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2024 NFL Playoff Preview

CBS Sports

As the NFL regular season ends, we now look to the playoffs where legends are made and upsets happen. This past season we have seen teams underperform and also exceed expectations. However, we can now see which teams are legit contenders and which are just pretenders. 

Super wildcard weekend starts on Saturday, January 13 with the Cleveland Browns vs Houston Texans.  Both these teams had struggled throughout the season but managed to turn things around after the halfway point of the season. For the Texans, they have a very mature rookie quarterback in C.J. Stroud. Stroud has been phenomenal all year and is a frontrunner for Rookie of the Year. 

For the Browns, there is a seasoned vet in Joe Flacco. Flacco signed with the Browns as a backup. This year would become the year of the backup QB. Flacco stepped up just before it was too late for the Browns and turned things around. 

Flacco also knows what it takes to get to the Promise Land, as he is also a Super Bowl champion. This wildcard matchup should be an exciting one, with both these teams having something to prove.  The Rookie vs. The Vet matchup will have us on the edge of our seats. 

The AFC is loaded with underdogs. With the Baltimore Ravens getting a bye, everybody looks to compete with them. The Ravens will take on the winner of the Browns and Texans. The other divisional spots are up for grabs. 

The electrifying offense of the Miami Dolphins is going to take on the Kansas City Chiefs.  Patrick Mahomes will look to take down his former Super Bowl teammate Tyreek Hill.  Hill has 119 catches on the year, with over 15,000 yards on the year as well. With Hill having an MVP season, can he help catapult this offense deep into the playoffs? He will also have an advantage because this is his old team.

  The Chiefs on the other hand will look to have a consistent offense, as the receivers this year have raised eyebrows all season long. If Kansas City can get their receivers on the same page, then we could be looking at an exciting game. 

The AFC wildcard will round out with the Bills and the Steelers. The Bills are the favorites in the matchup. Josh Allen has had ups and downs the whole season. But the offense kept rolling and they are on the back of running back James Cook. Cook has had a breakout year and is becoming an ex-factor on the offense. 

What the Bills can do to become stronger in this matchup is get Stephon Diggs going early. Diggs will have to find a way to have a great game. The Allen and Diggs connection should be on the lookout in these playoffs. 

These playoffs are crazy and they didn’t even get underway yet. The NFC is a little different from the AFC. The three dominant teams are the 49ers, the Eagles, and the Cowboys.  These three teams will be under the microscope throughout the playoffs. These teams are also heavy favorites in their games. However, their opponents are also underdogs.  In the NFL playoffs, you can always count on an upset. 

The favored team to do it is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay led by the reinvented Baker Mayfield will take on the Eagles. Baker and the Bucs finished the season strong. Baker also has been utilizing the weapons he has on the offense. Mike Evans, his number-one receiver is one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL. 

Evans and Mayfield linked up for over half of the possessions this year. With this offense rolling, the real test will be the Eagles defense. If this Eagle's defense falls apart as they did at the end of the season, we could be looking at an upset. The 49ers have a first-round bye and they will take on the winner of this game. 

America’s football team the Dallas Cowboys will take on the Green Bay Packers. Every year Dak Prescott and the Cowboys have a great regular season. But this year they want to put the world on notice in these playoffs. The question that will get answered in these playoffs is, Can Dak lead the Cowboys to a deep playoff run?

A fun and exciting match will come from Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford playing against his old team, the Detroit Lions.  These two teams are familiar with each other for the simple fact that the starting quarterbacks got traded for each other. 

The Lions quarterback Jared Goff led the Rams to one Super Bowl back in 2018, but would then part ways as the Rams traded for Stafford back in 2021.  This history has set up a great quarterback duel in this wildcard round. It wouldn’t be surprising that Goff comes in with a chip on his shoulder. 

As the playoffs start there is no doubt that we have some great games coming up this weekend.  This is the time when legacies are made and great football is played. 

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