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Sunday Wild Card open thread: Eagles at Buccaneers, 49ers at Cowboys, Steelers at Chiefs

It’s time for a full day of NFL excitement.

Washington Football Team v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

I hope your schedule is open, because Sunday features not one, not two, but three exciting Wild Card games to enjoy!

This slate of games begins with the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As defending champions, the pressure is on the Buccaneers to repeat. They certainly have the roster to do so, entering as the second seed in the NFC. If Tom Brady is his usual clutch self in the playoffs, Tampa Bay could very well be the team to beat.

The Eagles, meanwhile, entering as the lowly seventh seed, but this is the NFL playoffs where anything can happen. Just a game above .500, the Eagles rattled off wins late in the season to book their ticket. If Philadelphia wants to reach the Super Bowl, it will be a very different route from their 2017/2018 victory. First up will be an upset over a team many favor to win it all.

Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Date: Sunday, January 16, 2022
Time: 1 p.m. ET
TV: FOX
TV announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
Online streaming: FoxSports.com

The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers are likely to bring the fireworks in a battle between two explosive offenses and two stout defenses. Despite shuffling quarterbacks due to injury, the 49ers offense has remained as potent as ever thanks to an always effective Kyle Shanahan run game and an electrifying Deebo Samuel.

The Cowboys’ offense is nothing to scoff at however, with a bevy of talents from Dak Prescott to Ezekiel Elliott to CeeDee Lamb. The difference in this game could be which defense shows up. Micah Parsons has shined as a rookie for Dallas, while Nick Bosa continues his reign of terror against quarterbacks for the 49ers.

San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys

Date: Sunday, January 16, 2022
Time: 4:40 p.m. ET
TV: CBS, Nickelodeon
TV announcers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (CBS)
TV announcers: Noah Eagle, Nate Burleson, Gabrielle nevaeh Green (Nickelodeon)
Online streaming: Amazon Prime, Yahoo Sports app

If you are looking for a David versus Goliath story, look no further than the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs. Momentum is an overused word, but there is no doubt Kansas City enters the postseason with a lot of it. Winners of nine of their last ten games, the Chiefs offense once feared by the league found its form after a rocky start. The Chiefs are eager to get back to the Super Bowl after last year’s loss.

They should not overlook the Steelers, however, a team that squeaked into the playoffs. The Las Vegas Raiders had to ruin our hopes of a Raiders-Chargers tie in Week 18 with an overtime field goal, but that kept Pittsburgh alive. In what could be the last hurrah for Ben Roethlisberger, their offense will have to step up to outduel the Chiefs. The Steelers defense regressed this season as well, but this would be an ideal time to shine. The odds are against them, but Pittsburgh is nothing if not resilient.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs

Date: Sunday, January 16, 2022
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
TV: NBC
TV announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Online streaming: Peacock, Yahoo Sports app