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NFL playoff schedule set

Drew Brees AP

With the regular season coming to an end, the NFL’s playoff schedule has been set.

The postseason will kick off in Houston on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC, with the Texans hosting the Bengals. The Saturday night game, also on NBC, begins in New Orleans at 8 p.m., with the Saints hosting the Lions.

On Sunday at 1 p.m. the Falcons will be on the road to visit the Giants or Cowboys on FOX, and the wild card round will conclude in Denver at 4:30 p.m., with the Steelers at the Broncos on CBS.

In the divisional round, the highest remaining NFC seed will visit San Francisco in the afternoon game on Saturday, January 14, and the lowest remaining AFC seed will visit New England in the prime time game that night. On Sunday, January 15, the highest remaining AFC seed will visit Baltimore in the early game and the lowest remaining NFC seed will visit Green Bay in the late game.

The AFC and NFC championships take place on Sunday, January 22, with the AFC Championship at 3 p.m. and the NFC Championship at 6:30. The Pro Bowl is on Sunday, January 29, and the Super Bowl is on Sunday, February 5.

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48 Responses to “NFL playoff schedule set”
  1. steelernation1 says: Jan 1, 2012 10:13 PM

    i wont say anything.

  2. mrplow3 says: Jan 1, 2012 10:14 PM

    Are you ready for some football!!??

    Yeah ESPN, I’m never gonna stop saying that iconic line.

  3. mikehockhurtz says: Jan 1, 2012 10:15 PM

    The playoff schedule with the Cowboys not playing in it was set about four weeks ago

  4. bnwillard says: Jan 1, 2012 10:21 PM

    Are the Steelers planning on resting Big Ben for the wildcard round? They could, you know.

  5. unbiased8383 says: Jan 1, 2012 10:30 PM

    bnwillard says:
    Jan 1, 2012 10:21 PM
    Are the Steelers planning on resting Big Ben for the wildcard round? They could, you know.

    ———-
    funny.

  6. kingpel says: Jan 1, 2012 10:31 PM

    Bengals at Texans?

    This will be hard to watch.

  7. stairwayto7 says: Jan 1, 2012 10:35 PM

    Hou 24 cincy 13
    N.O. 41 Det 31
    NYG 27 Atl 17
    Pitt 28 Den 16

  8. 6ball says: Jan 1, 2012 10:43 PM

    .

    For teams not in the playoffs :
    1. Indy
    2. STL
    3. Minn
    4. Clev
    5. TB
    6. Wash
    7. Jacks
    8/9 .Car/ Mia
    10. Buff
    11/12 KC/ Sea

    .

  9. KIR says: Jan 1, 2012 10:47 PM

    I’ve been reading this on this site all year how easy it is to replace RB’s. It’s incorrect and only works if you have a franchise QB’s ie Rodgers, Brady, Brees and Roethlisberger. Ok, let’s look at how many teams have great running backs in the playoffs. It’s SEVEN! 7 out of the 12 playoff teams. And based off of my list there are close to (18) RB’s that teams would go belly up if they were lost or at least be dramatically less effective. Great RB’s are easy to replace is nothing more than an often repeated myth.

    PLAYOFFS
    Arian Foster, HOU
    Frank Gore, SF
    Ray Rice, BAL
    Michael Turner, ATL
    Cedric Benson, CIN
    Rashard Mendenhall, PIT
    Darren Sproles, NO

    NON PLAYOFFS
    Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC
    Adrian Peterson, MIN
    Darren McFadden, OAK
    Matt Forte, CHI
    Fred Jackson, BUF
    Chris Johnson, TEN
    LeSean McCoy, PHI
    Marshawn Lynch, SEA
    Steven Jackson, STL
    Shonn Greene, NYJ
    DeMarco Murray, DAL

  10. jf203 says: Jan 1, 2012 10:58 PM

    stairwayto7 says:
    Jan 1, 2012 10:35 PM
    Hou 24 cincy 13
    N.O. 41 Det 31
    NYG 27 Atl 17
    Pitt 28 Den 16

    You are delusional right ??

    to think Pitt will score 28 in Denver at night with their defense. ??.and that Denver can score 16..those teams could play 3 games and would not score that much…..their offenses suck

  11. rexismybff says: Jan 1, 2012 11:12 PM

    Bengals should win Marvin Lewis his first playoff game.

