NFL

San Francisco 49ers look to continue winning streak, Dolphins face huge Bills test in Wild Card round

By Sports Desk January 13, 2023

It's time for the Wild Card round on the road to Super Bowl LVII.

Things kick-off on Saturday when the in-form San Francisco 49ers welcome the Seattle Seahawks to Levi's Stadium, while the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Florida to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A trio of games on Sunday see the Buffalo Bills host the Miami Dolphins, the Minnesota Vikings facing the New York Giants and the Cincinnati Bengals going up against the Baltimore Ravens, before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys bring the round to a close on Monday.

Stats Perform has taken a look at the more pertinent stats heading into what should be another exciting three days of NFL action as the playoffs begin.

Seattle Seahawks (9-8) @ San Francisco 49ers (13-4)

This will be just the second playoff game ever between the Seahawks and 49ers (Seattle won the other in the 2013 NFC Championship Game).

The 49ers are on a 10-game winning streak, the 13th team in the Super Bowl era to enter the postseason on a double-digit winning streak. The previous 12 teams to do so were 7-5 in their first playoff game that season.

San Francisco won both regular season meetings but have never beaten a single team three times in one campaign (including playoffs).

Geno Smith led the NFL in completion percentage this season, becoming just the second Seahawk ever do so after Dave Krieg in 1991. With 30 touchdown passes, Smith became the third Seahawk to lead the NFC in that category, joining Matt Hasselbeck (2005) and Russell Wilson (2017 and 2018).

Christian McCaffrey has scored an offensive touchdown in each of his last six games, tied for the second-longest streak in the NFL this season. The last Niner to have a longer streak (including the playoffs) was Terrell Owens in 1998 (nine).

Miami Dolphins (9-8) @ Buffalo Bills (13-3)

The Dolphins have lost their last four games in the postseason, scoring just 24 points over those games. Only one team has scored fewer points over a four-game span in the playoffs in postseason history, the Giants from 1939 to 1944 (16 points).

Miami's hopes of improving on that poor record were reduced when starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) was ruled out of this playoff contest.

But they still have Tyreek Hill, who caught 119 passes for 1,710 yards this season – both career highs. No Dolphin had ever had more than 1,400 receiving yards in one season, with the next closest being Mark Clayton in 1984 with 1,389 receiving yards.

For the Bills, Josh Allen has thrown one interception in 228 career passing attempts in the postseason, the lowest rate in NFL playoff history.

This season, the Dolphins' offense led the league, averaging 6.85 yards on first down plays, while the Bills were third (6.13). The teams were close on defense on first down plays as well, with the Dolphins 14th (5.27 yards allowed per play) and the Bills 15th (5.39).

New York Giants (9-7-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (13-4)

This is the Vikings' 31st playoff appearance, currently tied with the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz for the most by any MLB/NBA/NFL/NHL team that has never won a championship.

Kirk Cousins finished with 25 or more TD passes and fewer than 15 interceptions for the eighth straight season. The only other QB in NFL history to have a streak as long is Tom Brady (10 straight, 2009-18).

The Giants are 8-2 in playoff games since the start of the 2007 season, the best record by any NFL team in that time. Four of the Giants' 16 previous playoff appearances in the Super Bowl era have ended in a Super Bowl victory (25.0 per cent), the highest percentage for any team.

Earlier this season, Daniel Jones became the second QB in NFL history to have 3000+ passing yards, 500+ rushing yards and no more than five interceptions in a season, along with Robert Griffin III in his 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign.

Elsewhere...

This will be the Chargers' first playoff appearance since 2018, when they beat Baltimore before falling to New England. The Chargers have won at least one playoff game in four of their last five appearances. They are also 3-0 against AFC South teams in the playoffs since the division was created in 2002.

The Bengals have won eight consecutive games, which is tied for the longest win streak in team history. The Bengals are the only current NFL team without at least one winning streak of at least nine games in their franchise history (regular season and playoffs).

Buccaneers star Tom Brady has thrown for 13,049 yards in his playoff career, nearly 4,000 more than the combined career total for the other 13 projected playoff starting quarterbacks this season (9,184 combined passing yards).

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