AFC Wild Card
COLTS (11-5, No. 5) at RAVENS (10-6, No. 4)
1 p.m. Sunday, CBS
Of note: Big and emotional storylines here, with future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis returning for Baltimore after a 10-game injury absence for what could be his final game before retiring. And on the other side, coach Chuck Pagano is back from his leukemia battle and leading the Comeback Colts, directed by super-rookie Andrew Luck. Pagano is a former Ravens assistant and knows that defense well, but that defense is healthier than it has been in a while. Indianapolis is a trendy upset pick, but the Colts were only 4-4 away from home this year, and Joe Flacco is 34-7 as a home starter in a tough place for anyone to visit.
NFC Wild Card
SEAHAWKS (11-5, No. 5) at REDSKINS (10-6, No. 4)
4:30 p.m. Sunday, FOX
Of note: This looks like the most intriguing game of the four opening-round matchups, with two hot teams the Redskins with seven consecutive wins, the Seahawks with five and sensational rookie QBs Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. There also is an unpredictability factor. Remarkably, this is the 28th NFL season in a row with at least three playoff teams that werent in a year earlier, and these are two of this years four. Can Seattle (3-5 on the road) prove it can win a big game away from home? Can Washington advance as the first team since the 1943 Giants to make the playoffs led by a rookie quarterback and running back (Alfred Morris)? Seattle is a better all-round squad because of its defense, but D.C. will be pumped for its first home playoff game in 13 years.
Greg Cote, The Miami Herald