NFL Playoff Picks: Divisional Round

Story posted January 20, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by CommRadio Sports Staff

A surprisingly competitive Super Wild Card Weekend produced some exciting matchups for the Divisional Round.

Below, members of the CommRadio Sports Staff make their predictions about how the two-day slate of games shakes out.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Kansas City Chiefs (Saturday @ 4:30)

Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars are heading to the cold city of Kansas City this Saturday in what should be an interesting matchup.

The Chiefs were able to get rest on their bye and watch the Jaguars pull off one of the biggest playoff comebacks in NFL history this past weekend versus the Los Angeles Chargers.

It was truly a tale of two halves for the Jaguars that night as Trevor Lawrence threw four first half interceptions and the defense couldn’t stop anything. But in the second half, the team rallied around Lawrence’s four touchdowns as he was able to keep his streak of never losing a game on a Saturday.

As for the Chiefs they’re right where… not everyone expected them to be.

When Tyreek Hill took his talents to the Miami Dolphins, many believed that the Chiefs would have some form of a dropoff. But Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes worked their magic yet again, and now have a home playoff game coming off a bye.

The two teams faced off earlier this season in Week 10 and while the Jaguars didn’t play exactly bad, the Chiefs simply played better, as Mahomes threw for 331 passing yards and four touchdowns.

Expect something similar to that game this Saturday as Mahomes and the Chiefs seek to get back to the Super Bowl while Lawrence finally loses his first game on a Saturday.

Rob’s Prediction: Chiefs 31,  Jaguars 17

New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles (Saturday @ 8:15)

Quarterback Daniel Jones and the New York Giants will head down the New Jersey Turnpike to square off against fellow divisional foe, the Philadelphia Eagles this Saturday.

Philly will be coming off of a bye and will be well rested to face off against the Giants who beat the Minnesota Vikings last Saturday during the Wild Card Weekend.

The Giants played one of their best games of the season in Minneapolis, especially quarterback Daniel Jones completing 71% of his passes. Wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins and running back Saquon Barkley both found the endzone for big blue and the big defensive three of Kayvon Thibodeaux, Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence combined for 16 tackles, putting constant pressure on Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Philadelphia went 2-0 against the Giants this season and looks to improve to 3-0 to send them to the NFC Championship round. The Eagles offensive line is made up of three Pro Bowlers and experience oozes throughout both of the Birds’ lines, so getting pressure on Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts and stopping 1,269 yard rusher Miles Sanders will be a challenge for New York.

Both organizations have deep roots in the playoffs against each other, and New York looks to roll into Lincoln Financial Field and cause their second upset in as many weeks, which would be their first win in Philadelphia in over a decade.

Owen’s Prediction: Giants 24, Eagles 21

Cincinnati Bengals @ Buffalo Bills (Sunday @ 3:00)

Two familiar foes face off this Sunday in frigid Buffalo, as the Cincinnati Bengals travel north to take on the Buffalo Bills. These teams played on Monday night of Week 17, where the NFL was taken aback due to the gruesome injury to Damar Hamlin — one that required resuscitation on the field.

After the ultimate postponement of that game, which carried major importance with the playoffs quickly approaching, the same two AFC juggernauts battle again less than three weeks later.

The key players to watch will be the quarterbacks on both sides of the ball.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense were stymied last week in a nail biting finish against the Ravens. Burow struggled to reach 200 yards passing, mostly due to his playmakers lack of separation throughout and having no run game to rely on. Star running back Joe Mixon managed a measly 3.5 yards per carry, with the Bengals rushing for a miniscule 51 yards on the day.

Buffalo hosted Miami last week, pulling out a 34-31 victory in the waning moments. A result that shocked many, the Bills defense struggled to force Dolphins third string quarterback Skylar Thompson off the field. Josh Allen turned the ball over three times, including a fumble that led to a Zach Sieler recovery for a Dolphin touchdown.

Ultimately, whichever quarterback plays more efficiently should secure the win. Both defenses, who were stout throughout the regular season, struggled against banged up offenses last week. However, the emotional impact of Damar Hamlin’s potential walkout in Buffalo pregame will give the Bills the motivation they need to come out on top.

Parker’s Prediction: Bills 31, Bengals 28

Dallas Cowboys @ San Francisco 49ers (Sunday @ 6:30)

This classic matchup between two of the NFL’s most iconic franchises will take place for a record ninth time in the postseason.

The Cowboys and the 49ers faced off last season in Jerry World in a game that saw the 49ers defense shut down Dak Prescott and the league-leading offense. The 49ers made a run that would end in the NFC Championship game at the hands of the Rams, the eventual champions.

This time around the two teams are coming from a very similar place as last season. The Cowboys went 12-5 for the second consecutive year and are ready to exact revenge on the team that ended their run last season.

The 49ers boast the best defense in the league and are manned by rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, who has gone undefeated since taking the reins mid season from an injured Jimmy Garoppolo.

Dak Prescott and the Cowboys put on a show last week against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, beating them 31-14 despite an NFL record four missed extra points from kicker Brett Maher.

This matchup is going to come down to which quarterback handles the pressure better, and although Purdy has shown great poise in a small sample size, there is no substitute for experience.

Prescott leads the Cowboys to a narrow victory in San Francisco and advances the Cowboys to the NFC Championship for the first time since 1996.

Jameson’s Prediction: Cowboys 27, 49ers 24

Rob Cardini is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

Owen Gelber is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

Parker Silverman is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

Jameson Kramer is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

About the Contributors

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Robert Cardini

Freshmen / Broadcast Journalism

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Jameson Kramer

Junior /

Jameson Kramer is a third-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. He is involved in the sports department. In addition to Comm Radio, Jameson is involved in the Daily Collegian, and is a member of Eclipse, a THON organization. To contact him, email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Owen Gelber


Owen Gelber is a first-year student at Penn State. He has spent his time in State College learning the ins and outs of sports media and production. Owen has began to write weekly articles for Commradio, as well as join his fellow colleagues in recording and producing sports podcasts. Owen anticipates joining the hockey talk show, “The Sin Bin,” and continuing his journey as a sports writer, broadcaster, and producer during his time at Penn State. You can contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or follow his twitter at @GelberOwen.

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Parker Silverman

Freshman / Broadcast Journalism

Parker Silverman is a freshman at Penn State majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a new member of CommRadio, and has written articles and facilitated podcasts for the radio station. Prior to Penn State, Parker served as a student journalist for his high school newspaper. You can follow him on Instagram at @parker.silverman or on Twitter at @parxsilv.