Road to Super Bowl 2021: Predictions for the Wild Card Round

Published 01/05/2021, 1:00 PM EST
Jan 3, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after they score a touchdown during the first quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


With the 2020 regular season winding down, the first week of the Playoffs beckons. The Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers will sit out the Wild Card Round owing to their spot at the top of their respective conferences. 

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The remaining 12 teams will have to battle it out to keep their Super Bowl dreams alive. With a whole host of top games to watch out for, here’s a series of hot takes heading into the Wild Card round.

Biggest hit- Buffalo Bills 

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There’s not much surprise surrounding this pick. The Bills are hands down the best of the rest. With a 13-3 record, the Bills narrowly missed out on securing the AFC top seed. But that shouldn’t deter the rampant Bills.

The key to their rapid rise is the performance of their offensive corps, especially quarterback Josh Allen. 

Sep 13, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) passes the ball against the New York Jets during the third quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

With 37 touchdowns to his name over the course of the regular season, one can expect Allen to bag yet another 3-4 touchdown performance against the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the Playoffs. 

Prediction– Bills beat Colts 31-17, Josh Allen gets 3 touchdowns

Biggest flop- Pittsburgh Steelers 

There, we said it. The Steelers won’t win a single playoff game this season. And to rub salt to the wound, they’ll be knocked out by division rivals Cleveland Browns. 

The same Cleveland Browns that beat them in Week 17 to clinch their spot in the Playoffs. With a nearly non-existent running game, the Steelers will struggle against a Browns’ side on the rise.

Dec 21, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) drops to throw during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers may be the 3rd seed from the AFC, but heading into the Playoffs with 1 win in their last 5, one can expect the Browns to pick up the W. 

Prediction– Browns beat Steelers – 23-7, Roethlisberger throws 2 interceptions

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Biggest upset- Buccaneers bow out 

We’re going out on a limb with this one. Playoff Brady is a different kind of beast; however, Washington’s defense will deliver the goods to absorb his attack.

Granted the Washington side enters the Playoffs with the poorest win record, the side’s defense is still one of the best in the league. And with Brady struggling without a clean pocket, one can expect the Wild Card Round’s biggest upset.

Nov 26, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) and defensive tackle Tim Settle (97) and defensive end Ryan Kerrigan (91) celebrate a stop against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With star wide receiver Mike Evans not a guaranteed starter for the game, a lot of responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Antonio Brown.

While Brown’s performances have improved over the course of the past few weeks, he is yet to reach the heights he was once accustomed to.

Prediction– Washington beat the Buccaneers 20-19.

Star performer- Lamar Jackson 

2019’s MVP is peaking at just the right time. Lamar Jackson has found some of the same form that earned him the mantle of the best dual-threat QB in the league.

The Titans’ defense has struggled against quality offenses. And Lamar will be in no mood to make it 3 playoff defeats in a row. As a matter of fact, this triumph will mark the first win of his playoff career.

Oct 18, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) rolls out of the pocket against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens will be wary of Titans running back Derrick Henry, who has piled up over 2,000 rushing yards this season. But the Ravens defense is no pushover either. 

Restricting their opponents to below 15 points in each of their last 3 games, the Titans will have to bring their A-game to put points on the board. 

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Prediction – Lamar gets 80+ rushing yards and a rushing TD 

With the Wild Card Round just around the corner who do you expect to deliver the biggest hits and misses? 

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Shivayan Roy

746 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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