NFL Playoffs Schedule TV Listings Divisional Round
January 14, 2017
NFL playoffs schedule and tv listings for this weekend: Every divisional-round game will be a rematch from the regular season, the first time that's happened in six years.
In the NFC, it's the Green Bay Packers at the Dallas Cowboys, and the Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons. In the AFC, it's the Houston Texans playing as huge underdogs at New England Patriots, and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs.
The first times around, Dallas beat Green Bay 30-16 in Week 6, Seattle beat Atlanta 26-24 in Week 6 , New England beat Houston 27-0 in Week 3 with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, and Pittsburgh beat Kansas City 43-14 in Week 4 .
Not that those results necessarily mean much now, especially because none was more recent than October.
After all, they lost to the Dolphins by 15 points during the regular season, then advanced Sunday with a 30-12 victory over Miami in the wild-card round, their eighth victory in a row.
"We're not trying to settle vendettas and things of that nature. They beat us fair and square in Week 6. You tip your cap to them for that performance," Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said after the Steelers' wild-card win. "Today was today. And it's going to be the same going forward. What happened during the regular season is of little importance."
Here's a closer look at next weekend, when each game features one starting QB who has won the Super Bowl (Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, Seattle's Russell Wilson, New England's Tom Brady, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger):
SEAHAWKS at FALCONS, Saturday, 4:35pm et/1:35pm pt., CTV & FOX
All-Pro quarterback Matt Ryan, a leading MVP contender, and wideout Julio Jones put up NFC South champion Atlanta's high-powered offence against NFC West champion Seattle's "Legion of Boom" defence, which is missing injured safety Earl Thomas but still features Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor.
In the first meeting, Ryan threw for three TDs, while Jones finished with seven catches for 139 yards and a score. But most memorable was an incompletion on fourth down with 90 seconds left, when Sherman grabbed Jones' arm on a deep pass. Definitely a 1-on-1 matchup to keep an eye on this time.
Also worth monitoring: How Atlanta's so-so defence deals with Seattle's offence, which seemed reborn as Thomas Rawls ran for 161 yards in a 26-6 win over Detroit in the wild-card round. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn used to be Seattle's defensive co-ordinator.
"Such a hard-nosed, tough coach, and his team embodies him out there," Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said. "It's like playing ourselves."
TEXANS at PATRIOTS, Saturday, 8:15pm et/5:15pm pt., CTV & CBS
New England is one of the biggest betting favourites in a playoff game, and here's why: Bill Belichick's Patriots have outscored protege Bill O'Brien's Texans by a combined 54-6 in their past two head-to-head games.
As good as Houston's top-ranked defence has been — Jadeveon Clowney's interception set the tone for a 27-14 win over Oakland in the wild-card round — there is a world of difference between facing a rookie QB making his first NFL start (Oakland's Connor Cook) and a three-time Super Bowl MVP (Brady). And Belichick will surely dream up some schemes to bedevil Texans QB Brock Osweiler.
PACKERS at COWBOYS, Sunday, 4:40pm et/1:40pm pt., CTV & FOX
That loss to Dallas nearly three months ago was part of Green Bay's 4-6 start. But ever since Rodgers spoke about trying to "run the table," NFC North champion Green Bay has won seven consecutive games, including 38-13 over the New York Giants in the wild-card round.
Rodgers has 19 TD passes and zero interceptions during the unbeaten run, but he will be without his favourite target, Jordy Nelson, on Sunday.
Green Bay's pass defence, shaky and beset by injuries, might not have an easy time against Dallas QB Dak Prescott, a preternaturally poised rookie who threw for three TDs in the October matchup. The No. 1-seeded Cowboys' other first-year sensation, Ezekiel Elliott, gained 157 yards in his first game against the NFL's eighth-best run defence.
STEELERS at CHIEFS, Sunday, 8:20pm et/5:20pm pt., CTV & NBC
What might matter and might not: Steelers QB Roethlisberger needed a walking boot after hurting his right foot against Miami. However, he claims he's fine, and the Steelers should have a healthy trio - including WR Antonio Brown and RB Le'Veon Bell - to take on Marcus Peters, Eric Berry and the rest of Kansas City's formidable defence. On the other side of the ball, Steelers LB James Harrison and Co. should be able to handle Chiefs QB Alex Smith, but the question is how Pittsburgh's defence and special teams will corral rookie speedster Tyreek Hill.
*This game was set to be played at 1:05pm et but was moved due to an ice storm slated to hit the Kansas City area.