Archives for category: New Orleans Saints

NFL clubs voted to expand the postseason by two teams beginning with the 2020 season. Expanding the NFL postseason was addressed in the new NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. Players and clubs both recognized that nothing energizes fans like the chance to see their team qualify for the playoffs and compete for the Super Bowl.

The vote took place during a league meeting held remotely follows the recommendation of the Competition Committee, Management Council Executive Committee and Media Committee on increasing the number of playoff teams from 12 to 14.

Two additional Wild Card teams – one each in the American and National Football Conferences – will qualify for the playoffs. The No. 1 seed in each conference will receive a bye in the Wild Card round. The remaining division champions in each conference with the best records will be seeded 2, 3 and 4, followed by the next three teams per conference with the best records seeded 5, 6 and 7.

AFC and NFC Wild Card games will feature the 2 seed hosting the 7 seed, the 3 seed hosting the 6 seed and the 4 seed hosting the 5 seed.

Wild Card Weekend for the 2020 season will consist of three games on Saturday, January 9 and three games on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

CBS will broadcast one additional Wild Card game on January 10 with kickoff at approximately 4:40 p.m. Eastern. The game will also be available via a livestream on CBS All Access. Additionally, as part of CBS’ coverage, a separately produced telecast of the game will air on Nickelodeon, tailored for a younger audience.

NBC, its new streaming service Peacock, as well as Telemundo will all broadcast an additional Wild Card game on January 10 with kickoff at approximately 8:15 p.m. Eastern.

​The NFL last expanded the playoffs for the 1990 season, increasing from 10 to 12 the number of teams to qualify for the postseason. Since 1990, at least four new teams have qualified for the playoffs that missed the postseason the year before – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons.

The 2020 NFL Draft will be presented across ABC, ESPN and NFL Network, April 23 through April 25 – the second straight year that The Walt Disney Company has worked with the National Football League to offer a multi-network presentation for all seven rounds. The 2020 NFL Draft will serve as a three-day virtual fundraiser benefitting six charities that are battling the spread of COVID-19 and delivering relief to millions in need. The National Football League, ESPN and ABC hope the 2020 NFL Draft will bring fans a small but welcome diversion in the middle of a difficult and unprecedented time.

ESPN and NFL Network will combine to offer a singular presentation across both networks, while ABC will present its own distinctive, prime-time telecasts for rounds 1 through 3, in addition to simulcasting the ESPN and NFL Network telecast of rounds 4-7.

The 2020 NFL Draft telecasts – originally scheduled to be on-site in Las Vegas, Nevada – will now originate from ESPN’s Bristol, Connecticut., studios and adhere to proper social distancing guidelines and local workplace rules due to COVID-19. Draft hosts and a limited number of commentators will be in-studio while a majority of the analysts, reporters and other experts will contribute remotely from home studios. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will introduce the picks from his home.

As previously announced, the NFL Draft will also feature a “Draft-A-Thon” which will pay tribute to healthcare workers and first responders in a variety of ways – including raising funds for the work being done to combat the impact of COVID-19. Funds will help support six national nonprofits and their respective COVID-19 relief efforts.

“We recognize the challenging times we are living in but we are looking forward to presenting the 2020 NFL Draft and providing some hope for football fans everywhere,” Seth Markman, ESPN vice president, production told USA Today and the Hartford Courtant. “For the past couple of years, ESPN’s NFL and college teams have worked together on our draft coverage, and it has been a win for our viewers. This year, we are further excited to collaborate with the NFL Network creating an All Star broadcast. We are also committed to producing the ESPN/NFL Network and ABC shows in the safest possible environment for our announcers and production teams.”

“We are excited to partner with ESPN to present a unique and collaborative broadcast of the 2020 NFL Draft,” said Mark Quenzel, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production, NFL Network. “By bringing the exceptional on-air talent and production staffs of both ESPN and NFL Network together, we hope to deliver a unified presentation of the draft that not only helps raise awareness and funds for the COVID-19 relief efforts but also provides entertainment that millions of sports fans have been craving.”

NFL Draft Schedule (April 23-25, all times Eastern):

Thursday April 23 (8 – 11:30 p.m.): NFL Draft, Round 1 on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
Friday, April 24 (7 – 11:30 p.m.): NFL Draft, Rounds 2 and 3 on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
Saturday, April 25 (Noon – 7 p.m.): NFL Draft, Rounds 4 through 7 on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio

ESPN and NFL Network: Trey Wingo will host all three days of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage for the fourth consecutive year, based in Bristol. Wingo will be joined remotely by ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr. (37th draft), Louis Riddick (sixth) and Booger McFarland (third). NFL Network host Rich Eisen (17th), Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah (eighth) and Pro Football Hall of Famers Michael Irvin (Ninth) and Kurt Warner (10th) will also contribute remotely all three days. ESPN NFL host Suzy Kolber will conduct remote interviews with NFL draftees from an ESPN studio and ESPN Senior NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will again be part of the three-day telecast, providing updates from their respective homes.

ABC: Hosts Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer and Maria Taylor will lead ABC’s unique prime-time presentation of the NFL Draft on April 23rd and 24th. Featuring NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay (12th draft, first commentating on all seven rounds) and college football analysts Kirk Herbstreit (third), Desmond Howard (third), David Pollack (third), and correspondent/feature reporter Tom Rinaldi, ABC will focus on storytelling and the journey draft prospects and their families have taken to get to the NFL. Davis, Palmer, Taylor and Rinaldi will be in-studio in Bristol.

McShay will join Wingo and the ESPN/NFL Network crew for Rounds 4 through 7 on Saturday, April 25.

ESPN reporters will cover the NFL Draft remotely for ABC, ESPN and NFL Network. Assignments include:

Josina Anderson (covering Minnesota, Washington, Cleveland and San Francisco)
Jeff Darlington (Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Kansas City)
Dan Graziano (Green Bay, Detroit, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina and Las Vegas)
Sal Paolantonio (New York Giants, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York Jets)
Mike Reiss (New England)
Dianna Russini (ATLANTA, Tennessee, Cincinnati and New Orleans)
Ed Werder (Denver, Seattle, Dallas and Arizona)

Digital: The 2020 NFL Draft will also be streamed live via a number of NFL and ESPN digital properties across devices (Phone, PC, tablet and connected TVs). NFL Network or ESPN authentication may be required.

NFL Digital Platforms

NFL App
NFL.com
ESPN Digital Platforms

ESPN App
ESPN.com

ESPN Deportes: ESPN Deportes will also provide exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft. Commentators include Monday Night Football voices Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega. In addition, ESPNDeportes.com will have a team dedicated to covering the draft, providing pre-draft analysis, pieces written by Sebastian Martinez Christensen and videos of every selection.

Radio/Audio: Radio coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft will be provided by SiriusXM, Westwood One and ESPN Radio. Digital audio coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft will be available via the TuneIn app.

Following is the 2020 NFL Draft first round order.

