NFL Super Wild Card Weekend viewing guide: Ranking the best matchups for the first round of the playoffs

The mad dash to SoFi Stadium for Super Bowl LVI begins now. Super Wild Card weekend is upon us, and we have six playoff games to sink your teeth into throughout the weekend and even into Monday night. All of these matchups promise no shortage of drama, as we have a number of legendary franchises going head-to-head with excellent quarterback matchups.

While all of these games deserve your attention over the next few days, there are naturally a few particularly intriguing matchups. Below, you’ll find our ranking of this playoff opener slate along with the viewing info you need to catch all the action.

Dated: Sunday January 16 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Site: Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, MO)
TV:
NBC | Flux: fuboTV (try for free)
odds: Heads -12.5, O/U 46.5

The Steelers snuck into the playoffs thanks to a wild streak of falling dominoes in Week 18, which included an overtime win over the Ravens and the Raiders-Chargers not ending in a tie. While they may have earned a playoff berth, bettors don’t see them advancing further than that as this game with the Chiefs – winners of nine of their last 10 – is the biggest gap on the roster. jokers. Ben Roethlisberger looked a lot like a late-career quarterback, and the Steelers offense was barely able to average 20 points per game this season. Sure, an upset would have the league’s collective jaws on the floor, but this game doesn’t look as competitive as the others this weekend.

Dated: Sunday January 16 | Time: 1 p.m. ET
Site: Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Florida)
TV:
Fox | Flux: fuboTV (try for free)
odds: Buccaneers -9, O/U 47

Eagles-Bucs is another game where bettors expect the home team to have a huge advantage. Tampa Bay is looking to make another Super Bowl run, while the Eagles will be looking to play the spoiler when they enter Raymond James Stadium. While it’s almost certainly mentioned, there really isn’t much meat on the bone with Tom Brady facing a team that beat him in the Super Bowl a few years ago with the quarterback now in a new team and the Eagles no longer using key plays in this championship run (Doug Pederson, Nick Foles, etc.). Had it been the same core, this game might have been a bit higher on the list purely from a narrative standpoint. That said, this is a No. 2 seed facing a team that was just one game over .500 in the regular season.

Dated: Saturday January 15 | Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Site: Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati)
TV:
NBC | Flux: fuboTV (try for free)
odds: Bengals -5.5, O/U 49

I think this might be one of the most underrated games on the opening roster. Las Vegas is coming off a wild overtime win over the Chargers, which now puts them through to the playoffs on a four-game winning streak. If they fire on all cylinders, they could be tough for Cincinnati. Don’t be fooled by the Bengals’ 32-13 win when these teams faced off in Week 11. This game was much closer than the final score indicated, as Cincy only held a home court lead in the early minutes of the fourth quarter before. the Raiders completely collapsed. For my part, I am fascinated to see how Joe Burrow performs in his very first playoff game. As we’ve seen at LSU, the young quarterback has a knack for playing well in the biggest moments and now has the opportunity to give the Bengals their first playoff victory since 1991.

Dated: Monday, January 17 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Site: SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, CA)
TV:
ESP | Flux: fuboTV (try for free)
odds: Rams -4, O/U 49.5

This will be the rubber match between these two NFC West rivals. They both defended their territory throughout the regular season and possess two of the strongest offenses in the NFL. In their previous two games, they’ve combined for 110 points, so this could be a high-flying affair. That said, there are also several questions regarding these two clubs ahead of Monday night. The Cardinals have limped along in the streak dropping four of their last five games (including a Week 14 loss to the Rams). Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford will enter the playoffs for the first time with the Rams and look to earn his first-ever playoff win after going 0-3 during his tenure in Detroit. This game will likely come down to Stafford and Kyler Murray quarterbacking and who can take their respective teams to victory, which is always good theater.

Dated: Saturday January 15 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Site: Highmark Stadium (Orchard Park, NY)
TV:
SCS | Flux: Paramount + (Click here)
odds: Tickets -4, O/U 44

Patriots vs Bills III is scheduled for Saturday night, and it looks like we’ll be in for another fierce clash between these AFC East rivals. The split came as Week 18 progressed with Buffalo ultimately leading, but those two teams split the season series, with both clubs picking up wins on the road. Now they will face each other in the playoffs for the first time since 1963. It should be a rough game for both sides, and the weather also seems to be a factor, with the forecast calling for sub-zero temperatures. If you’re looking for an old school rock fight, this might be it. It will also be interesting to see how New England rookie quarterback Mac Jones handles his first taste of playoff football. If the Patriots pulled off the upset, Jones would just become the 10th rookie quarterback in history to win a playoff game.

Dated: Sunday January 16 | Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Site: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX)
TV:
SCS | Flux: Paramount + (Click here)
odds: Cowboys -3, O/U 51

There are several reasons why Niners-Cowboys is considered the best game of the week. Game-wise, this game has the closest split in the group and the highest total, so bettors are looking for a high-scoring game that could very well come down to the wire.

The Cowboys enter the playoffs with an offense that can snag 50 points on any given day and a defense that ranks atop the league in nearly every significant category. While Dallas has a ton of firepower, the 49ers also have guts as they fought their way into the playoff picture after winning seven of their last nine games. There’s no shortage of star power either, as the Niners have one of the most electrifying players in Deebo Samuel, while the Cowboys have a rookie phenom in linebacker Micah Parsons.

You also have two of the NFL’s most legendary franchises that have a rivalry that dates back to the 1970s. Dallas had three playoff wins (including two NFC championship wins) in the early ’70s, while the 49ers were able to score a last-second win over the Cowboys in the 1981 NFC Championship thanks to Dwight Clark carrying Joe Montana’s “The Catch.” Of course, the 1990s reignited the rivalry as they met repeatedly in the NFC Championship and won Super Bowl titles for half a decade. We will now come to the final chapter of this historic rivalry.

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