5 Biggest Takeaways From 2023 Divisional Round Matchups

Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs, Bengals
NFL Analysis Network

2. Is Time For Some Change In Buffalo?

Coming into the season, the Buffalo Bills were the odds-on favorites to win the Super Bowl. For a majority of the regular season, the oddsmakers looked like they would be proven correct as the Bills played at a high level.

They had one of the top-rated offenses and defenses in the NFL, but once again, they fell short in the postseason. Losing at home in the fashion that they did was shocking as the Bengals went into Orchard Park and won with ease.

Lack of postseason success is becoming the norm for the Bills, which is certainly a cause for concern. Will they start being held in the same regard as other teams that have consistently fallen short in the playoffs? Josh Allen’s elbow is something to keep an eye on during the offseason as well as he had some shaky performances since injuring his arm against the New York Jets in Week 9.

1. Major Injuries To Monitor Going Forward

Advancing out of the Divisional Round is an impressive achievement for teams. But, there is still work left to do as it will take two more victories to take home the Lombardi Trophy. Every team is dealing with bumps and bruises at this point in the season, but some are more serious than others.

The Bengals have to be ecstatic about how the offensive line looked against the Bills with multiple backups and a hobbled Ted Karras in the lineup. If they can hold up, the Bengals have an excellent shot at winning the title.

Their counterparts in the AFC Championship game have some major concerns with Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain against the Jaguars and was clearly hampered during the game. While he intends to play, how effective can he be on a badly injured ankle?

In the NFC matchup, the 49ers are going to be monitoring running back Christian McCaffrey all week. He is dealing with and playing through a calf injury, which looked to sap him of any explosiveness against the Cowboys. Luckily for the 49ers, they have Elijah Mitchell to help carry the load in the backfield, but not having a healthy McCaffrey will be a challenge to overcome.

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