  12. svcfilmguy says: Jan 1, 2012 11:13 PM

    KIR, seriously, are you a paid representative for NFL RBs? This is far from the first time I have seen you post something like this. Why take it so personally? Why post this when the article has *nothing* to do with the merits of having an elite RB? Sorry, but NFL RBs are indeed easy to replace. Take a look at the top 6 guys this year and where they were taken: 3 in the 2nd, 1 in the 3rd, 1 in the 5th, 1 undrafted. Teams also know that you don’t need a good one to win a Super Bowl. We’ve already discussed this, but I’ll list the players again: James Starks, Pierre Thomas, Dominic Rhodes, Antowain Smith, Brandon Jacobs… Nobody is ever going to argue with you that you (almost) always need an excellent QB to win a ring, but great RBs aren’t necessary. They aren’t. They are easy to replace. Sorry.

  13. war27 says: Jan 1, 2012 11:17 PM

    Pitt 9 – Denver 0

    TD and another Teblow backwards 10 yard run for a safety for the Steelers.

  14. svcfilmguy says: Jan 1, 2012 11:19 PM

    “You are delusional right ??

    to think Pitt will score 28 in Denver at night with their defense. ??.and that Denver can score 16..those teams could play 3 games and would not score that much…..their offenses suck”

    Denver’s defense gives up 25.5 PPG. Pittsburgh’s gives up 14.5. 28-16 doesn’t seem unrealistic.

  15. hockeyfan1701 says: Jan 1, 2012 11:20 PM

    Pittsburgh/Denver is 4:30ET that means 2:30 local.

    “to think Pitt will score 28 in Denver at night with their defense”

  16. mikehockhurtz says: Jan 1, 2012 11:24 PM

    Please go away Jerry Jones and take Rob Ryan with you

  17. joerevs300 says: Jan 1, 2012 11:30 PM

    NFC WC Games:

    ATL @ NYG: I see this as a real toss-up. Either one of these teams are capable of playing at an elite level or like the Rams. Still…with Cruz playing at the level he is (and after seeing ATL get torched by NO), the edge has to be with Eli and the Giants.

    NYG 24 ATL 21

    DET @ NO: I mean, come on. The Lions made Matt Flynn a record holder over anything A.Rodgers or B.Favre did. What the heck do you think Drew Brees is going to do to them on the Superdome turf?

    It’s been a great story in Detroit, but it’s going to come to an abrupt, sudden end next week.

    NO 49 DET 27

    AFC WC Games

    CIN @ HOU

    These two teams have already met, and if not for some terrible management by A.Dalton very well could have beaten Houston. However…CIN backed into the playoffs and are 1-7 against teams with winning records. And this is HOU’s first playoff game since 1993.

    With A.Foster and T.J. Yates back in, I’ll take HOU to win and then get crushed by BAL the following week.

    HOU 24 CIN 20

    PIT @ DEN

    Speaking of backing in, it’s only the 7th time since the WC came into play that a team has lost 3 straight at the end of the season and made the playoffs. Look…KC has a decent defense (not great) and held DEN to 3 points at home (60 yards passing today). What do you think Lamar Woodley and James Harrison are going to do to Tebow?

    There are injury concerns with Pittsburgh, namely losing Mendenhall for the season today, but still, Ben at 70% trumps Tebow at 100% anyday of the week.

    Short of some real divine intervention, Ben will do the “Tebow” and knock DEN out of the postseason.

    PIT 20 DEN 7

    So that would set up…

    NYG @ GB: I think we know how this will turn out, but will be closer than most will predict.
    NO @ SF: The 49ers fairy tale is going to come to a end.

