NFL |  Trevor Lawrence never loses on Saturday

NFL | Trevor Lawrence never loses on Saturday

37-0. That’s Trevor Lawrence’s Saturday record since he started in high school. Will the young prodigy still be able to shake the columns of the temple in the first of four NFL playoff division duels this weekend?


Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (14-3), Saturday 4:30 p.m.

This stat seems a bit far-fetched, but against the mighty Chiefs, any data that can favor the Jaguars will be welcome for the Florida clan. At Cartersville High School, Lawrence won all three of her Saturday games. With the Clemson Tigers in the NCAA, he is 32 in 32. Then with the Jaguars, he won his two duels, including the one last week against the Los Angeles Chargers. A game won despite four interceptions in the first half and, above all, a 27-0 deficit. The task will be colossal, however, against the Chiefs. Despite major losses to Tyreek Hill and Tyraan Mathieu in the offseason, Andy Reed has found a way to keep his team on track. Patrick Mahomes was able to rely on Travis Kelce and newcomers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Little has been said about Mahomes this season, mainly because his extraordinary performance has become customary. The 27-year-old quarterback is still the best player in the NFL at this position. He has led all of his peers in passing yards and touchdowns this season.

Prediction: Chiefs 34, Jaguars 21

New York Giants (9-7-1) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (14-3), Saturday, 8:15 p.m.


PHOTO MATT ROURKE, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts

The New York Giants were brilliant last week against the Minnesota Vikings. Exceptionally determined, unintimidated and fiercely explosive. Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley were up to the job. They finally smashed the ceiling preventing the Giants from advancing to the playoffs. The Eagles will have to arrive prepared. Even if they are the champions of the conference, no certainty exists against the Giants. Jalen Hurts will be the key to the game. He’s only lost once this season and he’s won both of his games against the Giants, although the last one was hotly contested. The Eagles will be in trouble if Hurts decides to overdo it or hold the ball too long, as the Giants defense is ruthless against quarterbacks venturing outside the pocket. Hurts will have to use all his weapons, AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert. Miles Sanders will have to carry the ball nearly 20 times if the home side hope to win. They will also have to trust their defense. She is the best against the pass, but leaves something to be desired against the run. With Barkley in full possession of his means, the Eagles will have to adjust regularly during the match.

Prediction: Giants 27, Eagles 24

Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) vs. Buffalo Bills (13-3), Sunday 3 p.m.


PHOTO GREGORY FISHER, USA TODAY SPORTS

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Devin Singletary smashes his way through the Miami Dolphins defense last Sunday.

A candy match. Or a popcorn match, depending on your preference for sweet or salty. This game could well end on a field goal in overtime. It remains to be seen who, Evan McPherson or Tyler Bass, will play the heroes. The two teams are equivalent in most phases of the game. Among quarterbacks, Joe Burrow is more consistent, more precise and he has a better background in the playoffs. Josh Allen is capable of the best and the worst, but he is more versatile. Among the receivers, the two groups can count on a trio of thunder. On the ground, Joe Mixon is a safe bet, as is Devin Singletary. In defense, slight advantage for the Bills, because they shine in the three zones. While the Bengals have been lacking all season in the secondary and against the pass. Among coaches, Zac Taylor has often made costly decisions and his match management is sometimes faulty. For his part, Sean McDermott seems unshakable. We must also be wary of the famous streak of nine consecutive victories of the Bengals, because the troop of Joe Burrow had one of the most advantageous calendars of the NFL.

Prediction: Bills 34, Bengals 31

Dallas Cowboys (12-5) vs. San Francisco 49ers (13-4), Sunday 6:30 p.m.


PHOTO CARY EDMONDSON, USA TODAY SPORTS

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy

A treat for defensive football fans. Dallas and San Francisco will certainly offer quite a master class. Nick Bosa and Micah Parsons will make the quarterbacks see all the colors. Rookie Brock Purdy’s Magic has yet to reach its expiration date. He is still undefeated. The Niners’ offensive diversity is arguably unmatched in the NFL. Their players are so versatile that opposing defenses always have to be on their heels. They play at home, but their opponents arrive in the Bay with the wind in their sails. Dak Prescott delivered an anthology performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Monday. He and his receivers were in tune for a rare time this season. This match will be a trench warfare and the team with the tightest offensive line will win, given the excellence of the two defenses. Jason Peters, Tyron Smith and Zack Martin of the Cowboys are three future Hall of Famers. Their efficiency and increased experience will give Prescott enough time and Tony Pollard space to make the plays that will make the difference.

Prediction: Cowboys 22, 49ers 17

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