The NFL regular season is over but now the really important games start with the commencement of the playoffs. Wild Card Weekend kicks off the road to Super Bowl LIV in Miami Gardens, Florida, as two of the 12 teams that made it into the postseason will get a chance on Feb. 2 to claim the Lombardi Trophy.
This year, both AFC Wild Card games will be on Saturday with the NFC following on Sunday. The first game has Buffalo taking on Houston. Both teams went 10-6 in the regular season and this will be a strength vs. strength matchup between the Bills' defense and the Texans' offense.
The second game on Saturday has defending Super Bowl champion New England at home against Tennessee. The Patriots' surprising loss to the Dolphins in Week 17 means Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are playing on Wild Card Weekend for the first time in 10 years. New England lost that game, 33-14, at home to Baltimore but it started the team's current streak of 11 straight playoff appearances, which is an NFL record. On the other side, the Titans went 5-2 down the stretch to claim the second wild-card spot and now hope to reverse their recent fortunes against the Patriots. Tennessee has lost seven of its past eight meetings with New England, two of those being playoff games.
On Sunday, it will be the NFC's turn starting with New Orleans hosting Minnesota. The Saints tied the 49ers and Green Bay for the best record in the conference at 13-3 but missed out on a first-round bye thanks to tiebreakers. The Vikings went 10-6 in the regular season and are 3-1 all-time against New Orleans in the playoffs, the most recent encounter coming two seasons ago in the Divisional Round when Minnesota won 29-24 at home, thanks to the "Miracle in Minneapolis."
The final game of Wild Card Weekend pits Seattle against Philadelphia. Both of these teams are banged up pretty bad, but the Eagles (9-7) enter with more momentum, capturing the NFC East thanks to a four-game winning streak. The Seahawks have the most wins of any wild-card team (11-5) but have lost two in a row. Seattle already has one road win over Philadelphia this season, beating the Eagles 17-9 in Week 12, part of a franchise-record 7-1 showing on the road. This will be the first-ever playoff meeting between the two teams.
So which teams will come out on top in every Wild Card Round game as the NFL playoffs get started? Athlon's own Rob Doster (@AthlonDoster) and Mark Ross (@AthlonMark), along with AthlonSports.com contributor Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer), predict the winners for every game this week:
NFL Wild Card Round Predictions
*Detroit vs. Arizona in Week 1 ended in a tie.