That left the final piece of the puzzle between the No.5 seed Las Vegas Raiders vs. the No.4 Cincinnati Bengals at 4:30 p.m. Saturday on NBC.
The divisional round, January 22-23
The six winners advance with the No.1 seeds of the NFC (Green Bay) and AFC (Tennessee) to play doubles at 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on January 22 and 3 and 6:30 p.m. on January 23. One match from each conference will be played on both days.
The Rams-Cardinals winner on Monday night will face an NFC opponent on January 23 to give Monday’s winner six days off.
“The beauty of the AFC is that you are not trapped in anything, whereas on the NFC side you have to play the winner of the Monday night game the following Sunday,” North said.
If the AFC goes according to the standings, the No. 3 seeded Bills would play against No. 2 seed Kansas City in the divisional round. The Bills would have seven or eight days between games, depending on whether the game is played on January 22 or 23. Since he’s playing this Sunday night, Kansas City would only have six or seven days between games if he beats the Steelers, depending on whether their next game is January 22 or 23.
“AFC Championship rematch,” North said of the KC-Buffalo possibility. “It looks like a good Sunday game on Division weekend. I’ve heard lots and lots of people say that Division Weekend is their favorite NFL weekend.