This year’s Wild Card weekend was one of the best in recent memory. All four were decided by a single score, and two of them were won on the final play of the game. One of the biggest favorites in the New Orleans Saints fell, leaving the field in the NFC a lot more open.
With eight teams standing and everyone in action, the divisional round is setting up to be great. Here is where the last eight teams stand heading into the playoffs’ second weekend.
1. Baltimore Ravens (BYE; Next vs. TEN)
The Ravens got a week off, and a favorable draw as the Titans pulled off a huge upset against the Patriots. Baltimore should be able to handle the Titans offense, especially if they can force Ryan Tannehill to throw into the Ravens secondary.
2. San Francisco 49ers (BYE; Next vs. MIN)
San Francisco will be happy to see that their main competition in the NFC, the Saints, failed to make it out of the opening weekend. Unfortunately for them, now they have to play a Vikings team that just took down New Orleans in New Orleans and seems to be heating up at the right time.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (BYE; Next vs. HOU)
The Chiefs will get a rematch with the Texans, who beat them earlier this season. Kansas City got much better as the year progressed, though, especially on defense. Houston’s secondary has a lot of problems, so this matchup is very favorable to the Chiefs’ high flying offense.
4. Seattle Seahawks (Won 17-9 vs PHI; Next @ GB)
Seattle’s win in Philadelphia was a little closer than it should have been, but they managed to get the job done and advance to the divisional round. They’re slight road underdogs this week, as they head to Lambeau Field to take on a Packers team they have some recent playoff history with.
5. Minnesota Vikings (Won 26-20 vs NO; Next @ SF)
The Vikings knocked out the NFC favorite Saints on the road in the opening round. While many—including myself—had no faith in this team heading into the postseason, they have now proven themselves to be a real threat. Kirk Cousins finally has the taste of a big game victory and has a chance to earn another against the 49ers in the Bay. Minnesota is the best bet for a dark horse Super Bowl team.
6. Houston Texans (Won 23-20 vs BUF; Next @ KC)
The Texans escaped Wild Card weekend with a narrow win over the Bills. While it was not very pretty, winning despite star quarterback Deshaun Watson playing terrible for the first 40 minutes of the game should inspire some hope in this team. Watson will not be that bad again this postseason. If they could win that game, they can win any game.
7. Green Bay Packers (BYE; Next vs. SEA)
The Packers will host the Seahawks this week, and they will be praying that the temperature is as low as possible so they can freeze them out or something.
8. Tennessee Titans (Won 20-13 vs NE; Next @ BAL)
Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and the Titans did the unthinkable this week. They knocked off the Patriots in the Wild Card round, potentially ending a dynasty. The Titans do not have much time to celebrate, though, as now they have to prepare to take on a Ravens team that looks good enough to build a dynasty of their own.