The NFL’s so-called super wild card weekend was anything but, not just for the New England Patriots. The Patriots’ 47-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills was just one of the blowouts taking place over the weekend: four of the six games were effectively over in the third quarter, while the others were decided by seven points. Only one underdog was able to come away victoriously.
Under the new format agreed upon in the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2020, six games took place on wild card weekend while the top seeds in each conference were on a bye. Let’s find out how those contests went, and what the playoff picture looks like moving forward.
AFC playoff picture
- (5) Las Vegas Raiders at (4) Cincinnati Bengals: 19-26
- (6) New England Patriots at (3) Buffalo Bills: 17-47
- (7) Pittsburgh Steelers at (2) Kansas City Chiefs: 21-42
The AFC did not see any upsets on wild card weekend, with the home teams winning all three games. The one between the Raiders and Bengals was the closest affair, but even that one entered the fourth quarter with Cincinnati up by 10 points.
As a result, of this weekend’s outcomes, the divisional round in the Patriots’ conference features the top four teams. The Bengals will travel to Tennessee while the Bills and Chiefs will square off in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game.
- (4) Cincinnati Bengals at (1) Tennessee Titans: Saturday, Jan. 22, 4:30 p.m. ET (CBS/Paramount+)
- (3) Buffalo Bills at (2) Kansas City Chiefs: Sunday, Jan. 23, 6:30 p.m. ET (CBS/Paramount+)
Whereas the Bengals and Titans have not met this season so far, the Bills hosted the Chiefs in Week 5. Buffalo won that contest with a final score of 38-20.
NFC playoff picture
- (7) Philadelphia Eagles at (2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 15-31
- (6) San Francisco 49ers at (3) Dallas Cowboys: 23-17
- (5) Arizona Cardinals at (4) Los Angeles Rams: 11-34
The NFC saw the lone upset of the weekend: the 49ers beat the Cowboys 23-17 in a game that saw Dallas repeatedly shoot itself in the foot. The other two games, meanwhile, were never truly competitive: the Buccaneers took a 31-0 lead and never looked back, while the Rams went up 28-0 on Monday night.
The divisional round in the NFC is therefore now scheduled as follows:
- (6) San Francisco 49ers at (1) Green Bay Packers: Saturday, Jan. 22, 8:15 p.m. ET (FOX, FOX Deportes)
- (3) Los Angeles Rams at (2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sunday, Jan. 23, 3:00 p.m. ET (NBC, Peacock, Universo)
Both games in the NFC are rematches from games played in Week 3 of the regular season. The Packers won in San Francisco with a final score of 30-28, while the Rams beat the Buccaneers at home 32-24.