2020 FIRST ROUND DRAFT ORDER

# Team (W-L-T, Pct.; Opp W-L-T, Strength of Schedule)
1. Cincinnati (2-14-0, .125; 141-114-1, .553)
2. Washington (3-13-0, .188; 128-127-1, .502)
3. Detroit (3-12-1, .219; 129-126-1, .506)
4. New York Giants (4-12-0, .250; 120-134-2, .473)
5. Miami (5-11-0, .313; 124-132-0, .484)
6. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11-0, .313; 131-124-1, .514)
7. Carolina (5-11-0, .313; 140-115-1, .549)
8. Arizona (5-10-1, .344; 135-120-1, .529)
9. Jacksonville (6-10-0, .375; 124-132-0, .484)
10. Cleveland (6-10-0, .375; 136-119-1, .533)
11. New York Jets (7-9-0, .438; 121-135-0, .473)
12. Las Vegas (7-9-0, .438; 123-132-1, .482)
13. Indianapolis (7-9-0, .438; 126-130-0, .492)
14. Tampa Bay (7-9-0, .438; 127-127-2, .500)
15. Denver (7-9-0, .438; 130-125-1, .510)
16. ATLANTA (7-9-0, .438; 139-116-1, .545)
17. Dallas (8-8-0, .500; 122-133-1, .479)
18. Pittsburgh (traded to Miami)(8-8-0, .500; 128-127-1, .502)
19. Chicago (traded to Las Vegas)(8-8-0, .500; 129-125-2, .508)
20. Los Angeles Rams (traded to Jacksonville)(9-7-0, .563; 136-118-2, .535)
21. Philadelphia (9-7-0, .563; 116-139-1, .455)
22. Buffalo (10-6-0, .625; 118-138-0, .461)
23. New England (12-4-0, .750; 120-136-0, .469)
24. New Orleans (13-3-0, .813; 124-131-1, .486)
25. Minnesota (10-6-0, .625; 121-133-2, .477)
26. Houston (traded to Miami)(10-6-0, .625; 133-123-0, .520)
27. Seattle (11-5-0, .688; 135-119-2, .531)
28. Baltimore (14-2-0, .875; 126-129-1, .494)
29. Tennessee (9-7-0, .563; 125-131-0, .488)
30. Green Bay (13-3-0, .813; 115-139-2, .453)
31. San Francisco (13-3-0, .813; 128-126-2, .504)
32. Kansas City (12-4-0, .750; 130-125-1, .510)

The National Football League announced the names of 99 players who have been granted special eligibility for the 2020 NFL Draft and 16 players who have fulfilled their degree requirements with college football eligibility remaining and are also eligible for selection in the April 23-25 draft in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The following 16 players have in timely fashion under NFL rules officially notified the league office that they have fulfilled their degree requirements. Consequently, they are eligible for selection:

Name, Position – College

1 Eno Benjamin, RB – Arizona State
2 Oluwole Betiku, DE – Illinois
3 Lloyd Cushenberry, C – Louisiana State
4 Quartney Davis, WR – Texas A&M
5 Alohi Gilman, DB – Notre Dame
6 Matt Hennessy, C – Temple
7 Darnay Holmes, DB – UCLA
8 Keith Ismael, C – San Diego State
9 Jaylon Johnson, DB – Utah
10 Tony Jones, RB – Notre Dame
11 Terrell Lewis, LB – Alabama
12 Jordan Love, QB – Utah State
13 Elorm Lumor, DE – Rutgers
14 Houston Miller, DE – Texas Tech
15 Kenneth Murray, LB – Oklahoma
16 Isaiah Simmons, LB – Clemson

Each of the 99 players listed below have met the league’s three-year eligibility rule and have renounced their college football eligibility by submitting written notification to the league office on or before the January 17 deadline. Consequently, they are eligible for selection:

The players granted special eligibility for the 2020 NFL Draft:

Name, Position – College

1 Salvon Ahmed, RB – Washington
2 Cam Akers, RB – Florida State
3 Grayland Arnold, DB – Baylor
4 Devin Asiasi, TE – UCLA
5 Trajan Bandy, DB – Miami-Florida
6 Mekhi Becton, T – Louisville
7 Tyler Biadasz, C – Wisconsin
8 Ross Blacklock, DT – Texas Christian
9 Lynn Bowden, WR – Kentucky
10 Marcus Brown, DE – Missouri Western
11 Hunter Bryant, TE – Washington
12 Quintez Cephus, WR – Wisconsin
13 K’Lavon Chaisson, LB – Louisiana State
14 Saahdiq Charles, T – Louisiana State
15 Ezra Cleveland, T – Boise State
16 Nick Coe, DE – Auburn
17 Trystan Colon-Castillo, C – Missouri
18 Isaiah Coulter, WR – Rhode Island
19 Kamren Curl, DB – Arkansas
20 DeeJay Dallas, RB – Miami-Florida
21 Cameron Dantzler, DB – Mississippi State
22 Gabriel Davis, WR – Central Florida
23 Kyle Davis, WR – Florida Atlantic
24 Grant Delpit, DB – Louisiana State
25 A.J. Dillon, RB – Boston College
26 J.K. Dobbins, RB – Ohio State
27 Jacob Eason, QB – Washington
28 Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB – Louisiana State
29 Jordan Elliott, DT – Missouri
30 A.J. Epenesa, DE – Iowa
31 Darrynton Evans, RB – Appalachian State
32 Jake Fromm, QB – Georgia
33 Jonathan Garvin, DE – Miami-Florida
34 Willie Gay, LB – Mississippi State
35 Yetur Gross-Matos, DE – Penn State
36 Pete Guerriero, RB – Monmouth-New Jersey
37 Javelin Guidry, DB – Utah
38 K.J. Hamler, WR – Penn State
39 Harrison Hand, DB – Temple
40 C.J. Henderson, DB – Florida
41 Tee Higgins, WR – Clemson
42 Isaiah Hodgins, WR – Oregon State
43 Noah Igbinoghene, DB – Auburn
44 Austin Jackson, T – Southern California
45 Trishton Jackson, WR – Syracuse
46 Justin Jefferson, WR – Louisiana State
47 Jerry Jeudy, WR – Alabama
48 Dalton Keene, TE – Virginia Tech
49 Solomon Kindley, G – Georgia
50 Cole Kmet, TE – Notre Dame
51 CeeDee Lamb, WR – Oklahoma
52 Javon Leake, RB – Maryland
53 James Lynch, DT – Baylor
54 Justin Madubuike, DT – Texas A&M
55 Cole McDonald, QB – Hawaii
56 Anthony McFarland, RB – Maryland
57 Xavier McKinney, DB – Alabama
58 Thaddeus Moss, TE – Louisiana State
59 Netane Muti, T – Fresno State
60 Tomas Newman, DB – Virginia-Lynchburg
61 Jeff Okudah,DB – Ohio State
62 Albert Okwuegbunam, TE – Missouri
63 Colby Parkinson, TE – Stanford
64 Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR – Michigan
65 Jacob Phillips, LB – Louisiana State
66 James Pierre, DB – Florida Atlantic
67 Patrick Queen, LB – Louisiana State
68 Jalen Reagor, WR – Texas Christian
69 Debione Renfro, DB – Texas A&M
70 Amik Robertson, DB – Louisiana Tech
71 Kenny Robinson, DB – West Virginia
72 Kendrick Rogers, WR – Texas A&M
73 Henry Ruggs, WR – Alabama
74 Cesar Ruiz, C – Michigan
75 Darnell Salomon, WR – South Florida
76 Stanford Samuels, DB – Florida State
77 Josiah Scott, DB – Michigan State
78 Laviska Shenault, WR – Colorado
79 Arryn Siposs, P – Auburn
80 Geno Stone, DB – Iowa
81 D’Andre Swift, RB – Georgia
82 Tua Tagovailoa, QB – Alabama
83 Jonathan Taylor, RB – Wisconsin
84 Tabyus Taylor, RB – Virginia Union
85 A.J. Terrell, DB – Clemson
86 Andrew Thomas, T – Georgia
87 Jeff Thomas, WR – Miami – Florida
88 Michael Turk, P – Arizona State
89 Michael Warren, RB – Cincinnati
90 Quez Watkins, WR – Southern Mississippi
91 Curtis Weaver, DE – Boise State
92 Cody White, WR – Michigan State
93 Jedrick Wills, T – Alabama
94 Isaiah Wilson, T – Georgia
95 Antoine Winfield, DB – Minnesota
96 Tristan Wirfs, T – Iowa
97 David Woodward, LB – Utah State
98 Chase Young, DE – Ohio State
99 Toren Young, RB – Iowa

