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NFL playoffs bracket: Wild-card Saturday matchups, kickoff times, TV information

Frank Schwab
·3-min read

Get ready for a super-sized NFL wild-card weekend.

In 1982, there was a 16-team bracket due to a strike-shortened season. That was the last time we’ve had more than four games in the first weekend of the NFL playoffs, before this season.

With the NFL expanding the playoffs from 12 to 14 teams, we’ll get wall-to-wall postseason football on wild-card weekend. Those games can be live steamed on the Yahoo Sports app.

Here is the schedule for the three games on Saturday of wild-card weekend, all times Eastern (the Sunday schedule is here).

No. 7 Indianapolis Colts (11-5) at No. 2 Buffalo Bills (13-3), 1:05 p.m. CBS

The Bills will host a playoff game for the first time since Dec. 28, 1996 after winning the AFC East. The Bills, behind MVP candidate Josh Allen at quarterback, locked up the No. 2 seed in the AFC with a 56-26 win in Week 17 over the Miami Dolphins. They’ll face the Colts, who narrowly avoided becoming the third 11-5 team in NFL history to miss the playoffs. The Miami Dolphins’ loss in Week 17 gave the Colts a chance, and they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars to clinch a playoff spot. The Colts had a shot at the division title and a home game, but the Tennessee Titans hit a field goal on their final play of the game to beat the Houston Texans, knocking the Colts back to the No. 7 seed and a date in Buffalo to start the playoffs.

No. 6 Los Angeles Rams (10-6) at No. 3 Seattle Seahawks (12-4), 4:40 p.m. Fox

The biggest question for this game between NFC West rivals will be the health of Rams quarterback Jared Goff. He had thumb surgery after Week 16, and John Wolford made his first NFL start in the Rams’ finale. After the Rams clinched a playoff spot with a win over the Arizona Cardinals, coach Sean McVay was noncommittal about Goff’s status for their playoff game.

The Seahawks had a shot for the NFC’s No. 1 seed going into Week 17 and beat the San Francisco 49ers, but didn’t get the help they needed. The Seahawks split the season series with the Rams but clinched the NFC West championship with a 20-9 win over Los Angeles in Week 16.

No. 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) at No. 4 Washington Football Team (7-9), 8:15 p.m. NBC

Tom Brady will be making his first appearance on the NFC side of the playoff bracket. Brady threw 40 touchdowns this season and led the Bucs to a wild-card spot. They’ll face the third losing team in NFL history to make the playoffs. Washington got that honor by beating the Philadelphia Eagles in the final game of the regular season.

The NFC East this season has been a punch line, and predictably ended without a team reaching .500. The Giants were amazingly alive for a playoff spot despite a 6-10 record. They were alive with a win over the Cowboys, and needed a loss by Washington in the regular-season finale to get in the postseason field. But Washington clinched the division title with a 20-14 victory.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) will be on prime time for wild-card weekend. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) will be on prime time for wild-card weekend. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

BYES — AFC No. 1 seed: Kansas City Chiefs (14-2), NFC No. 1 seed: Green Bay Packers (13-3)

The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs rested starters in Week 17 with the top seed already locked up. The Packers needed to win in Week 17 and did so, pulling away from the Bears late for a 35-16 win.

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