Saturday NFL Divisional Games Health Analysis: ProFootballDoc

Rest versus rust. The Saturday NFL Divisional Playoff games feature the #1 seed in the AFC and NFC coming off a bye. Is it better to be well rested or be the hot team?

The home teams are already the healthier squads and now also will be better rested. Overall, the three least healthy teams in the Wild Card round all lost. This makes sense as health contributes to a better chance to win.

The biggest news is indeed Jalen Hurts is off in the injury report and fully healthy. We expect no issues throwing the ball and a full compliment of RPO runs.

Jacksonville @ Kansas City -8.5

The Chiefs are the healthiest team in the playoffs. Sure Mecole Hardman is out with an abdominal issue but KC acquired Kadarious Toney in his place. Yes Clyde Edwards-Helaire is still on injured reserve for this high ankle sprain but Isiah Pacheco has taken his spot with Jerrick McKinnon as the third down back too. Frank Clark is healthy from his minor groin issue and the team is well rested leading us to favor laying the large spread.

The Jaguars played well in the second half (along with a Chargers collapse) last week. They are dealing with injury issues on the left side of their offensive line and their QB is playing thru a toe issue. Defensively, they have been without their #2 corner for awhile. It is not that Jacksonville is injury plagued but the Chiefs are just healthier and fresher.

New York Giants @ Philadelphia - 7.5

Jalen Hurts at full health has us likely the Eagles. More worry for rust for hurts than SC joint soreness as it has been five weeks and an injection would take care of that anyways. Right tackle Lane Johnson is 100% playing but may not be 100% with his core muscle issue. No Avonte Maddox but C.J. Gardner-Johnson will be a welcome addition. Plus Dallas Goeddert is healthy now. This all means that rest and health favors the Eagles despite the more than touchdown spread.

The Giants have weathered injury issues all year. The offensive line finally got healthier but the wide receiver corps has remained limited. Saquon Barkley is healthy and has had a big year. Defensively, pass rusher Azzez Ojulari may be sorely missed as it is hard to be explosive with his quad issue.

It is hard to beat a team three times in a season but the 49ers did that to Seattle last week. The Eagles are in position to repeat that this week.

Tomorrow, we will preview the Sunday games and as a peek ahead, the Bengals have offensive line issues.

Written by
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.