The following players inquired about their draft status and are eligible for selection without the need for special eligibility:

Name, Position – School
1 Deshawn McClease, RB – Virginia Tech
2 Carlos Strickland, WR – Texas-San Antonio
3 J.J. Taylor, RB – Arizona
4 Ty’Son Williams, RB – Brigham Young
5 Josh Uche, LB – Michigan

The number of players granted special eligibility for the NFL Draft the past 10 years:

Year – Players Granted Special Eligibility
2020 – 99
2019 – 103
2018 – 106
2017 – 95
2016 – 96
2015 – 74
2014 – 98
2013 – 73
2012 – 65
2011 – 56

The 2019 regular season has come and gone. The 2020 season? That gets underway September 10. The National Football League announced the opponents for the upcoming 2020 season.

The opponents for all 2020 regular-season games have been determined and a complete list of each team’s home and away match-ups was issued earlier by the NFL.

The scheduling formula implemented in 2002 with realignment guarantees that all teams play each other on a regular, rotating basis.

Under the formula, every team plays 16 games as follows:
• Home and away against its three division opponents (six games).
• The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (four games).
• The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (four games).
• Two intra-conference games based on the prior year’s standings (two games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.

Beginning in 2010, a change was made to how teams are paired in the schedule rotation with the AFC and NFC West divisions. The official 2020 schedule, with playing dates and times, will be announced in the spring (PATIENCE, GRASSHOPPER!). NFL Kickoff 2020 Weekend will begin on Thursday night, September 10 and the regular season will conclude on Sunday, January 3, 2021 and the season concludes with Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay on Sunday, February 7, 2021.

Below are the 2020 opponents with each team placed in their division by order of finish in the standings.

AFC

AFC EAST

1. New England (12-4)
Home: Buffalo, Miami, New York Jets, Arizona, Baltimore, Denver, Las Vegas, San Francisco
Away: Buffalo, Miami, New York Jets, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle

2. Buffalo (10-6)
Home: Miami, New England, New York Jets, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Seattle
Away: Miami, New England, New York Jets, Arizona, Denver, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Tennessee

3. New York Jets (7-9)
Home: Buffalo, Miami, New England, Arizona, Cleveland, Denver, Las Vegas, San Francisco
Away: Buffalo, Miami, New England, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle

4. Miami (5-11)
Home: Buffalo, New England, New York Jets, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle
Away: Buffalo, New England, New York Jets, Arizona, Denver, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, San Francisco

AFC NORTH

1. Baltimore (14-2)
Home: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Jacksonville, Kansas City, New York Giants, Tennessee
Away: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Houston, Indianapolis, New England, Philadelphia, Washington

2. Pittsburgh (8-8)
Home: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Washington
Away: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Buffalo, Dallas, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tennessee

3. Cleveland (6-10)
Home: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Washington
Away: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Jacksonville, New York Giants, New York Jets, Tennessee

4. Cincinnati (2-14)
Home: Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants, Tennessee
Away: Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington

AFC SOUTH

1. Houston (10-6)
Home: Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Minnesota, New England
Away: Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Pittsburgh

2. Tennessee (9-7)
Home: Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh
Away: Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Minnesota

3. Indianapolis (7-9)
Home: Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Minnesota, New York Jets
Away: Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh

4. Jacksonville (6-10)
Home: Houston, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, Pittsburgh
Away: Houston, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota

AFC WEST

1. Kansas City (12-4)
Home: Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers, ATLANTA, Carolina, Houston, New England, New York Jets
Away: Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore, Buffalo, Miami, New Orleans, Tampa Bay

2. Denver (7-9)
Home: Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo, Miami, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Tennessee
Away: Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers, ATLANTA, Carolina, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh

3. Las Vegas (7-9)
Home: Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Miami, New Orleans, Tampa Bay
Away: Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, ATLANTA, Carolina, Cleveland, New England, New York Jets

4. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11)
Home: Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas, ATLANTA, Carolina, Jacksonville, New England, New York Jets
Away: Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Miami, New Orleans, Tampa Bay

NFC

NFC EAST

1. Philadelphia (9-7)
Home: Dallas, New York Giants, Washington, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, Seattle
Away: Dallas, New York Giants, Washington, Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, San Francisco

2. Dallas (8-8)
Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, Arizona, ATLANTA, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Francisco
Away: New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota, Seattle

3. New York Giants (4-12)
Home: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, Arizona, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Tampa Bay
Away: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle

4. Washington (3-13)
Home: Dallas, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Carolina, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle
Away: Dallas, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Arizona, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, San Francisco

NFC NORTH

1. Green Bay (13-3)
Home: Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, ATLANTA, Carolina, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Tennessee
Away: Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Houston, Indianapolis, New Orleans, San Francisco, Tampa Bay

2. Minnesota (10-6)
Home: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, ATLANTA, Carolina, Dallas, Jacksonville, Tennessee
Away: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Seattle, Tampa Bay

3. Chicago (8-8)
Home: Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota, Houston, Indianapolis, New Orleans, New York Giants, Tampa Bay
Away: Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota, ATLANTA, Carolina, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee

4. Detroit (3-12-1)
Home: Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota, Houston, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Washington
Away: Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota, Arizona, ATLANTA, Carolina, Jacksonville, Tennessee

