Charles Robinson & Dan Wetzel preview the three AFC Wild Card matchups this weekend: the Las Vegas Raiders traveling to the Cincinnati Bengals, the New England Patriots facing off against the division rival Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Kansas City Chiefs.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Let's go to the wild card real quick. Give you a chance to just give me a sentence on it, a thought. And we'll move on. The Saturday afternoon game, the Las Vegas Raiders at the Cincinnati Bengals.
DAN WETZEL: This is the Joe Burrow-- let's go. I mean--
CHARLES ROBINSON: It's the coronation game, right? Like, this is kind of--
DAN WETZEL: Coronation game. They haven't beaten anybody in the playoffs in forever. It's a new era. He doesn't care about the past. This is the kid. You've got to be able to beat Vegas. They're not that good. So you're at home, this is it. Huge game for Joe Burrow. I mean, they win this game-- put it this way, you lose this game and it's going to be like, oh my goodness. But there's so much momentum on the Bengals franchise and all that. To me, it's a Joe Burrow game. Have a big game, set the tone. I expect the Bengals to win.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Big, huge-- let's say it's a blowout Bengals win, you'll see the bandwagon swell about, oh, this could be the team that lights it up like lights on fire and runs through the AFC unexpectedly. Flip side of that real quick. I'll just say Rich Bisaccia, this is a potentially career defining game in terms of a head coach. I think they win this game, all of a sudden there is a lot--
DAN WETZEL: He has the job.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, there's a lot of push about him being the job.
DAN WETZEL: Jim Harbaugh will be watching closely.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Jim Harbaugh will be watching this game closely. Saturday night game, New England Patriots at the Buffalo Bills. Third time they will see Buffalo in six games. Bill Belichick says, were throwing it all out. We're starting from scratch. Don't look at any of the other games. Doesn't matter. Got to come up with a whole new game plan for Buffalo. Thoughts on the third time they're running it back in six games.
DAN WETZEL: All the pressure on Buffalo, man. All the pressure on Buffalo. If you can't beat these guys now, I mean, this would just be soul crushing defeat for Buffalo to lose to New England. I think they held them off, they won the division. But they show up, beat you in their place with a rookie quarterback on a year when you were expected to be a Super Bowl team would just be absolutely crushing for Buffalo. They've got to win it. They're crushing on Buffalo all year is, how tough are they? Can they stop the run? Can they run the ball? Can they win in January? It's going to be zero--
I heard Josh Allen talking about his toes get cold. They got to win this game. The Buffalo Bills have to win this game. New England is going to just sit there and be like, eh, we got the rookie. We did pretty well. We'll be back next year. We got a lot of potential. So Buffalo must win.
CHARLES ROBINSON: 100% agree with that. I don't even have anything to add because I think, as you said, the pressure is all there, not only on Buffalo, but also on Josh Allen. I think this is a big moment.
DAN WETZEL: You want a million? You've got to win this game.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah. Yup. This is that extension. This is an extension game. You already got the extension. Now pay it off. Sunday night, Pittsburgh, at Kansas City.
DAN WETZEL: Brandon Staley, this is why you're the worst coach. We have to watch the damn Steelers.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Everybody's treating this like it's such a dog game. It's like, I don't want to. And here's why I don't want to treat it like it's a dog game, because Mike Tomlin's a good coach. I'll say this about Ben Roethlisberger. He's just like, you know what, man? Let's go out there, and play, and have some fun. It's not even they're not sitting there being like, this is what we can do to win or what-- they're like, dude, let's just go play. Do I think the Steelers have a chance in this game? Probably not. Probably not. But the one thing that has happened up through Wednesday, they're pretty loose.
They're just kind of like, OK cool. We're going to go out. We're in the playoffs. Awesome. We're going to-- they are completely loose. And I'm not saying Kansas City's tight. But it's important for Kansas City-- they can build some momentum here. They put a number on Pittsburgh. You feeling pretty good. Kansas City looks pretty scary. If there's a pressure element of it, I would say it's definitely in Kansas City. And because I don't see it from Pittsburgh at all. I think they're just kind of like, hey. This is gravy. Cool. Let's go play football. We're still playing. This is totally awesome.
DAN WETZEL: I get a playoff bonus. This is like hitting the lottery, man. I think the game will hinge on when Roethlisberger gets the ball and he steps back and he's in the pocket, and then he steps in and uncorks with all his might a fluttering 11 yard pass.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Jeez. It's true though. It's funny because it's true.
DAN WETZEL: I'm so glad I don't get to watch Justin Herbert in the playoffs. Because someone wants to go for it on fourth down on their own 18 yard line or refuses to kick a field goal against Kansas City. I'm so glad that we did that. Great job by-- Mike Tomlin's awesome. Great coach. Never had a losing season. He's amazing in this league. Roethlisberger had a great career, but that career ended two years ago. Just no one told him. The man cried and retired two games ago. Yet we have to watch him.