NFL Wild Card Matchups - Predictions, How and where to watch
A few twists and turns in the final week of the NFL season has left us with multiple teams we didn’t expect to be watching this weekend.
On one side are conference champions such as the Patriots, who seemed destined for the playoff bye Brady and company know so well only to suffer a stunning loss to the Dolphins in week 17.
Meanwhile, Tanne-THRILL has lit a fire in his Tennessee Titans who find themselves in the playoffs which seemed like a distant fantasy a couple of months ago.
NFC Wild Card Matchups
3 New Orleans Saints vs. 6. Minnesota Vikings
Despite humiliating the Panthers in Week 17 with the number 1 seed on the line, a 49ers win pushed the Saints all the way back to the 3 seed where they’ll face a familiar foe. With the “Minneapolis Miracle” still in the back of the mind of Sean Payton and company, look for the revenge narrative to be present from the beginning.
They’ll kickoff the second day of the wildcard slate Sunday, January 5th at 1:05 ET on Fox.
4. Philadelphia Eagles vs. 5. Seattle Seahawks
A fun matchup if only for the quarterback play, this Wild Card game presents fans with the promise of great quarterback play. Though his team consistently suffered injuries down the stretch (their top wideout in the last two weeks was one “Greg Ward”), Carson Wentz appeared to get stronger as the season went on. Combine this with the fact that Seattle suffered their share of injuries down the stretch and this game has all the makings of a classic wild card matchup.
Though 4:40 ET is the scheduled kickoff (NBC) don’t be surprised if the high scoring Saints hold up the start of this contest.
AFC Wild Card Matchups
3. New England Patriots vs. 6. Tennessee Titans
In one of the unexpected twists of the NFL season, the Patriots shocked family and friends by losing to the gritty Dolphins in in Week 17. This loss, in conjunction with the Chief’s taking care of business against the Los Angeles Chargers, cost the Patriots the first-round bye they’ve become accustomed to. I wouldn’t feel too bad for Brady and the kids as they shouldn’t be too uncomfortable at home against the resurrected Titans team. Anchored by nursing running back Derrick Henry and born again quarterback Ryan Tannehill, this game may be too close for comfort for our loyal Patriots users.
This game can be seen at 8:18 p.m. ET on Saturday night on CBS.
4. Houston Texans vs. 5. Buffalo Bills
Bill O’Brien may have been seen as a fringe hot seat candidate, but it’s very hard to fire a coach who keeps winning his division. Houston secured this seed prior to even taking the field against Tennessee in the leagues final week of the regular season. Similarly Buffalo, who also has been locked in at the number 5 spot since for over a week, should come in well rested and well prepared. Though this is expected to be a tight wild-card matchup, the Texans come in as 3 point favorites.
This game will kickoff at 4:35 p.m. and be available to watch on ESPN or stream it via the ESPN mobile app. Don’t break your phone out of frustration: this is the only game that is available to be streamed via the ESPN mobile app.
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