NFL PLAYOFFS KICK OFF
WITH THREE DAYS OF SUPER WILD CARD ACTION, INCLUDING MONDAY NIGHT SHOWDOWN
Get ready for a
three-day weekend unlike any other.
Super Wild Card
Weekend begins with two games Saturday, continues with a tripleheader on Sunday
and finishes with the debut of a Monday night Wild Card game.
postseason kicks off Saturday on the heels of the most exciting regular season
in NFL history. NFL teams combined to pack into the 2021 season:
games that featured a winning score on the final play, the most ever;
game-winning scores in the final minute of regulation or in overtime, tied for
the most in a season all-time;
game-winning scores in the final two minutes of regulation or in overtime, also
tied for the most in NFL history.
Super Wild Card
Weekend features steady, quality teams led by consistent veterans, and young
and on-the-rise clubs guided by sensational newcomers.
Each of the
last six NFL Drafts have contributed a starting quarterback to this weekend’s
games: The Patriots’ MAC JONES
(first round, 2021), the Bengals’ JOE
BURROW (first round, 2020), the Eagles’ JALEN HURTS (second round, 2020), the Cardinals’ KYLER MURRAY (first round, 2019), the
Bills’ JOSH ALLEN (first round,
2018), the Chiefs’ PATRICK MAHOMES
(first round, 2017) and the Cowboys’ DAK
PRESCOTT (fourth round, 2016),
And, with six starting
quarterbacks not yet 27 years old, the 2021 playoff field is expected to tie
for the second-most such quarterbacks in league history. Only the 2020 postseason,
with seven, had more.
also features TOM BRADY guiding a
Tampa Bay team challenging to snap the NFL’s 17-year stretch without a repeat
Super Bowl champion, the longest streak in league history. Not since Brady and
the Patriots won consecutive Super Bowl titles in 2003 and 2004 has an NFL team
repeated as world champion.
SoFi Stadium in
Los Angeles awaits. For 14 teams, the journey toward that dream continues this
Super Wild Card Weekend schedule with kickoff times:
Saturday, January 15
Vegas at Cincinnati
England at Buffalo
Sunday, January 16
at Tampa Bay
Francisco at Dallas
Paramount+, Nickelodeon, Amazon Prime Video
at Kansas City
Monday, January 17
at Los Angeles Rams
ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes
The 14 teams
in contention for the Vince Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles:
Titans (12-5), AFC South champion*
Packers (13-4), NFC North champion*
Chiefs (12-5), AFC West champion
Buccaneers (13-4), NFC South champion
(11-6), AFC East champion
Cowboys (12-5), NFC East champion
Bengals (10-7), AFC North champion
Los Angeles Rams
(12-5), NFC West champion
conference’s only first-round bye
SUPER BOWL WINNERS:
The Buccaneers last year took their first postseason step toward an eventual
Super Bowl title by winning a Wild Card game as a Wild Card team (non-division
winner). Since the inception of Wild Card playoff entries in 1978, Tampa Bay
became the seventh Wild Card team to win a Super Bowl. Will another Wild Card
team playing this weekend join that group at Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles?
seven Wild Card teams to win the Super Bowl:
WILD CARD TEAM
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kansas City Chiefs
Green Bay Packers
New York Giants
New England Patriots
New York Giants
Green Bay Packers
Five of the six games on Super Wild Card Weekend are rematches of 2021
regular-season games. No other Wild Card round in league history has had as
The five rematches in the Wild Card
round of the 2021 playoffs:
WILD CARD GAME
IN REGULAR SEASON
Arizona at L.A. Rams
Cardinals, 37-20 (Week 4
at Rams); Rams, 30-23 (Week 14 at Cardinals)
Las Vegas at Cincinnati
Bengals, 32-13 (Week 11,
New England at Buffalo
Patriots, 14-10 (Week 13
at Bills); Bills, 33-21 (Week 16 at Patriots)
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
Buccaneers, 28-22 (Week 6,
Pittsburgh at Kansas City
Chiefs, 36-10 (Week 16, at
Don’t expect the team that won the
regular-season matchup to automatically follow with a Wild Card win. Eight
teams in the previous five years have rebounded from at least one
regular-season loss against an opponent to avenge that loss with a win in the
Wild Card round.
season alone, the BALTIMORE RAVENS knocked off Tennessee while the CLEVELAND
BROWNS defeated Pittsburgh and the LOS ANGELES RAMS beat Seattle
after each splitting their regular-season series.
