NFL playoff picks, wildcard predictions: 49ers upset the Cowboys; Bills and Cardinals Win Rubber Matches

NFL Wild Cards weekend has arrived with three exciting days of playoff games.

Last season, the bottom seed was 4-2 S / U in the wild card round. Where will the upheavals come from this season? Will the Raiders continue their run from Cinderella to Cincinnati? Joe Burrow will look to lead the Bengals to their first playoff victory since the 1990 playoffs.

A pair of division rubber matches should be interesting. New England goes to Buffalo and Arizona meets Los Angeles on the road.

A classic NFC rivalry is renewed when San Francisco travels to Dallas, and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s farewell tour will make another stop in Kansas City. That leaves Tampa Bay the reigning Super Bowl champions. Tom Brady will be looking to start another Super Bowl race against Philadelphia.

It’s a great weekend, that’s for sure. Here are Sporting News’ picks for the jokers round.

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NFL playoff picks, wildcard predictions: 49ers upset the Cowboys; Bills and Cardinals Win Rubber Matches
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NFL playoff picks, 2022 wildcard game predictions

  • Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cincinnati Bengals (-6)

Saturday, 4:35 p.m., NBC, Peacock

Burrow’s first playoff start will be the center of attention, but the Bengals were content to give Joe Mixon 30 carries in the regular season game, which he won for 123 yards and two touchdowns. The Raiders have tightened their race defense since then, and they have the confidence that comes from winning four straight one-point games. Cincinnati have lost their last seven playoff games. Burrow ends that streak with a late connection with Ja’Marr Chase, but it’s not easy.

Take: Bengals 31, Raiders 28

  • New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills (-4.5)

Saturday, 8:15 p.m., CBS, Paramount +

Josh Allen had 314 yards and three touchdowns in Game 2 between these teams. The road team have won every regular season game, and the intrigue around Bill Belichick leading another playoff race is there. Rookie Mac Jones will also make his first playoff start. It’s a battle between the two best defenses in the NFL and the forecast is for snow. The temptation for a Patriots upheaval is there, but Buffalo is doing it.

Take: Bills 26, Patriots 20

NFL playoff picks, wildcard predictions: 49ers upset the Cowboys; Bills and Cardinals Win Rubber Matches
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  • Philadelphia Eagles vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

The Eagles have been impressive with Jalen Hurts, but it’s a big demand on the road. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers have put the drama around Antonio Brown’s exit in the rearview mirror. Tampa Bay will need to generate a running game to keep the Eagles’ defense honest, but Brady will connect with Rob Gronkowski for a pair of touchdowns. Chances are, the duo will remember Super Bowl LII.

Take: Buccaneers 31, Eagles 21

MORE: SN Predicts Entire 2022 NFL Playoff bracket

  • San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys (-3)

Sunday, 4:30 p.m., CBS, Paramount +, Nickelodeon

The Cowboys have the best statistical offense in the NFL. Dak Prescott has playmakers to work with, and Micah Parsons has been dominant all season. So what is the problem? San Francisco is a good match and the 49ers are in good health. Jimmy Garoppolo will be backed by solid running play, and a Nick Bosa-led defense causes some turnovers. San Francisco embarks on yet another classic clash against the Packers in the Divisional Round.

Take: 49ers 28, Cowboys 26

NFL playoff picks, wildcard predictions: 49ers upset the Cowboys; Bills and Cardinals Win Rubber Matches
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  • Pittsburgh Steelers vs Kansas City Chiefs (-8.5)

Sunday, 8:15 p.m., NBC

The Steelers have rallied in the playoffs and they will play with nothing to lose behind Ben Roethlisberger, who is 13-9 in the playoffs. Patrick Mahomes II, however, is at home, and it’s the same Chiefs team that beat the Steelers 36-10 in Week 16. It’s closer this time around, but the Chiefs are moving on.

Take: Chefs 35, Steelers 20

  • Arizona Cardinals vs Los Angeles Rams (-4)

Monday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN, ABC, ESPN2

The Cardinals were 1-4 in their last five games and have allowed 30 points per game in the four losses. The Rams won NFC West, and it’s Matthew Stafford’s chance to make a Super Bowl run. The Rams have won nine of the last 10 meetings. Despite all of that, Kyler Murray almost rocked the NFC playoff table by leading the Cardinals to a victory.

Take: Cardinals 33, Rams 30

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