USA TODAY Sports
The first weekend of the NFL playoffs will get underway on Saturday and it features some intriguing matchups across the board.
The NFL Playoffs are officially set and the schedule of games is out. The weekend is going to be filled with Wild Card round matchups featuring upstart squads, mainstays and really young quarterbacks. The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos have byes in the AFC and the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons have byes in the NFC.
The Seattle Seahawks will play the Washington Redskins in Washington, D.C. , at 1:30 p.m. PT on Sunday. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III are both candidates for Rookie of the Year, as they've led their resurgent franchises to unexpected seasons, and one of them will be playing in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs in just his first year at the helm.
The Cincinnati Bengals travel to face the Houston Texans at 1:30 p.m. PT on Saturday in an AFC Wild Card matchup. The Bengals will come in off a win over the Ravens and will be playing with a lot of confidence, while the Texans dropped from the No. 1 seed and a bye to the Wild Card round and the three-seed after losing to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The Texans will be under a lot of pressure to perform after being the top team in the conference for much of the regular season.
The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers will play for the third time this season at 5 p.m. PT Saturday at Lambeau Field. The Vikings won on Saturday behind a monster performance by Adrian Peterson just to get in the playoffs, and will get to play their divisional rival yet again for the right to move on in the playoffs. But Aaron Rodgers will have something to prove after the Packers' flameout last season, so it should be a good one.
The Colts will head to Baltimore to face the Ravens at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday. The Colts and their coach Chuck Pagano will have fans of other teams rooting for them as Pagano fought against cancer and landed right back on the sidelines to coach his young and talented group of players. Andrew Luck has been all they could wish for and Reggie Wayne is still one of the top receivers in the game. The Ravens are good enough to win the whole AFC and streaky enough to get knocked out by a younger team at home. No predicting this one, but it should be good nonetheless.