NFL Wild Card Weekend: All you need to know



CNN

The NFL Playoffs have lastly arrived. On Saturday night time, the San Francisco 49ers and Jaguars punched their tickets to the divisional spherical. By Monday night, 4 extra groups will be a part of them and be one step nearer to the NFL’s largest stage. Here’s what to count on on Sunday and Monday:

Sunday begins with the Bills internet hosting the AFC East rival Dolphins. Led by star quarterback Josh Allen, the No. 2 seed Bills are the heavy favorites, particularly now that Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been formally dominated out.

The two groups have already met twice this season, with the collection break up 1-1. In the primary recreation, the Dolphins squeaked away with a victory primarily due to careless turnovers and errors made by the Bills. The second time round, the Bills rallied within the ultimate minutes to stroll away with a 32-29 win.

In each video games, Allen was excellent, throwing for a mixed 704 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions. What’s value noting is that the Bills managed their very own destiny in each of those video games.

In each contests, they have been clearly the higher group, whether or not they performed prefer it or not. If they present up this week, play to their full potential, and remove sloppy errors, they need to haven’t any issues locking down a victory.

Sunday’s 4 o’clock slate is filled with firsts. First-year head coach Brian Daboll and the Giants will journey to Minnesota to tackle the Vikings. Quarterback Daniel Jones will make his first profession playoff begin, and it is going to be the group’s first playoff look in six seasons.

While the Giants are the highway underdogs, they’re effectively geared up to compete with, and even beat, the NFC North Champions. The two groups met on Christmas Eve in a recreation that got here down to a Justin Tucker area aim. Throughout the season, most of the Vikings’ different victories have been determined by a single rating. This week’s contest will seemingly go down to the wire simply the identical.

If the Giants handle to stroll away with a win and make it out of the Wild Card stage, it is seemingly that the buck stops there. Their possibilities of beating the 49ers or Eagles within the subsequent spherical are a lot slimmer. The Vikings are extra seemingly to make a deeper postseason run in the event that they get previous the primary spherical, however the Giants usually are not to be underestimated.

The Ravens and Bengals will meet for the second straight week and the third time this season on Sunday night time. The divisional rivals break up the common season collection, with every incomes a victory at dwelling.

This time round, Baltimore will likely be with out beginning quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has not performed since December 4. Backup Tyler Huntley is listed as a game-time determination. Playing with out QB1 all the time poses a problem; there will likely be added reliance on the protection and the operating recreation to care for enterprise. The Ravens’ greatest shot at victory is to achieve momentum early, and keep away from important deficits at prices.

The Bengals are the apparent favourite, boasting the higher document and enjoying at dwelling with a principally wholesome roster. Just final season, they made all of it the best way to the Super Bowl. They defeated the Raiders, Titans, and Chiefs, solely to fall to the Rams within the ultimate stage.

The Ravens have not been to the playoffs since 2020, once they misplaced to the Bills within the AFC divisional spherical. Despite Cincinnati’s higher hand, something can occur in a playoff recreation between divisional rivals. These opponents know one another’s strengths and weaknesses very effectively, and can use that to their benefit.

Dak Prescott #4 throws the ball as Efe Obada #97 of the Washington Commanders and Chase Young #99 defend during the first half at FedExField.

Wild Card Weekend will wrap up with a primetime battle between the Bucs and the Cowboys.

Dallas completed the common season with a document of 12-5, particularly spectacular contemplating they performed a big stretch with out veteran quarterback Dak Prescott. Tampa Bay struggled their method by means of a disappointing common season and completed with a dropping document of 8-9, however nonetheless managed to emerge NFC South Champions.

While the Cowboys are the higher group on paper, they’ve the drawback of enjoying on the highway. The final time Dallas gained a highway playoff recreation was 30 years in the past; since then, they’ve misplaced all eight postseason video games.

Furthermore, the Buccaneers have the “X” issue: Tom Brady. The veteran signal-caller enters this playoff stretch with essentially the most video games began by a quarterback, wins by a beginning quarterback, Super Bowl titles and Super Bowl MVPs. In his profession towards the Cowboys, he is a flawless 7-0.

A lights-out efficiency from Brady could possibly be sufficient to energy this Bucs group to victory.

Here’s how to catch these groups and others throughout the league in motion, from wherever you are.

Australia: NFL Game Pass, ESPN, 7Plus

Brazil: NFL Game Pass, ESPN

Canada: CTV, TSN, RDS, NFL Game Pass on DAZN

Germany: NFL Game Pass, ProSieben MAXX, DAZN

Mexico: NFL Game Pass, TUDN, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports

UK: NFL Game Pass, Sky Sports, ITV, Channel 5

US: NFL Game Pass, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN, Amazon Prime

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