Saturday and Sunday are set for four noteworthy matchups in the NFL’s always-intriguing Wild Card Weekend. The league’s faithful will see a healthy mixture of both divisional foes and unfamiliar jerseys rarely spotted in January.
Our first Saturday clash kicks off at 4:35 PM EST from Kansas City. This may not be the sexiest of games set to play, but could prove to be competitive nonetheless. Tennessee (9-7) will look to march into uncharted playoff territory and come into a boisterious Arrowhead Stadium and take on the once-feared Chiefs (10-6). Kansas City began the season as a legitimate Super Bowl contender after a steamy 5-0 run, but quickly took a turn toward what became a mediocre season, while Tennessee struggles to find a consistent identity.
Next up, an NFC contest between the Atlanta Falcons (10-6) and newly-located LA Rams (11-5) heats up on NBC. Matty Ice and the Falcons will travel cross country to face a robust Rams defense and try to undo their Super Bowl 51 nightmare on primetime television. Jared Goff and Todd Gurley look to complement their top-five defensive unit and keep production high on offense. This battle begins at 8:15 PMEST.
The 1:00 PM kickoff on Sunday may just be the weekend’s most anticipated matchup, mostly due to some very new faces in the postseason The Buffalo Bills (9-7), arguably the league’s Cinderella after an 18-year hiatus in the postseason, look to dance past the steadfast Jags, who finished 10-6. An unlikely emergence of the Bills came from a clutch surprise by none other than Andy Dalton, who delivered a last-chance touchdown to lead the Bengals over the Ravens, ultimately punching Buffalo’s ticket to January football. Both teams had a very different end to their season as Tyrod Taylor and his squad seemed to flourish while the Jaguars had a couple of head-scratching losses on the road in San Francisco and Tennessee.
The final match on Sunday will showcase two of three dancing NFC South rivals where Carolina will head southwest to New Orleans’ Superdome. Both teams finished 11-5, however New Orleans got the win over Carolina in both regular season contests. This one could be quite the bout.
Impending upsets keep us all glued to our flat screens and similarly keep oddsmakers on their toes. Who am I taking? For what it’s worth, here are my Wild Card winners: Kansas City, Atlanta, Buffalo and New Orleans.