NFL Playoffs: The battles to look forward to on Super Wild Card Weekend

New York, New York - On Saturday, the postseason of NFL football gets underway as Wild Card Weekend officially starts the road to Super Bowl LVI. Here's what to watch out for.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could be playing in the last game of his career, if his team falls to the Chiefs on Sunday night.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could be playing in the last game of his career, if his team falls to the Chiefs on Sunday night.  © Imago/UPI Photo

In the AFC, the top-seeded Titans won’t see any action this weekend as they wait to see who will have to make the trip to Tennessee for the Divisional round.

The serious action starts off on Saturday as the Raiders, who take on the Bengals after squeaking into the postseason, having kicked away the Chargers’ playoff hopes on Sunday night. These two teams played each other in Week 11 where Cincinnati easily won in Vegas 32-13. The Bengals have only gotten better since, something the Raiders wouldn’t want to hear right now.

That game’s followed by the third meeting this season between bitter division rivals, the Patriots and Bills. Buffalo is the home team in this matchup, but recent history doesn’t speak in its favor. The bruising Week 13 matchup saw the Patriots running backs rushing all over Buffalo’s defense.

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The last AFC game this weekend might also be Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s last career game, since his team is going up against last year’s AFC champs, the Chiefs.

Kansas City fought off difficult early-season trouble to grab the number-two seed in the conference and is easily considered to be one of the favorites to make a deep run in this postseason.

The NFC’s top team is hoping for a better outcome this time around

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will begin his quest for an eighth Super Bowl win against the Eagles on Sunday.
Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will begin his quest for an eighth Super Bowl win against the Eagles on Sunday.  © IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

The Green Bay Packers have the top seed in the NFC for the second year in a row. They're hoping to avoid having their Super Bowl run spoiled by a road again, like the Bucs did last year.

Speaking of the Buccaneers, they start their title defense with the NFC’s opening game on Sunday as they host the Eagles, who quietly but rightfully earned the seventh and final playoff spot last weekend. If Tampa’s quest for another Lombardi Trophy ends successfully, this will be Tom Brady’s (44) eighth Super Bowl championship, extending his already remarkable record of seven rings earned by an NFL player.

A classic matchup of two historic franchises, the 49ers and Cowboys, will kick off after that. It's that rare game that could go either way. San Francisco isn’t that long removed from its Super Bowl LIV appearance while Dallas has been playing pretty well all season. In recent playoffs, though, the Cowboys have earned a reputation of faltering early with unexpected exits.

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NFL NFL Playoffs: Chiefs clinch battle with the Bills that will go down in history books!

Finally, in the league’s first-ever Monday night playoff game, the NFC West champion Rams will host division rivals the Cardinals to wrap up Wild Card Weekend. Arizona was the last undefeated team in the league before losing in Week Eight and looked like they would still seed high in the conference by now, but LA stayed in the hunt and managed to place higher than their rivals for home-field advantage on Monday.

Strap in, folks, we're heading into three big days!

Cover photo: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

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