NFC SOUTH

1. New Orleans (13-3)
Home: ATLANTA, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, San Francisco
Away: ATLANTA, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Philadelphia

2. ATLANTA (7-9)
Home: Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Seattle
Away: Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Dalla, Green Bay, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota

3. Tampa Bay (7-9)
Home: ATLANTA, Carolina, New Orleans, Green Bay, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota
Away: ATLANTA, Carolina, New Orleans, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York Giants

4. Carolina (5-11)
Home: ATLANTA, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas
Away: ATLANTA, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, Washington

NFC WEST

1. San Francisco (13-3)
Home: Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Buffalo, Green Bay, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington
Away: Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Dallas, New England, New Orleans, New York Giants, New York Jets

2. Seattle (11-5)
Home: Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, Dallas, Minnesota, New England, New York Giants, New York Jets
Away: Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, ATLANTA, Buffalo, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington

3. Los Angeles Rams (9-7)
Home: Arizona, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, New England, New York Giants, New York Jets
Away: Arizona, San Francisco, Seattle, Buffalo, Miami, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Washington

4. Arizona (5-10-1)
Home: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, Seattle, Buffalo, Detroit, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington
Away: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, Seattle, Carolina, Dallas, New England, New York Giants, New York Jets

Building on the tremendous success of NFL games in Mexico, the league will return to Mexico for one game in each of the 2020 and 2021 seasons at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL announced today at his press conference in Miami in advance of Super Bowl LIV.

The date and time of the 2020 Mexico City game, along with the details of the NFL’s 2020 London games, will be determined in conjunction with the release of the NFL schedule this spring. The continued success and growth of the NFL’s Mexico initiative is further testament to the league’s commitment to growing the game beyond the borders of the United States.

A look at the previous regular-season games played in Mexico:​

Date – Opponents & Score (Attendance)

November 18, 2019 – Kansas City 24, Los Angeles Chargers 17 (76,252)
November 19, 2017 – New England 33, Oakland 8 (77,357)
November 21, 2016 – Houston 20, Oakland 27 (76,473)*
October 2, 2005 – San Francisco 14, Arizona 31 (103,467)**

* first Monday Night Football game to be played outside the U.S.
** first regular season game to be played outside the U.S.

Round two. The NFL playoffs march on as eight teams fight for the coveted Lombardi Trophy and now the teams that had byes will get to take the field. Baltimore, Kansas City, San Francisco and Green Bay were waiting to see who they play this weekend and now they know.

Playoff football is a lot different than a regular season game. It’s not lose and you play next week. It’s you lose and your next game is next year. Win and you advance. It’s not that hard to process. At the end of play Sunday, four teams will be left standing and the four losers will be clearing out their lockers and preparing for the 2020 NFL Draft.

The NFL’s 100th season has reached the Divisional playoffs and new teams abound. Seven of the remaining eight clubs in contention for the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LIV in Miami were not in the Divisional playoffs last year. That’s the largest year-to-year turnover in the Divisional round since 1990, when the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format. In other words, 15 teams have been one game from advancing to the AFC or NFC Championship Game since the beginning of the 2018 playoffs.

All four clubs in the NFC – Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco and Seattle – are new to the NFL’s final eight. In the AFC, Baltimore, Houston and Tennessee join the group, while Kansas City represents the only club to make a second straight appearance in the Divisional playoffs.

The sixth-seeded Titans, whose 20-13 win at New England last week ensured that the NFL will have two new Super Bowl teams for the first time in four years, earned a trip to face the AFC’s top seed, Baltimore, Saturday in primetime.

Meanwhile, the NFC’s number 6 seed, Minnesota, earned a 26-20 overtime victory at New Orleans last week to advance to the Divisional round, where top-seeded San Francisco awaits in the first game on Saturday. The Number 6 seeds are now 4-0 over the past two seasons. For the first time in NFL history, all four number 6 seeds have advanced to the Divisional playoffs in consecutive years, including Indianapolis and Philadelphia in 2018.

YOUTH UNDER CENTER: The average age of the eight quarterbacks scheduled to start this weekend is 28 years, 271 days old, the youngest average age of starting quarterbacks in the Divisional playoffs since the 2010 season (28 years, 197 days).

CULTURE OF COMPETITION: Since Super Bowl LI, when New England topped Atlanta, 34-28, in the first overtime in Super Bowl history, postseason games have been fiercely competitive. Beginning with that Super Bowl, the last 27 postseason contests have been decided by just 8.1 points on average. Four of the NFL’s last seven postseason games have gone to overtime and road teams are a combined 8-6 over the last 14 NFL playoff games (excluding the neutral-field Super Bowl LIII).

GIVEAWAY-TAKEAWAY INDICATOR: Seven of the league’s eight remaining teams finished among the NFL’s top 10 in turnover margin this season. Green Bay (+12) and Seattle (+12), which tied for third in the NFL during the regular season and meet Sunday at Lambeau Field, have the best turnover margins among the remaining teams. Minnesota (+11, fifth), Baltimore (+10, sixth), Kansas City (+8, tied-seventh), Tennessee (+6, ninth) and San Francisco (+4, tied-10th) also ranked in the top 10 this season.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN DIVISIONAL WEEKEND

SURVIVE AND ADVANCE: Minnesota (11-6) and Tennessee (10-7) both earned victories on Wild Card Weekend as the number 6 seed in their respective conferences. Last season, both Indianapolis and Philadelphia advanced to the Divisional Round of the playoffs as number 6 seeds in their conferences. This marks the first time in which two number 6 seeds advanced past Wild Card Weekend in consecutive seasons since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990.

Minnesota, who travels to San Francisco on Saturday and Tennessee, who travels to Baltimore on Saturday night, can become the first number 6 seeds to reach the Conference Championship since 2010.

The No. 6 seeds to reach the Conference Championship since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990:

SEASON – TEAM (CONFERENCE), ADVANCED TO
2010 – Green Bay (NFC), Won Super Bowl XLV
2010 – New York Jets (AFC), AFC Championship
2008 – Baltimore (AFC), AFC Championship
2008 – Philadelphia (NFC), NFC Championship
2005 – Pittsburgh (AFC), Won Super Bowl XL
2019 – Minnesota (NFC), ??
2019 – Tennessee (AFC), ??

In the NFC, Seattle (12-5, number 5 seed), who faces Green Bay on Sunday night and the sixth-seeded Vikings are both still alive. With victories by both teams in the Divisional Playoffs, it would mark the first Conference Championship game featuring a number 5 and number 6 seed since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990.

STACKING POSTSEASON VICTORIES: Green Bay (34 wins) and San Francisco (30 wins) both rank among the top five in postseason victories in league history and can add to their totals this weekend.

With a win over Seattle on Sunday, Green Bay would tie Dallas (35 wins) for the third-most postseason victories in NFL history.