FOR MONDAY NIGHT WINNERS:
The Rams host the Cardinals in the NFL’s first Monday postseason
contest since the Rams lost to the Minnesota Vikings in a Wild Card game on
Dec. 26, 1988. The winner of Monday’s game will have history on its side in the
the 2021 regular season, teams that won on a Monday went 13-2-1 on the
a longer stretch, dating to Week 14 of the 2020 season, clubs that won a Monday
gone 16-2-1 on the following Sunday.
OUT FOR ROAD TEAMS: The road club has won 10 of the last 14
NFL Wild Card games over the past three seasons, including four of the six Wild
Card games last year. Since the 2017 playoffs, road teams are 12-6. And, in eight
of the past nine seasons, at least one road team has won a Wild Card game.
A look at
the six games on Super Wild Card Weekend:
VEGAS RAIDERS (10-7) at CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-7)
NBC/Peacock/Universo, 4:35 PM ET
has captured its first division title since 2015 and looks for its first
postseason win since Jan. 6, 1991, when the Bengals won a Wild Card game over
the Houston Oilers before traveling to the Los Angeles Coliseum, where they
lost to the Raiders, 20-10, in the last postseason meeting between the clubs.
season, Bengals head coach ZAC TAYLOR
guided a team that became the first in NFL history with a 4,000-yard passer (JOE BURROW), a 1,000-yard rusher (JOE MIXON) and two 1,000-yard receivers
(JA’MARR CHASE and TEE HIGGINS) all under the age of 26 in
the same season. Chase and Higgins, who are each under the age of 23, became
the youngest pair of 1,000-yard receivers in NFL annals.
makes his postseason debut after setting single-season franchise records with
4,611 passing yards and 34 touchdown passes and ranking second in the NFL with
a 108.3 passer rating.
led the AFC with 1,455 receiving yards, the most by a rookie in the Super Bowl
finished third in the league with a career-best 1,205 rushing yards. He joined AUSTIN EKELER and JONATHAN TAYLOR as the only players with at least 1,500 scrimmage
yards and 15 touchdowns (16) this season.
also had the fifth-stingiest rushing defense in the NFL (102.5 rushing yards
defensive end TREY HENDRICKSON is
one of two NFL players with 13-or-more sacks in each of the past two seasons,
joining T.J. WATT.
head coach RICH BISACCIA and
quarterback DEREK CARR have led the
franchise to its first postseason appearance since 2016 and the first since the
team moved to Las Vegas.
who was injured and could not play in the team’s last postseason game, is
expected to make his postseason debut after ranking fifth in the NFL with a
franchise-record 4,804 yards this season. Carr is one of four quarterbacks in
league history with at least 3,000 passing yards in each of his first eight
Vegas wide receiver HUNTER RENFROW
led the team with career bests in receptions (103), receiving yards (1,038) and
touchdown catches (nine), joining Pro Football Hall of Famer TIM BROWN (104 in 1997) as the only
wide receivers in franchise history to reach 100 catches in a season.
ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-7) at BUFFALO BILLS (11-6)
CBS/Paramount +, 8:15 PM ET
and New England will meet for a third time in 2021, having split the
regular-season series. The road team has won each of the past three meetings.
defense, the Bills (17.0 points allowed per game) and the Patriots (17.8)
ranked first and second, respectively, in the NFL. Each team also had 30
takeaways this season, tied for third in the NFL.
Patriots secured their 11th postseason berth in the past 12 seasons. Head coach
BILL BELICHICK has 31 postseason
wins in 43 postseason games as a head coach, both the most in NFL history.
England’s MAC JONES became the first
rookie quarterback to lead his team to the playoffs since DAK PRESCOTT in 2016. Jones led all rookies this season in
completion percentage (67.6), passing yards (3,801), touchdown passes (22) and
passer rating (92.5). He is bidding to become just the fourth rookie
quarterback since 2000 and first since RUSSELL
WILSON in 2012 to go on the road and win his first NFL postseason start.
Patriots ranked second in the league with 24 rushing touchdowns this season,
including 15 rushing touchdowns from running back DAMIEN HARRIS, tied
for the second-most in the NFL this season.
