An unpredictable wild-card weekend has set up some unexpected matchups for the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.
Both of Saturday’s wild-card games featured wins by road teams, which sent the talented Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams home early. The home teams fared better Sunday, with the Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints picking up close victories.
Here is the schedule, with kickoff times and television information, for the divisional round:
Atlanta Falcons (11-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)
Saturday, 4:35 p.m. ET
The Eagles come into the playoffs with a lot less confidence than they had a month ago. When Carson Wentz tore his ACL, it changed the NFC landscape. Nick Foles struggled to move the offense in Week 16, and then struggled again in a few Week 17 drives before coach Doug Pederson put in backups. Meanwhile the Falcons come into the divisional round on a high after a strong performance against a very good Rams team. The Falcons are trying to defend their NFC championship from last season, and they ended up with as good of a divisional-round draw as they could have asked for.
Tennessee Titans (10-7) at New England Patriots (13-3)
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET
Off-field drama from the bye week aside, the Patriots are a very good football team and are back in a familiar spot as the AFC’s No. 1 seed. Tom Brady is likely to win NFL MVP, the defense played much better after an awful opening month, and New England grabbed a first-round playoff bye for the eighth straight season. The Patriots also seemed to catch a break when the Titans beat the Chiefs, considering Kansas City won at New England in Week 1. The Titans played well at Kansas City, fighting back from a 21-3 deficit with quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back Derrick Henry leading the way. They’ll need some more magic to pull off a huge road upset in Foxborough.
Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET
The Jaguars offense barely showed up in a wild-card win over the Bills, but the defense was as good as ever in a 10-3 win. Jacksonville’s defense has shown it can shut down the Steelers. The Jaguars picked off Ben Roethlisberger five times, returning two for touchdowns, in a 30-9 win at Pittsburgh on Oct. 8. The Steelers lost only once after that game, a heartbreaking defeat in the final seconds to the Patriots. One huge question leading up to the game will be if Steelers receiver Antonio Brown is indeed healthy enough to return from a calf injury suffered in that Patriots loss on Dec. 17.
New Orleans Saints (12-5) at Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET
These two teams kicked off the season, with the Vikings winning 29-19 over New Orleans in Week 1. The Saints improved a lot after that, especially on defense. And they still have a fantastic offense, with future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Drew Brees and the running back tandem of Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara. The Vikings are trying to become the first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Despite an early season injury to Sam Bradford, the Vikings cruised to an NFC North title and a bye. They are led by quarterback Case Keenum, who had a strong season, a good group of skill-position players and one of the best defenses in the NFL.
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