in Predictions

PUTTING IT ON THE LINE: With the NFL’s first Super Wildcard Weekend on tap, the NFC East champion Cowboys renew postseason rivalry with San Francisco 49ers

(SCOREBOARD FINAL: 11:35 p.m., Monday, January 17, 2022)

Pulling out all the stops to create an unprecedented postseason to cap off the first-ever 18-week regular season, the National Football League’s expanded playoff field will feature its first Super Wildcard Weekend stacked with a six-game weekend – two games Saturday, three matchups Sunday and the first-ever Monday Night Football playoff game.

In what could prove to be the best matchup of the first round, the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys (12-5) return to the playoffs for the first time since 2018 to renew one of the NFL’s most storied postseason rivalries by hosting the San Francisco 49ers (10-7) at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

The Super Wildcard Weekend begins with the Las Vegas Raiders (10-7) visiting the AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals (10-7) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by

the AFC East rematch between the New England Patriots (10-7) in a rubber match at the division champs Buffalo Bills (11-6) at 7:15 p.m. Saturday.

Sunday’s tripleheader opens with what many pundits expect to be the most lopsided clash of the weekend as the surprising Philadelphia Eagles (9-8) take on the defending Super Bowl champion and NFC South titlist Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4) at noon, followed by the classic Cowboys-49ers showdown before the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7-1) travel to face defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs (12-5) at 7:15 p.m.

Finally, the first-ever Monday Night Football Wildcard Playoff game will feature the Arizona Cardinals (11-6) in a divisional rematch with the NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams (12-5) at 7:15 p.m.

THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel turns its total focus on the NFL playoffs following the unprecedented 17-game regular season. Throughout the NFL postseason, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel will put their expertise and experience to the test by picking the NFL playoffs on the road to Super Bowl LVI Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

Joining THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel this season will be Toney Rogers, a local business owner in the Heart of Texas, while Don Nicholas, Field Representative for U.S. Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25), Meridian Yellowjacket football head coach Wade Morton and The Sports Buzz’ Brett Voss return from last year.

While making the call on two NCAA college football national championship games as well as the first-ever 18th-week of NFL regular season games, Wade (4-0)  rolled out a perfect week by selecting third-ranked Georgia’s upset victory over defending national champion and top-ranked Alabama, while Brett (3-1), Don (3-1) and Toney (3-1) posted identical records just behind.

Join us every Thursday throughout the 2021 football season as THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick their winners for a select group of the week’s high school games, your favorite college teams from the NCAA Div. I, Div. II and Div. III, as well as the state’s two NFL teams, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans, and the postseason all the way to Super Bowl LVI.

Be sure to make your picks as well!

©2022 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.