L.A. Rams, Packers, Chiefs, Buccaneers and More Set to Square Off in NFL Divisional Round Playoffs


Maanas Kollegal

Rams fans cheer in SoFi Stadium after their team scores a touchdown against the Cardinals on Jan. 17 in the wild-card round. The Rams won the game with a score of 34-11 and will face the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay on Jan. 23 in the divisional round. Senior Maanas Kollegal, who is a Rams season ticket holder, attended the game with his family.

The playoff picture has been set with week 18 wrapping up the 2021 NFL regular season. 12 out of the 14 playoff teams competed in Wild-Card Weekend from Jan. 15-17, and two out of the six winners will play against one of the two highest standing teams from each conference Jan. 22-23. 

The NFL released the wild-card schedule on Jan. 9, and the following teams played against each other (bolded teams won):

  • Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals – American Football Conference (AFC)
  • New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills – AFC
  • Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – National Football Conference (NFC)
  • San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys – NFC
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs – AFC
  • Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams – NFC

The Green Bay Packers (NFC Number 1 seed) and Tennessee Titans (AFC Number 1 seed) were on break this past week and will play in the Divisional Round. These two teams may blockade other teams in their conference, as they have been deemed the top teams of the regular season.

“Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers have some bond where it’s so crazy that they can have such good yards covered,” cornerback and freshman Ian Gatti said. “Matthew Stafford hasn’t really been a good quarterback moving up to a big team, and it could definitely be a challenge for him.”

The playoffs will lead into Super Bowl LVI (56) on Feb. 13. Since the Super Bowl will be played at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, there are high expectations for the Los Angeles Rams to host and play in their home stadium, according to CBS Sports. The Rams would be the second team in NFL history to both host and play in the Super Bowl, after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

“This will be very exciting for people living in L.A. because you have this sense of camaraderie and your own sense of city pride,” Rams fan and senior Maanas Kollegal said. “SoFi Stadium is cutting edge and a work of art with amazing architecture, and anyone who sees it for the first time is in awe.”

With the divisional round up next, the following teams will play against each other this weekend, according to the NFL:

  • Tennessee Titans vs. Cincinnati Bengals – AFC
  • Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers – NFC
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Los Angeles Rams – NFC
  • Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills – AFC

The full schedule, including television channels, game times and home vs. away can be found on the NFL website.