The road to the Super Bowl just got a little less crowded, as the Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans advanced on Saturday, while the Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals were sent packing.
With their victories, Green Bay and Houston move on to the divisional round next weekend.
The Packers will face the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, Jan. 12. It will be a rematch of the first game of the season, which San Francisco won 30-22. Aaron Rodgers threw for 303 yards and a touchdown in that game, but he was unable to lead the Packers back from a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit.
Saturday's game will certainly have a different look to it, though, as the 49ers replaced quarterback Alex Smith with Colin Kaepernick midway through the season. Smith was excellent against Green Bay, so it will be interesting to see how Kaepernick fares.
On the AFC side, Houston advances to face the New England Patriots Sunday, Jan. 13. The two played each other on Monday Night Football in Week 14, and the Patriots cruised to a 42-14 victory. The Patriots completely dominated that game, as they led by as much as 35 in the fourth quarter.
Tom Brady delivered a vintage performance, throwing for 296 yards and four touchdowns, while Matt Schaub and the Texans failed to keep up. The Texans will likely have to play their best game of the season to avoid another defeat.
With Saturday's games in the books, here is how the 2013 NFL playoff schedule currently looks.
|Game||Date||Time (ET)||TV Coverage|
|Indianapolis at Baltimore (Wild Card Round)||Sunday, Jan. 6||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Seattle at Washington (Wild Card Round)||Sunday, Jan. 6||4: 30 p.m.||FOX|
|Green Bay at San Francisco (divisional round)||Saturday, Jan. 12||8 p.m.||FOX|
|Houston at New England (divisional round) ||Sunday, Jan. 13 ||4:30 p.m. ||CBS|
In the AFC, the winner of Indianapolis vs. Baltimore will play the No.1-seed Denver Broncos next Saturday.
On the other side, the winner of Seattle vs. Washington will advance to play the Atlanta Falcons. That game will be played Sunday, Jan. 13.