The Rams will face a Buccaneers protection that likes to blitz, however selecting when and the way usually to blitz Stafford can be key. Stafford led the league with a 139.6 passer score when defenses despatched additional rushers this season, based on N.F.L.’s Next Gen Stats.
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City
6:30 p.m., CBS
The A.F.C. was as soon as dominated by Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Now, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen may change into the convention's marquee rivalry.
The vivid younger quarterbacks for Kansas City and Buffalo will lead their groups to their third assembly in lower than a calendar 12 months. They simply dispatched their wild-card opponents final week, and the winner of this divisional-round matchup can be two wins away from a Super Bowl title.
This assembly occurred in final 12 months’s A.F.C. championship sport, wherein Kansas City defeated Buffalo, 38-24. As confetti fell at Arrowhead Stadium, Bills receiver Stefon Diggs watched alone on the sideline, a picture that quickly went viral.
The circumstances modified 9 months later, in Week 5, as Buffalo outclassed Kansas City, 38-20, in a efficiency that highlighted Kansas City’s early-season struggles. Defensive breakdowns handicapped Kansas City, whereas Allen threw for 234 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 88 yards.
The protection ought to be higher outfitted this time, although, as Chris Jones, the staff’s finest defensive lineman, will play after being inactive Week 5 with a wrist harm. Kansas City additionally added the sting rusher Melvin Ingram throughout the season.
The Chiefs began the season 3-4 — with the Bills sport in that stretch — as a result of Mahomes was making uncharacteristic turnovers, the high-powered offense was failing to adapt to new methods to include these errors, and the protection was surrendering about 400 yards per sport. But questionable losses by the A.F.C.’s finest groups — add Buffalo’s loss to Jacksonville in that class — stored the standings shut, permitting Kansas City to regroup and declare the No. 2 seed after experiencing just one loss since November. The protection permitted about 100 yards much less per sport, and Mahomes turned extra affected person, taking beneath throws as an alternative of forcing downfield photographs. His ball safety additionally improved: Through the primary seven video games, he threw 9 interceptions; he has thrown 5 since.