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2020 NFL playoffs: Wild card round is in the books, schedule for divisional matchups set

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Related: Patriots to select 23rd in the 2020 NFL Draft

Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The New England Patriots may no longer be part of the NFL playoffs thanks to a 20-13 loss on Saturday night, but the show will still go on even without them. And with the wild card round in the books we now know the upcoming divisional round meetings next weekend. Before getting ahead of ourselves, however, let’s take a quick look back at the four games that took place over the last two games:

Wild card weekend opened with the two AFC games, and started with the Bills and Texans playing a thrilling yet at times head-scratching overtime battle. Despite Buffalo jumping to a 16-0 lead, the team of ex-Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien climbed back into the contest to eventually take the game into extra time and win on a field goal. O’Brien’s former team, meanwhile, did not have as much success, and the reigning world champions fell at home against the Titans in a defensively dominated affair.

The next day saw the two NFC wild card games, and the first was another close affair that was not decided until overtime. While not as thrilling a meeting as the one in the divisional round two years ago, when the Saints lost to the Vikings on the so-called Minneapolis Miracle, the defeat was still a painful one for a team that became not just the first 13-win team in NFL history to not emerge past the wild card stage but also only the second to lose three straight playoff games on the final play.

Later, the Seahawks went on the road to eliminate the NFC East champions. The game started badly for the Eagles when they lost quarterback Carson Wentz to a concussion in the first quarter. Veteran backup Josh McCown played an admirable game, but he was unable to hang with Seattle in what was mostly a defensive battle.

Saturday, January 11

The divisional round starts with the Vikings traveling to San Francisco to take on the NFC’s number one seed. The game features two of the NFL’s best defenses and like Minnesota’s playoff opener could be a close one that comes down to the wire. Meanwhile, 49ers quarterback and former Tom Brady backup Jimmy Garoppolo will appears in his first playoff game since the Patriots’ blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts in the 2014 AFC title game.

Speaking of the AFC, the conference’s number one seed this year enters the tournament against the team that eliminated Garoppolo’s former team on Saturday. As opposed to the NFC’s Saturday game, Titans versus Ravens features two of the most explosive — and well-balanced — offenses in football. Baltimore is favored to win, but Tennessee has proven capable of defeating the top teams in the AFC this season.

Sunday, January 12

Two of the best young quarterbacks in football will meet on Sunday when the Texans travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Chiefs. Both teams field strong offenses — with Houston possibly getting wide receiver Will Fuller back from injury — and emerging defensive units. Add it all up, and you get a game that does not have a clear favorite when looking at it on paper.

The same goes in the NFC, even though the Seahawks have had their fair shares of ups and downs this season. With Russell Wilson still playing some strong football, however, anything seems possible against the second seed in the conference. Green Bay, meanwhile, will be out for revenge after losing the AFC Championship in 2014 against Seattle with a final score of 28-22 in overtime.