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NFL Sets Schedule for Super Wild Card Weekend

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NFL football on a field. | Image by Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has announced the schedule for the super wild card weekend 2021 season playoffs. Games will be played on Saturday, Sunday, and a final match on Monday night for the first time in history. Only the top team in each conference will get a bye in the first round, unlike in previous seasons when the top two teams received a bye. 

The Cowboys climbed from the fourth to third seed due to the outcome of several games played on Sunday. Dallas will host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff will be at 3:30 p.m. CST. The 49ers defeated the Arizona Cardinals in an upset match to earn a spot in the playoffs.

Saturday will feature an AFC doubleheader with the Las Vegas Raiders visiting the Cincinnati Bengals after the Raiders won on a last-second field goal in overtime to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday night. That game begins at 3:35 p.m. CST. Kickoff will be at 7:15 p.m. CST for the New England Patriots, who will face the Buffalo Bills. 

Sunday is all about the NFC, with the first game beginning at noon CST. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles lost to the Dallas Cowboys in the regular season finale, dropping the team to the seventh seed. 

Following the Cowboys and 49ers game, the action will return to an AFC match featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers, who will travel to play the Kansas City Chiefs. There are many rumors that this could be the last season of quarterback Ben Rothlisberger’s 18-year professional football career, adding intrigue and drama to the game. 

The first-ever Monday Night Football playoff game will pit the Arizona Cardinals against the Los Angeles Rams. Once riding high atop the NFC, the Cardinals have lost four of the last five games, including a Week 14 loss to the Rams. The lone victory came against the Cowboys in Week 17.

The Tennessee Titans earned the first-round bye after winning the top seed in the AFC. They will also have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The lowest remaining seed after Wild Card Weekend. The possible matchups include Pittsburgh, New England, and Las Vegas, depending on the outcome of those games.

The Green Bay Packers clinched the top seed in the NFC and will also enjoy a first-round bye and home-field advantage. The Titans and the Packers will also face the lowest remaining seed after the first round is complete. They could possibly face the Eagles, 49ers, Cardinals, or Rams but will not face the Cowboys or the Buccaneers due to seeding.

Should the Cowboys defeat the 49ers, they will face the next-lowest seed remaining. They will not face either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Green Bay Packers but could face off against Philadelphia, Los Angeles, or Arizona. 

The Divisional round will showcase two games on Saturday, January 22, and two games on Sunday, January 23.

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