NFL Playoffs Brackets & Schedule: Preview for NFC Divisional Round
The first round of the NFL playoffs take place this weekend. For the NFC, the field will dwindle down to just four teams remaining after Sunday. The Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals have a first round bye week, but four others squads will be playing.
The Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins will all be playing on Sunday.
(6) Seahawks at (3) Vikings
Who saw this one coming? Not only did the Seahawks not win the NFC West, but the Packers didn't win the NFC North for the first time in five years, opening the door for the Vikings. The last two years in which the Seahawks won the NFC they had home field advantage, but this time it's going to be a lot different. The Seahawks destroyed the Vikings back in Week 13, 38-7. Russell Wilson is playing the best football of his career, but they do have some question marks with so many injuries at the running back position.
The Vikings have to find a way to get Adrian Peterson going. Last time the Seahawks shut him down for just 18 yards. If the Vikings fall behind early again, this could get ugly. Teddy Bridgewater has been a good game manager all season long, but he's going to have to make some plays against a quality defense. The Vikings haven't won a playoff game since Brett Favre was their starting quarterback.
If the Seahawks can make it to the Super Bowl this year, they would be the first team since the 1990s Buffalo Bills to make three consecutive Super Bowl appearances.
Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET on NBC at the TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
(5) Packers at (4) Redskins
Here is another game in which the road team is favored to win. The Packers blew a chance at home field advantage by losing three road divisional games this year while the Redskins won the putrid NFC East. These two teams did not meet in the regular season, so this should definitely be an interesting matchup.
For the Packers, their biggest issue is wide receiver depth. Aaron Rodgers' targets simply aren't getting open enough, and it's causing major problems. If Eddie Lacy can provide that much needed ground game, the Packers should be able to win this one.
The Redskins are entering the playoff hot. They've won the their last four consecutive games, and there's no doubt in anyone's mind that Kirk Cousins is the starting quarterback. Many fans still remain skeptical however. The Redskins have not defeated a team with a winning record all year long. Jay Gruden's squad is 0-3 against teams with a winning record this regular season. DeSean Jackson is still one of the best deep threats in the league, and if he can make a few big plays, the Redskins certainly have a chance.
Sunday at 4:40 p.m. ET on FOX at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Maryland.
Follow Damon Salvadore on Twitter @DamonSalvadore1
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