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AP Divisional Round NFL power rankings: Chiefs, Bills prepare for titanic clash

The Arrowhead Pride team ranks what’s left of the league from top to bottom.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

I’m back after my little breakaway. Did you miss me?

A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks — including the final whistle on the seasons of 24 NFL teams. It made me think of some comments I have heard this season. I might even have made a couple of these comments myself.

  • Remember when the Eagles won the Super Bowl back in Arrowhead in November? Yeah, that was funny.
  • Remember when the Cowboys were going to cruise to the NFC Championship Game because they would be playing at Jerry World? Yeah, that was funny, too.
  • Remember when the Rams were going to gate-crash the Lions' playoff homecoming party?
  • And do you remember when the Steelers were going to upset the Bills? OK... I admit: no one predicted that one.

For as much as we all try to put our fingers on what will happen in every NFL season — and in particular the NFL playoffs — there are a lot of things that catch us by surprise. That’s what makes this time of season special.

I’m hoping this weekend can provide more of the same.

This week’s voters were Rocky Magana, Ron Kopp Jr, Stephen Serda, Jared Sapp, Maurice Elston, Nate Christensen and myself.

1. Baltimore Ravens

I’m sure the Ravens will be very happy about the fact that they managed to avoid a potential divisional-round game with a fellow AFC North team. Although I have no doubts that they would have been able to handle their business against either the Steelers or Browns, there is something to be said about those AFC North clashes. The Texans will provide a very different test to what Cleveland or Pittsburgh would have offered — but I think Baltimore is up to the task.

2. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers were the big winners of Wild Card Weekend — because it appears that every team that is capable of beating them has been eliminated. You might think that is harsh, but it’s reality. In recent times, the Packers have had a dreadful postseason record against the 49ers; I expect that to continue. Then after that, the 49ers only have to get past the Lions or Buccaneers. That shouldn’t be too taxing. This team is Super Bowl-bound.

3. Buffalo Bills

The Josh Allen Hesi Hey run will stay with me for a long time. The guy is a mutant. On his day, Allen can live with any of the big boys — and to him, no game will mean as much as this Sunday’s titanic clash against the Chiefs. The hurt of 13 seconds will be very much on the minds of Bills’ players, coaches and fans.

So go on, Patrick. Hurt them again!

4. Kansas City Chiefs

Spoiler alert: The Chiefs are going to win the Super Bowl. Yes... despite all of the issues with the offense. Once again, Patrick Mahomes is going to make all of the Chiefs’ doubters look very silly indeed.

That’s what you wanted to read... right?

5. Detroit Lions

Against the Rams, the Lions raced out to a hot start offensively — but ended up just scrapping out a single-digit win. On one hand, fans should be concerned about the second-half shutdown — but on the other, fans should be thankful that the Lions gave us the only competitive matchup of a not-so-super Wild Card Weekend.

6. Green Bay Packers

They’ve done it again, haven’t they?

Kansas City had to wait years in between great quarterbacks. The Packers have now gone back-to-back-to-back.

Thank you for making ‘Merica (and the world) laugh at the Cowboys once again.

7. Houston Texans

Although Lamar Jackson will take home the award, I feel comfortable enough to say that C.J. Stroud is this season’s true MVP. With him at quarterback, what the Texans have managed in a single season is nothing short of remarkable.

I’m particularly excited to see Saturday’s game. Knowing that all of the pressure will be on their opponents, what can the Texans do? If Stroud can continue to push the ball downfield — as he did against the Browns and their supposed elite defense — the Ravens may get flashbacks of 2020.

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Stop messing around. Pay Baker.

It's Game Time.

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