England defensive back J.C. JACKSON
led the NFL with a career-high 23 passes defensed, including eight
interceptions. Jackson, who has 25 career interceptions, became the fourth
player in the Super Bowl era to record 25-or-more interceptions in his first
SEAN MCDERMOTT has led the Bills to
playoff appearances in four of his five seasons as an NFL head coach, including
consecutive AFC East titles, the team’s first division crowns since 1995. His
2021 club was the only team in the NFL to finish in the top five in both total
offense (381.9 yards per game, fifth) and total defense (272.8 yards allowed
per game, first).
quarterback JOSH ALLEN became the
first player in franchise history to pass for 4,000 yards in consecutive seasons.
With six rushing touchdowns this season, he also became the first quarterback
ever with six-or-more rushing touchdowns in each of his first four seasons.
wide receiver STEFON DIGGS is one of
two NFL players with 1,000-or-more receiving yards and at least six touchdown
catches in each of the past four seasons, joining MIKE EVANS.
EAGLES (9-8) at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (13-4)
FOX/FOX Deportes, 1:05 PM ET
the team’s first Super Bowl victory since 2002, Tampa Bay won its division for
the first time since 2007. The Buccaneers are bidding to become the first team
since the 2004 Patriots and the eighth overall to repeat as Super Bowl
head coach BRUCE ARIANS, who owns a
5-2 career postseason record, the Buccaneers in 2021 ranked second among NFL
teams in both scoring offense (30.1 points per game) and total offense (405.9
yards per game), and led the NFC by allowing only 92.5 rushing yards per game
Super Bowl MVP TOM BRADY paced the
NFL in passing touchdowns (43) and passing yards (career-high 5,316, the
third-most passing yards in a season in NFL history). His 485 completions this
year were a single-season NFL record. Brady this season joined DREW BREES
as one of two players all-time with multiple 5,000-yard passing seasons, and
joined AARON RODGERS as one of two quarterbacks ever with three seasons
of 40-or-more touchdown passes.
wide receiver MIKE EVANS, who ranked second in the NFL with 14 receiving
touchdowns in 2021, became the first player in NFL history to reach 1,000 yards
in each of his first eight seasons.
head coach NICK SIRIANNI returned the Eagles to the playoffs.
Philadelphia has now advanced to the postseason in four of the past five years,
including a Super Bowl LII title in 2017.
2021, no other team had more rushing yards than the Eagles (159.7 yards per
game). Philadelphia became the first team since the 1985 CHICAGO BEARS
to record at least 175 rushing yards in seven consecutive games (Week 8-15 this
quarterback JALEN HURTS makes his playoff debut after leading NFL
quarterbacks with 784 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in 2021. His five
career games with two-or-more rushing touchdowns are the most by a quarterback
in his first two NFL seasons during the Super Bowl era.
receiver DEVONTA SMITH established the Eagles’ rookie franchise record
with 916 receiving yards.
FRANCISCO 49ERS (10-7) at DALLAS COWBOYS (12-5)
CBS/Paramount+/Nickelodeon/Amazon Prime Video, 4:40 PM ET
- San Francisco is playoff-bound for the
second time in the past three seasons, after advancing to Super Bowl LIV in
- Head coach KYLE SHANAHAN guided his team to top-five rankings in the
conference in both total offense (375.7 yards per game, third) and total
defense (310.0 yards allowed per game, second,) this season.
- Quarterback JIMMY GAROPPOLO, who is 2-1 in three career postseason starts, has
a 103.2 passer rating since Week 9, the third-highest mark in the league over
- Wide receiver DEEBO SAMUEL led the 49ers and ranked third in the NFL with 1,770
scrimmage yards. He was one of two NFL players this season with six-or-more
rushing touchdowns and six-or-more receiving touchdowns, joining AUSTIN EKELER. Samuel’s eight rushing
touchdowns this season were the most ever by a wide receiver. He also became
the first player in NFL history with at least 1,400 receiving yards (1,405) and
at least 300 rushing yards (365) in a season.
- Defensive lineman NICK BOSA rebounded from a 2020 injury to tie for first in the NFL
with a career-best 21 tackles for loss. He also finished fourth with 15.5 sacks
- Head coach MIKE MCCARTHY has now guided two franchises to the postseason,
including nine playoff berths and a Super Bowl XLV crown with the Packers. Dallas
captured the NFC East for the first time since 2018 and led the league in both
scoring offense (31.2 points per game) and total offense (407.0 yards per
game). The Cowboys also led the NFL with 34 takeaways.
