NFL Wildcard Playoffs Will Begin On January 15


The NFL playoffs are here, bringing with them the extra drama of the first Monday night NFL Wildcard game, as well as two meetings between teams meeting for the third time this season, which will anchor the postseason’s opening weekend.

The Patriots-Bills III game on Saturday night and Monday’s third game between the N.F.C. West rival Cardinals and Rams sandwich a weekend when parity — and familiarity — should be on show. A rematch between the Raiders and Bengals, as well as a game between the Cowboys and the 49ers, two of the N.F.L.’s most historic clubs, should add to the intrigue after Las Vegas and San Francisco both required overtime to secure their playoff positions.

This weekend, though, the NFL Wildcard overtime rules will be in effect: The extra session has been increased from 10 minutes to 15 minutes, and there will be no need to kneel because the games will continue until someone scores.

NFL Wildcard Lineup

Here’s a look at the NFL Wildcard round of the playoffs, with all selections made against the spread.


Las Vegas Raiders against Cincinnati Bengals, Sat 4:30 p.m., NBC

Line: Bengals -5.5 | Total: 49.5

New England Patriots against Buffalo Bills, Sat 8:15 p.m., CBS

Line: Bills -4 | Total: 42.5

Philadelphia Eagles against Tampa Bay Buccaneers,  Sun 1 p.m., Fox

Line: Buccaneers -8.5 | Total: 49

San Francisco 49ers against Dallas Cowboys, Sunday Sun 4:30 p.m., CBS

Line: Cowboys -3 | Total: 50.5

Pittsburgh Steelers against Kansas City, Sunday Sun 8:15 p.m., NBC

Line: Kansas City -12.5 | Total: 46

Arizona Cardinals against Los Angeles Rams, Mon 8:15 p.m., ESPN

Line: Rams -4 | Total: 49.5