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NFL Playoff Bracket 2020: TV Schedule and Predictions for Wild Card Weekend

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 29: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints drops back to pass against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The curtain came down on the 2019-20 NFL regular season on Sunday, and all eyes will now turn to the playoffs this weekend.

Four wild-card matches will be played over the course of Saturday and Sunday, with the eight teams involved seeking to make it into the next phase of the bracket.

On Saturday, the AFC takes center stage as the Houston Texans host the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans visit the New England Patriots. Sunday sees the NFC matches get underway, with the New Orleans Saints welcoming the Minnesota Vikings to the Superdome, before the Seattle Seahawks travel to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Here are the key viewing details for each encounter and a preview of what's to come from Wild Card Weekend.

     

2019-20 NFL Wild-Card Fixtures (ET)

AFC: Saturday, January 4

4:35 p.m. (4) Houston Texans vs. (5) Buffalo Bills, 31-28: ESPN and Watch ESPN

8:15 p.m. (3) New England Patriots vs. (6) Tennessee Titans, 21-18: CBS and CBS All Access

    

NFC: Sunday, January 5

1:05 p.m. (3) New Orleans Saints vs. (6) Minnesota Vikings, 28-18: Fox and Fox Sports Go

4:40 p.m. (4) Philadelphia Eagles vs. (5) Seattle Seahawks, 21-24:NBC Sports and NBC Sports app

NFL @NFL

The #NFLPlayoffs are set! https://t.co/JUPNOiDKSA

         

Preview

The weekend begins at NRG Stadium in Houston, where the Texans will be hoping to welcome back a number of crucial players for the showdown with the Bills.

Houston lost to the Titans in the last week of the regular season, but it was without Deshaun Watson or DeAndre Hopkins. Both should be ready to go when Buffalo comes to town, seeking its first win in the playoffs since 1995.

A strong defense and some stellar displays from second-year quarterback Josh Allen were the foundation of their 10-6 season. The 23-year-old is clearly in bullish mood ahead of the games too:

Buffalo Bills @BuffaloBills

QB Josh Allen: “It’s officially win or go home, that’s what playoff football is all about. Our team is resilient and we know we’re going to leave everything we have on the field during the postseason.” #GoBills https://t.co/S6fzy6ADcN

Later in the day, the Titans face what has long been a daunting task in the NFL—playing away to the Patriots in the postseason. But Tennessee will fancy its chances of a shock win.

The Titans will be riding high after their win over the Texans in Week 17 and have one of the best rushing attacks in the division.

After Derrick Henry topped the rushing standings for the regular season, NFL Research took a closer look at his impressive 2019:

NFL Research @NFLResearch

Derrick Henry’s 2019 season: - Led NFL with 1,540 rush yards - 4 TD of 50+ yards (T-most in NFL, A.J. Brown) - Made first career Pro Bowl @KingHenry_2 is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. How much is he worth? #Titans | @Titans

The 25-year-old will be a huge threat against a Patriots team that has struggled against the run as of late and seen momentum gradually slip from its campaign.

On Sunday, New England was stunned by the Dolphins, allowing the Kansas City Chiefs to move into the No. 2 seed in the AFC. It means they will make a rare appearance on Wild Card Weekend:

NFL Update @MySportsUpdate

For the first time since 2009, the #Patriots won't have a first round bye.

The NFC games also look set to be tight affairs, with Sunday's action getting underway in New Orleans.

The Saints enjoyed another strong campaign and their offense appears to have clicked into gear at the right time going into the postseason, with 160 points scored in their previous four games. Stopping the likes of Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara will be a huge test for the Vikings.

The final match of the weekend sees the Eagles welcome the Seahawks. Philadelphia has been able to build some impressive momentum as of late, after it backed up a key win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16 with another success against the New York Giants on Sunday.

Quarterback Carson Wentz was again the architect of the win, and ESPN's Mike Greenberg has been impressed with the Eagles star:

Mike Greenberg @Espngreeny

Carson Wentz may or may not turn out to be a great quarterback. But he answered every question about his guts and leadership the last four weeks. The #Eagles made the right call betting their future on him.

The Seahawks would have been disappointed with their defeat to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, which forced them into a clash at CenturyLink Field.

Pete Carroll will be confident his players can rise to the challenge, though, especially with an experienced figure like Russell Wilson pulling the strings at quarterback.