Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
6th New York Giants (+7.5) at 1st Philadelphia Eagles
Like the Jaguars, the Giants are surprise contenders in the divisional round. However, under rookie head coach Brian Daboll, they’ve made tremendous strides and made a name for themselves as a team just looking for ways to win.
Philadelphia now has one of the most complete rosters in the NFL — so of course they claimed the top seed. However, quarterback Jalen Hurts has been struggling with a shoulder injury since December.
After missing two games, Hurts returned to the season finale but was far less than 100 percent.
If Hurts can’t be the same dynamic double threat he was earlier in the season, the Giants have a legitimate shot at stealing this game. Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley will cause serious problems for a Philly running defense ranked 24th in yards per carry allowed.
Expect the Eagles to escape, but this one could be uncomfortably close.
Prognosis: Eagles 27, Giants 25
5. Dallas Cowboys (+4) at the San Francisco 49ers
The Cowboys rolled 31-14 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Monday, but the result may have been a little deceptive. The Buccaneers offense has struggled all season.
Dallas deserves credit for moving the ball against a good Buccaneers defense, but it will now be up against arguably the best defense in the league. At the same time, it will be difficult to contain the likes of Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle.
The Cowboys’ best chance of an upset comes from a bad play by rookie 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. However, the former third-stringer has yet to have a terrible outing. He finished the regular season with an impressive 107.3 passer rating and posted a 131.5 rating in the wildcard round.
Expect Purdy to play the referee role as San Francisco look to attack Dallas’ 22nd-rank run defense early and often. The recipe is right for the 49ers to reach their third NFC title game in four years.
Prognosis: 49ers 26, Cowboys 20
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, you can access crisis counseling and referral services by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).
gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA) or call or text TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789 (TN).
21+. NJ/PA/WV/IN/IA/CO/IL/TN only. In partnership with Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.