With the 2013 NFL playoffs ready to kick off this Saturday, it’s time to run down the schedule and find out which key storylines during this epic Wild Card Weekend we’ll be watching.
Both the NFC and AFC are full of Super Bowl contenders, but this weekend is all about the teams that barely made the playoffs trying to use their hot streaks to knock off the home teams.
Besides the Washington Redskins, every home team in this round is favored (h/t Covers.com), and that sets the stage for some amazing upsets.
Add in the fact that you have eight quality football teams fighting for just four spots in the next round of the postseason, and the wild action on Wild Card Weekend will be too great for even the most casual NFL fan to miss.
Let the postseason madness begin!
Full Wild Card Weekend Schedule
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans: Saturday, Jan. 5 at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers: Saturday, Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens: Sunday, Jan. 6 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins: Sunday, Jan. 6 at 4:30 p.m. ET on FOX
What We’re Watching
In the first AFC matchup of the weekend, the red-hot Cincinnati Bengals will travel to Houston to try and spoil the Texans' dream season by capitalizing on their sputtering offense. While Houston’s defense is stout, QB Matt Schaub, RB Arian Foster and the entire offense has been stagnant.
The Bengals will shock Houston and walk away victorious.
The AFC’s Sunday matchup is the most interesting game of the weekend. With rookie Andrew Luck leading the underdog Indianapolis Colts into Baltimore to face off with the stalling Ravens, the lack of depth and cohesion on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball for the home team will doom Baltimore from the start.
Indianapolis will hold on for a stunning win.
If the AFC games aren’t enough for the hardcore NFL fans, the NFC has a duo of great Wild Card Weekend matchups in store to keep the whole family entertained.
The Saturday meeting between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers is a NFC North divisional battle between teams that split the season series. If Adrian Peterson doesn’t have a career game against the Packers, Green Bay's dangerous offensive attack will put the Vikings in a hole they won't be able to escape from.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers hold off Minnesota for the victory.
As for the final game of the weekend, the Seattle Seahawks will face off with the unlikely NFC East division winners, the Washington Redskins. While Robert Griffin III had an amazing rookie season, Seattle’s defense and Marshawn Lynch-led rushing attack will spoil his first postseason experience.
The Seahawks will win this game in lopsided fashion.
Check back for more on the National Football League as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s NFL page to get your fill of all things football.