NFL Midseason Playoff Predictions | Launderer report


Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin HerbertSportswire icon / Getty Images

No. 7 Cleveland Browns (9-8) to Tennessee Titans No.2 (12-5)

In a clash between fast-running teams, the Cleveland Browns and the Tennessee Titans will face off in a slugfest.

After injuring his foot in Week 8, running back Derrick Henry underwent surgery, which could put him on the sidelines for six to 10 weeks, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. By then, he might be back on the pitch and capable of leading the Titans to victory.

If Henry is not 100 percent, Tennessee can propose spreaders AJ Brown and Julio Jones in red zone situations to attack the Browns’ pass defense, which allowed 17 touchdowns (27th in the league). Lacking explosive perimeter weapons, quarterback Baker Mayfield fails to conceive of a late landing.

Prediction: Titans 24, Bruns 20

No. 6 Kansas City Chiefs (10-7) vs. No. 3 Buffalo Bills (12-5)

The Chiefs’ turnover issues will cost them this game.

The Buffalo Bills have the second plus take away meals (19). Despite performing below par in Week 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, they line up a very effective offense, scoring in 48.9% of their workouts, which is the second highest rate in the league. This combination gives them the advantage in this competition.

This season, the teams challenged the Chiefs with two-level security blanket and challenged them to run the ball. Instead, Patrick Mahomes forced a few shots for wide Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, which have worked in the past, but now the star quarterback has 10 steals in nine games.

The Bills have bullet hawking safeties in Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, who each have three interceptions. They’re going to get their fingerprints on this game as Mahomes aggressively pushes the ball down the field to compensate for a defense that ranks 24th in scoring.

Buffalo wins decisively at home.

Prediction: Bills 37, counts 27

No. 5 New England Patriots (10-7) vs. No. 4 Los Angeles Chargers (11-6)

The New England Patriots have hit their stride, winning in four of the past five weeks.

However, New England aren’t going to beat the Los Angeles Chargers (again) as quarterback Justin Herbert will make better decisions and avoid multiple interceptions. Unlike the Week 8 game between these teams, the Patriots won’t have a six-pick to increase their point totals.

While rookie quarterback Mac Jones performed well in the stretches, throwing for 2,135 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions with a 68% completion rate, Herbert is further ahead with a better arsenal of passing catchers at its layout. With running back Austin Ekeler, spreaders Keenan Allen and Mike Williams propel the Chargers to victory with big catches.

Prediction: Chargers 23, Patriots 20

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