NFL Wild-Card Playoffs: Everything You Need to Know for Sunday

Can a Dolphins Hold Pittsburgh’s Killer B’s in Check?


For a initial time, a Steelers will have a healthy Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown in a playoff game. There’s not a improved three-headed beast in a NFL. Big Ben competence be a league’s many dangerous home run hitter, Bell is a league’s hottest behind and Brown led a AFC with 106 receptions. 

Without haven Reshad Jones and with several other pivotal defensive players hurting, does Miami’s 29th-rated invulnerability mount a possibility on a highway opposite such a fatal and gifted offense? 

With gifted defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake, there’s always a chance. But Miami surrendered a league-worst 4.8 yards per lift this deteriorate while recording usually 25 takeaways and 33 sacks. The Fins forced 0 turnovers in their final dual games of a unchanging season. 

Roethlisberger creates a peculiar boneheaded throw, though a Dolphins group already relying on a backup quarterback on a highway competence need several of those to mount a chance.

Either that or something epic from Suh and Wake.

     

Can a Steelers Stop Jay Ajayi This Time? 

The second-year behind had his coming-out celebration opposite Pittsburgh in Week 6, single-handedly violence a Steelers with 204 rushing yards in Miami’s 30-15 victory. Ajayi had 7 runs of 10-plus yards that day, including 3 20-yarders to assistance his group lift divided in a second half. 

It was no fluke, as Ajayi went on to turn usually a fourth actor in NFL story to rush for 200 yards 3 times in a singular season. He is, however, an all-or-nothing back. Despite finishing fourth in a NFL in rushing, he was hold next a 60-yard symbol 8 times in 2016. 

The Steelers invulnerability is improved than it was then. Ryan Shazier didn’t play that day, a 38-year-old James Harrison has somehow gotten improved over a march of a year and Tuitt has turn a force. A second demeanour during Ajayi on fasten should assistance too. 

But Isaiah Crowell and Kenneth Dixon still gashed that run invulnerability in Weeks 16 and 17, so it will have to get it together in sequence to safeguard Ajayi doesn’t take over this diversion as well. 

     

Can Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. Pick on Green Bay’s Depleted Defense?

The Packers were during their misfortune defensively this year when they didn’t have tip corners Rollins and Randall, that doesn’t bode good for them Sunday. 

Rollins suffered a frightful damage to a head/neck area final time out and isn’t expected to play, while Randall has been singular by a knee damage and won’t be 100 percent. With maestro dilemma Sam Shields on harmed reserve, that leaves a reduction than 100 percent Randall and second-year undrafted giveaway agent LaDarius Gunter personification vast roles, with haven Micah Hyde substantially forced to chip in during dilemma as well. 

On paper, you’d consider a Giants would be able of exploiting a vital heck out of that secondary. Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz opposite those guys? Come on. When throwing during Hyde in a container this season, hostile quarterbacks had a 113.5 passer rating, according to Pro Football Focus.

Per a same source, usually 3 receivers had some-more receptions in a container than Shepard, who led all container receivers with 8 touchdowns in 2016. Beckham can fry fresh corners all day, and even if he draws joint coverage, we have a gifted Cruz. 

But a Giants mostly lacked firepower this year. Partly as a outcome of a miss of change on offense, many of Manning’s bottom numbers plummeted. And according to PFF, he finished usually 34.6 percent of his passes that trafficked 20-plus yards, ranking 21st among a 27 competent quarterbacks. 

The Giants hence became usually a second group in a final 38 years to make a playoffs notwithstanding scoring fewer than 30 points in all 16 of their games. 

For them to win, that strain competence have to come to an end. 

     

Can Aaron Rodgers Be Stopped?

Often tormented by injuries on both sides of a ball, as good as a miss of change and/or chemistry on offense, a Packers had a uncanny year. That said, they seem to be peaking during a ideal time. 

That starts with Rodgers, who posted an 18:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 120.0 passer rating during a final 7 weeks of a unchanging season. Unsurprisingly, Green Bay won 6 of those games in sequence to constraint another NFC North crown. 

If anyone can delayed Rodgers down, competence it be a Giants? 

In terms of DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average), Football Outsiders ranked a New York invulnerability tops in a NFC in 2016. It was a usually invulnerability in a joining to concede touchdowns reduction than 40 percent of a time in a red zone, and a Giants had a league-high 22 takeaways during a final 10 games of a season. They also ranked tied for third with 29 sacks during that run. 

Only 6 defenses surrendered some-more 20-yard plays than a Giants in 2016. They done their income with takeaways and red-zone stops. That’s because it’s probable this diversion will be motionless low inside New York territory, where a vigour will be on Rodgers and Co. to find a finish zone.


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