The divisional round of the NFL playoffs kicks off at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday when the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers square-off at Heinz Field with a berth in the AFC championship on the line. It’s the AFC with the more intriguing playoff matchups in 2011, one for on-field reasons and one for off-field reasons. With the war of words coming from New England and New York, and the physical brand of football in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, the AFC side of the playoff bracket has generated plenty of interest ahead of the weekend. The Ravens, Steelers, Patriots and Jets bookend the schedule this weekend as they try to live up to the hype.
Here’s the full AFC schedule for the divisional round.
Saturday, Jan. 15
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1:30 p.m. on CBS. Pittsburgh holds the home-field advantage.
Sunday, Jan. 16
New England Patriots vs. New York Jets, 1:30 p.m. on CBS. The game will be played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
With the Jets and Patriots still volleying shots back and forth in the press, Sunday’s game is generating interest at a feverish pace. Whether it was Wes Welker’s hilarious foot interview, Antonio Cromartie taking a more direct route or a Spy Gate jab on Twitter, these two teams made the week entertaining. Can the Jets make the game itself entertaining after being ran off the field the last time these two teams met? We’ll see if the hype matches the product on Sunday.
The NFL playoffs kick off again this week on Saturday at 10 a.m. when the Steelers battle the Ravens on CBS.