Explosive weekend in the NFL playoffs: schedule and game schedules

Foto: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Foto: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Of rest in Kansas City and Pittsburgh to relief in Cleveland, Chicago and Los Angeles, the batch of equipment in search of the Super Bowl it has all kinds of features. There are well-oiled machinery and a few suitors – and even a team with a negative record.

The Chiefs (14-2), reigning Super Bowl champions, and Green Bay (13-3) made sure to rest in their respective conferences in the expanded playoff format.

And it wasn’t the addition of a third wild card that allowed a 7-9 team to play next weekend. Washington “earned” that ticket by placing first in the mediocre NFC East division.


As much as New York Giants fans continue to rant that Eagles coach Doug Pederson did not perform at their best against Washington on Sunday night, it must be emphasized that the Giants finished 6-10. , a page that does not give to be proud.

In addition, Washington is a team that arouses admiration for coach Ron Rivera who was diagnosed with skin cancer and quarterback Alex Smith who has returned from a serious leg injury.

“This is more special because of how arduous it was,” Rivera said. “How arduous everything has been, for the players, the organization. It is an excellent group of young people and we are trying to do things in the right way.

These are the ones that will play this weekend:


Indianapolis (11-5) at Buffalo (13-3)

13:05 EEUU (ET) / 12:05 MX / 15:05 ARG

Frank Reich has been a hero in Buffalo since he orchestrated the biggest comeback in NFL history by replacing the injured Jim Kelly at the crossroads against the Houston Oilers for the first round in 1992. Reich now leads the Colts and will continue in a pedestal in Buffalo if they fall meekly to the most impressive team in the league in the last month.

This could be the last game for Philip Rivers, the Colts quarterback. But the Indy defense is the one that will have its hands full against Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs and the Bills.

Foto: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Foto: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams (10-6) at Seattle (12-4)

16:40 EEUU (ET) / 15:40 MX / 18:40 ARG

Third meeting of the NFC West rivals after sharing victories in the regular season.

They both have tough defenses and have been intermittent on offense, with Los Angeles more so than Seattle.

The Rams qualified without inconsistent QB Jared Goff (thumb surgery) quarterback. The Seahawks have no problem at that position with Russell Wilson, but his performance in the first half of the season was far superior to that of the past two months.

Tampa Bay ( 11-5) en Washington (7-9)

20:15 EEUU (ET) / 19:15 MX / 22:15 ARG

The Washington thing is admirable, especially how Rivera has changed the identity of the team. And there is the fact that the last three teams that caught the division titles without a favorable balance ended up surprising in the wild card round.

But they will meet Tom Brady at the helm of some very complete Buccaneers. Remember Brady? Most likely, it will end up dismantling Washington’s talented but inexperienced defense.


Tennessee (11-5) en Baltimore (11-5)

13:05 EEUU (ET) / 12:05 MX / 15:05 ARG

A year ago, the Titans relied on Derrick Henry’s rushing and agility to surprise Baltimore. They continue to take refuge in Henry, who became the eighth player to accumulate 2,000 rushing yards in a season.

The Titans also know how to defend. So, with the Ravens with a more diverse running game and strong defense – plus the memory of the beating they suffered last January – Henry and company face a heavier challenge in Baltimore this time.

Chicago (8-8) at New Orleans (12-4)

16:40 EEUU (ET) / 15:40 MX / 18:40 ARG

The Bears are the others who barely sneaked in. They started 5-1 and then went 5-7, but straightened things out enough to qualify. They have a defense that intimidates, although without reaching the same level of the remembered 1985 team.

If the Saints win back several of their running backs discarded by COVID-19 – most notably Alvin Kamara – they will be the overwhelming favorites. It may be Drew Brees’ last chance for a second championship. And New Orleans also has a quality defense.

Foto: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Foto: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland (11-5) en Pittsburgh (12-4)

20:15 EEUU (ET) / 19:15 MX / 22:15 ARG

The most attractive game of the weekend. One of the great rivalries of the NFL, and that barely had an episode in Week 17 – although with the Steelers giving the headlines rest. But Pittsburgh pushed Cleveland to the limit. The Browns managed to end the league’s longest drought without advancing to the playoffs, going back to 2003.

Can the Browns win again in the wild card round? This will depend on their running game and not suffering another COVID-19 outbreak like the one that affected them in the last two weeks.

The Steelers have lost four of the last five, but have also won 17 in a row at home against Cleveland. Ben Roethlisberger will return and is 23-2-1 for life against the Browns.

Brady ready to battle Washington in the NFL playoffs

The veteran quarterback Tom Brady embarks on another record trip through the NFL postseason starting this Saturday, leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against Washington, a team that is excited to fight for the Super Bowl.

After a tumultuous regular season, with ups and downs in a calendar burned down by the coronavirus pandemic, the finish line is finally in sight for the 14 teams that got into an extended preseason culminating in the Super Bowl.

Foto: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Foto: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

For the 43-year-old Brady, it’s a crucial season finale as he tries to add a seventh Super Bowl ring, after the six he accumulated during two decades of dominance with the New England Patriots.

In March, Brady created an earthquake in the NFL by announcing his departure from New England. The star player’s surprising decision surprised the League and its millions of fans around the world, the change was worth it.

While the move came as a surprise at the time, the decision to head to new pastures has paid off for Brady.

Despite an uncertain debut in September – he gave up two costly interceptions, including a touchdown return in a 34-23 loss to New Orleans – Brady has improved just in time for the playoffs after an 11-5 season.

The Patriots, by contrast, will be frustrated spectators as the postseason begins, after missing the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.

– Expectations exceeded –

Bucs coach Bruce Arians said Brady has “totally exceeded” expectations since arriving in Florida.

For Arians, his quarterback is “a coach on the field” during games.

“His leadership is beyond anything I have seen. Peyton Manning (now retired) is the only thing that is closer ”, added.

Meanwhile, Brady prepares to extend an extremely difficult NFL record to beat.

Against Washington at FedEx Field, he will add his 42nd start in the playoffs. San Francisco 49ers great Jerry Rice is next on the all-time list with 29 starts.

A win over Washington would see Brady stretch his record for postseason wins as a quarterback to 31, almost double the 16 accumulated by Joe Montana.

He would also break the record for road wins in the playoffs – he’s currently tied at seven with former Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco.

The NFL star, who also owns postseason records for passing yards, completions and touchdowns, has rarely shown interest in personal statistical milestones, invariably preferring to focus on the goal on duty.

On Saturday, that attitude will translate into keeping his eyes fixed on Washington, a team that reached the playoffs after winning the NFC East with a negative 7-9 record. A statistic that loses weight when it comes out that the team boasts the second-best defense in the league, led by rookie Chase Young.

“We have our hands full with that defensive line, one of the best in the league,” Brady said this week.


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