NFL Playoffs 2019: Wild-Card Schedule and Predictions for Divisional Bracket

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2019

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck calls a play against the Tennessee Titans in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney)
James Kenney/Associated Press

While much of the league has already turned its attention to the 2019 NFL offseason, there are still 12 teams alive and heading toward the playoffs.

Eight of them will be in action this weekend, while the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams await the winners.

The schedule has been set, and it's nearly time for the real race to Super Bowl LIII to begin.

With Wild Card Weekend approaching, here's the schedule and the latest lines and over/unders from OddsShark, as well as predictions for each game and the top storylines.

     

Wild Card Weekend 2019

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

When: Saturday, January 5 at 4:35 p.m. ET

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TV and Live Stream: ESPN, ABC and WatchESPN

Line, Over/Under: HOU -1.5, 47.5

Prediction: Colts 30, Texans 23

     

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys

Mark Tenally/Associated Press

When: Saturday, January 5 at 8:15 p.m. ET

TV and Live Stream: Fox and Fox Sports Go

Line, Over/Under: DAL -1.5, 43.5

Prediction: Seahawks 26, Cowboys 22

      

Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens

When: Sunday, January 6 at 1:05 p.m. ET

TV and Live Stream: CBS and CBS All Access

Line, Over/Under: BAL -2.5, 41.5

Prediction: Ravens 27, Chargers 24

     

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

When: Sunday, January 6 at 4:40 p.m. ET

TV and Live Stream: NBC and NBC Sports App

Line, Over/Under: CHI -5.5, 41

Prediction: Eagles 22, Bears 21

Divisional Predictions

Chiefs 30, Colts 23

Patriots 28, Ravens 27

Saints 31, Eagles 21

Seahawks 32, Rams 30

    

Eagles Feeling Dangerous

The Philadelphia Eagles, who eventually emerged as Super Bowl champions last season, made themselves out to be total underdogs through the postseason—they took the role seriously enough to even break out those ridiculous dog masks.

The underdog theme had a lot to do with backup quarterback Nick Foles being under center. While Philadelphia's backup would go on to be Super Bowl MVP, he wasn't viewed as being on Carson Wentz's level heading into the postseason.

The underdog mentality made Philadelphia a dangerous team.

Well, Foles is in for Wentz for this postseason run, and the Eagles are ready to believe in him once again.

"I think it's a dangerous group because it's the next game and everybody is really hungry," defensive end Michael Bennett said, per Tom McManus of ESPN.com. "I think we have a lot of good players and everybody is playing at a high level right now. And the way that Nick is distributing the ball, he looks like Steve Nash out there."

The Eagles are underdogs for their matchup with the Chicago Bears, but they certainly won't lack confidence because of it. In fact, they may relish it.

       

Andrew Luck Feeling Happy to be Here

The Indianapolis Colts are back in the postseason, and the return of a healthy Andrew Luck has a whole lot to do with it. Luck, who missed all of last season while recovering from shoulder surgery, finished the season with 4,593 yards passing, 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

The Colts are obviously happy to have Luck back and playing at a high level. The Stanford product just seems to be glad to be playing.

"I'm having fun and that's the most important thing," Luck said, per AP sports writer Michael Marot. "The fact that we get to play another game in the playoffs, that's stinking awesome and I think a small part of us understands how special it's been so far."

Of course, this doesn't mean Luck is content to just be in the postseason. He'd obviously love to be playing again a week from now.

"I've said this before, it's been fulfilling. But satisfied? No, not at all," he said.

To get to the divisional round, Luck and the Colts will have to get through the Houston Texans. The two AFC South foes split their series in the regular season with Indianapolis winning 24-21 in the last meeting.

       

Chargers Feeling Ready for the Road

Just a couple weeks ago, the Los Angeles Chargers lost at home to the Baltimore Ravens. They struggled to contain Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and to stop the Baltimore defense from battering and rattling quarterback Philip Rivers.

Rivers was sacked four times and tossed a pair of picks in the game. The Ravens won 22-10.

This weekend, the Chargers will head to Baltimore for a rematch. While the last meeting didn't go so well, Los Angeles is looking forward to playing the Ravens again in their place.

"I will tell you this; we do like hostile environments," Chargers tight end Virgil Green said, per Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com. "When your back's against the wall, you're either going to fight or you're just going to run."

The Chargers don't have much reason to run. On their way to the postseason, they won tough road games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs. If there's a team the Ravens should be nervous about hosting, it's Los Angeles.  

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