Peter King: What to expect on NFL Wild Card Weekend

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Encapsulating the four wild-card games is a funny business. All but Vikings-Saints appear to be close to a tossup. And what follows could be delicious: A New England victory over Tennessee puts the Patriots in Kansas City for the fourth Pats-Chiefs game in 14 months. And wins by the Saints and Seahawks on wild-card weekend sets up the third Seattle-San Francisco matchup in nine weeks. On with the first four playoff games:

Saturday

Buffalo (10-6, 5th seed, AFC) at Houston (10-6, 4th seed, AFC)
4:35 p.m. ET, NRG Stadium, Houston, TV: ESPN
Houston favored by 3.5

Houston has made the playoffs six times in its 18-year history. This will be the sixth time the Texans have played the postseason-opening 3:35 p.m. CT Saturday game in Houston. The Texans have hope that J.J. Watt could return from a torn pectoral to buttress a defensive front that’s had trouble stopping big-armed quarterbacks like Buffalo’s Josh Allen—Houston’s given up 33 touchdown passes—and stopping running games of all sorts. The Texans are surrendering 4.8 yards per rush, which bodes well for Devin Singletary of the Bills. He’s basically sidelined Frank Gore in the past month or so with his versatility, running inside with power and outside with the ability to make defenders miss. Buffalo will need to pen in Deshaun Watson and pressure him to throw quick, so he can’t win this game with his legs. If Houston gets back the oft-injured Will Fuller (groin), he likely won’t be full-speed, and that will hurt their chances because it puts more pressure on DeAndre Hopkins. The key to the game might be Buffalo wideout John Brown, who’s become a legitimate deep threat for Josh Allen and will certainly challenge the beatable Houston secondary.

Tennessee (9-7, 6th seed, AFC) at New England (12-4, 3rd seed, AFC)
8:15 p.m. ET, Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass., TV: CBS
New England favored by 4.5

The stats don’t love New England here. The Brady/Belichick Patriots have made the Super Bowl nine times, and each time they made it as a 1 or 2 seed in the AFC. In the three years they haven’t had a bye, they’ve lost prior to the Super Bowl. Look at their path here: Tennessee with rushing champ Derrick Henry and resurgent quarterback Ryan Tannehill first, then a potential hellscape of a run to the Super Bowl, potentially at Kansas City and at Baltimore in the span of eight days. First, New England will have to dispatch the power-running Titans and the 247-pound Henry; in four of his last six starts, Henry has battered foes for 149 rushing yards or more, including Sunday’s 211-yard job at Houston. The Patriots also will need a secondary more vulnerable than earlier in the season to clamp down on rookie star A.J. Brown and his gaudy 20.2-yards-per-catch average. Everything’s been a struggle for New England offensively. At this point, the Patriots are probably best-suited to win a power game with Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead trying to control the clock. That’s what it’s come to for the Patriots, who have one receiver or tight end with more than 30 catches. Hard to imagine that in an offense with Tom Brady under center, but that’s the reality of the 2019 Patriots.

Sunday

Minnesota (10-6, 6th seed, NFC) at New Orleans (13-3, 3rd seed, NFC)
1:05 p.m. ET, Superdome, New Orleans, TV: FOX
New Orleans favored by 7.5

Some day, Kirk Cousins is going to have to win one of these Kirk Cousins Referendum Games. He’s 0-9 on Monday Night Football, 0-2 in playoff games, and his reward for his first playoff game as a Viking quarterback is to play the best team standing on wild-card weekend, in the toughest place to win on wild-card weekend. The good news for Minnesota will be having Dalvin Cook (chest, shoulder pain) back after missing the last two games of the season, which should give the offense a chance because the game won’t be solely in Cousins’ hands. But I just can’t see the Vikings knocking off the Saints. Drew Brees is his classic self in recent weeks, leading the Saints to 36.2 points a game in the last seven weeks, with 22 touchdowns and just one pick. I don’t trust Cousins to get in a shootout with Brees—who would?—and I don’t see the Viking secondary being able to slow the New Orleans attack. The Saints are PFF’s highest-rated team through the regular-season, slightly ahead of Baltimore, and a good part of that is New Orleans’ top-special teams. They can win with kicker Wil Lutz, punter Thomas Morstead and a sudden returner, Deonte Harris. Hard to see many edges in this matchup on the Vikings’ side.

