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NFL Playoff Schedule 2014: When and Where to Watch Postseason Clashes

Sep 8, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) scores a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers 34-28. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJanuary 1, 2014

The second season in the NFL begins on Saturday, Jan. 4. After 17 weeks of regular-season action, 12 teams remain with a chance to play in Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and Denver Broncos earned first-round byes. Each team will be awaiting the winners of Wild Card Weekend in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Both the AFC and NFC will have one Wild Card Game on tap on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's games will be broadcast by NBC. On Sunday, CBS will air the AFC clash and Fox will handle the NFC tilt.

Here's a schedule breakdown.

Playoffs - Wild Card Weekend
Saturday, Jan. 4Time (EST)TVLocation
Kansas City at Indianapolis4:35 p.m.NBC Lucas Oil Stadium
New Orleans at Philadelphia8:10 p.m.NBC Lincoln Financial Field
Sunday, Jan. 5Time (EST)TVLocation
San Diego at Cincinnati1:05 p.m.CBS Paul Brown Stadium
San Francisco at Green Bay4:40 p.m.FOX Lambeau Field

Here's a closer look at each matchup.

 

Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) at Indianapolis Colts (11-5)

Head-to-Head Meeting

Dec 22, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis (98) and defensive tackle Ricardo Mathews (91) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Colts won
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts defeated the Chiefs 23-7 in Week 16 behind a dominating effort from its defense. Indy forced four turnovers and limited the Chiefs to a 12.5-percent conversion rate on third down.

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles did have 144 all-purpose yards in the loss, but Alex Smith was sacked five times and threw an interception.

 

Odds

Colts -2.5

 

Prediction

Kansas City has failed every major test it has had this season. It was swept by the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos and lost to the Colts. The only game the Chiefs won over a team in the playoffs came against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3.

This is not an elite team, and the Colts will defeat them again to advance.

 

New Orleans Saints (11-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)

Head-to-Head Meeting

None

 

Odds

Eagles -2.5

 

Prediction

Dec 29, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates a touchdown run against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the fourth quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.The Saints defeated the Buccaneers 42-17. Mand
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

Philly is playing well, and its much-maligned defense has only given up 33 points in the last two games. That said, this is still the team with the 32nd-ranked pass defense in the NFL. 

Heading into a game against Drew Brees and the Saints, it is hard to favor the Eagles—even at home. This should be a shootout for sure. In that type of game, Brees is the smart pick over Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.

 

San Diego Chargers (9-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (11-5)

Head-to-Head Meeting

Dec 1, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) catches a touchdown pass during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. The Bengals won 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Cincy won a hard-fought Week 13 clash at Qualcomm Stadium, 17-10. The teams were evenly matched, but the Bengals forced three turnovers, made a few more key stops and rode the Andy Dalton-to-A.J. Green connection.

Green had five catches for 83 yards. He caught a 21-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter that gave the Bengals control of the game.

 

Odds

Bengals -7

 

Prediction

Even a red-hot Chargers team that has won four games in a row will find it hard winning in Cincinnati. The Bengals are one of only three teams in the NFL that are undefeated at home. In fact, they have won their last five home games by an average of 24 points.

Cincinnati will move on with a win over the 'Bolts.

 

San Francisco 49ers (12-4) at Green Bay Packers (8-7-1)

Head-to-Head Meeting

Sep 8, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) fakes a pass while running with the ball against the Green Bay Packers in the third quarter at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Packers 34-28. Mandatory Cred
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Niners took the regular-season opener at Candlestick Park, 34-28. Colin Kaepernick had his best day of the season with 412 passing yards and three touchdown passes. San Francisco hadn't quite hit its stride defensively, but the 49ers were still able to pull out a close victory to kick off the season.

 

Odds

49ers -2.5

 

Prediction

Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb are back and producing for the Packers, but linebacker Clay Matthews is expected to miss the game, per ESPN Wisconsin.

The Niners are the hottest team in the NFL at the right time. They enter the playoffs on a six-game win streak and playing the best football of any team. The Packers had to eek out a close win against a Chicago Bears team torn apart by injury in Week 17.

San Francisco will pound the Packers' 25th-ranked run defense and take the Lambeau faithful out of the game early.

The Niners will win this one and march into the next round.

 

Odds per Covers.com

 

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