Wild Card Weekend Preview

January 10, 2022

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We look ahead to the coming weekend’s matchups, potential storylines, and a whole lot more. Follow along this week on all Chiefs Focus social media platforms, the 1st and 10 Podcast, as well as the blog for coverage and insights.

Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus Charles Robinson @CRob5769

A wild end to the regular season leads us right into the “Super” Wild Card weekend. The league added “Super” to the Wild Card weekend festivities last year upon expanding the playoff field, giving us more football on the table to devour this coming weekend. We’ll undoubtedly see upsets. We’ll see a game (Cowboys vs. 49ers) simulcast on Nickelodeon for the second time, and a new NVP take the throne currently occupied by all time great Mitch Trubisky. We’ll see regular season rematches – in 2 cases, the third game between division rivals. We’ll see 6 teams punch their tickets to the divisional round while the Titans and Packers sit and wait to see who their opponents next week will be. 

I’m having issues containing my excitement for the coming weekend, so let’s jump in to how to watch these games, and the storylines we’ll be looking to unfold this weekend! 

(5) Las Vegas Raiders at (4) Cincinnati Bengals – AFC – Saturday 3:30 CST; NBC

On the Call : Mike Tirico and Drew Brees 

  • Las Vegas, the AFC’s surprise 5 seed following a week 18 thriller against the Los Angeles Chargers, travel to Cincinnati to take on Joe Burrow and the Bengals.
  • This will be the first playoff appearance for both Joe Burrow and Derek Carr. Carr missed the Raiders 2016 playoff loss to the Houston Texans with a broken leg. 
  • The Raiders look to avenge a 32-13 loss to the Bengals in week 11 of the regular season. 
  • The Bengals are currently a 6.5 point favorite. Both teams finished the regular season at 10-7.

(6) New England Patriots at (3) Buffalo Bills – AFC – Saturday 7:15 CST; CBS, Paramount+

On the Call : Ian Eagle and Charles Davis 

  • New England heads to Buffalo for their third matchup of the year with their AFC East rival Buffalo Bills.
  • New England led the AFC East late in the season before losing 3 of their last 4 games to end the season. 
  • Mac Jones makes his playoff debut in his rookie season for New England, as Josh Allen leads the Bills to their third straight playoff appearance seeking to return the Bills to the AFC Championships game – a contest they lost last year to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
  • This is the first NFL playoff matchup between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills. The Boston Patriots defeated the Buffalo Bills 26-8 in the 1963 AFL playoffs.  
  • The two teams split the season series, with New England winning in Buffalo, and the Bills taking the game at Foxborough. 
  • The Bills are currently 4.5 point favorites. Buffalo finished the regular season at 11-6, while New England wrapped up at 10-7. 

(7) Philadelphia Eagles at (2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – NFC – Sunday 12:00 CST; FOX

On the Call : Joe Buck and Troy Aikman

  •  Philadelphia will try to keep an unexpectedly successful season alive by visiting the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round. 
  • This will be Eagles QB Jalen Hurts first career playoff start in his second season with the Eagles, compared to Tampa quarterback Tom Brady’s 46th. This will be the biggest disparity in playoff starts between two opposing quarterbacks in NFL history. 
  • The Eagles won 4 in a row before resting 19 starters in a week 18 matchup with Dallas, while Tampa comes in having won 7 or their last 8. The Buccaneers defeated the Eagles 28-22 in week 6. 
  • The Buccaneers are currently 8.5 point favorites. Tampa enters the game 13-4, while the Eagles ended the regular season at 9-8. 

(6) San Francisco 49ers at (3) Dallas Cowboys – NFC – Sunday 12:00 CST; CBS, Nickelodeon

On the Call : Jim Nantz, Tony Romo (CBS); Nate Burleson, Young Dylan (Nickelodeon) 

  • The 49ers, coming off of a win or go home game against NFC West champion Los Angeles, travels to Jerry’s World in Irving, TX to take on the Dallas Cowboys, winners of 5 of their last 6 regular season games.
  • The teams will renew one of the NFC’s most historic rivalries, where the teams all time are 17-17-1 against each other, but the Cowboys hold a 5-2 record over the 49ers in playoff action. 
  • Quarterbacks Dak Prescott and Jimmy Garoppolo look to log performances that could rank with the likes of Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Joe Montana, and Steve Young as all time performances in the rivalry.  
  • The Cowboys seeks their first postseason win since 2018, and 4th since 2000. The Niners look to get back on track in the postseason after failing to qualify in 2020 following their 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 54. 
  • The Cowboys enter the game as 3 point favorites. Dallas finished the regular season at 12-5, San Francisco at 10-7.

(7) Pittsburgh Steelers at (2) Kansas City Chiefs – NFC – Sunday 7:15 CST; NBC

On the Call : Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth 

  • Check out the blog today for our initial look at the matchup, and all week for continued coverage leading up to Sunday’s game! 

(5) Arizona Cardinals at (4) Los Angeles Rams – NFC – Monday 7:15 CST; ESPN/ABC

On the Call : Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick 

  • The Cardinals, losers of 4 of their final 5 games in the regular season, travel to Los Angeles to take on Matt Stafford and the Rams. 
  • This marks the first playoff appearance for Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, and the fourth for Rams signal caller Matt Stafford. Stafford is 0-3 in his previous 3 appearances in the postseason. 
  • The Rams return to the postseason for the second year in a row, defeating the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round last year before losing to the Green Bay Packers 32-18 in the Divisional round at Lambeau Field. 
  • The Cardinals will be trying for their first playoff win since 2016, an overtime Wild Card win over the Green Bay Packers. This will be their fifth playoff appearance since 2000. 
  • The Cardinals and Rams will be facing off for the third time this season. Arizona defeated LA 37-20 in week 4 of the regular season, with LA avenging that loss in Arizona in week 14 by a score of 30-23. 
  • The Rams enter the game as 4 point favorites. Los Angeles finished the year at 12-5, Arizona at 11-6. 

Stay tuned to the blog all week for coverage on these games, as well as in depth coverage on the Chiefs and Steelers Sunday Night matchup at Arrowhead Stadium! 

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