NFL Playoff Bracket 2020: Divisional Schedule Overview, Championship Predictions

Jake RillSenior Analyst IJanuary 11, 2020

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 29:  Wide receiver Tyler Lockett #16 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field on December 29, 2019 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

By Sunday night, the field for the NFL playoffs will be down to four teams, all of which will then partake in a conference championship game.

But first, those four teams must be decided, as the winners of this weekend's divisional-round matchups will move on to next weekend's conference title games. Of the eight teams playing either Saturday or Sunday, four are coming off a first-round bye, and the other four were victorious on wild-card weekend.

Here's a look at the schedule for the divisional round, followed by predictions for which teams will advance to conference championship weekend.

       

Divisional-Round Schedule

Saturday, Jan. 11

No. 6 Minnesota Vikings at No. 1 San Francisco 49ers, 4:35 p.m. ET on NBC

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No. 6 Tennessee Titans at No. 1 Baltimore Ravens, 8:15 p.m. ET on CBS

            

Sunday, Jan. 12

No. 4 Houston Texans at No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs, 3:05 p.m. ET on CBS

No. 5 Seattle Seahawks at No. 2 Green Bay Packers, 6:40 p.m. ET on Fox

       

Conference Championship Predictions

The AFC Championship Game matchup isn't going to be a surprise to most people.

The Ravens and Chiefs are going to win this weekend to set up a rematch of the two teams' Week 3 contest, a game that Kansas City won 33-28. It was one of only two losses that Baltimore suffered during the regular season.

The Ravens shouldn't have much trouble in their matchup on Saturday. Their high-octane rushing attack is going to be too much for the Titans defense to stop, even with Mark Ingram possibly hampered by a calf injury. And if Baltimore can limit Tennessee running back Derrick Henry, then it could really turn into a one-sided contest.

Either way, Baltimore is going to pull away for a sizable victory to return to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since the 2012 season. And it will be the first time that the Ravens will host the AFC title game in franchise history.

The Chiefs might have a more challenging matchup this weekend, as they'll be taking on the AFC South champion Texans on Sunday. It's the only divisional-round game that features a pair of division winners, as Houston is coming off a Wild Card Round victory over Buffalo.

It's going to be an offensive shootout, but last year's MVP, Patrick Mahomes, will lead the Chiefs to victory and into the AFC Championship Game for the second straight season.

As for the NFC Championship Game, this year's contest will be a matchup of NFC West rivals.

Expect to see the 49ers and Seahawks go head-to-head for the third time this season after both notch divisional-round victories.

San Francisco's defense will shut down Minnesota's offense and power its team to victory. The 49ers have had a dominant season, and in their first playoff game since the 2013 season, they'll continue to play at a high level.

San Francisco will play strong defense and run the ball effectively to get back to the NFC Championship Game, which it reached three straight seasons from 2011-13.

The Seahawks will pull off the only upset of the weekend, building on the momentum from their win over the Eagles last weekend to take down the Packers in Green Bay. Seattle has battled injuries and a slow finish to the regular season, but its veteran leadership is helping it get back on track.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is going to outperform Packers counterpart Aaron Rodgers in a battle of former Super Bowl champions, and Seattle's defense will make a key late stop to get it to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since the 2014 season.

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