The divisional round is complete after the San Diego Chargers upset the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-10, in the AFC wildcard round Sunday; while the San Francisco 49ers eked out a last-second 23-20 win over the Green Bay Packers in the final NFC wildcard game.
It was a disappointing end for the Bengals, who entered the game No. 2 in the NFL in our Quality Stats Power Rankings. They’ve gone 0-3 in the playoffs in the Andy Dalton Era – putting the young QB on pace to break Peyton Manning’s record some day for one-and-done postseason visits.
Thanks for visiting, Mr. Dalton!
The Dalton Bengals have scored just six second-half points in three playoff games, noted King of Props John Dudley after the game.
The Packers, meanwhile, have lost the homefield mojo that used to define late-season football at Lambeau Field. Green Bay went 13-0 in home playoff games from their very first in 1939 up to 2001; they're 3-5 at home in the postseason since then.
Here’s a quick look at who plays where and when next weekend.
NFC: New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (Saturday, Jan. 11, 4:25 p.m. ET)
The Saints, the No. 6 seed in the NFC, pulled off a great, last-second 26-24 victory over the Eagles in Philadelphia in the wildcard round Saturday.
Now they face one of the most daunting challenges in football, trying to beat the powerhouse Seahawks in Seattle. The Seahawks are the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the No. 1 team in our Quality Stats Power Rankings and are 15-1 at home over the last two years.
New Orleans suffered its worst loss of the year in Seattle in Week 13, getting crushed 34-7.
AFC: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (Saturday, Jan. 11, 8:15 p.m. ET)
The Colts, the No. 5 seed, pulled out a miracle 45-44 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the wildcard round Saturday.
New England, the No. 2 seed, will face Andrew Luck for the second time, both games in Foxboro. The Patriots crushed the Colts, 59-24, last year in Week 11, returning two Luck interceptions for touchdowns.
It was the second-highest point title surrendered in Colts franchise history, dating back to the Baltimore days (The Saints beat the Colts 62-7 in 2011).
NFC: San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (Sunday, Jan. 12, 1:05 p.m. ET)
The No. 2 seed Panthers face the the No. 5 seed 49ers in Carolina on Sunday.
Carolina eked out a 10-9 win in San Francisco back in Week 10, in one of the toughest games of the 2013 season.
The 49ers were held to 151 yards of total offense that day, including just 45 net passing yards. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was sacked 6 times for a loss of 46 yards. He grossed just 91 passing yards.
San Francisco's average of 1.64 Real Passing YPA was the worst passing effort by any team in 2013, according to our Real Passing YPA Big Board at CHFF Insider.
AFC: San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (Sunday, Jan. 12, 4:40 p.m. ET)
The No. 6 seed Chargers are rewarded for their win at Cincinnati with a trip to Denver to face record-setting Peyton Manning (55 TD passes) and the Denver Broncos (606 points).
The Chargers are one of the few teams that have regularly enjoyed success against Manning, with a 6-7 record against him.
That mark includes a 2-0 record over Manning’s former Colts in the postseason (2007, 2008).
The Chargers and Broncos split the regular-season series: Denver won 28-20 in San Diego (Week 10); San Diego won 27-20 in Denver (Week 15).