NFL playoff schedule and bracket 2013: Texans and Bengals kick things off

Thomas B. Shea

The playoff schedule is set for Wild Card weekend with four good looking games on tap.

The 2013 NFL playoffs are finally here, with 12 deserving teams now ready to battle for the Lombardi Trophy over the next five weeks.

It all starts on Saturday afternoon, when the Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans kick off the party at Reliant Stadium at 4:30 p.m. ET.


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Houston has to be massively disappointed to be in this position as a No. 3 seed after virtually holding home-field advantage in its hands all season. Cincinnati, on the other hand, fought its way in with gritty wins down the stretch, and is ready for a rematch of last year's Wild Card showdown.

At 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, it's the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. These teams just played each other on Sunday, with the Vikings winning, 37-34, to make the playoffs.

Green Bay would have earned a bye week with a win, but now is the third seed with likely just one home playoff game.

On Sunday, Baltimore welcomes back its old team to face the new franchise with a game between the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts at 1 p.m. ET.

Fourth-seeded Baltimore has lost four of its last five, and frankly couldn't look much worse. The Colts are the story of the year, led by ex-Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, who has returned to the sidelines after his very inspiring and public bout with leukemia.


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Finally at 4:30 p.m. ET, the No. 4 seed Washington Redskins will host the fifth-seeded Seattle Seahawks in a tussle of rookie quarterbacks. After beating Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, the Redskins earned their first NFC East title since 1999.

Seattle is one of the hottest teams in the league, winners of five straight contests.

Please click the links for a look at the the complete AFC and NFC schedules.

David Fucillo of SB Nation and Niners Nation breaks down the NFC playoff bracket.

Brad Wells of SB Nation and Stampede Blue breaks down the AFC.

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