be the case until they were served a mouthful of meat and custard trifle.
Buffalo jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter. Then the wheels started to come off as Josh Allen threw a pair of interceptions to Xavien Howard and Jevon Holland that were returned into Buffalo territory. Miami scored 10 points off the picks to notch the game at 17-17. A Bills field goal reclaimed a 20-17 lead heading into halftime. On Buffalo's first offensive play of the second half, Dolphins safety Eric Rowe strip-sacked Allen and celebrated as defensive lineman Zach Sieler returned the fumble five yards for a defensive score that gifted Miami its first and only lead of the game. Trailing 34-31 with the ball late in the fourth quarter, Skylar Thompson and the Dolphins had a chance to pull off a shocker, but their hopes went up in vape smoke as a delay of game penalty turned a fourth-and-1 into a fourth-and-6 and a diving Mike Gesicki was unable to secure Thompson's pass.
The Bengals also dropped an early hammer in their game when Joe Burrow connected with Ja'Marr Chase for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to go up 9-0. Baltimore rode its running game and tightened up on defense to take a 10-9 lead into the locker room. The Ravens were literally on the verge of scoring a touchdown with the score tied 17-17 in the fourth quarter. That's when disaster struck. Quarterback Tyler Huntley attempted to stretch the ball over the white stripe on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, but linebacker Logan Wilson swatted it into defensive end Sam Hubbard's arms for a 98-yard touchdown return. The 14-point swing was the final score of the game, sending the Ravens home to contemplate whether they want to give Lamar Jackson the contract he's seeking.
Cincinnati and Buffalo met in Week 17, but the contest was canceled when Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field. The Bills safety was discharged from the hospital on Jan. 11 and spent Sunday afternoon watching his team from home. This will be the first official meeting between Burrow and Allen. Buffalo and Cincinnati rank first and fifth in overall DVOA, respectively.
Stats provided by Pro Football Reference, CBS Sports, and Football Outsiders.