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

TEAM – WINS/SUPER BOWL WINS
New England – 37/6
Pittsburgh – 36/6
Dallas – 35/5
Green Bay – 34/4
San Francisco – 30/5

GETTING IT STARTED: To kick off the Divisional Round of the NFL’s 100th season, the NFC’s top seed, San Francisco (13-3), host number 6 seed Minnesota (11-6) on Saturday. Minnesota advanced to the Divisional Round with a 26-20 overtime victory in New Orleans on Wild Card Weekend.

In his postseason debut last week, Minnesota running back DALVIN COOK finished with 130 scrimmage yards (94 rushing, 36 receiving) and two rushing touchdowns in the victory. If Cook records at least 125 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns on Saturday, he would become the first player with at least 125 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in each of his first two career postseason games in NFL history.

RUNNING THROUGH THE POSTSEASON: The AFC’s number 1 seed, Baltimore (14-2), led the NFL with 3,296 rushing yards in the regular season, the most by a team in a single season in NFL history. Tennessee (10-7) ranked third in the league with 2,223 rushing yards in 2019, led by the NFL’s leading rusher Derrick Henry, who rushed for 1,540 yards this season.

This marks the fourth time the team with the top rushing offense met the team with the league’s leading rusher in the postseason in the Super Bowl era. In each of the matchups, the team with the league’s leading rusher has won.

Postseason matchups between the league’s top rushing offense and leading rusher in the Super Bowl era:

ROUND – TOP RUSHING OFFENSE (RUSHING YARDS); NFL LEADING RUSHER – TEAM (RUSHING YARDS)
2018 NFC Wild Card – Seattle (73); Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas (137)
Super Bowl XXVII – Buffalo (108); Emmitt Smith – Dallas (108)(HOF)
1978 AFC Divisional – New England (83); Earl Campbell – Houston Oilers (118)(HOF)
2019 AFC Divisional – Baltimore (??); Derrick Henry – Tennessee (??)

On Wild Card Weekend, Henry rushed for 182 yards and a touchdown in Tennessee’s 20-13 victory over New England. With at least 150 rushing yards on Saturday, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Marcus Allen (three games), Terrell Davis(two) and Franco Harris (two), as well as Le’Veon Bell (two) as the only players to rush for at least 150 yards in consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

Henry has rushed for 366 yards in his first three career postseason games. With at least 134 rushing yards on Saturday, Henry would become the third player to rush for at least 500 yards in their first four career postseason games in NFL history.

The players with the most rushing yards in their first four career postseason games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING YARDS)

Terrell Davis, Denver (515)(HOF)
Arian Foster, Houston (515)
Fred Taylor, Jacksonville (493)
John Riggins, Washington (474)(HOF)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (470)(HOF)
Derrick Henry, Tennessee (366)*
*In 3 games

NEW ERA OF QBs: Sunday afternoon’s game featuring Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson (24 years, 120 days old) and Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes (24 years, 117 days old) marks the third matchup in the Divisional Round between two quarterbacks under the age of 25 in the Super Bowl era.

Divisional Round matchups between starting quarterbacks under the age of 25 in the Super Bowl era:

SEASON – HOME TEAM/QUARTERBACK; VISITOR/QUARTERBACK (RESULT)
1985 – Miami/Dan Marino; Cleveland/ Bernie Kozar (Miami 24, Cleveland 21)(HOF)
2000 – Minnesota/Daunte Culpepper; New Orleans/Aaron Brooks (Minnesota 34, New Orleans 16)
2019 – Kansas City/Patrick Mahomes; Houston/Deshaun Watson (??)

In a 22-19 overtime victory over Buffalo on Wild Card Weekend, Watson completed 20 of 25 pass attempts (80 percent) for 247 yards and a touchdown and added 55 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

If Watson, who rushed for 76 yards on Wild Card Weekend in 2018, rushes for at least 50 yards on Sunday against Kansas City, he would become the first quarterback with at least 50 rushing yards in three consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

NIGHT CAP: In the final game of the Divisional Round, Green Bay (13-3) hosts Seattle (12-5), who defeated Philadelphia, 17-9, on Wild Card Weekend.

Seahawks rookie wide receiver D.K. Metcalf led Seattle with 160 receiving yards and a touchdown in the win, the most receiving yards by a rookie in a single postseason game in the Super Bowl era.

With at least 83 receiving yards against Green Bay on Sunday (6:40 PM ET, FOX), Metcalf would surpass TORRY HOLT (242 yards in 1999) for the most postseason receiving yards by a rookie in NFL history.

The rookies with the most postseason receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON) – REC. YARDS
Torry Holt, St. Louis Rams (1999) – 242
Austin Collie, Indianapolis (2009) – 241
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia (2008) – 207
Steve Junker, Detroit (1957) – 201
Ricky Nattiel, Denver (1987) – 171
D.K. Metcalf, Seattle (2019) – 160*
*Entering Sunday

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch recorded his 10th career postseason rushing touchdown in the win on Wild Card Weekend.

With at least two rushing touchdowns on Sunday, Lynch would tie Pro Football Hall of Famers Terrell Davis (12) and John Riggins (12) for the fourth-most career postseason rushing touchdowns in NFL history.

The players with the most career postseason rushing touchdowns in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (19)(HOF)
Franco Harris, Pittsburgh (16)(HOF)
Thurman Thomas, Buffalo (16)(HOF)
Terrell Davis, Denver (12)(HOF)
John Riggins, Washington (12)(HOF)
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle (10)*
*Entering Sunday

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers enters Sunday’s contest having thrown at least two touchdown passes in each of his past five postseason games.

With four touchdown passes against Seattle, Rodgers would tie Peyton Manning (40) for the fourth-most career postseason touchdown passes in NFL history.

The players with the most career postseason touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Tom Brady – New England (73)
Joe Montana – San Francisco and Kansas City (45)(HOF)
Brett Favre – Green Bay and Minnesota (44)(HOF)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (40)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (36)*
*Entering Sunday
(HOF) – Hall of Fame

As was the case last week and will be throughout the playoffs, every game is “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

It was not good to be a home team in the first round as Houston was the only home team to prevail in the first round. New England, New Orleans and Philadelphia were all bounced out of the first round by their guests. As for last week, we went 2-2 and for the season, 143-117.

Having said that… here are this weekend’s Divisional Picks.

Minnesota (10-6, 2nd Wild Card) at San Francisco (13-3, NFC West champion), 4:35 p.m. Saturday on NBC. Divisional Weekend gets underway in Wine Country as the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers host Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings at Levis’ Stadium.

Once again, Minnesota broke the hearts of New Orleans Saints fans Sunday afternoon in the Big Easy, leaving the Mercedes-Benz Superdome 26-20 overtime winners in the first NFC Wild Card game of the day. Minnesota erased a 10-3 deficit in the second quarter, using a 21-yard field goal by Dan Bailey and a 5-yard run by Delvin Cook with 23 seconds left before intermission to lead 13-10. Cook would add a second rushing TD, this one from a yard out to lead 20-10 with 3:23 left in the third before the Saints’ Tysom Hill connected on a 20-yard TD pass from Drew Brees to pull to within seven with 10:31. The teams then exchanged punts and turnovers and New Orleans would get the ball back with 1:55 left in the contest and got themselves inside Minnesota’s 30-yard line at the 26. The drive there would stall after New Orleans was flagged for a false start with 21 seconds left in the contest. The penalty also had a 10-second runoff, putting the game clock at 11 seconds. Brees’ pass to Alvin Kamara went incomplete and New Orleans would settle for the tie, with K Wil Lutz making up for an earlier miss, connecting on a 49-yard field goal with seven seconds left.