    PIT @ NE: We beat them once but that was when we were fully healthy. Unless NE spots us a 35-0 lead, I can’t see the Steelers going on the road to beat them right now.

    HOU @ BAL: HOU first playoff season goes down under the cleats of Ray Rice and Terrell Suggs.

  18. swagger52 says: Jan 1, 2012 11:34 PM

    Too bad the Steelers got the late game. That is past their bed time. The league should give them an early game because they are old.

  19. borisbulldog says: Jan 1, 2012 11:39 PM

    Here’s your winners-

    CIN
    NO
    NYG
    PIT

  20. borisbulldog says: Jan 1, 2012 11:42 PM

    stairwayto7 says:
    Jan 1, 2012 10:35 PM
    Hou 24 cincy 13
    N.O. 41 Det 31
    NYG 27 Atl 17
    Pitt 28 Den 16

    You are delusional right ??

    _________________________________

    Are you delusional for not mentioning the HOU pick?

    With Jake Delhomme at QB? Really?

  21. farvefromover says: Jan 2, 2012 12:13 AM

    Cincinnati is gonna win.

  22. mikekills711 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:18 AM

    to KIR:
    Darren McFadden is playing because the raiders made it to the play-offs. Does anyone know when they play?

  23. swagger52 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:20 AM

    What QB played a top 10 defense 12 out of 16 games?
    Pittsburgh Twice
    Cincinnati Twice
    Cleveland Twice
    S. F 49ers
    Houston
    Jets
    San Diego
    Jacksonville
    Seattle

    What QB is the first ever to get to the Playoffs his first four years in the league?

    What QB is leading the league in Road Playoff wins?

    What QB wins games despite having very few star wide receivers.

    Answer: Flacco
    Flacco may not be Johnny Unitas. But he is definitely the most underrated QB in the league. If he wins, the commentators will bring up Mattie Ice, because he was drafted the same year. The guy can’t get a break.
    If he loses then he is overrated. However, to be overrated, you actually have to be rated highly at some point. He never has been given due credit.

    How have Mattie Ice and Randy Brady done when they visit Pittsburgh?

    Superbowl…Chris Berman was right…Ravens.

  24. virusgvr says: Jan 2, 2012 12:24 AM

    Stairwayto7… I like how all the games you have picked are greater than 10 point spreads. Your like Mr. Vegas!!!

  25. steelernation1 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:27 AM

    jf203 you just dont pay attention to much of anything do you.do you know that denvers defense is ranked 20th in the league?not so good.any defense can score on them.now for denver to have a chance to score on steelers D the number one defense in all of football?lol…all i got to say is Tbows out better hope the steelers run defense is not up to par cause Tebows out will not do much passing in this game..and if you dont have the pass working with the D its lights out.so check the stats before you go and post comments like that

  26. passerby23 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:33 AM

    Mostly agree, but…

    Cincy 19 Hou 17
    QB issues in Houston. I smell an upset.

    N.O. 38 Det 34
    Homefield, too much firepower, too much experience for N.O. to lose this game.

    NYG 24 ATL 21
    This game will be close, but the timing is right for the G-men. Not sold on Atlanta’s ability to win a road playoff game.

    Pitt 17 Den 6
    The injuries might be too much for Pittsburgh this year, but not in this game.

  27. steelernation1 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:40 AM

    swagger52 says:
    Jan 1, 2012 11:34 PM
    Too bad the Steelers got the late game. That is past their bed time. The league should give them an early game because they are old.
    ……………………………………………………………………………..
    for an old team they sure know how to win games 12-4 in the playoffs again ..so are you certain age was a factor in the 12 games they won cause the way i see it they have 2 of the best receivers in football..and the number one D in football but they are too old hmmm..interesting that you would say that..

  28. citynative says: Jan 2, 2012 12:48 AM

    @joerevs

    Would love to get your explanation of calling the 49ers season a fairy tale?

  29. thekingdp says: Jan 2, 2012 12:53 AM

    My predictions:

    Cincinnati 16 – Houston 13
    Both defenses will hold these offenses to a bunch of field goals, but I think Dalton can manage a game better than TJ Yates. I expect the Bengals to win the turnover battle and ultimately, the game.

