After two exclusive weeks of training camp, four weeks of pre-season games, and 17 weeks of regular season games, it is finally time for the NFL Playoffs!
The Wild Card round opens this weekend with four games. In the AFC, the Ravens host the Chargers and the Texans host the Colts. In the NFC, Cowboys host Seahawks and Bears host Eagles. Patriots, Chiefs, Saints, Rams each have byes this round.
Drafting a Quarterback is the best way to acquire one
Of the 12 teams in the playoffs, 11 of them are starting a QB whom they drafted (or acquired on draft day). The only QB who signed as a free agent was Drew Brees with the Saints.
Of the 8 QBs starting this weekend:
- All 4 AFC QBs were first round picks
- The only NFC first round pick was Mitchell Trubisky
Three things about each playoff matchup
Eagles vs Bears
Eagles have won 3 in a row vs Bears and are 2-1 all-time in playoff games vs Chicago
Both head coaches – Eagles’ Doug Pederson and Bears’ Matt Nagy – are former Offensive Coordinators under Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. From 2013-15 Doug Pederson was Chiefs OC, with Nagy serving as QB coach. Nagy was promoted to OC in 2016-17, when Pederson left Kansas City to accept the head job in Philadelphia.
Reunion game for Eagles QB Nick Foles and Bears TE Trey Burton, who both executed to perfection the famous “Philly Philly” touchdown pass in the Super Bowl. And also reunion for Bears OL Kyle Long and his brother, Eagles DL Chris Long.
Cowboys vs Seahawks
Seahawks have won the last three meetings against the Cowboys (2018, 2017, 2015) and have won 4 of 5 overall. The Seahawks won the lone playoff meeting between teams in 2007.
Russell Wilson is the only QB to play every single snap at QB this season; Dak Prescott missed 6 snaps at the end of the Jaguars game due to the score (he was rested for backup Cooper Rush).
One of the big reasons for the Cowboys success on defense is Kris Richard. Richard worked in Seattle from 2010-2017, and was most recently their Defensive Coordinator before being let go after the 2017 season. Richard’s role as Cowboys passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach has made a huge impact.
Chargers vs Ravens
5 QBs were drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft. The only one to make the playoffs was the final pick of the first round (#32) Lamar Jackson
Chargers have 7 Pro Bowlers – 6 of whom were drafted by the team (only Mike Pouncey was signed as a free agent). A 7th drafted Charger, who made the Pro Bowl, is Ravens Safety Eric Weddle.
Chargers haven’t made the playoffs since 2013. QB Philip Rivers is 4-5 in his postseason career with 11 TD, 9 INT; 2014 is the last time the Ravens made the playoffs. John Harbaugh has a 10-5 overall record.
Texans vs Colts
Colts are a remarkable 26-8 all-time vs Texans. Since Andrew Luck was drafted in 2012, Colts are 9-5.
Texans are 3-4 all-time in the playoffs. Other than their one-and-done appearance in 2015, Texans have won one game every time they made playoffs, but have never advanced past the divisional round (two).
Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins caught 115 passes this season, with 0 drops.