3 bold predictions for the New England Patriots Wild Card matchup

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /
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New England Patriots
J.C. Jackson #27 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots bold prediction No. 3: J.C. Jackson gets his first career postseason interception

If it wasn’t clear heading into the season, J.C. Jackson is one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks. He posted his second straight season with at least eight interceptions, led the league in pass breakups with 23, and found his way into the Pro Bowl and All-Pro second team. Jackson’s standout play made most Patriots fans forget about the ugly Stephon Gilmore trade from earlier this season.

Despite Jackson’s clear growth into a star corner, it appears that Buffalo’s top wideout, Stefon Diggs, may just be his kryptonite. Over the past four games Diggs has played against New England, he has caught 26 passes for 373 yards and four touchdowns. In those four games, Jackson has been the guy primarily responsible for covering Diggs.

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There’s not another receiver around the league that has been able to get the better of Jackson more consistently than Diggs. And if the Patriots are going to win this game, Jackson is going to need to limit Diggs more than he has in his previous four meetings against him.

It’s obviously unreasonable to expect Jackson to completely shutout Diggs, but if he can limit Diggs to a line similar to the one he posted in the first matchup between these two sides this season (4 REC, 51 YDS), that’s a huge point in New England’s favor. Even if Jackson can’t totally shut down Diggs, he can still help out in a big way by producing a turnover at some point throughout this game.

Jackson has played four playoff games in his career, but he hasn’t managed to record an interception yet. That will change against the Bills, and he will manage to change the tides of the game with a huge interception of Josh Allen in the second half. Jackson won’t be perfect against Diggs, but if he can manage to secure his first postseason interception, it could end up being the difference in the game.