The postseason is finally here. After 17 weeks the field is set, with the AFC Wild Card Round to kick off Saturday in the early evening. The Indianapolis Colts will play host to the Kansas City Chiefs, then give way to the NFC wild card opener between the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles beginning in primetime. Here are the vitals:
AFC Wild Card Game 1
(5) Kansas City Chiefs vs. (4) Indianapolis Colts
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET
Kansas City and Indianapolis hold identical 11-5 regular season records, but the Chiefs had the misfortune of playing in the same division as the Denver Broncos while the Colts won the AFC South, feasting on the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans.
Saturday's game is a rematch of the Week 16 meeting between these two teams. Indianapolis won the game two weeks ago handily at home. Outside of a big Jamaal Charles run in the first quarter, the Chiefs were unable to mount much resistance on offense. The Colts recorded five sacks and forced two Alex Smith fumbles, allowing their offense to get by with a largely pedestrian effort.
Saturday's game will once again take place at Lucas Oil Stadium, putting the onus on Kansas City to prove that it is better than the squad that lost five of its last seven games to close the regular season.
NFC Wild Card Game 1
(6) New Orleans Saints vs. (3) Philadelphia Eagles
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Kickoff: 8:10 p.m. ET
New Orleans has a stronger record than Philadelphia -- 11-5 versus 10-6 -- but the Eagles are 2.5-point favorites heading into kickoff, according to OddsShark. There is good reason.
First, the Eagles are one of the hottest teams in the NFL at the moment. They won seven of their last eight regular season games, and were rather impressive at times in the process. A close win over the Tony Romo-less Dallas Cowboys in Week 17 proved they aren't infallible, but it's hard not to be impressed by Philadelphia's offensive transformation under head coach Chip Kelly.
Second, the Saints have struggled badly on the road this season. All five of their losses this year came away from home. They included a loss to the New York Jets in early November, a 27-point loss to the Seattle Seahawks to start December and an 11-point loss to the St. Louis Rams just three weeks ago.
For fans, the game ranks high on the watchability scale. The Eagles rank No. 2 in total offense, the Saints rank No. 4 and both teams are averaging better than 25 points per game.