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ProFootballDoc: Monday Night Playoff Game Advantage

A healthy T.J. Watt against the #3 right tackle was a clear advantage, but not enough to derail the Chiefs with an easy cover over the Steelers to give us a winning weekend against the spread, using health differential. The Eagles could not take advantage of the Bucs’ injuries and Dallas was dominated all day.

One final Super Wild Card matchup tonight, which is a NFC West contest with the Rams hosting the Cardinals.

ARIZONA +3.5 vs L.A. RAMS

The small health differential is clearly when Kyler Murray is on the field. Even with DeAndre Hopkins out for the rest of the playoffs, the Cardinals offense has the advantage as the Rams are missing five key defenders including both safeties. They signed 37 year-old Eric Weddle and he will play.

Full disclosure, I have the utmost respect for Weddle (and we even exchanged friendly texts yesterday) but this is a very tall order. Physically, it is easier to play QB at 44 (Tom Brady) than safety at 37. In my opinion, it is easier to be a 40 year-old left tackle (Andrew Whitworth) than to play in the open field. Add to that, Weddle hasn’t played football in 2 years. The mental side will be easy. Weddle will be in the right place, but the physical side will be tough. If anyone can do it, he can but it is a tough ask.

The Rams have an unprecedented two players older than their head coach who is 35. I doubt that has ever happened before, much less to a team in the playoffs.

The Cardinals should have both running backs available and are relatively healthy offensively. Let’s see if they can take advantage or at least keep it to close game to cover.

Got to SICscore.com for all the details including previews of the Divisional Round.

Written by Pro Football Doc

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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