It’s playoff time for the NFL, and teams are fighting to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy come Feb. 5 in Houston.
To kick off this year's NFL playoffs on wild card Saturday, the first wildcard game will be a game of desperation, with the Oakland Raiders visiting the Houston Texans. Followed by Detroit Lions visiting the Seattle Seahawks at the 12th man.
On wildcard Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Miami Dolphins, in a game of redemption for the Steelers. Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers looks to avenge a 2011 playoff upset between the New York Giants.
The seeding is as follows:
Saturday, Jan. 7:
4:35 p.m. ET on ESPN/ABC
Oakland Raiders @ Houston Texans
In a game that will mark the rookie quarterback Connor Cook’s first official start, the team faces a defense that is very skilled and likes to hit the quarterback.
The loss of valuable offensive lineman Donald Penn will be a factor as the once promising Oakland season goes dismal. What could be the turning point: cash money millionaire Brock Osweiler is back at it again being under center for this Texans team that decided to bet the house on him.
Can Osweiler deliver a playoff for the Houston franchise that decided to pay him the big bucks? The one person, who will be on Osweiler and will look to make him be a victim of the game-changing strip sack, will be Raiders defensive lineman Kahlil Mack. Can he be a beast like he was in the regular season with 11 sacks?
X-Factor: Raiders, defensive end, Khalil Mack, the Oakland run game.
Texans, the run game, or if Osweiler proves his worth.
Who Wins: Texans squeeze by and advance on to the next round.
8:15 p.m. ET on NBC
Detroit Lions @ Seattle Seahawks
Can Matthew Stafford take advantage of a Seahawks team that should have its own reality show?
Stafford will be facing a defense that is not so “legion of doom” as to years prior, with the loss of safety, Earl Thomas. The Lions will get tight end Eric Ebron involved, receiver Anquan Boldin gets opportunities near the goal line, Zach Zenner playing running back gets a ton of carries, will it be enough?
The Seahawks on the other hand, just recently signed the greatest returner of all time, Devin Hester, to spark life into the team on special teams. Russell Wilson should expose this Lions defense that is giving up completions at an alarming rate, 73 percent. Will Wilson add to his playoff legacy that has ups and downs or will Stafford deliver a come from behind win in the post season?
X-Factor: Lions, Detroit goes as far as Stafford is willing to take them.
Seahawks, the big play ability of Wilson.
Who WIns: Seattle's defense comes through at home.
Sunday, Jan. 8:
1:05 P.m. ET on CBS
Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Dolphins will look to run the ball on this vulnerable run defense of the Steelers. The Steelers have allowed a total of 274 yards rushed in the past two weeks, but what the steel curtain will look to do is to put numbers on the board.
The offensive trio of wide receiver Antonio Brown, running back Lavon Bell, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger makes the Steelers the premier offense this post-season.
They have every down back, the wide out who is ready to shine in the spotlight and the quarterback who has been in big games before.
The Dolphins will have Matt Moore under center in place of the injured Ryan Tannehill, but the Dolphins main plan of attack should be to run the ball.
X-Factor: Steelers, the big three on offense, Brown, Bell and Big Ben.
Dolphins, Ajayji, if the run game is effective, Miami may run away with a surprise victory.
Who Wins: Steelers at home.
4:40 p.m. ET on FOX
New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers
Lambeau field will host the premier play of two elite quarterbacks, Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers.
The stingy and potent Giants defense will look to cause havoc for Rodgers who has been playing lights out, since he announced the Pack was going to run the table,
The Giants will look to utilize their best weapon, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with the Packers secondary sustaining a crucial loss in Quinten Rollins, could this be the most glaring hole?
The biggest question for the Giants is which Eli Manning shows up? If it is playoff Eli, the Giants could run the table and set up the ultimate rematch with their divisional foes the Dallas Cowboys at Jerry’s world.
X-Factor: Packers, tight end, Richard Rodgers,
Who Wins: Playoff Eli lets it be known that he is here and ready to run the tables.