This is day two of the triple header NFL playoff action.
Full breakdown for all of Sunday’s action and prediction:
Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans
Key to the game for Ravens: The visiting team is one of the hottest teams right now going into the playoffs. They only lost one game in December out of five and have outscored their last three opponents 105-30. They must let Lamar Jackson continue cooking. Since coming back from the reserve/COVID-19 list, he has been on a tear, so the Ravens will let him continue his high-level play but must also count on running backs, J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram. On defense, they will have the most challenging jobs in the NFL, stopping running back Derrick Henry. They also can’t sleep on quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has improved a lot since their playoff matchup last season.
Key to the game for Titans: They are a different team from last year, so they will mix Henry and Tannehill on offense. The quarterback has also shown his wheels of late, scoring multiple 30-yard plus rushing touchdowns. His weapons have only improved from last season as well. Tannehill must not turn the ball over and play mistake-free football. On defense, they must try to slow down Lamar Jackson. When he starts running around and gassing a defense is when he is dangerous. The Titans have to try to contain him in the pocket the way they did last season in the divisional game.
X-Factor: Calais Campbell. There is a reason why the Ravens traded for him, and this is the game.
Prediction: Titans 38 Ravens 35
Chicago Bears vs. New Orleans Saints
Key for the Bears: The real question for this game is what Bears offense are we going to get? The one that scored four 30-point games in a row or the one that faced the Green Bay Packers. Since taking over, Mitch Tribusky has had his offense playing good football. They will need to run the ball effectively and spread the ball around. On defense, they need to get pressure on Saints quarterback Drew Brees especially because he got his favorite receiver, Michael Thomas, back. They also have to keep a close eye on Alvin Kamara, who can hurt them in both the run and pass game.
Key for the Saints: As previously stated, Brees will be getting Thomas back, and his relationship has grown with Emmanuel Sanders, so he will spread the ball around. His arm might not be what it use to be, but the Saints need just four solid games from Brees. They will also count on Kamara in both areas. On defense, they will need to get after Tribusky even without Hendrickson missing the game. Expect the secondary to double team receiver Allen Robinson and force Trubisky to beat them with other receivers.
X-Factor: Marshon Lattimore. The cornerback is the emotional leader of that defense, so expect him to make a big play on Sunday.
Prediction: Saints 31 Bears 20
Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Key for the Browns: This is going to be a strange game, especially with Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski set to miss the game due to COVID-19. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will be the head coach. The offense will need to mix n’ match their running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, but the main key will be quarterback Baker Mayfield. He can’t turn the ball over. If he can take care of it, the Browns might have a chance. On defense, they will need to slow down receivers Chase Claypool and Juju Smith-Schuster. They must also get to Big Ben often and knock him down.
Key for the Steelers: Big Ben must spread the ball around to his weapons on offense. He has three solid receivers and Eric Ebron at tight end. The real question is if the Steelers can stop being one dimensional and start running the football. They have been one of the worst teams running the football this season. On defense, it has been a different Steelers defense since the numerous injuries they have suffered, but they can still get this done.
X-Factor: Minkah Fitzpatrick. He seems to have a magnet on the football and will probably make a big play on Sunday.
Prediction: Steelers 24 Browns 21