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THE MOJ: It will be the Chiefs, Bills, 49ers and Eagles, count on it

Rourke to Jacksonville surprises me, the kid deserves a chance he might not get
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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates after scoring during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

We haven’t booked that flight to Bora Bora yet but the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs gives us four more opportunities to continue the dream.

Then again, after last week, I’d settle for a trip Whistler.

We went 4-2 straight up and 3-3 against the spread during Wildcard Weekend, but like I said, if I was hitting 66% on my picks, I wouldn’t be writing this column.

Saturday, 1:30 pm Jaguars at Chiefs (-8.5)

The big question here is can the Jags reset after an emotional 27-point comeback win against the Chargers? Jags Head Coach Doug Pederson is known for being an even-keel guy and his leadership should have Jacksonville ready to play against the Chiefs. The Chargers couldn’t exploit the Jags secondary which ranked 28th in the league in passing yards allowed. The Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, who led the NFL in passing yardage, won’t make the same mistake. Jags will play tough but it won’t be enough. Chiefs win and cover.

Saturday, 5:15 p.m. Giants at Eagles (-7.5)

The Giants recorded their first playoff win in 11 years by knocking off the Vikings in Minnesota but don’t expect their success to carry over into Philadelphia. The Eagles are the superior team in every aspect even if Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is a little banged up. Lincoln Financial Field is a House of Horrors for the Giants as they have lost nine consecutive games there by an average of 10 points. The Giants can downplay that all they want but I’ve seen first-hand how teams can wilt in a hostile environment. Eagles win and cover.

Sunday, Noon Bengals at Bills (-5.5)

One of the biggest questions for me heading into this one is whether or not the Bengals can keep quarterback Joe Burrow upright as Cincinnati could be without three of their five starting offensive linemen. If the Bills can get constant pressure on Burrow, it will be a long day for the Bengals. The other question is whether or not the Bills can stop turning over the football. It’s been the Bills’ Achilles heel the past three weeks as they’ve given the ball away nine times with five interceptions and four fumbles. The fact that they won all three of those games is a testament to how good the Bills are. This will be closer than people think. Bills win but Bengals cover.

Sunday, 3:30 p.m. Cowboys at 49ers (-4)

I can never get a read on the Cowboys. It wouldn’t surprise me if they win by three touchdowns. It also wouldn’t surprise me if they lose by three touchdowns. Including their playoff win against Seattle last week, the 49ers are on an 11-game heater but the toughest opposition they have faced during that time was a 10-win Charger team and the Cowboys will be their stiffest challenge yet. Micah Parsons and company were tied for third in the NFL with 54 sacks and you would think that getting to 49er quarterback Brock Purdy would be a key part of a Cowboys win. Dig a little bit and you’ll find that Purdy was sacked three or more times three times this year. The 49ers put up 33 against Miami, 37 against Washington and 38 against Arizona. Notice anything? Purdy can take the heat and still produce. The kid just doesn’t get rattled. 49ers win and cover.

And finally, to wrap things up, some thoughts on Nathan Rourke signing in Jacksonville.

It surprised me.

I could have seen Rourke signing in Minnesota, biding his time behind an aging veteran like Kirk Cousins, and learning the system for a season or two before competing for the starting job.

Jags quarterback Trevor Lawrence, however, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

To quote my old co-host David Pratt, if you want the truth, follow the money.

Yes, the Jags are a great fit with three former pro quarterbacks on their coaching staff in Pederson and assistants Mike McCoy and Henry Burris, who are both ex-CFLer’s.

That being said, the Jags probably came up with the most guaranteed money and they did so because they like what they saw in Rourke.

It may not be the best opportunity in terms of playing time now or in the future, but the Jags probably offered the most financial security as well as meshing when it came to personalities and beliefs.

I hope Rourke gets the opportunity to play at some point – the kid deserves to see what he can do at that level.

Veteran B.C. sports personality Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich writes twice weekly for Black Press Media. And check out his weekly podcast every Monday at Today in B.C. or your local Black Press Media website.

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