Fun storylines to watch for during the NFL Divisional Round playoff weekend

Baltimore Ravens v Buffalo Bills

As Vikings fans soak in the three-year anniversary of the Minneapolis Miracle today, the 2021 Divisional Round playoffs are set to kick off this weekend. Despite not being in the playoffs after an up and down 2020 season, Vikings fans still have plenty to look forward to in the second weekend of NFL playoffs. 

The slate starts out late in the afternoon on Saturday with the Rams traveling to play the Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers are the No. 1 seed in the NFC and have the MVP frontrunner in Aaron Rodgers playing at an elite level. 

Rodgers and the Packers’ high-powered offense is set to square off against one of the league’s top defenses. The Rams are coming off a 30-20 victory over the Seahawks where they were able to keep Russell Wilson contained. 

Watching two highly talented units square off in the first game of the weekend is a storyline in itself, but there’s a matchup to watch for within that matchup. 

Davante Adams has been one of the top receivers in the NFL over the last few seasons and he’s set to go up against one of the best cornerbacks in Jalen Ramsey. 

Both First Team All-Pro selections will have their hands full on Saturday, giving fans one of the best matchups of the year in the first game of the weekend. 

The late game on Saturday should also be entertaining, as it’s a battle of two of the top quarterbacks taken in the 2018 NFL Draft. Josh Allen and the Bills host Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, giving fans an exciting dual threat quarterback showdown. 

Both quarterbacks were labeled with accuracy problems coming out of college, but both Allen and Jackson have taken huge strides forward in the last two seasons. Each of them found their first career playoff victory last week and they’ll both be looking for a chance at the AFC Championship game on Saturday. 

Jackson didn’t have the season he had just a year ago, after he put up numbers that won him the MVP award last season. Allen, on the other hand, has boosted his level of play and will likely find himself in the top three in terms of MVP votes for this season. 

Stefon Diggs should also be mentioned, as he showed Vikings fans three years ago that he’s more than capable of making plays on the biggest stage. 

And if those two games alone weren’t big enough, the Sunday slate might even be the more entertaining day of football. 

The afternoon game on Sunday should have football fans ready to be staring at their TVs for at least three straight hours. It’s a battle of one quarterback that does insurance commercials for Progressive, while the other one does his for State Farm.

All insurance jokes aside, Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield already have a history of putting up video game numbers when playing each other. 

This game was in 2016 where the two played each other in one of the most entertaining college football games in recent memory. It’s the NFL, and not the Big 12, so it’s safe to expect more defense to be played on Sunday.

However, the Browns are coming off their first playoff win since 1995 and the Chiefs won the Super Bowl just over a year ago. Most analysts are expecting the Chiefs to win this one big, but Mayfield and the Browns might have something to say about that. 

To top it all off, we get to witness two of the league’s most prolific quarterbacks of all time square off in New Orleans. 

Tom Brady and his Buccaneers take on Drew Brees and the Saints for the third time this season. The Saints had their way with the Buccaneers in the teams’ first two meetings, but it’s never easy beating a team three times in one year. 

Brady will look to add to his “goat” resume whereas this could potentially be the last year fans get to watch Brees play the game. It should be noted that the Saints have had their Super Bowl hopes spoiled in dramatic fashion over the last three seasons, so it’ll be worth watching this one till the end. 

My picks:

Packers over the Rams 

Bills over the Ravens 

Chiefs over the Browns 

Buccaneers over the Saints 

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