The NFL playoffs kick-off this weekend and while the New England Patriots will be on the sidelines resting up for next Sunday's AFC Divisional Round playoff game, there's still plenty for the Pats and their fans to watch for Saturday and Sunday.
For starters, the results of this weekend's AFC Wild Card games will determine which team travels to Foxborough next weekend to take on the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. If the Houston Texans beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday (kick-off is 4:30 p.m.) then the Pats will host the Texans next Sunday. However, if the Bengals defeat the Texans in Houston then the Patriots will host the winner of Sunday's Indianapolis Colts/Baltimore Ravens wild card game. Kick-off in Baltimore is set for 1 p.m.
In addition to the two AFC Wild Card games that will have a direct impact on the Jan. 13 Patriots game at Gillette Stadium, fans will be able to witness some NFL history this weekend. For just the second time in league history, two rookie quarterbacks will play against each other in the playoffs on Sunday when Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks play Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins in Maryland. Kick-off is 4:30 p.m.
The other NFC Wild Card game will be played Saturday night in Green Bay when the Packers host the Minnesota Vikings at 8 p.m.
Click here for a complete look at the NFL playoff schedule.
If you're going out this weekend to watch the games then check out one of these places in Northb Andover:
- Culpepper's: They have the TV, the sports fans and locally famous chili and pizza.
- Jaime's: This local hangout has several TVs (7 at last count) and sometimes 50 cent wings in various flavors. They're also a Reader's Choice 2012 winner for best appetizers.
- Ninety Nine: A huge bar with a full page of appetizers.
- The Loft: You could order a big steak meal while you enjoy the games.
- Rolf's: Voted North Andover's best bar in our Reader's Choice 2012, Rolf's offers a casual relaxing place to unwind and watch the games.
Wild Card Weekend Games
- Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, on NBC)
- Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, on NBC)
- Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens (1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, on CBS)
- Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins (4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, on FOX)
Patriots Playoff Tickets Go On Sale Monday
Patriots tickets for fans hoping to attend next Sunday's AFC Divisional Round game at Gillette Stadium will be made available for the general public Monday at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.