Breaking down the final 4 teams in the NFC playoff field, News NFL – Flix Sport Media

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NFL’s Wild Card Round on Monday night. The field of four is now set in each conference. In the NFC, it’s the Rams, Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers.

The Rams (2018), 49ers (2019) and Buccaneers (2020) represented the NFC in the last three Super Bowls, while the Packers have been knocking on the Super Bowl door each of the last two seasons.

Three more games – starting with two in the divisional round – will determine who is the NFC representative in 2021.

The Packers will host the 49ers on Saturday night, while the Buccaneers will host the Rams on Sunday afternoon. The winners will meet for the NFC Championship Game next weekend, with a trip to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles on the line.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the NFC playoff field:

  1. Green Bay Packers (13-4)
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Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17)

Last week: First-round bye
Record vs. playoffs teams: 5-1

Points per game: 26.5 (10th)
Points per game allowed: 21.8 (13th)
PFF grade: 89.8 (sixth)
DVOA: 11.5% (ninth)
EPA/play (offense): 0.135 (third)
EPA/play (defense): 0.018 (18th)
Passer rating differential: 20.5 (fourth)
Yards per play: 5.8 (ninth)
Yards per play allowed: 5.4 (16th)
Pass-block win rate: 66% (fifth)
Run-block win rate: 73% (fourth)
Pass-rush win rate: 35% (27th)
Run-stop win rate: 30% (18th)
Turnover differential: +13 (third)
Penalties per game: 4.1 (first)
All-Pros: QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Davante Adams, LB De’Vondre Campbell

Editor’s take: “The Packers have a lot working in their favor. This team is rested and getting healthy at the right time, and Aaron Rodgers, the NFL MVP favorite, threw 20 touchdown passes without an interception over the final seven games. The path to Los Angeles goes through frigid Green Bay. After two straight seasons of getting to the Super Bowl’s doorstep but failing, now feels like the Packers’ time. Everything is in place. Now, Matt LaFleur’s team needs to go execute and avoid costly mistakes to win a pair of games at Lambeau Field. They are the favorite, but they will be tested. They aren’t unbeatable, but they are resilient and have found multiple ways of winning. It’s possible the Packers will need to beat both the 49ers and Buccaneers – the teams that beat them in the previous two NFC title games – to get to Super Bowl LVI.” — Zach Kruse, Packers Wire

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14-4)
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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: Win, 31-15 over Philadelphia Eagles
Record vs. playoff teams: 5-1

Points per game: 30.1 (second)
Points per game allowed: 20.4 (fifth)
PFF grade: 92.0 (fifth)
DVOA: 27.6% (third)
EPA/play (offense): 0.143 (first)
EPA/play (defense): -0.063 (fifth)
Passer rating differential: 16.2 (sixth)
Yards per play: 6.0 (fourth)
Yards per play allowed: 5.2 (seventh)
Pass-block win rate: 60% (19th)
Run-block win rate: 70% (22nd)
Pass-rush win rate: 43% (10th)
Run-stop win rate: 30% (19th)
Turnover differential: +10 (sixth)
Penalties per game: 5.6 (10th)
All-Pros: QB Tom Brady, OT Tristan Wirfs

Editor’s take: “The Bucs did what good teams are supposed to do to worse teams in the wild-card round, though they gave up a pair of garbage-time touchdowns to the Eagles that made the final score look way more competitive than the game ever was. They won’t be able to let up against the Rams, nor are they likely to build a 31-0 cushion halfway through the third quarter. The return of Lavonte David, Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul clearly had a huge impact on the defense, but the missing starters on offense could be an insurmountable obstacle in the divisional round, especially if Tristan Wirfs and/or Ryan Jensen can’t go. The Bucs will need another elite performance from the defense, and a mistake-free outing from Tom Brady if they want to advance to their second straight NFC title game.” — Luke Easterling, Bucs Wire

  1. Los Angeles Rams (13-5)
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Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: Win, 34-11 over Arizona Cardinals
Record vs. playoff teams: 3-5

Points per game: 27.4 (sixth)
Points per game allowed: 21.3 (ninth)
EPA/play (offense): 0.83 (eighth)
EPA/play (defense): -0.025 (ninth)
PFF grade: 93.7 (first)
DVOA: 21.6% (fifth)
Passer rating differential: 17.5 (fifth)
Yards per play: 6.0 (third)
Yards per play allowed: 5.2 (sixth)
Pass-block win rate: 68% (first)
Run-block win rate: 71% (12th)
Pass-rush win rate: 53% (first)
Run-stop win rate: 35% (first)
Turnover differential: +12 (13th)
Penalties per game: 4.6 (fourth)
All-Pros: WR Cooper Kupp, DL Aaron Donald, CB Jalen Ramsey

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Editor’s take: “The Rams run extremely hot and cold. They can put together a dominant performance like Monday night’s against the Cardinals, and then they can lay an egg the way they did in Week 18 when they blew a 17-point lead to the 49ers. Most of their success is predicated on Matthew Stafford’s ability to protect the football, but with Cam Akers and Sony Michel running the ball so well, some pressure has been taken off the veteran quarterback. The defense is capable of shutting down any opposing offense thanks to Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, which makes the Rams a team no one should want to face right now.” — Cameron DaSilva, Rams Wire

  1. San Francisco 49ers (11-7)
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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: Win, 23-17 over Dallas Cowboys
Record vs. playoff teams: 5-4

Points per game: 25.0 (13th)
Points per game allowed: 21.1 (eighth)
PFF grade: 92.3 (third)
DVOA: 19.5% (sixth)
EPA/play (offense): 0.085 (sixth)
EPA/play (defense): 0.005 (15th)
Passer rating differential: 2.6 (17th)
Yards per play: 6.1 (first)
Yards per play allowed: 5.1 (fourth)
Pass-block win rate: 61% (14th)
Run-block win rate: 70% (18th)
Pass-rush win rate: 46% (fifth)
Run-stop win rate: 33% (third)
Turnover differential: -4 (22nd)
Penalties per game: 6.2 (18th)
All-Pros: WR Deebo Samuel, LT Trent Williams

Editor’s take: “They are the only team left in the playoffs whose offense doesn’t revolve around the quarterback. The formula for them is to get the ground game working, rush the passer like crazy on defense, and limit the throws Jimmy Garoppolo has to make. They definitely can go into Green Bay and win. Run games and defenses tend to travel, especially in cold weather. That said — it’s hard to consistently beat good teams when overcoming your own quarterback, especially when the league’s MVP is lining up under center on the other side.” — Kyle Madson, Niners Wire

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