- Like Bosa, Cowboys quarterback DAK PRESCOTT rebounded in strong
fashion from a 2020 season-ending injury, throwing for a franchise-record 37 touchdown passes
this season and ranking third in the NFL with a 104.2 passer rating.
- Running back EZEKIEL ELLIOTT led the Cowboys with 1,002 rushing yards and joined
Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN
TOMLINSON as the only players in NFL annals with at least 1,250 scrimmage
yards and at least eight touchdowns in each of their first six seasons.
- Dallas cornerback TREVON DIGGS led the NFL with 11 interceptions, the most by an NFL
player since 1981.
- Linebacker MICAH PARSONS led the Cowboys with 13 sacks, tied for the
third-most by an NFL rookie since 1982, when the individual sack became an
STEELERS (9-7-1) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (12-5)
NBC/Telemundo/Peacock, 8:15 PM ET
- Pittsburgh clinched its second straight
postseason berth. The Steelers are seeking their first playoff win since
beating the Chiefs, 18-16, at Arrowhead Stadium in the 2016 Divisional
TOMLIN has guided
Pittsburgh to a .500-or-better record in each of his 15 seasons as an NFL head
coach (2007-21) and makes his 10th postseason appearance at the reins of the
- Kansas City extended its streak of AFC
West division titles to six (2016-21). The Chiefs’ ANDY REID last week became just the fifth head coach in NFL history
to reach 250 career wins. Including the postseason, Reid is 250-150-1 (.625) in
- Steelers quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER is expected to make
his 23rd career postseason start and tie Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE MONTANA for the fourth-most by a
quarterback in NFL history. Roethlisberger has at least 450 passing yards and
four-or-more touchdown passes in each of his last two postseason starts.
- Pittsburgh running back NAJEE HARRIS led NFL rookies with 1,667
scrimmage yards (1,200 rushing, 467 receiving) this season.
- Steelers linebacker T.J. WATT had 22.5 sacks and matched the single-season NFL record
held by Pro Football Hall of Famer MICHAEL
- Chiefs quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES, who has a 100.4 passer rating in eight career
postseason games, ranked fourth in the NFL with 4,839 passing yards and tied
for fourth with 37 touchdown passes this season.
- Kansas City’s PATRICK KELCE became the first tight end ever with to top 1,000
receiving yards in six NFL seasons, and also the first ever at his position to
reach 80 receptions in six consecutive years.
- Wide receiver TYREEK HILL led the Chiefs and ranked third in the NFL with a
career-best 111 receptions.
CARDINALS (11-6) at LOS ANGELES RAMS (12-5)
ESPN/ABC/ESPN2/ESPN+/ESPN Deportes, 8:15 PM ET
Rams make their fourth trip to the playoffs in six seasons since returning to
Los Angeles in 2016.
head coach SEAN MCVAY (2017-21), the
Rams clinched their third NFC West title and fourth playoff berth.
wide receiver COOPER KUPP led the
NFL in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947) and receiving touchdowns (16)
in 2021, becoming the fourth player since the league merger in 1970 to lead the
league in all three categories. His 145 receptions and 1,947 receiving yards
were each the second-most by a player in a season all-time.
Angeles quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD
finished second in the league with 41 touchdown passes and third with 4,886
passing yards in 2021.
lineman AARON DONALD led the Rams
with 12.5 sacks this season and became the fourth player since 1982, when the
individual sack became an official NFL statistic, to record at least eight
sacks in each of his first eight NFL seasons.
makes its first playoff appearance since advancing to the NFC Championship Game
in 2015. Head coach KLIFF KINGSBURY
and quarterback KYLER MURRAY make
their postseason debuts.
Cardinals in 2021 became one of just three teams ever to win seven consecutive
road games, each by double digits, including a 37-20 triumph over the Rams at
SoFi Stadium in Week 4.
who has 70 career touchdown passes and 20 career rushing touchdowns, became the
first quarterback in NFL history to reach those two marks in his first three
NFL seasons. He also distinguished himself as the only quarterback in league
annals to reach 3,500 passing yards, and 400 rushing yards in each of his first
three NFL seasons.
running back JAMES CONNER ranked
third in the NFL with a career-high 18 touchdowns (15 rushing, three
receiving). In each of the Cardinals’ two games against the Rams in 2021,
Conner had two rushing touchdowns.
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