An upset of New England and Texans previous follies pave way for Jackson and Mahomes
Ravens, Chiefs await winners of Wildcard Weekend
The AFC playoff picture is set.
Dolphins do it big
FOR. THE. LEAD!!!#MIAvsNE #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/ADIv5gqMMO— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) December 29, 2019
DeVante Parker worked potential Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore and the ageless wonder Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 320 including the above score that would decide the game. The Dolphins looked anything but a tanking team on their way to hanging with the Patriots and handing the Pats a loss that put them in danger of missing a bye for the first time since 2009.
The Patriots have never won the Super Bowl without having a bye. They have never made it to the Super Bowl in the Brady era without the bye. New England will host
Chiefs take bye from Pats, send Rivers home sad
Damien Williams will not be denied! Touchdown #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/PHfW30y2PT— Roto Street Journal (@RotoStJournal) December 29, 2019
Philip Rivers maybe finished his career with the Chargers with an interception as the Chiefs were too much for the Chargers in the season finale. A win and Patriots loss would get the Chiefs a bye for the second time with Patrick Mahomes as their starter. Mahomes and company did their part while getting help from the Dolphins.
The Chiefs will finish as the two seed with Baltimore the one seed. The Chiefs were the first team to hand the Ravens a loss this year, but that was in Kansas City. If the Chiefs get another shot at the Ravens it will be in Baltimore this time.
This is as tough a 1-2 punch at the top of the AFC that we have seen in a long time. The Chiefs have it going on both sides of the ball while the Ravens will get two weeks of rest after taking it easy in the final week of the regular season.
Texans early season stumbles doom bye chances
McCarron didn't really have any difficult throws to make on that drive. This throw to Mitchell over underneath zone defender was probably the best of em. pic.twitter.com/8ck0OoDGqm— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) December 29, 2019
The Texans started A.J. McCarron in a game that ultimately meant nothing for them. The Titans would win and secure the final AFC playoff spot.
It should have meant more for the Texans.
Houston has to be kicking themselves for two really hard to understand losses on their schedule. Early in the year they laid an egg against Kyle Allen and the Panthers and later in the year Denver came to town and Drew Lock lit the Texans up. They were two really bad losses and ultimately cost the Texans at a meaningful game in week 17 that could have had the Texans in a position for a bye.
Bill O'Brien has won four division crowns but he has never played week 17 controlling his own destiny for a bye. That puts much more pressure on the matchup with the Bills next weekend.
Texans hosting Bills
.@Bills QB Josh Allen on #Texans:”Just knowing the names that r on their team.Obviously they’re gonna have @JJWatt back.Mercilus(@Merci380),he signed a new deal.Those r the guys that got after us last year-It’s gonna be loud.We’re gonna have to utilize some silent count no doubt” pic.twitter.com/sN207upmQu— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) December 29, 2019
Josh Allen feels like a bad matchup for the Texans defense. He likes to toss bombs and the Texans have been known to blow a coverage or two. He also has a dangerous slot weapon in Cole Beasley and a tight end he trusts to make plays in Dawson Knox. Devin Singletary and Frank Gore provide a very solid rushing attack with Singletary shouldering the load more lately.
The Bills defense is fantastic this season. Led by Tre'Davious White in the secondary and an underrated safety duo the Bills are a nightmare for passing games. They are one of three teams to allow less than 200 passing yards per game this season. A few weeks ago the Ravens struggled to move the ball and settled for 24 points in their win over Buffalo.
The Texans will be mocked heading into this game and most will expect them to lose the game. Under Bill O'Brien they have lost every game in the playoffs when facing the team's regular starting quarterback. Last year, the Colts embarrassed the Texans. J.J. Watt should make his return to the field in this game. With a week of rest under their belts for their key players, the Texans have to show up better than their previous playoff trips under O'Brien.
It isn't crazy to think the Texans might have too much on offense for the Bills but Buffalo can slow down Watson and company and a defensive score would really set the Bills up for an upset victory.
Patriots hosting Titans
AJ BROWN IS UNSTOPPABLE ⚡️ @Brown1arthur pic.twitter.com/YWHVSdUmgt— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 29, 2019
The Patriots have to contend with the toughest possible sixth seeded team. The Titans have been red hot with Ryan Tannehill under center and boast a formidable passing attack as well as a solid rushing attack. Tom Brady won't be able to keep up with the Titans if they are scoring at will.
The Patriots defense is the much better unit but the Titans have had plenty of successful bend-don't-break games including a win vs Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes. That was at home though, this will be in New England. Tannehill was frustrated earlier in December by a beaten up Texans defense, it would stand to reason the Patriots have enough to slow down the Tennessee offense. However, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins put on the Patriots in a must-win for the bye scenario. Perhaps there are more cracks in than formidable defense than recently imagined.
It would be a real surprise if the Tannehill revival tour went to New England and got a win.