Patriots to play Saturday, Jan. 16, NFL wild card playoff schedule announced

Mike Petraglia
January 03, 2016 - 7:19 pm
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[caption id="attachment_86173" align="alignright" width="375"]Will Andy Dalton play when the Bengals host the Steelers this weekend in the playoffs? (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Will Andy Dalton play when the Bengals host the Steelers this weekend in the playoffs? (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)[/caption] The Patriots will open the playoffs in a divisional game at 4:35 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 16 at Gillette Stadium. They will play one of three teams, the Bengals, Chiefs or Texans. There is something a little different about the NFL wild card playoff schedule announced late Sunday night after the Vikings defeated the Packers, 20-13, to clinch the NFC North title. For the first time, both conferences will have a dedicated day for their playoff games on the first weekend. The AFC will go first on Saturday as the No. 5 seed Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) visit the AFC South champion and No. 4 seed Houston Texans (9-7). The Texans earn the game by virtue of winning their division while the Chiefs finished a game behind the Broncos in the AFC West and earned the first wild card. The game will start at 4:20 p.m. ET and be broadcast nationally on ESPN/ABC. The second game Saturday will feature the No. 6 seed Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) visiting the AFC North champion and No. 3 seed Cincinnati Bengals (12-4). The two teams each won in the other team's building this season. This game is also a revenge game for the Bengals, who lost a similar game in Jan. 2006 when they won the AFC North but lost quarterback Carson Palmer to a knee injury in the first quarter of a 31-17 Steelers' win. The game will be on CBS nationally beginning at 8:15 p.m. ET at Paul Brown Stadium. If the Bengals win, they will play the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. If the Steelers win, the Patriots get the winner of the Chiefs-Texans game. In the NFC, the wild card weekend begins on Sunday with a pair of games. NBC will broadcast the matchup between the No. 6 seed Seattle Seahawks (10-6) and the NFC North champion and No. 3 seed Minnesota Vikings (11-5) in Minnesota beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Wild card weekend ends with the No. 5 seed Green Bay Packers (10-6) visiting the No. 4 seed and NFC East champion Washington Redskins (9-7), a game that will be on FOX-TV beginning at 4:40 p.m. ET. Following the Patriots game on Jan. 16, the No. 2 seed in the NFC Arizona (13-3) will host either the Vikings, Redskins or Packers at 8:15 p.m. on NBC. On Sunday, Jan. 17, both No. 1 seeds will play. The NFC top seed Carolina Panthers (15-1) will host Seattle, Green Bay or Washington at 1:05 p.m. ET on FOX. The AFC No. 1 seed Denver Broncos (12-4) will host the Steelers, Chiefs or Texans on CBS at 4:40 p.m. ET. For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots. DraftKings DraftKings has your shot to play for FREE in the $1 Million Fantasy Football Contest THIS SUNDAY! First place takes home $100,000! FOR FREE ENTRY, CLICK HERE.