That would be the last time that the Saints would see the ball, as they kicked off to Minnesota, who knelt the ball down to send the contest into overtime. Minnesota, who picked up their first playoff road win since 2005, would then win the toss to start the overtime and the Vikings made sure that Brees and the Saints did not take the field, going on a 9-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:20 of time off the game clock, ending with Cousins and TE Kyle Rudolph connecting on a 4-yard TD toss to end the contest. Cook led all rushers with 96 yards and the two TDs (Hill led New Orleans with 50 yards) as the Vikings out-rushed the Saints 136-97 and Cousins threw for 242 yards and the game-winning TD without an interception (he was sacked twice), while Brees threw for 208 yards with the Hill TD (Brees was sacked three times, sacked once and had a fumble). Minnesota was 10 of 18 on third down in the Big Easy and the Vikings ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:56, including the 4:20 of overtime, while New Orleans, losing their second playoff game at home in a row, went 4 of 11 on third down (neither club had a fourth down try) and kept the ball for 27:24.

The number one-seeded 4ers held off a late Seattle rally in the final seconds in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, coming away 26-21 winners at Century Link Field two weeks ago, in a contest that gave the 49ers the NFC West title, a first-round bye and revenge for their week 10 overtime loss in Santa Clara.

Seattle trailed 13-0 at the break as the 49ers scored their first half points unchallenged before the home team would break San Francsico’s bid for a shutout when Wilson and WR Tyler Lockett connected on a 14-yard TD toss late in the third quarter. San Francisco made it a 19-7 contest when RB Raheem Mostert scored from 2 yards away but the 49ers would miss the two-point conversion with 3:25 left in the quarter. Newly re-accquired RB Marshawn Lynch then pulled his team to within five with 9:55 left in the contest when he scored on a 1-yard run. Mostert pushed the 49ers lead back up to 12 with 5:51 left when he scored on a 13-yard run before Seattle stormed back again, trailing by only 5 with 3:36 left when Wilson and WR DK Metcalf connected on a 14-yard scoring pass.

Seattle would get the ball back with 2:27 left after a 49ers punt and made their way downfield, getting as close as San Francsico’s 1-yard line when Wilson tried to spike the ball to stop the clock. The Seahawks, out of time outs, were then flaggled for a delay of game penalty and passes to Lockett and Josh Hollister fell incomplete. With 12 seconds left, Wilson and Hollister would connect on a 4-yard pass but Hollister did not cross the goal line, as 49ers LB Dre Greenlaw tackled Hollister at the one-foot line. Replay would confirm that Hollister did not break the plane, which meant that Seattle did not score. San Francisco would then run out the clock and take the win in the Pacific Northwest.

San Francisco out-rushed Seattle 128-125 and Mostert led all rushers with 57 yards and the two TDs, while Seattle was led by RB Travis Homer with 62 yards (Lynch had 34 yards on 12 carries with the TD). Wilson threw for 233 yards with a pair of TDs and a sack, while Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 285 yards with a pair of sacks (neither qb threw an interception). Seattle was 8 of 14 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 32:56, while the 49ers held on to the pigskin for 27:04, going 4 of 8 on third down.

The 49ers and Vikings have met five times in post-season play and San Francisco has won four of them, with San Francisco’s last win coming in the 1997 Divisonal Playoff at Candlestick Park by a final of 38-22, while Minnesota’s lone win came in 1987 (also at Candlestick and also in the Divisional Playoff) by a final of 36-24.

The oddsmakers like the 49ers as 6 1/2-point favorites in wine country and the over/under is 45 1/2. For the 49ers, a win Saturday night means that they’ll play one more game in wine country; for the Vikings, a win would mean they would either travel to Green Bay or Seattle. The wine is really good and so are the 49ers. San Francisco’s rested and they take this one in Santa Clara, covering the 6 1/2.

Tennessee (9-7, 2nd Wild Card) at Baltimore (14-2, AFC North champion), 8:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS. Number six seed Tenneesse travels to Charm City to face off against top-seed Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium. The Titans are coming off a huge road win against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. As for the Ravens, they had the week off to rest and prepare.

Five Heisman Trophy winners will be at M&T Bank Stadium for Saturday night’s game in Baltimore, the most ever for a game in the Super Bowl era.

Some will play a bigger part than others in the divisional-round game. The visiting Titans have Heisman winners in backup quarterback Marcus Mariota (Oregon, 2014) and star running back Derrick Henry (Alabama, 2015). The Ravens have soon-to-be-named league MVP Lamar Jackson (Louisville, 2016), running back Mark Ingram (Alabama, 2009) and backup quarterback Robert Griffin III (Baylor, 2011).

The Titans suprised the football world last Saturday night in Foxboro as they went into Gillette Stadium and came away 20-13 winners over Brady and the Patriots. Tennessee erased a 13-7 Patriot lead late in the first half on a 1-yard run by Derreck Henry with 35 seconds left in the half and would take that lead into the third quarter (the two teams were scoreless in that period) and sealed New England’s fate late in the contest when Logan Ryan picked off Brady with nine seconds left in the contest and ran the ball back nine yard for a TD.

Henry ran for 182 yards on 34 carries with the TD as the Titans out-rushed New England 201-98 (New England was led by Sony Michel with 61 yards) and Ryan Tannehill threw for 72 yards and a TD toss to TE Anthony Firkser, while Brady threw for 209 yards with the late-game interception (Tannehill was sacked once, Brady was not sacked). Tennessee was 6 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 31:09, while the Patriots, who led only once in the contest on a 5-yard run by WR Julian Edleman and a Nick Folk field goal in the second quarter, was 5 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:51.

The Ravens come off their bye week after they took care of Pittsburgh 28-10 at M&T Bank Stadium to close out the 2019 regular season. Baltimore, leading from start to finish in a contest that saw the Ravens leave some of their starters on the bench, led 16-7 at the intermission. Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell would connect on a 26-yard field goal to make it a 6-point contest before the Ravens would score 12 fourth-quarter points to seal the Steelers’ fate.

