opposing forces and a shock not to be missed

NFL playoffs

After a stunning Wild Card Round where many division champions have been eliminated, make way for the Divisionals posters! Beginning of the second round of the NFL playoffs this Saturday with the entry into the running of the leader of the NFC and what is similar to the biggest shock of the weekend.

Los Angeles Rams (# 6) @ Green Bay Packers (# 1)

Huge style opposition to start the ball rolling in this Divisional Round. First in the National Conference – and therefore exempt from the first round – at the end of the regular season, the Packers will enter the running with a detonating attack. Ultra prolific throughout this year (best points average in the NFL), Green Bay has proven throughout the year that its offensive squad is one of the best in the country. With an Aaron Rodgers in MVP mode, the Cheeseheads are armed to go far but will see them stand in front of them which is perhaps the best defense in the league.

Yes, because on paper the Rams have a defense capable of annoying anyone in the NFL. Franchise cashing the fewest yards and the fewest points in 2020, Los Angeles was able to rely on this strength to waver opponents who seemed stronger like the previous round against Seattle. Despite a struggling attack, the Californians dictated their law thanks to a defensive line – Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd in the lead – which harassed Russell Wilson throughout the game. Aaron Rodgers is warned he may have to flee to stay alive.

With this opposition of style, a duel will be to remember: Davante Adams against Jalen Ramsey. Among the best receivers in the league, Adams is his quarterback’s favorite target but will have a hard time against one of the best shutdown corner of the league. Arriving in Los Angeles last year, Ramsey reminded everyone he can lock down any receiver like in Wild Card where he totally extinguished DK Metcalf. Aaron Rodgers is again warned, he could have to compose without his best receiver if the latter ends up on the Ramsey island.

If it was necessary to release a favorite in this meeting, the balance would surely tip in the side of the franchise of Wisconsin. More consistent throughout the season, the Packers can count on a powerful attack but also on a defense that has been proven, unlike the Rams who do not have the same balance. Despite the rise of Cam Akers in the running game Los Angeles is struggling to find rhythm in attack and will also have to deal with a diminished Jared Goff. If the defenses win championships, Los Angeles will have to prove it by performing prowess against the favorite of the NFC.

Baltimore Ravens (# 6) @ Buffalo Bills (# 2)

This is perhaps the most enticing poster of this weekend. Bills / Ravens, a shock that makes your mouth water and which will also offer a real cultural opposition. On the one hand, the Bills have one of the best aerial attacks in the league (3e to the yards to the pass). In the wake of a Josh Allen who has greatly improved in 2020 and who has established himself as a trusted quarterback (member of the 2nd All-Pro Team), Buffalo has ridden on many franchises. The attack is a monstrous cold-blooded steamroller (2e most prolific attack, most effective team out of 3e attempt) and could foil some solid Ravens.

Opposite, Baltimore relies on very diverse forces. If the game of the pass is used very little (32e of the league), it is thanks to his work on the ground that the Ravens’ attack is formidable. Behind a trio of runners led by rookie JK Dobbins and thanks to the ground prowess of Lamar Jackson, the Maryland franchise seems unstoppable in this area of ​​play like its match against Tennessee in the previous round. Against the Titans, Baltimore netted 236 yds in the race, which allowed John Harbaugh’s players to progress, exhaust the opposing defense and control the tempo. Another performance like this and the Ravens would be on their way to reaching the conference final.

In a duel between two attacks as effective and dangerous, the key factor could come from the defenses. And in this little game, Baltimore could well take the advantage. A real wall in the regular season (only 18.9 pts conceded on average), the Ravens’ defense is filled with playmakers and completely annihilated Derrick Henry last week. This week we will have to repeat the performance by stopping another yadr machine: Stefon Diggs. Since arriving in New York state, the receiver has transformed the passing game and established himself as one of the best players in his role. Presumably opposed to Marlon Humphrey this Saturday, one of the most physical cornerbacks in the league, the challenge will be great but his success will be decisive in that of his franchise.

Difficult to get wet in a very close meeting on paper where each franchise could rock the game by relying on its strengths. If Baltimore seems to have a more balanced squad, Buffalo seems on a dynamic that will be difficult to break. Winners of nine of their last ten regular season games, the Bills showed great mental resources against the Colts in the Wild Card Round in a meeting that they could have lost on the wire. If the defense will have to find solutions to slow down the opposing ground game, Sean McDermott’s men seem more armed than ever to find a conference final that they have not known since 1993 and a match against… the Chiefs! Bis repetita for the 2020 season?

Two beautiful posters for this Saturday which will launch the Divisional Round. If Green Bay makes their debut against one of the league’s best defenses, Buffalo and Baltimore will face each other in weekend shock. Meet at 10:35 p.m. for the opening of hostilities with a meeting between Packers and Rams to be found unencrypted on the Équipe channel.

Featured Image Credits: Brett Carlsen / Getty Images

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