Seattle (11-5, 5th seed, NFC) at Philadelphia (9-7, 4th seed, NFC)
4:40 p.m. ET, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, TV: NBC
Seattle favored by 1.5

Five weeks ago, when it appeared the Eagles were sliding out of any realistic playoff shot, Seattle came to the Linc and won a 17-9 slugfest; the Seahawks survived a dropped TD that day and clearly were the better team. Since then, the Eagles have been wasted by injuries; I’ve never seen a playoff team with skill players more beat up than Philly’s are right now. Yet, since trailing the Giants 17-3 at the half in week 14, perilously close at 5-7 to being out of the playoff chase, the Eagles have outscored four foes 108-53 and gone 4-0. At the same time, Seattle stumbled to a 1-3 finish, been outscored in those games by 29 points, and over-relied on Russell Wilson to save them almost every week. The Seahawks lost 1,600 yards of rushing prowess when Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny—healthy in the first Eagle meeting—were lost for the year with injuries. This game likely will come down to which supporting cast can help a hot quarterback more. The Eagles are likely to put more pressure on Wilson than the Seahawks on Carson Wentz, who has come alive with the weight of a franchise on his shoulders. I think this is the game of the weekend, and the NFL wisely put it in the window that usually garners the highest ratings.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here. 

How to watch Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: TV, live stream info, preview for Sunday Night Football game

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It’s the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, October 2 in a rematch of Super Bowl LV where Tom Brady earned his seventh ring. Sunday’s matchup marks the sixth meeting between Patrick Mahomes and Brady with the 45-year-old veteran holding a 3-2 edge in the series.

RELATED: Tom Brady’s Super Bowl wins, rings, MVPs, losses: Every appearance, NFL stats, records

Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch the game.

RELATED:Will Tom Brady make playing beyond 40 more common for quarterbacks?

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: FMIA Week 3 – Broncos’ Coaching Experiment Pays Off, Dolphins Win ‘Beast’ Game, and What We Learned About the NFL in September

Be sure to start your NFL Sunday with Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Football Pregame show beginning at 11 AM ET on Peacock and the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) picked up their first loss of the season last Sunday after falling 20-17 to the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kansas City struggled offensively in Week 3 as the team was held to just three points in the second half. The Chiefs are still working to fill the void in the passing game since trading star WR Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins in the offseason but according to Mahomes, that doesn’t excuse Sunday’s loss.

RELATED: Patrick Mahomes –  I don’t expect growing pains, offense has to gel together

“I don’t expect any growing pains,” Mahomes told reporters at ESPN.com. “Obviously have new players and you don’t know everybody’s going to respond to tough situations. . . . We’ve got to gel all together. It starts with me. There were certain throws I was putting on guys’ back hips instead of in front of him. There were certain situations where we were just barely off of it.”

Mahomes, who signed a 10-year, $450 million contract extension, in July 2020–the richest contract in American sports history by total value–is in his fifth season as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback and hopes to lead Kansas City to its seventh straight AFC West title. The Chiefs are the only team to ever win six consecutive AFC West titles, which is tied for the 3rd-longest division title streak of any team in NFL history.

RELATED: Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes: All-time QB matchups, records, stats

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brady and the Buccaneers (2-1) are also coming off their first loss of the season–a 14-12 defeat at home from Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last Sunday afternoon. With WRs Mike Evans (suspension) and Chris Godwin (hamstring)–Brady’s top two targets–and Julio Jones (knee) out in Week 3, Tampa Bay’s offense racked up a total of just 285 yards in the loss. Additionally, the team is still adapting to the turnover at the WR and TE positions from this offseason. Despite some challenges on offense, Tampa Bay’s defense has remained consistent and currently leads the NFL in scoring defense (9.0 pts/gm) and also ranks in the top 5 in total defense.

RELATED: NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins – Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023


How to watch the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

  • Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
  • When: Sunday, October 2
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your NFL jersey and gear needs ahead of the 2022 season, click here!


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


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NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins: Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023?

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Getting to the Super Bowl is a challenge in itself and winning is another uphill battle. However, Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, who already owns a myriad of post season records, made his 10th career Super Bowl appearance in 2021 and extended his record of Super Bowl wins to 7. No other quarterback has appeared in more than 5 Super Bowls, let alone claimed over 4 rings. Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw are tied for second with 4. See below for the complete list of quarterbacks with the most Super Bowl wins and additional information on how to watch the big game.

RELATED: Tom Brady’s Super Bowl history: Every appearance, win, MVP,  loss, and Super Bowl stats, records

NFL Quarterbacks with the most Super Bowl wins all-time:

  • Tom Brady – 7

  • Joe Montana – 4

  • Terry Bradshaw – 4

  • Troy Aikman – 3 

  • Eli Manning – 2

  • Peyton Manning – 2

  • Ben Roethlisberger – 2

  • John Elway – 2

  • Jim Plunkett – 2

  • Bob Griese – 2

  • Roger Staubach – 2

  • Bart Starr – 2

Tom Brady’s Super Bowl Wins and Rings:

  • Super Bowl XXXVI (2002) – New England defeated St. Louis, 20-17
  • Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004) – New England defeated Carolina, 32-29
  • Super Bowl XXXIX (2005) – New England defeated Philadelphia, 24-21
  • Super Bowl XLIX (2015) – New England defeated Seattle, 28-24
  • Super Bowl LI (2017) – New England defeated Atlanta, 34-28
  • Super Bowl LIII (2019) – New England defeated Los Angeles, 13-3
  • Super Bowl LV (2021) – Tampa Bay defeated Kansas City, 31-9

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023: Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more