The Buffalo Bills look for their first playoff win since 1995 when they owned Don Shula and Dan Marino.
The Bills bring some swag into this playoffs after this brawl in the season finale at Miami.
A quick comment on the slate of NFL coach firings - the most fascinating and bizarre is the story that Jon Gruden will get not only the head coaching job with the Raiders but also part-ownership. With the firing of Jack Del Rio that rumor becomes more credible - with Mark Davis reportedly in heavy debt - a figure indicated by Boomer Esiason is $125 million - it makes sense to bring in ownership help, plus it's a selling point for the move to Vegas.
Titans over Chiefs - This is the matchup Andy Reid didn't want because the Titans have won six of the seven career meetings they've had with Andy Reid teams.........
Tennessee Titans vs Andy Reid teams -
2000 @ Eagles - W 15-13
2002 vs Eagles - W 27-24
2006 @ Eagles - W 31-13
2010 vs Eagles - W 37-19
2013 vs Chiefs - L 26-17
2014 @ Chiefs - W 26-10
2016 @ Chiefs - W 19-17
.....and the last time the Titans traveled to Arrowhead they clawed out a clutch win. The Titans have now beaten nine playoff contenders (the Jaguars twice this season, making ten such wins) in the eighteen wins they've clawed out the last two seasons. Mike Mularkey may still not last into 2018 with the story Titans ownership is frustrated at seeming slowness at developing Marcus Mariota (an interesting matchup here per John Glennon is when Mariota was blitzed he was deadly accurate in completions); certainly the targeting of Patriots coordinator Josh McDaniels makes sense and the Titans are a good fit, but give Mularkey credit for reestablishing a culture with accountability in the Titans locker room.
The last Rams playoff game was 2004 at the Falcons.
Falcons over Rams - The Rams enter unfamiliar territory - not only the playoffs for the first time since 2004 but also a playoff game at home, and in LA. The Rams' last playoff win was at Seattle in 2004, so for the Rams this is something new, while for the Falcons it's become old hat. While not necessarily as good as in 2016 the Falcons enter with momentum, and Matt Ryan is unbeaten against the Rams - but then this is not the same old Rams.
The only other playoff meeting between the Bills and Jaguars was Jacksonville's first ever playoff game.
The last time the Jaguars hosted a playoff game against someone other than the Patriots or Titans, it went swimmingly - and against another AFC East team
Jaguars over Bills - Tom Coughlin's rebuild of the Jaguars has paid off in their first division title of the AFC South era and their first division title since the AFC Central. They face a Bills team that played well enough to make it but hasn't shown they've really taken the next step. A key matchup - per John Glennon, when Blake Bortles was blitzed, he was abysmal. So this game could be closer than the reputations of the two teams may suggest.
Where was this out of the Buccaneers all season? Maybe being home dogs helped.
Panthers over Saints - Beating one team three times in a season is rare, and New Orleans' loss to the Bucs when they had to win to secure the NFC South (Atlanta's win over Carolina backed the Saints into the division title) raises a red flag; the Saints have gone just 3-3 entering the playoffs even with the season sweep of the Panthers, who won four of their last six and committed fewer turnovers in that span than the Saints. The comeback of both teams has been remarkable, New Orleans from going 7-9 four of the last five seasons and Carolina from slumping to 6-10 in 2016. The memory of back-to-back 41-38 games hangs over this matchup.
So the playoffs commence.