2021-2022 NFL Playoffs: AFC, NFC Wild Card matchups we want to see

The 2021-2022 NFL playoffs, particularly on Wild Card Weekend, could feature rematches of some of 2021's best games and intriguing matchups.

The 2021-2022 NFL playoffs should have some really compelling Divisional Round and Conference Championship matchups. But don’t sleep on the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend. There should be plenty of entertainment during next weekend’s six games. Here are five matchups we’d like to see.

Five Dream Wild Card Weekend Matchups

Entering Week 18, 11 of the 14 playoff berths have been clinched. But big-time seeding implications still remain, and how this weekend plays out will determine just how good the games will be in the week to come.

New England Patriots (6) at Cincinnati Bengals (3)

How it could happen: Bengals win, Patriots loss, Titans win/tie, Chiefs win/tie, Colts win, and Chargers win/tie

2021 results: Teams did not meet in 2021

Why we’d watch: Mac Jones vs. Joe Burrow. The NFL’s most-explosive pass offense (Bengals, 8.2 yards per attempt) vs. the league’s second-stingiest pass defense (6.0 yards allowed per pass). Ja’Marr Chase vs. J.C. Jackson. It would also be a blast to see what Bill Belichick would cook up for Zac Taylor.

Philadelphia Eagles (6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3)

How it could happen: Rams win, Eagles win, Niners loss/tie

2021 results: Buccaneers 28, Eagles 22 (Week 6)

Why we’d watch: It’s another strength vs. strength showdown. The Buccaneers have allowed the third-fewest rushing yards in the league (91.4 per game), and no team has rushed for more yards this year than the Eagles (160.4 per game). The Eagles scored a late touchdown to make the first meeting look closer than it was. Jalen Hurts needs to show up.

Los Angeles Rams (5) at Dallas Cowboys (4)

How it could happen: Rams loss and Cardinals win

2021 results: Teams did not meet in 2021

Why we’d watch: This could easily be a conference title game. At the very least, it should be a Divisional Round game. But the Rams and Cowboys have testers in Week 18 (the Rams play the 49ers, the Cowboys visit the Eagles). A loss by both to close out the regular season would set up an absolute war the following weekend.

Los Angeles Chargers (7) at Kansas City Chiefs (2)

How it could happen: Chiefs win, Chargers win, Titans win, Colts win, and Patriots loss

2021 results: Chargers 30, Chiefs 24 (Week 3); Chiefs 34, Chargers 28 (Week 15)

Why we’d watch: We love elite quarterback play. Justin Herbert (third in QBR) and Patrick Mahomes (fifth) are two of the best on the planet. Plus, we need a tiebreaker. Total points scored by these teams in the previous two meetings: Chargers 58, Chiefs 58. Of course, the Chargers have to actually make the playoffs first. A win over the Raiders would put the Bolts in.

Buffalo Bills (6) at Tennessee Titans (3)

How it could happen: Titans loss, Bills loss, Chiefs loss, Bengals win, Patriots win, Colts loss/tie, Raiders win

2021 results: Titans 34, Bills 31 (Week 6)

Why we’d watch: Did you see the first game? It was spectacular! Derrick Henry scored the go-ahead touchdown with 3:05 left, and Justin Simmons stuffed Josh Allen on fourth down at the Titans’ 3-yard line to preserve the win. With Henry expected back, there’s no reason to believe the sequel won’t live up to the original.


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