NFL Divisional Playoffs: Derrick Henry, Odell Beckham Jr, Travis Kelce among the superstars set to shine this weekend | NFL News



Hannah Wilkes

Overtime Presenter & NFL Reporter

From Derrick Henry to Odell Beckham Jr, a look at the NFL superstars set to shine in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs; watch all four games live on Sky Sports NFL, starting with the Cincinnati Bengals at the Tennessee Titans, kick-off at 9.30pm on Saturday night

Last Updated: 21/01/22 11:27am


Check out the best highlight-reel plays from some of the best non-QB players in the NFL, including Odell Beckham Jr, Derrick Henry and Travis Kelce

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Check out the best highlight-reel plays from some of the best non-QB players in the NFL, including Odell Beckham Jr, Derrick Henry and Travis Kelce

Check out the best highlight-reel plays from some of the best non-QB players in the NFL, including Odell Beckham Jr, Derrick Henry and Travis Kelce

The Fantasy Football season may be over, but Sky Sports‘ expert Hannah Wilkes is still here to showcase the very best talent you can watch out for in the NFL playoffs, looking at the best skill-position players set to star in the Divisional Round…

And then there were eight. We are, seemingly all of a sudden, into the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.

The pressure is on, the stakes are high, and the tastiness of these match-ups is off the spice scale! Tom Brady is hunting an eighth ring, Patrick Mahomes chasing his third-straight Super Bowl appearance, Aaron Rodgers still has that point to prove after another MVP-calibre season.

But it’s not just about the guys under center. The skill-position players in action on Saturday and Sunday night are pretty much the cream of the crop. Who will be the difference maker for their team with Conference Championship berths on the line? Let’s assess…

Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans

Saturday, live on Sky Sports NFL, 9.30pm

Henry was on course of a 2,000-yard season until being struck down with an ankle injury in October

Henry was on course of a 2,000-yard season until being struck down with an ankle injury in October

The King is back! Common sense suggests we shouldn’t expect Derrick Henry to be quite the force he was pre-foot injury…but common sense does not apply to the Tennessee Titans running back.

On pace for a 2,000-yard season before he went down in October – rushing for over 100 yards in five of the eight games he played – there is no doubting the impact of Henry. He’s a problem for the defense and his constant threat contributes to the success of the Titans’ play-action game too.

The Titans locked up the number-one seed without him, which speaks volumes to the adaptability and talent of the team, and any contribution Henry has on the field is bound to yield results.

San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers

Saturday night, live on Sky Sports NFL, 1.15am (Sunday)

Deebo Samuel ducks and weaves his way through the Dallas Cowboys' defense to score an amazing touchdown on Wild Card Weekend

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Deebo Samuel ducks and weaves his way through the Dallas Cowboys’ defense to score an amazing touchdown on Wild Card Weekend

Deebo Samuel ducks and weaves his way through the Dallas Cowboys’ defense to score an amazing touchdown on Wild Card Weekend

How do you solve a problem like Deebo Samuel? Well, Matt LaFleur has said that, out of respect for the 49ers (and his former colleague Kyle Shanahan), the Packers’ coaching staff were prepping for the San Francisco 49ers ahead of their Wild Card game against the Dallas Cowboys, and you can’t shake the feeling that that has a lot to do with the WR/RB1 (as I have dubbed him).

Here’s what we know: Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t healthy, but the run game is where the Niners have historically flourished in playoff football (2019 Super Bowl, anyone?). They’ve gone 7-1 in the games where Deebo has rushed for over 35 yards throughout his career, that loss being the aforementioned Super Bowl defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Samuel has the potential to be a top-five receiver in the NFL, says former San Francisco 49ers wideout Pierre Garcon

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Samuel has the potential to be a top-five receiver in the NFL, says former San Francisco 49ers wideout Pierre Garcon

Samuel has the potential to be a top-five receiver in the NFL, says former San Francisco 49ers wideout Pierre Garcon

Samuel represents a scary prospect for the Packers defense as a dual threat, although they are boosted by the return of Jaire Alexander and Za’Darius Smith on defense.

Los Angeles Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday, live on Sky Sports NFL, 8pm

Beckham Jr turns quarterback and throws a 40-yard completion to running back Cam Akers for an LA Rams trick-play against the Arizona Cardinals

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Beckham Jr turns quarterback and throws a 40-yard completion to running back Cam Akers for an LA Rams trick-play against the Arizona Cardinals

Beckham Jr turns quarterback and throws a 40-yard completion to running back Cam Akers for an LA Rams trick-play against the Arizona Cardinals

Odell Beckham Jr had by far his best game in recent memory in the Los Angeles Rams’ Wild Card win over the Arizona Cardinals. He provided a much-needed redzone threat, and even lofted a 40-yard pass to Cam Akers. With Cooper Kupp acting primarily as a decoy, OBJ was everywhere Matthew Stafford needed him to be.

When these teams met in Week Three (admittedly, a lifetime ago in the scheme of an NFL season), the Bucs allowed a season-high four touchdown passes to the Rams. And that was before the arrival of Beckham, although Robert Woods was still healthy, and DeSean Jackson had a great game. The Rams need deep options if they’re to get past the Bucs; the pressure is fully on the shoulders of Odell and Stafford.

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday, live on Sky Sports NFL, 11.30pm

Josh Allen found Stefon Diggs in the endzone for his 100th career touchdown pass in the Buffalo Bills' regular-season win over the New England Patriots

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Josh Allen found Stefon Diggs in the endzone for his 100th career touchdown pass in the Buffalo Bills’ regular-season win over the New England Patriots

Josh Allen found Stefon Diggs in the endzone for his 100th career touchdown pass in the Buffalo Bills’ regular-season win over the New England Patriots

Anyone else feel legitimately giddy thinking about this one? We’ve got two of the best young QBs on show, and a master vs apprentice situation at head coach with Andy Reid and Sean McDermott – but give me the receiver match-up any day of the week.

In the blue corner: Stefon Diggs and tight end Dawson Knox are coming in fresh from the most efficient offensive display in NFL history.

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Kelce got a surprise when his mum began quizzing him in his post-game news conference!

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Kansas City Chiefs tight end Kelce got a surprise when his mum began quizzing him in his post-game news conference!

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Kelce got a surprise when his mum began quizzing him in his post-game news conference!

In the red corner: Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce have a combined playoff record of 140 receptions, 1,802 receiving yards and 13 receiving touchdowns.

So, who has the edge? The bigger, consistent threat is the Chiefs’ offense, and the Bills’ defense is missing one of their biggest ‘Hill Containment’ weapons in Tre’Davious White. Levi Wallace and Dane Jackson have done a beyond stellar job filling in since Thanksgiving, but this is without doubt their biggest test yet.

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