Baker Mayfield said the playoffs are the new "standard" for Cleveland and he keeps raising the bar

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The opening round of the NFL Playoffs brought the drama and a few upsets to satiate the appetites of football fans across the nation.

We were treated to four upsets across the weekend that included the fifth seeded Ravens defeating the fourth seeded Titans, the fifth seeded Buccaneers taking out the fourth seeded Washington Football Team, the sixth seeded Rams stealing one from the third seeded Seahawks, and the Cleveland Browns with the biggest upset of the slate coming away with the victory over the Steelers, despite being undermanned due to multiple players and coaches being on the COVID-19 Reserve list.

The matchups for the Divisional Round are set now, and in the AFC we will see the Ravens go to Buffalo to square off with the Bills on Saturday in primetime and the Browns head to Kansas City for a date with the defending Super Bowl champs. In the NFC we get the Rams at Green Bay on Saturday in the early game, and Brady v. Brees III on Sunday night as the Bucs and Saints play for a chance to reach the NFC Championship Game.

Now that we know who will be there, let's take a look at how they got there.


(2) Buffalo 27 - (7) Indianapolis 24

Game MVP: Josh Allen

Josh Allen Quarterback of the Buffalo Bills Josh Allen has ascended to the elite tier of NFL QBsJames P. McCoy/Buffalo News

The Colts and Bills kicked off the playoffs in the first game of the weekend, and it didn't disappoint. Buffalo came away with a 27-24 win and Indianapolis had opportunities in the fourth quarter to score to tie or go ahead. The Bills defense made just enough plays to keep their team ahead as neither offense was able to keep momentum for too long throughout this one. A few costly drops by Colts receivers prevented the team from extending some promising drives and ultimately attributed towards their offense falling flat.

As for Buffalo, we saw a healthy dose of what got them there in the first place: Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs. Allen and Diggs hooked up for 6 receptions and 128 yards including a decisive fourth quarter touchdown that helped the Bills to the win. Allen ended the day with 324 yards passing to go along with two passing touchdowns and also picked up 54 yards rushing and another touchdown on the ground. Another MVP caliber performance from a dark horse candidate to take home the award this season.

Buffalo will get Lamar Jackson and the Ravens next round and will see a much different style of offense than the Philip Rivers led Colts. Lamar, or Big Truss as some call him, is starting to play closer to the MVP-level we saw out of him last year, and that could spell disaster for the Bills Mafia on their Cinderella run. Baltimore loves to run with both Jackson and their talented rookie back J.K. Dobbins, and a key for Buffalo should be establishing their rushing attack to prevent Baltimore from being able to control the pace of the game.

If Baltimore gets their run attack going, and the Bills have a few three-and-outs early in the game, Buffalo's defense runs the risk of getting gassed out too early, which would allow Lamar to run all over them in the second half. Zack Moss and Devin Singletary only had 10 combined carries in the game against the Colts, which should increase next week against the Ravens.

(6) Los Angeles 30 - (3) Seattle 20

Game MVP: Darious Williams

Darious Williams DB of the Los Angeles Rams Darious Williams came up with a pick-six in the Rams upset WWally Skalij/Los Angeles Times

The Rams weren't given much of a chance in this game. With John Wolford having to start the game and then exit early with an injury, it forced Jared Goff into the game despite recovering from a broken thumb on his throwing hand. Wolford left with a neck injury and was brought to the hospital but thankfully has since been released. Neither of the quarterbacks were particularly effective, but Goff managed to hit Robert Woods late in the game for a 15 yard score to put the game out of reach.

It was Cam Akers who stepped up for his ailing QBs, as he amassed 131 yards on the ground, 45 yards on two catches, and a touchdown on the day. Russell Wilson again looked very average and was only able to post 174 yards passing in this must-win game. Wilson threw for two touchdowns but also had a pass intercepted and brought back for a touchdown by Darious Williams in the second quarter. Chris Carson did his job for Seattle, averaging 4.8 yards per carry while finishing with 77 yards on the ground.

Sean McVay's Rams will draw the top seed in the NFC next round in the form of the Green Bay Packers. At least Goff will have another week to nurse his thumb, but unless he's able to throw downfield more effectively against Green Bay, the Rams could struggle to keep pace with one of the league's highest scoring offenses.

(5) Tampa Bay 31 - (4) Washington 23

Game MVP: Tom Brady

Tom Brady QB of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tom Brady continues his winning ways in the playoffs with TampaBrad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay came into this game the heavy favorites against Washington. On last week's episode of FindBet's podcast The Catch, The Catch, we discussed how we thought the Football Team would put up a better fight than one might think. Behind the play of backup QB Taylor Heinicke, Washington was never out of the game until the closing moments. Although Brady and the Bucs will head to New Orleans for a duel with the Saints, an interesting storyline will be if Heinicke has played himself into consideration to enter the 2021 regular season as the Football Team's starting quarterback.

Washington has a few young core players in Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, and Cam Sims on the offensive side of the ball and are really just needing a consistent presence at quarterback to solidify their attack. Already boasting one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL, the Football Team could take a big jump next year if they're able to build on the foundation they have begun to lay under Ron Rivera.

As for the Buccaneers, it shouldn't be understated that they went into Washington and took care of their business. It's not as if they overlooked Washington, but let's be real, Brady had Drew Brees and the Saints in his peripheral as he was staring down Chase Young during this game. TB12 is looking very comfortable in Bruce Arians's offense at this point in the season and has been able to successfully utilize any combination of the weapons at his disposal to result in victories throughout the season.

As they figure out how to best implement and deploy the talents of Antonio Brown, the Bucs have the look and feel of a Lamborghini roaring down an open highway. The only problem with a sports car going at exceeding speeds is that a little speed bump could cause a wreck. A healthy Michael Thomas and Drew Brees to pair with Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray awaits Tampa, and that's a big speed bump.

There has never been anyone better at winning playoff games than Tom Brady, and this is probably the most talented offense he's played with during his 20 year career. The Bucs got a strong performance from Leonard Fournette against Washington, as they saw him rack up 93 yards on the ground with a touchdown and added 39 yards on four catches.

Tampa will surely need a similar day from their rushing attack against New Orleans as Sean Payton will probably be sending blitzers to disrupt Tom Brady and try to slow down their passing attack. The Bucs would greatly benefit from a healthy performance from Fournette or Ronald Jones to help them come out on top next round.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

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In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Ben Simmons disappointed in the playoffs this season

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Following a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and coach, Doc Rivers, are questioning if Ben Simmons is the right guy to be running their offense through moving forward.

Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

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The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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