After 16 games have been played from all the NFL teams, only six teams from each conference are in the postseason. Only four (NFC and AFC) of them compete this weekend to advance to the divisional round.
Whether its the road warriors in the New York Giants making a run or a high-power Pittsburgh Steelers getting hot at the right time, it’s sure to be a great Wild Card weekend. Here what each NFL and non-NFL fan needs to know on these four matchups during Wild Card weekend.
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans (Jan. 7 at 4:35 p.m. on ESPN)
Which will the fans sees within this matchup: a battle of defenses or journeyman quarterbacks? Well it can go either way considering how unlucky Oakland is losing Derek Carr for the season. They might not go as far as they want, but it won’t matter.
Houston has the same problems with their quarterback situation, not knowing who to trust in big moments. Most likely, this may be the worst matchup anyone can see during Wild Card weekend. One team needs to advance and it looks like the Texans will by default. But expect a physical defensive game.
Texans 14 Raiders 10
Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks (Jan. 7 at 8:15 p.m. on NBC)
If NFL fans said during the season that the Detroit Lions would make the playoffs without Calvin Johnson, then they should tap themselves on the back. This team has exceeded expectations with Matthew Stafford leading the way, despite losing critical games. Now they go into Seattle, a chaotic environment with the 12th man, which is the crowd, being an x factor.
However, the difference this season is which Seahawks team will show up? Can Russell Wilson make big plays? Will the Legion of Boom actually play defense at home? These are the questions they need to address, but they might just get out of it with a field goal to advance to the semifinals.
Lions 21 Seahawks 24
Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers (Jan 8 at 1:05 p.m. on CBS)
The Miami Dolphins are another team NFL experts didn’t see making the postseason, but they are in. Without a healthy Ryan Tannehill, the team needs to rely on their running game to chew up clock against a hot Pittsburgh Steelers team.
Offensively, the big three of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are dangerous against any defense in the league. Playing at Heinz Field definitely give them an edge over the Dolphins. Steelers can run away with this game, but don’t expect a gritty Dolphins team to fold in.
Steelers 28 Dolphins 17
New York Giants at Green Bay Packers (Jan 8 at 4:40 p.m. on Fox)
The matchup of the weekend. Two historic great franchises battle it out in Lambeau Field. The New York Giants are getting hot at the right time, playing great defense and making plays on offense. Eli Manning, arguably the clutchest quarterback in postseason history, gets another shot on winning another Super Bowl ring.
He’ll go up against the bad man in Aaron Rodgers, who’s having a terrific season. Rodgers knows the struggles against the Giants in the postseason, losing in 2011 during his MVP season. He looks to erase those memories, go on focus mode and deliver another great performance. It’ll come down to whoever has the ball last in the 4th quarter, and if it’s Manning, he might elevate the Giants into the divisional round.
Giants 24 Packers 21