NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals

The divisional round of the playoffs is arguably the best weekend of football on the NFL calendar. The league has reached the final eight teams remaining with the winners advancing to the conference championship game -- and Super Bowl LVIII is on the horizon.

Typically these divisional round matchups are some of the best football games of the year. The AFC playoffs are the perfect example with the upstart Houston Texans heading north to face the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens and Patrick Mahomes playing a true road playoff game for the first time against the Buffalo Bills.

The NFC will either have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship, as Detroit looks to win more playoff games this year than the franchise has combined since 1957. Another upstart team in the Green Bay Packers gets its biggest test of the year against the San Francisco 49ers. 

Of course the quarterbacks are going to get all the attention, but here are the under-the-radar players who can make an impact on the outcome of these games. 

Nico Collins, WR, Houston Texans

The emergence of C.J. Stroud this season as put the Texans on notice. Collins is the main beneficiary of Stroud's incredible play, becoming a No. 1 wide receiver in Year 1 with the franchise quarterback. He had a breakout season with 80 catches for 1,297 yards and eight touchdowns (16.2 yards per catch) -- after having just 927 yards and three touchdowns combined in his first two seasons. 

A deep-ball threat, Collins had 25 catches for 20-plus yards -- a franchise record for 20-plus yard catches in a season. Quarterbacks have a 129.5 passer rating targeting Collins this year, showcasing the impact Collins has when the ball comes his way. He's the player the Ravens have to stop this weekend. 

Isaiah Likely, TE, Baltimore Ravens

Even though Mark Andrews is questionable against the Texans, the Ravens can afford to be patient thanks to the presence of Likely. Since Andrews went down in Week 12, Likely has 21 catches for 322 yards and four touchdowns (15.3 yards per catch). 

Likely has been a consistent presence over the middle, freeing up the outside for the collection of pass catchers Lamar Jackson has at his disposal. The Ravens offense hasn't missed a beat since Andrews has been out, averaging 29.8 points per game with Likely in the lineup. 

The Texans gave up the fith-most passing yards to tight ends in the regular season. Likely may have a huge day. 

Jayden Reed, WR, Green Bay Packers

There are a lot of players who get praise in the Packers' young offense, yet Reed tends to get overlooked for the impact he makes every game. Reed had 64 catches for 793 yards and eight touchdowns in his rookie season (12.4 yards per catch), as his speed has been a valuable weapon in what head coach Matt LaFleur likes to run. 

Reed can also be used on end-around and wide receiver counter plays, averaging 10.8 yards per carry on designed runs in the regular season. He didn't have a catch  nor carry in te win over the Dallas Cowboys, but that should change this weekend.

Chase Young, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers decided to bolster their already strong pass rush by acquiring Young at the trade deadline in October. Even though Young has just 2.5 sacks since joining the 49ers, his 28 pressures have certainly made an impact. The 49ers had a 39.6% pressure rate and 7.2% sack rate on the year, but that sack rate was 8.8% when Young was in the lineup. 

Individually, Young hasn't been a difference-maker. The 49ers pass rush would beg to differ.  

Penei Sewell, OT, Detroit Lions

If the Lions are going to slow down the Buccaneers pass rush, Sewell needs to be at the top of his game. The Buccaneers blitz at the third-highest rate in the NFL, but the Lions have an offensive line to counter the heavy pressure. 

Sewell has allowed just one sack and 19 pressures on the season, allowing just a 3.0% pressure rate in 643 pass-blocking snaps. He's been a reliable force at right tackle in pass protection and can be utilized as a receiver on creative play calls by head coach Dan Campbell. 

Sewell will have to be the All-Pro he was all season to counter the Buccaneers edge rushers.  

Yaya Diaby, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers rookie has been a valuable addition to a pass rush that blitzes at the third-highest rate in the NFL. Diaby finished with only 26 pressures, but finished well with 7.5 sacks. Diaby didn't have a sack in the wild-card playoff win over the Philadelphia Eagles, but had a 17.6% pressure rate and freed up the interior to get to Jalen Hurts

Diaby's first step is massive toward setting up the pressure in the middle. The Buccaneers just need him to apply consistent pressure on the outside. 

Rasul Douglas, CB, Buffalo Bills

Dealt by the Packers to the Bills at midseason, Douglas has solidified a banged-up cornerback position in a massive way. While Douglas still misses tackles at a high rate, he has been a playmaker in coverage with four interceptions and eight passes defended in nine games with the team. 

Opposing quarterbacks have just a 23.8 passer rating targeting Douglas since he came to Buffalo. With all the Bills injuries in the secondary, it's important for Douglas to continue being a lockdown cornerback against the Chiefs' struggling wide receivers. 

L'Jarius Sneed, CB, Kansas City Chiefs

Sneed has been one of the best cornerbacks in football all year, as opposing quarterbacks have just a 45.2 passer rating targeting him. Opposing quarterbacks won't even target Sneed, who didn't even allow a passing touchdown in the regular season and had two interceptions.

Good bet Sneed's assignment will be Stefon Diggs this weekend. Sneed doesn't get the recognition he deserves for the season he's having, even though he's one of the best players on the Chiefs defense.