After 16 games, the path to Super Bowl LI is laid out as the NFL postseason commences with Wild Card Weekend. The playoffs get started with two games on Saturday, as top seeds Dallas, New England, Atlanta and Kansas City watch at home awaiting the winners from this weekend.
And just because the other four division winners are hosting their wild card games, that doesn’t mean they are shoo-ins to win. After all, both Oakland and New York finished with a better record than its respective opponent. But once the playoffs begin, anything can happen, including a wild card team going all the way to the Super Bowl and winning it.
But before any team punches its ticket to NRG Stadium in Houston, it must win at least two games, or in the case of those playing this weekend, three. Oakland and Houston will kick things off at the site of Super Bowl LI in a matchup of two teams with quarterback questions created by different circumstances. The Raiders are down to their second- or third-string QB because of the broken leg suffered by Pro Bowler Derek Carr in Week 16, while the Texans benched an ineffective Brock Osweiler in favor of Tom Savage, but are going back to their $72 million man for the wild card game. Whichever team gets the most out of its quarterback on Saturday will likely advance.
Miami has been without Ryan Tannehill for the past three games because of a knee injury, but there’s a chance he could return for Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh. It seems unlikely, however, and backup Matt Moore is 2-1 in Tannehill’s absence. Meanwhile, the Steelers look to make it eight wins in a row behind their three-headed offensive monster of Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.
In the NFC, Detroit came up short at home on Sunday night against Green Bay for the division title and now must travel to Seattle to take on the playoff-tested Seahawks, while the Packers’ red-hot offense will face off against the Giants’ stout defense at Lambeau Field.
So which teams will come out on top in every NFL game during Wild Card Weekend? Athlon's own Rob Doster (AthlonDoster), John Gworek (JohnGworek), Steven Lassan (AthlonSteven), and Mark Ross (AthlonMarkR), along with AthlonSports.com contributor Bryan Fischer (BryanDFischer), predict the winners:
NFL Wild Card Weekend Predictions
NY Giants at
Note: Ties are not included in season record.