NFL Playoff Bracket 2016: Updated Picture, Schedule After Saturday's Wild Card

Mike NorrisFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2016

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) calls a play during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Houston Texans, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
George Bridges/Associated Press

With one day of playoff action in the books, the NFL postseason field has been narrowed down from 12 teams to 10.

The Kansas City Chiefs opened Wild Card Weekend with a 106-yard kickoff return to start their game against the Houston Texans, en route to a 30-0 win.

In a rain-soaked matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Pittsburgh Steelers grinded out an old-school victory, 18-16, to move on to the division playoffs.

Here's a look at the updated playoff bracket prior to the two NFC Wild Card Games Sunday.

NFL Current Playoff Picture
AFCDateTime (ET)
Wild Card Round
(6) Pittsburgh def. (3) Cincinnati, 18-16Jan. 9
(5) Kansas City def. (4) Houston, 30-0Jan. 9
Divisional Playoffs
(5) Kansas City at (2) New EnglandJan. 164:35 p.m.
(6) Pittsburgh vs. (1) DenverJan. 174:40 p.m.
AFC Conference Championship
TBAJan. 243:05 p.m.
NFCDateTime (ET)
Wild Card Round
(6) Seattle at (3) MinnesotaJan. 101:05 p.m.
(5) Green Bay at (4) WashingtonJan. 104:40 p.m.
Divisional Playoffs
Washington/Green Bay/Minnesota at (2) ArizonaJan. 168:15 p.m.
Washington/Green Bay/Seattle at (1) CarolinaJan. 171:05 p.m.
NFC Conference Championship
TBAJan. 246:40 p.m.
Super Bowl 50
AFC vs. NFCFeb. 76:30 p.m.
NFL.com

One team looking to surprise in the playoffs is Washington.

If you aren't on the roster, you probably gave the team zero chance to be playing on Wild Card Weekend.

Nevertheless, Kirk Cousins led his team just its second NFC East Championship since 1999—breaking records along the way.

He became the first player in franchise history to throw a touchdown in all 16 games and is now the team leader in passing yards (4,166) and completion percentage (69.8).

Washington gets the Green Bay Packers at home. Aaron Rodgers and Co. are not the same team that won six in a row to start the season. They dropped six of their final 10 games, and Cousins is outplaying Rodgers when it counts, per SportsCenter:

No matter what happens, Washington already has proven most everyone wrong. A trip to the divisional playoffs will defy all odds and bring some hope for a positive future in the nation's capital.

Kansas City is another team proving doubters wrong.

One week after the Chiefs lost Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles to a season-ending injury, they dropped a game to the Minnesota Vikings to fall to 1-5 on the season.

It was hard to imagine Kansas City would win even three or four more games, yet it hasn't lost since, and the win over Houston made it 11 in a row. 

Safety Eric Berry said his team accomplished its goal Saturday, per ESPN.com.

"We wanted to come in and dominate," he said. "Right now we are locked in and ready for next week.

However, it may have come at a price. Their No. 1 receiver, Jeremy Maclin, injured his knee in the second half and did not return. The Chiefs said he will have an MRI Sunday after suffering a sprain, per SportsCenter.

Kansas City also had dealt with injuries to defensive stars Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, although they did play against the Texans.

Head coach Andy Reid has done a masterful job getting this team to believe it can win with whoever is on the field and seems to be enjoying every minute of it, per ESPN's Ed Werder:

Now perhaps their biggest challenge lies ahead in the No. 2 seed New England Patriots. It's never easy to win at Gillette Stadium, but counting the Chiefs out before this one starts could be a mistake. 

At this point, counting any team out seems a little premature considering both AFC wild-card teams won, the No. 6 Seattle Seahawks crushed the No. 2 Arizona Cardinals by 30 points in Week 17 and the No. 1 Denver Broncos didn't even clinch a playoff berth until the final game of the season.

The NFL routinely has parody in the playoffs, which leads to plenty of drama in the postseason. Heading into the Wild Card Round, the four quarterbacks of the lower-seeded road teams had 37 career postseason starts, while the four home signal-callers combined for zero.

Saturday proved seeding means nothing, and trying to predict what is going to happen is a waste of time. The best bet is to sit back and enjoy what the NFL postseason has to offer, it rarely disappoints.