NFL Playoffs: Breaking down a wild-card turn matchups

By DAVE CAMPBELL and WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writers

Here’s a demeanour during a 4 wild-card turn matchups this weekend in a NFL playoffs:

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AFC: KANSAS CITY (11-5) during HOUSTON (9-7), Saturday, 4:30 p.m. EST, ABC/ESPN

The Chiefs competence be a NFL’s chronicle of a family sedan. Practical. Efficient. Responsible. Occasionally boring. Still, Kansas City enters a playoffs as a NFL’s hottest team, ripping off 10 true following a 1-5 start, and a one early win was a season-opening 27-20 feat during Houston.

The Chiefs take caring of a turn (they are plus-16 in turnover domain during their stream run) and keep opponents out of a finish zone. It’s a regulation as simple as manager Andy Reid’s game-day demeanor, nonetheless a character that has arguably done Kansas City a least-flawed group in an AFC where weaknesses abound.

The Texans have copiousness of them. They prisoner a AFC South climax by being a best of a common bunch. J.J. Watt did J.J. Watt things, finishing with a league-high 17 1/2 sacks while branch any jubilee into a dance-off. Coach Bill O’Brien done an offense that couldn’t seem to keep a quarterback healthy work anyway. The merry-go-round has come full circle, with Brian Hoyer behind in control of a crowd as Houston seeks to urge to 3-0 in a wild-card round.

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AFC: PITTSBURGH (10-6) during CINCINNATI (12-4), Saturday, 8:15 p.m. EST, CBS

A decade later, a AFC North champion Bengals have a shot during postseason payback. The volatile Steelers, meanwhile, are eyeing a informed trail to a visit destination.

The Bengals were on a arise in 2005 when they hosted a Steelers in a wild-card round. Then Pittsburgh defensive tackle Kimo von Oelhoffen crashed into quarterback Carson Palmer’s left leg in a initial quarter, shredding Palmer’s knee. Cincinnati struggled behind backup Jon Kitna and a Steelers rolled to a 31-17 feat on their approach to a fifth Super Bowl title.

Cincinnati won a multiplication with backup A.J. McCarron after Andy Dalton pennyless his right ride in a home detriment to Pittsburgh final month. McCarron is a important 2-1 in Dalton’s absence, though he was 3 months aged a final time a Bengals won a playoff game, a drought that turns 25 this month and includes 6 true postseason losses. The Steelers haven’t left some-more than 5 years between playoff wins given Richard Nixon was president.

Pittsburgh has damage problems of a possess with using behind DeAngelo Williams nursing a sprained right ankle. The Steelers are already but star Le’Veon Bell, mislaid for a year after injuring his knee opposite Cincinnati in November. The damage stemmed from a strike by linebacker Vontaze Burfict that spurred a fight of difference with Steelers linebacker Vince Williams that spilled over into amicable media and pregame warmups final month.

The teams separate in a unchanging season, with any winning on a road.

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NFC: SEATTLE (10-6) during MINNESOTA (11-5), Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, NBC

The Vikings are a No. 3 seed in a NFC interjection to a feat during Green Bay Sunday that finished a Packers’ four-year hold on a NFC North. But a diversion opposite a Seahawks is frequency a prerogative for their initial multiplication pretension given 2009.

Of course, a Vikings are some-more than happy to be during home, removing another possibility to be an outside group before they pierce underneath a new roof subsequent summer. The early forecasts are job for a cold afternoon, with a heat hardly in a double-digits, conditions that ought to advantage a Vikings group built around NFL rushing personality Adrian Peterson and a vigourous invulnerability that racked adult 14 sacks over a season-finishing three-game winning streak.

Article source: http://www.usnews.com/news/sports/articles/2016-01-04/nfl-playoffs-breaking-down-the-wild-card-round-matchups

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