Ravens RB Gus Edwards led all rushers with 130 yards as the Ravens out-rushed Pittsburgh 223-91 and Robert Griffin III threw for 96 yards and an interception, taking over for Lamar Jackson, while Steelers’ QB Delvin Hodges threw for 95 yards with no TDs or interceptions and a pair of sacks, including one for a safety late in the contest. Baltimore was 7 of 16 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 39:27, while the Steelers kept the pigskin for 20:33, while going 5 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In three post-season meetings, the Ravens lead the series 2-1 and have outscored Tennessee 54-40. Baltimore’s last playoff win came in 2008, when they left Nissan Stadium 13-10 winners in the AFC Divisional Playoff, while the Titans’ lone win came in 2003 in Charm City by a final of 20-17 in the AFC Wild Card Game. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Ravens as 9 1/2-point favorites in Charm City and the over/under’s 48. We think they got it right. For the Titans, it was fun while it lasted. For the Ravens, they’re moving on. It’ll be closer than the 9 1/2 but Baltimore prevails in Charm City.

Houston (10-6, AFC South champion) at Kansas City (12-4, AFC West champion), 3:05 p.m. Sunday on CBS. Sunday afternoon Divisonal action gets underway in the Show-Me State as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs host DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium in a late-afternoon affair. While the Chiefs enjoyed their bye week, Houston needed overtime at home to take the win to advance to the next round.

Houston rallied from being down 13-0, scoring 16 second-half points unchallenged before coming away 22-19 overtime winners over Buffalo at NRG Stadium last Saturday afternoon. The Bills got a 16-yard TD from WR John Brown to QB Josh Allen and three Stephen Hauschka field goals before Watson dented the scoreboard, scoring on a 20-yard TD run and a 2-point conversion with 93 seconds left in the third quarter. Kai Fairbairn would then pull the Texans to within five on a 41-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and Houston would take the lead on a 5-yard TD pass from Watson to Carlos Hyde for a 3-point lead with 4:37 left in regulation.

Buffalo would not go away quietly as they would an 11-play, 41-yard drive, using 71 seconds of clock and proceeded to tie the contest with 5 seconds left in regulation as Hauschka connected on a 47-yard field to send the contest into overtime. Houston would get the ball to start the overtime but went three and out, punting the ball to Buffalo. The Bills got the ball at their 30-yard line and would eventually cross the 50-yard line before Bills OT Cody Ford was flagged for a blindside block. That moved the ball back to their 43-yard line, where Buffalo’s drive stalled and the Bills punted the ball back to the Texans.

Houston, knowing that a score on the next possession would win the game, took advantange and used a 9-play, 73-yard drive that took 5:42 of clock and ended as Fairbairn sent Texans fans home happy with a 28-yard field goal with 3:20 left in the extra period. Buffalo out-rushed Houston 172-141 and Allen led all rushers with 92 yards, while Watson led Houston with 55 yards and the rushing TD. Allen would throw for 264 yards and was sacked three times, while Watson threw for 247 yards with the TD to Hyde but was sacked seven times (neither QB threw an interception). Houston was 6 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 36:25, while the Bills, holding the ball for 35:15, went 11 of 21 on third down (both teams were 0 of 1 on fourth down).

The Chiefs secured the number two-seed at home as they took care of the Los Angeles Chargers 31-21 at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City led 10-7 at the break, then watched as the Chargers took the lead from them with 13:14 left in the third when RB Melvin Gordon scored on a 5-yard run. That lead would last all of 16 seconds as Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman ran the ensuing kickoff back 104 yards untouched for a TD to give Kansas City the lead back and for good. After Chargers TE Hunter Henry caught an 8-yard TD pass from Philip Rivers, Damien Williams would score the second of his two TDs in the second half (the first good for 84 yards), icing the game away with a 7-yard run to seal the win and the first-round bye.

Williams led all rushers with 124 yards as Kansas City out-rushed Los Angeles 162-108 and Mahomes threw for 174 yards and a TD to DeMarcus Robinson (Mahomes threw an interception but was not sacked), while Rivers threw for 281 with a pair of TDs and a pair of interceptions (Rivers was sacked three times). Both clubs did well on third down tries (the Chief were 7 of 10, Los Angeles was 8 of 13) and the Chargers actually were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 36:04 (they went 2 of 4 on fourth down), while the Chiefs held on to the pigskin for 23:56.

They met in week six in the regular season in week six at Arrowhead and the Texans would score 20 second-quarter points unchallenged, then held off a late Chiefs rally to come away 31-24 winners. The Chiefs trailed 23-17 at the intermission before they would rally to take the lead back with 6:30 left in the third when Mahomes and WR Tyreek Hill would connect on a 6-yard TD pass to lead 24-23. Kansas City carried that 1-point lead into the fourth when Watson would take matters into his own feet, scoring his second TD of the day on a 1-yard run and then connecting with Derick Hopkins for the two-point conversion. The Chiefs would get the ball back but would go three and out and after a Chiefs’ punt, the Texans would run out the clock and take the win in the Show-Me State.

Hyde led all rushers with 116 yards and a TD as the Texans out-rushed Kansas City 192-53 with Watson (two interceptions) throwing for 280 yards and a TD to Derek Johnson, while Mahomes (sack, interception) threw for 273 yards and three TDs (two to Hill). Houston was 5 of 12 on third down (the Texans were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:48, while the Chiefs held on to the pigskin for 20:12, while going 4 of 8 on third down.

They’ve met once in post-season play and Kansas City would come away 30-0 winners at NRG Stadium in the AFC Playoff game. In that contest, the Chiefs would score all of their points unchallenged, taking a 13-0 lead with them to the intermission and never looking back. Kansas City’s Knile Davis would open the scoring on a 106-yard kickoff return and from there, the floodgates opened for Houston and they could never get themselves on track. Kansas City out-rushed Houston 141-114 (Houston’s Alfred Blue led all rushers with 99 yards) and Alex Smith threw for 190 yards and a TD, while Brian Hoyer threw for 136 yards (both Smith and Hoyer were sacked three times, Hoyer was picked off four times, while Smith was picked off once). The Chiefs were 4 of 11 on third down and Kansas City ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 34:25, while the Texans, keeping the ball for 25:35, went 6 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Kansas City in the week six contest was favored by 4 1/2 and the Texans covered, winning by 7 and both teams matched the 55 over/under. In the divisional round, the Chiefs are favored by 9 1/2 at Arrowhead and the over/under’s 50. The winner plays for the Hunt Trophy next week, while the loser will be second-guessing themselves for the entire offseason. While things will be closer than 9 1/2, Houston’s hopes of a Lombardi Trophy will have to wait at least another year. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City as the Chiefs prevail at Arrowhead but expect this one to be closer than 9 1/2.

Seattle (11-5, 1st Wild Card) at Green Bay (13-3, NFC North champion), 6:40 p.m. Sunday on FOX. A pair of Super Bowl QBs (Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers) meet in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst as Green Bay hosts Seattle at Lambeau Field in the final game of Divisional Weekend. The Packers enter the contest with a bye under their belts, while Seattle made a cross-country trip to take on the Eagles in the City of Brotherly Love last Sunday evening.