    New Orleans 45 – Detroit 34
    Two superior dome QBs going against two mediocre pass defenses (NO is 30th, DET is 23rd). It should be an extremely interesting game to watch, but I think Drew Brees is the difference in this game (I know, thats REALLY going out on a limb).

    Atlanta 28 – NY Giants 20
    I think this is the most intriguing game of wild card weekend. Atlanta is always very good at home, and I just don’t think the Giants defense has enough talent left to stop the Falcons red-hot offense that scored 133 points in their final 4 games. Eli Manning is definitely the wild card in this game. He could go off and the score of this game could be easily reversed.

    Pittsburgh 17 – Denver 10
    Big Ben’s bad ankle, and Tim Tebow’s ineptitude to complete passes will probably make this the hardest game to watch of the weekend. I predict Tebow will go 4 for 19 for 42 yards & an INT in the first 3 quarters, but have a 7 for 8 for 125 yard, 1 TD 4th quarter performance, but it will be too-little-too-late for Jesus H. Tebow against an extremely good team like Pittsburgh.

  30. miamidolphins1 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:54 AM

    only interesting game will be giants falcons which is a toss up.

    bengals at texans- who cares, whichever team wins will get raped the following week.

    lions at saints- matt flynn puts up 400 plus and 6 tds in the freezing lambeau field, i can only imagine what that saints offense in that dome will put up.

    falcons at giants- should be a very good game, but then again, the giants are not very good, but being at home vs a dome team, gotta give them a chance.

    steelers at broncos- if tebow only completed 6 passes vs the chiefs defense, whats he going to do vs a really solid steelers defense?

  31. thekingdp says: Jan 2, 2012 12:57 AM

    To add to my predictions about the Cincinnati\Houston game: The game will be closer to 16-6 if Jake Delhomme is the Texans’ starting QB & the Bengals will EASILY win the turnover battle.

  32. Robert Titi says: Jan 2, 2012 1:09 AM

    What do u think about the game between cincy & houston ? Its really hard to say that one of this teams is favorite. Houston loose the last 3 games whose 2 at home and their last victory was vs. Cincinnati. Can they beat the bengals again or not ?

  33. broncfolife says: Jan 2, 2012 1:18 AM

    “Are the Steelers planning on resting Big Ben for the wildcard round? They could, you know.”
    ——————————-

    Dont get carried away there. They barely squeeked by the power house scoring machine
    called the Browns.

    Ben struggled to out score Cleveland. Thats twice now in the passed month. The Cleveland Browns folks. Whos there qb anyway?

  34. golonger says: Jan 2, 2012 1:35 AM

    Here’s how the AFC will go:

    Pitt beats Denver
    Houston beats Cinci

    Balt beats Houston
    NE beats Pitt

    Balt beats NE

    SB = Balt vs. ?

  35. golonger says: Jan 2, 2012 1:36 AM

    “the way i see it they have 2 of the best receivers in football..and the number one D in football ”

    You might want to take off your Coke bottle glasses!..LOL

  36. killface4prez says: Jan 2, 2012 1:37 AM

    I give the lions a 50/50 shot at beating New Orleans, but there is only a 10% chance of that.

  37. packmanfan says: Jan 2, 2012 1:40 AM

    Ya mean I can now put away the slide rule, protractor and spread sheet until next year to try and figure out all the scenarios until it’s time?

  38. bleed4philly says: Jan 2, 2012 1:48 AM

    the two teams I hate the most (NY & Pitt) are gonna be playing in the Superbowl this year. you watch!

  39. maddogwhite says: Jan 2, 2012 4:58 AM

    The Steelers better not take the Broncos lightly. Remember what happened last year when the Saints visited the lowly Seahawks in the playoffs?

