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NFL playoffs: First look at the matchups

Jets-Colts and Packers-Eagles play on Saturday while Ravens-Chiefs and Saints-Seahawks play on Sunday.

January 03, 2011|By Sam Farmer

AFC

New York Jets

at Indianapolis Colts

Saturday, 5 p.m. PST, Channel 4

This is a rematch of last season's AFC championship game, and it pits two teams that have had their struggles this season. The Colts have almost no running game and have more than their share of injuries, with an injured-reserve list that includes tight end Dallas Clark, receivers Austin Collie and Anthony Gonzalez, and nine defensive backs. But they also have Peyton Manning, the league's only four-time most valuable player, so they are always dangerous. The Jets are coming off a 38-7 throttling of Buffalo, but that game was basically a showcase for reserves. Mark Sanchez is nursing a sore shoulder, and the team does not have the dominant running game or defense it had in 2009.

Baltimore Ravens

at Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday, 10 a.m. PST, Channel 2

Neither of these teams could feel too good about their regular-season finales. The Chiefs were clobbered by Oakland, 31-10, losing at home for the first time this season. The Ravens beat Cincinnati, 13-7, but could not generate much offense. Baltimore had 10 first downs, converted two of 11 third downs and generated 199 yards of offense. For the third consecutive year, the Ravens will be road warriors in the postseason. The Chiefs did not fare much better — they had two more yards of offense and, despite leading the league in rushing, were limited to 115 yards on the ground.

Byes: New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC

Green Bay Packers

at Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday, 1:30 p.m. PST, Channel 11

When these teams met in a season opener, the Packers sent the Eagles on an entirely different trajectory. Green Bay's Clay Matthews knocked Kevin Kolb out of the game with a concussion, opening the door for Michael Vick, who threw for 175 yards and rushed for 103 in a losing effort. The Packers' victory in that game snapped the club's nine-game losing streak in Philadelphia. The Eagles could have their hands full with Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay's talented receiving corps. The Packers finished fifth in passing.

New Orleans Saints

at Seattle Seahawks

Saturday, 1:30 p.m., Channel 4

Seattle now owns a dubious piece of NFL history, becoming the first modern-era team with a losing record to reach the postseason. The Seahawks will try to defend their home turf against the Saints, who have never won a playoff game on the road. When these teams met Nov. 21 in New Orleans, the Saints won, 34-19, and Drew Brees threw four touchdown passes. Reggie Bush did not play in that game. This time, he will face his former USC coach in Seattle's Pete Carroll.

Byes: Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears

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