Seattle held Philadelphia to three Josh Elliott field goals, then held off two late Eagle scoring attempts and left Lincoln Financial Field 17-9 winners last Sunday afternoon. The Seahawks broke a 3-3 tie with 66 seconds left before intermission when RB Marshawn Lynch scored on a 5-yard run, taking the lead back for good. Seattle would add a 53-yard TD pass from Wilson to D.K. Metcalf with 8:46 left in the third to all but seal the game away, holding Philadelphia to an Elliott field goal with 2:49 left in the quarter. Seattle would hold off two late Eagles rallies in the fourth, the first ending on an incomplete pass from backup QB Josh McCown with 6:24 left to play and the second when McCown was sacked at Seattle’s 11-yard line with 2 minutes left to play.

Seattle was out-rushed by Philadelphia 120-64 with Eagles RB Miles Sanders leading all rushers with 69 yards on 14 carries (Wilson led Seattle with 45 yards) and Wilson threw for 325 yards with the TD to Metcalf (Wilson was sacked once), while McCown, who took over for Carson Wentz (head injury) threw for 174 yards with six sacks (neither Wilson, Wentz or McCown had an interception). Seattle went 8 of 15 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:45, while the Eagles actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:15, while going 3 of 11 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Packers, the number two-seed in the playoffs, erased a 17-3 haltimore deficit at Detroit and stormed their way back to a 23-20 last-second win against the Lions at Ford Field two weeks ago. Green Bay trailed their NFC North rivals at the intermisson, then proceeded to outscore the Lions 20-3 in the final 30 minutes play and sent Lions fans home with their seventh loss in a row when Packers K Mason Crosby booted a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

The Packers tied the contest up with 5:19 left in regulation when Rodgers and WR Allen Lazard hooked up on a 28-yard TD toss. Then after the teams exchanged the ball on punts, Green Bay would get the ball back with 80 seconds left in the contest and used all of that time left to go on an 8-play, 68-yard drive that would end with Crosby’s game-winning kick. While Detroit actually out-rushed Green Bay 171-120, Jones led all rushers with Aaron Jones leading all rushers with 100 yards on the ground. Rodgers threw for 323 yards with the TD to Lazard, while Detroit’s David Blough threw for 122 yards and caught a TD pass from WR Danny Amendola (both men were sacked once and threw an interception). Green Bay was 8 of 20 on third down in the Motor City (they were perfect on fourth down, going 2 of 2) and including the final 80 seconds of the contest, ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 34:56, while the Lions were 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Seattle and Green Bay have met three times in the post-season and the Packers lead the series 2-1. Green Bay has outscored the Seahawks 97-75 in the three meetings and Green Bay’s last win in the post-season came in 2007 at Lambeau in the Divsional playoff by a final of 42-20, while Seattle’s last win came in 2014 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, coming away 28-22 overtime winners. Green Bay’s favored by 4 at Lambeau and the over/under’s 46. For the Packers… a win means that they could be going to Santa Clara for a rematch should San Francisco win or a home game against the Vikings if somehow Minnesota were to prevail. For Seattle… a win would mean a rematch with either the 49ers or Vikings. It’ll be a rematch one way or the other but in the end, Green Bay prevails. Packers cover the 4 and win in Lambeau.

Wild Card Broadcast Information (All times listed Eastern)

Buffalo (10-6, 1st Wild Card) at Houston (10-6, AFC South champion), 4:35 p.m. Saturday on ESPN, with simulcast on ABC: Joe Tessitore, Booger McFarland, Lisa Salters (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Rod Woodson, Hub Arkush (field reporter); SIRIUS: 82 (Buffalo), 83 (Houston); XM: 226 (Buffalo), 225 (Houston)

Tennessee (9-7, 2nd Wild Card) at New England (12-4, AFC East champion), 8:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Mike Tirico, Tony Boselli, Laura Okmin (field reporter); SIRIUS: 82 (Tennessee), 83 (New England); XM: 226 (Tennessee), 225 (New England)

Minnesota (10-6, 2nd Wild Card) at New Orleans (13-3, NFC South champion), 1:05 p.m. Sunday on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter), Chris Myers (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Jason Taylor, Scott Kaplan (field reporter); SIRIUS: 226 (Min), 225 (New Orleans); XM: 226 (Min), 225 (New Orleans)

Seattle (11-5, 1st Wild Card) at Philadelphia (9-7, NFC East champion), 4:40 p.m. Sunday on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Ross Tucker; SIRIUS: 82 (Seattle), 83 (Philadelphia); XM: 226 (Seattle), 225 (Philadelphia)

Wild Card Officials
Buffalo at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday: Tony Corrente
Tennessee at New England, 8:15 p.m. Saturday: John Hussey
Minnesota at New Orleans, 1:05 p.m. Sunday: Carl Cheffers
Seattle at Philadelphia, 4:40 p.m. Sunday: Shawn Smith

Wild Card Odds (Home teams in CAPS)

Saturday
HOUSTON – 3 vs. Buffalo (42 1/2)
NEW ENGLAND – 4 1/2 vs. Tennessee (43 1/2)

Sunday
NEW ORLEANS – 8 vs. Minnesota (48)
Seattle – 1 1/2 at PHILADELPHIA (46)

Wild Card Saturday and Sunday Injury Report

Buffalo at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday

Buffalo
QUESTIONABLE: DE Shaq Lawson (Hamstring), T Attauyo Nsekhe (Ankle), WR Andre Roberts (Foot), CB Levi Wallace (Ankle)

Houston
QUESTIONABLE: S Jahleel Addae (Achilles), TE Jordan Akins (Hamstring), WR William Fuller (Groin), CB Jonathan Joseph (Hamstring), CB Bradley Roby (Hamstring)

Tennessee at New England, 8:15 p.m. Saturday

Tennessee
Out: WR Adam Humphries (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: S Dane Cruikshank (Illness), WR Cody Hollister (Ankle), WR Kalif Raymond (Concussion)

New England
QUESTIONABLE: LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (Knee), S Terrence Brooks (Groin), LB Jamie Collins (Shoulder), WR Julian Edelman (Knee), CB Jonathan Jones (Groin), CB Jason McCourty (Groin)

Minnesota at New Orleans, 1:05 p.m. Sunday

Minnesota

OUT: CB Mackensie Alexander (Knee), CB Michael Hughes (Neck)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Ifeadikachakwu Odenigbo (Hamstring)

New Orleans
OUT: CB Eli Apple (Ankle), RB Zach Line (Knee)

Seattle
OUT: LB Marvin Kendricks (Knee), WR Malik Turner (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Jaron Brown (Knee), G Mike Iupati (Neck)

Philadelphia
OUT: WR Nelson Agholor (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Zach Ertz (Ribs), T Lane Johnson (Ankle)

Wild Card Saturday and Sunday Weather
Buffalo at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday: Game indoors
Tennessee at New England, 8:15 p.m. Saturday: Overcast with a 40 percent chance of showers and 42 degrees
Minnesota at New Orleans, 1:05 p.m. Sunday: Game indoors
Seattle at Philadelphia, 4:40 p.m. Sunday: Mostly sunny and 42 degrees

Broadcast Information, officials and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel