Now the real fun begins.
After 18 weeks and a record 34 game-winning, final-play scores, the NFL's first three-day Super Wild Card Weekend kicks off with two games Saturday, continues with three on Sunday and wraps up with the league's first Monday night playoff game.
Five of the six games are rematches, including two games with division foes facing off for the third time. All six road teams are underdogs, but you know some of them are going to win after four of last year's wild-card games were won by the road teams, including Tom Brady's Buccaneers, who went on to become the seventh non-division champion to win the Super Bowl since the inception of the wild cards in 1978.
UPDATED ODDS: Point spreads, money lines, over/under
This year, the 44-year-old Brady opens his quest for an eighth win in 11 Super Bowl appearances at home on Sunday as a No. 2 seed. He'll face the overachieving Eagles and Jalen Hurts, one of five quarterbacks making his playoff debut and one of six under 27 years old.
The action kicks off with the Raiders at Cincinnati to face a Bengals team that's 0-8 in playoff games since Jan. 6, 1991. Next up on Saturday is New England's Bill Belichick in Buffalo searching for his first playoff win without Brady by his side since Vinny Testaverde led Belichick's Cleveland Browns to a win over Bill Parcells' Patriots on Jan. 1, 1995.
Sunday's other two games feature the 49ers at Dallas in a scary matchup for the Cowboys, and Pittsburgh at Kansas City in what probably will be the heavily favored Chiefs' first step toward a third straight Super Bowl and the final throw of Ben Roethlisberger's 18-year career.
Monday night is when the pressure really ramps up at L.A.'s SoFi Stadium, home of Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13.
The Cardinals, in Kyler Murray's playoff debut, face a Rams team whose all-in, future-be-darned effort to win the Super Bowl in its home stadium began with the blockbuster trade with Detroit for Matthew Stafford, a quarterback who's 0-3 in the playoffs with losses by 15, 14 and 15 points.
After a record-tying 49 game-winning scores in the final minute of regulation or overtime, and another record-tying 57 game-winning scores in the final two minutes or overtime, Super Wild Card Weekend should be an even wilder ride.
Raiders (+5 ½) at Bengals (3:30 p.m., Ch. 5)
Will the Bengals feature Joe Burrow in his playoff debut or go back to Joe Mixon, who had 123 yards and two touchdowns rushing on 30 carries in the 32-13 win at Las Vegas in Week 11? The Raiders are 5-2 since that loss. They've averaged 88.9 yards rushing allowed since then. And they've won four straight one-score games by 12 total points, including back-to-back three-point wins over the Colts and Chargers — two of the four 9-8 teams that just missed the playoffs. In other words, the Raiders have the momentum, which will make all the difference in this Upset Special as Burrow and the Bengals try to get back in rhythm after resting in a Week 18 loss to the Browns. Raiders 24, Bengals 21
Patriots (+4½) at Bills (7:15 p.m., Ch. 4)
These division rivals met twice in four weeks in December with the road team winning both games. The Bills are 4-1 with a four-game winning streak since the Patriots embarrassed them by rushing for 222 yards while throwing only three passes in a 14-10 upset on a windy early December day at Buffalo. In the rematch, the Patriots' Mac Jones was asked to step up, but finally looked like a rookie quarterback, completing just 14 of 32 passes for 145 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions and a 31.4 passer rating. Buffalo's Josh Allen countered with 314 yards and three touchdowns. Belichick is looking to add to his playoff-record 31 victories (31-12), so it's tempting to pick the Patriots, especially with their No. 2-ranked scoring defense (17.8). But this also is Jones' playoff debut. It's on the road, and the Bills rank No. 1 in points (17.0), yards (272.8) and third downs (30.84%) allowed. Buffalo takes its first step toward a second straight AFC title game. Bills 29, Patriots 20
Eagles (+8 ½) at Buccaneers (noon, Ch. 9)
Jalen Hurts and his overachieving Eagles got a win over Carson Wentz and his underachieving Colts. But the feel-good story ends there. Hurts is making his playoff debut against Brady, the G.O.A.T. who has played in more Super Bowls (10) than Hurts has career victories (nine). The defending champion Bucs won at Philly 28-22 in Week 6. Brady threw for 297 yards, while Hurts completed only 12 of 26 passes for 115 yards and a 55.8 passer rating. Yes, the Bucs are without Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. Yes, they might be without Leonard Fournette and Lavonte David. And yes, there are other injuries to consider. But Brady has only three one-and-dones in 19 playoff appearances. This will not be No. 4. Buccaneers 34, Eagles 20
49ers (+3) at Cowboys (3:30 p.m., Ch. 4 and Nickelodeon)
No. 3 seeds always seems to be in danger in wild-card openers. Consider the Cowboys to be in danger. The 49ers already have three wins against division winners this year. They beat the Rams twice, including last week's playoff-clinching upset at So-Fi Stadium, and the Bengals. They're 6-3 on the road. They're healthy. And they're a difficult matchup with the seventh-ranked rushing attack and a pass rush led by Nick Bosa, who finished fourth in sacks with 15 ½. Yes, the Cowboys have the top-ranked offense. Yes, they posted a league-high 34 takeaways. But this has a classic first-round upset feel to it. 49ers 31, Cowboys 28
Steelers (+12 ½) at Chiefs (7:15 p.m., Ch. 11)
The Steelers will be loose because they have nothing to lose since it took an act of the football gods — Jacksonville beating the Colts in Week 18 — to extend the 18th and final season of Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl-winning QB. And, yes, the Steelers did win three of their last four to reach this point. But that one loss was a 36-10 thumping at Kansas City. The Chiefs are just a superior team, and they've been acting like it since they started 3-4. They've won nine of their past 10 games with Steve Spagnuolo's defense turned around and Patrick Mahomes back to being his old self. Go with the Chiefs, but don't give 12 ½ points. Chiefs 34, Steelers 28
Cardinals (+4) at Rams (7:15 p.m., ESPN and Ch. 5)
A lot of people are probably sleeping on the Cardinals after another typical late-season slump led to a 1-4 finish in which they gave up 30 or more points in each loss. That would be unwise against a division opponent they split with this season. The immense pressure rests on the shoulders of the Rams in general and Stafford in particular. Obviously, the Rams aren't the Lions, but this is a ton of pressure on a guy who hasn't exactly finished the season strong. These teams played 10 weeks apart with the road teams winning both times. Murray completed 75% of his passes with a 120.3 passer rating as Arizona rushed for 216 yards in the win at Los Angeles. In the loss at home, he threw two interceptions but also threw for 383 yards and ran for 61. Murray's playoff debut will be exceptional and throw a giant cloud over last year's blockbuster trade for Stafford. Cardinals 34, Rams 31
DIVISIONAL ROUND PREDICTIONS
No. 1 Titans 24, No. 5 Raiders 13
No. 2 Chiefs 38, No. 3 Bills 35, OT
No. 1 Packers 30, No. 6 49ers 23
No. 2 Buccaneers 41, No. 5 Cardinals 28
AFC: No. 2 Chiefs 31, No. 1 Titans 24
NFC: No. 1 Packers 33, No. 2 Buccaneers 30, OT
SUPER BOWL LVI
Packers 37, Chiefs 34
Last week's record straight up/against the spread: 10-6/8-8.
Final regular-season record straight up/against the spread: 173-98-1/132-139-1.
Upset Special record: 9-9.
Vikings picks straight up/against the spread: 12-5/9-8.