Seven of the 14 teams starting in the post-season did not play the previous year. Thus, next weekend there will be a combination of traditional powers and teams which gave surprises.
Tom Brady begins his quest for his eighth Super Bowl title next weekend. Their Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Dallas Cowboys next Monday night.
Trevor Lawrence, who has shone in his second year with Jacksonville, will make his playoff debut, as will five other quarterbacks, including Seattle veteran Geno Smith.
Schedule is set. In the American Conference, the Los Angeles Chargers will visit Jacksonville; Miami to Buffalo and Baltimore to Cincinnati. The Nationals would play at San Francisco in Seattle, the New York Giants at Minnesota and Dallas at Tampa Bay.
The Seahawks were the last team to qualify thanks to Detroit’s 20–16 victory in Green Bay on Sunday night. The Lions were already outplayed last Sunday when Seattle beat the Rams, but they overcame that disappointment and denied a postseason berth to the division rival Packers.
Well, they could say a sour goodbye to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has toyed with the idea of retirement.
The Lions’ victories were limited to a week 18 in which the Dolphins made their return to the playoffs, where they have not appeared since 2016. The surprising Jaguars also return after a season where they haven’t been established since 2017.
Among the eliminated teams were the New England Patriots and their coach, Bill Belichick, a six-time Super Bowl winner. They were eliminated after a loss to the Buffalo Bills.
The first seed in the AFC went to Kansas City after beating Las Vegas 31-13 on Saturday. The top spot in the NL went to Philadelphia, which beat the Giants 22-16 on Sunday.
Saturday (US Eastern Time)
Seattle n San Francisco 49ers, 4:30 PM
Los Angeles (Chargers) at Jacksonville, 8:15 p.m.
Miami at Buffalo, 1 PM
New York (Giants) at Minnesota, 4:30 p.m.
Baltimore at Cincinnati, 8:15 PM
Dallas at Tampa Bay, 8:15 PM