The 2017 NFL playoffs got off to a slow start in the wild card round, but thankfully the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants gave us a fun game to close it out. A year after all four road teams won in the opening round, the wild card round saw all four home favorites advance.
It was not a pretty weekend of football, with all four home teams covering the spread with ease. The Packers-Giants game that closed out the weekend looked like it might be an interesting one, with the Giants dominating for most of the first half. However, Aaron Rodgers completed a Hail Mary pass to Randall Cobb to close out the half and given Green Bay a 14-6 lead. The Giants cut the lead to two in the third quarter, but 23 straight points gave Green Bay the blowout win. The Packers advance to face the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round. Early lines have the Cowboys a four-point favorite.
The other NFC matchup saw the Seattle Seahawks run away from the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter. Detroit kept it to one possession the first three quarters, but things fell apart in the fourth quarter. Thomas Rawls had his way with the Lions, and Doug Baldwin made some great catches. The Seahawks head to Atlanta where they are 4.5-point underdogs to the Falcons, according to Odds Shark.
On the AFC side of things, the New England Patriots are the big winners of the wild card round. The Houston Texans beat the Oakland Raiders, but they will still have to send out Brock Osweiler at Gillette Stadium. The Texans are the biggest playoff underdog in at least 18 years, currently sitting at +16, according to Odds Shark.
Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs will welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to town next week. Ben Roethlisberger got banged up in the Steelers easy wild card win over the Miami Dolphins. He was seen in a walking boot after the game, in a game where he probably should not have played at all in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs are an early one to 1.5-point favorite, according to Odds Shark.
No. 4 Green Bay Packers @ No. 1 Dallas Cowboys - Sunday, January 15, 1:40 p.m. PT - FOX
No. 3 Seattle Seahawks @ No. 2 Atlanta Falcons - Saturday, January 14, 1:35 p.m. PT - FOX
No. 4 Houston Texans @ No. 1 New England Patriots - Saturday, January 14, 5:15 p.m. PT - CBS
No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers Chiefs @ No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs - Sunday, January 15, 10:05 a.m. PT - CBS