After a final Sunday of the regular season that contained a few twists (including Washington’s unspeakably dreadful performance on offense to miss the playoffs by losing to the New York Giants), the NFL playoff field is set.

The Atlanta Falcons won Sunday to secure the No. 2 seed in the NFC and join the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys in having opening-round postseason byes. In the AFC, the New England Patriots wrapped up the No. 1 seed and the Kansas City Chiefs overtook the Oakland Raiders for the second seed. They will have this coming weekend to rest and prepare for the conference semifinals the following weekend.

Here are quick looks at the four opening-round games:

MIAMI AT PITTSBURGH

The third-seeded Steelers enter the playoffs on a seven-game winning streak after Sunday’s meaningless-for-them overtime triumph over the Cleveland Browns. The sixth-seeded Dolphins lost at home to the Patriots.

Given the way the Steelers are playing, they might be the biggest threat to the Patriots in the AFC. But the path to Houston would not be easy for them. They would have to beat the Dolphins at home Sunday and then go on the road to win at Kansas City and, presumably, at New England to reach the Super Bowl.

The Dolphins have been a terrific success story this season by reaching the playoffs under their first-year coach, Adam Gase, following a 1-4 start. They present problems for anyone because of the way they can run the ball with tailback Jay Ajayi.

But Matt Moore has been starting for the injured Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. The Dolphins’ feel-good season probably ends here. The Steelers were able to rest their offensive centerpieces in quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, tailback Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown on Sunday. They are likely to be too much for the Dolphins to handle.

OAKLAND AT HOUSTON

Matt McGloin vs. Tom Savage? Connor Cook vs. Brock Osweiler? Or some combination therein? It should be epic.

Call this the no-quarterback playoff game. The Raiders began Sunday with a chance to overtake the Patriots for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Instead, New England secured that with its victory at Miami and the Raiders dropped to a wild-card spot and the No. 5 seed when they lost at Denver and the Chiefs won at San Diego.

Oakland already was without its quarterback and league MVP candidate, Derek Carr, after he suffered a broken bone in his leg. Now the Raiders also could be minus Carr’s replacement, McGloin, after he suffered a shoulder injury against the Broncos. Cook, a rookie chosen in the fourth round of the NFL draft out of Michigan State, took over Sunday and would be in line to make his first NFL start if McGloin is not ready to play.

The quarterback situation is no more certain for the Texans. They benched Osweiler, their failed-to-this-point $72 million man, in favor of Savage. But then Savage suffered a concussion during Sunday’s defeat at Tennessee. So the quarterback decision might not even be Coach Bill O’Brien’s to make, with Savage subject to the sport’s concussion protocol. The Texans might be going back to Osweiler by default.

Figure that the far-from-ideal quarterback situations negate each other. The Raiders are the better team around the quarterback, with so many other elements of a championship-caliber operation in place. They have excellent receivers and a very good offensive line, although left tackle Donald Penn hurt his knee Sunday. They can run the ball and they can play defense. That won’t be enough for them to overcome their quarterback issues later in the playoffs. But it should be good enough Saturday against the Texans.

N.Y. GIANTS AT GREEN BAY

Perhaps the two most formidable challengers to the Cowboys in the NFC meet in the opening round.

The fifth-seeded Giants knocked Washington from the playoffs Sunday. They have two wins this season over the Cowboys and their rebuilt defense has played very well. Quarterback Eli Manning is a two-time Super Bowl winner and knows how to dial things up for a postseason run.

But Manning and the offense are an issue. The Giants have gone five straight games without a 20-point performance. They scored 19 points Sunday against Washington only with a final-play defensive touchdown on a recovery of a wayward lateral. Meaningful game or meaningless game, throwing the ball 63 times (as Manning did at Philadelphia) or running it a bunch (as was the case Sunday), the Giants can’t score a lot.

That certainly could be a problem Sunday at Lambeau Field. Green Bay has six straight wins after falling to 4-6. The Packers beat Detroit to secure the NFC North title. Aaron Rodgers threw four TD passes against the Lions to give him a league-leading 40 for the season.

This is a true toss-up of a game between solid teams and accomplished quarterbacks. But Rodgers and the home-field advantage give the Packers the edge.

DETROIT AT SEATTLE

The Seahawks do not look particularly like a viable Super Bowl threat right now. They struggled Sunday at San Francisco to put away the two-win 49ers before escaping with a two-point victory to clinch the NFC’s No. 3 seed. That came on the heels of a loss at home to Arizona. The defense has not been the same since losing injured safety Earl Thomas.

But the Seahawks still have Russell Wilson at quarterback. They still have front-line players on defense. They will be playing at home.

All of that should be plenty Saturday against the sixth-seeded Lions, who stumble into the postseason on a three-game losing streak. But it’s doubtful that it will be enough beyond this coming weekend, unless a far different version of the Seahawks shows up very soon.


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