  40. jasncondit says: Jan 2, 2012 5:03 AM

    Are you guys kidding about the Lions not keeping up with the Saints? We had starters sitting too with injuries that will be back for this game. Namely Delmas. If he had played in the Green Bay game Jordy Nelson would have had his head taken off once he got past the CB’s grasp. And let’s no forget the first quarter what Fairley did against the Saint OL. Like sliced butter. And without Suh. If Fairley got in the back field what do you think Suh is going to do? Brees is going to have to check down a lot. Plus this Lions team is pissed we lost tonight and they will take it out on the Saints. This will go down to the wire too. Lions 45 Saints 43. I’m glad the get a warm dome game. You don’t want to play NY in the cold then play green bay in the cold. And if the Lions beat the Saints and get a rematch with Delmas in the secondary. Forget about it. Will be the first win in Lambeau and on to the Superbowl. It is hard to be one team 3 times in a season.

  41. bigboi30 says: Jan 2, 2012 5:41 AM

    Come on now name the last visiting qb that went to Green Bay and threw up over 500yds, 5tds, in jan. In a snow storm. Not to mention ,everyone brands him a “dome player” that cant do anything outside. Dont get me wrong, im not trying to take anything away from Matt Flynn. He tore up our 2 string secondary.( Delmas, Write, Barry, and Williams all sat). Now we go back to New Orleans, where yes, we lost. I just dont see how going into the 4th qtr down by 7 and only loose by 14 a , what was it called, oh yeah, whipping.
    All you play fans need to listen up. Any real fan knows that on any given Sunday, or Saturday, anything can happen. In Detroit, win or loose, you crybaby, pathetic, wannabes keep the hate coming. Call us classless, dirty, overrated, gangsters cause here is a clue for your peanut size brain, ill say it slow and loud so you understand, WE DONT GIVE A SH!T WHAT YOU THINK!!!! Oh, and one more thing for you to ponder, if you can handle it, when was the last time a #6 seed won the Superbowl? Last year in Green Bay.

  42. grandpoopah says: Jan 2, 2012 6:02 AM

    James Harrison is going to crucify Tebow on Sunday. There, I said it.

  43. i10east says: Jan 2, 2012 6:33 AM

    Playoffs!!!!! You kiddin’ me! Someone had to say it.

  44. KIR says: Jan 2, 2012 6:52 AM

    @svcfilmguy

    Sorry, but NFL RBs are indeed easy to replace….. Teams also know that you don’t need a good one to win a Super Bowl.
    __________________________
    I’m sure you’re one of the geniuses who think the Colts should release/trade Manning. Key words are “easy to replace”. I didn’t say win the Super Bowl. You can apply that standard to every position on the team except QB. The fact is. Those elite RB’s that I’ve listed are harder to replace than ALMOST anyone else on their specific team. Why don’t you tell me which RB’s on my list are easy to replace. It’s not as easy when you have to actually name them.

  45. KIR says: Jan 2, 2012 6:57 AM

    @mikekills711

    to KIR: Darren McFadden is playing because the raiders
    ______________________
    Proves my point. Is there any question the Raiders are in the playoffs and one of those most dangerous teams with Mcfadden?

  46. steelernation1 says: Jan 2, 2012 8:45 AM

    golonger.maybe you should just grow up.the Steelers do have the number 1 D in football..go look it up.before you try to insult others make sure you check out the facts before you make a comment like you did.and New England cant beat Pittsburgh and the ravens cant beat the Steelers 3 times in one year..sorry just wont happen.you have so much hate for the Steelers that you are becoming delusional

  47. raiders757 says: Jan 2, 2012 9:45 AM

    I can’t believe they’re capping off the playoff weekend with the most boring match-up of the bunch. The Steelers beat down of the Broncos should be the opening act, not the finale.

  48. swagger52 says: Jan 2, 2012 11:23 AM

    Steelernation…
    The Steeler defense isn’t too OLD for the REST of the NFL. They are just too OLD when being SWEPT by the Ravens. Does it really matter about the REST of the league? So the Steelers looked old in the two games against YOUNGER Ravens. Net: The STEELERS are OLD.

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