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NFL: Likely Playoff Dates and Times for 2013 Playoffs

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NFL: Likely Playoff Date and Times for 2013 Playoffs


As Week 16 in the NFL has come to a close, the playoff picture is getting clearer by the week. Both conferences have most of the teams set for the playoffs as we head into the final week of the season. Both the AFC and NFC roads to the Super Bowl are going to go through an indoor venue as both the Houston Texans in the AFC and Atlanta Falcons in the NFC have clinched home field advantage.

With research and knowledge of the game, I was able to compile a pretty accurate projection of this year’s playoff schedule.

The last several years, NBC has shown both Saturday matchups. It will be the same this year. They alternate every year on who gets the 4 PM start and the 8 PM start. Last year, the AFC game was the earlier game and the NFC game was in primetime. The year prior it was the opposite.

Both CBS and FOX do the same on the Sunday slots. They both will show their respective conference games on Sunday January 6th this year. CBS will have the 1 PM AFC game while FOX will air the 4 PM NFC matchup. Last year, FOX has the 1 PM NFC contest while CBS had the 4 PM AFC game. They’ve alternated games on this date since NBC had the contract to air both games on Saturday.

With all this being said, here’s what the 2013 NFL playoff schedule likely will look like.

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Saturday January 5th NFC 6th Seed at NFC 3rd Seed (NFC West Champion or Green Bay Packers) 4:00 PM NBC

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the six seed Detroit Lions played at the third seed New Orleans Saints in the Superdome. The year prior it was the 4 vs. 5 seed game in the NFC. I believe it likely will be the 3 vs. 6 seed for the second straight year.

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Saturday January 5th Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots 8:00 PM NBC

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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Sunday January 6th Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM CBS

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With the other AFC game being played on Saturday night this game will be the early time slot on CBS. It’s been this way the last several years.

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Sunday January 6th NFC 5th Seed at NFC East Champion 4:00 PM FOX

Alan Maglaque-USA TODAY Sports

This game could be the best intriguing matchup of the weekend. It will be the Sunday game because of that and force the other NFC game to be played on Saturday afternoon.

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Saturday January 12th AFC Highest Seed vs. Denver Broncos 4:00 PM CBS

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos have a first round bye and will host the highest remaining seed in the AFC playoffs at 4 PM on CBS.

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Saturday January 12th NFC Lowest Seed vs. Atlanta Falcons 8:00 PM FOX

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The lowest remaining seed in the playoffs on the NFC side of the bracket will travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in the Georgia Dome. The Falcons hosted this exact same game in the exact same timeslot two years ago and were upset by the sixth seed Green Bay Packers.

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Sunday January 13th Highest Remaining NFC Seed vs. Green Bay Packers 1 or 4 PM on FOX

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This game has two scenarios. The game is slated for the early game, but if the San Francisco 49ers end up with the two seed it will be moved to the 4 PM game on FOX since they’re a west coast team. If the Packers get the bye and the two seed the game will be at 1 PM on FOX. It all depends on who gets the two seed to when this game is played.

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Sunday January 13th Lowest Remaining AFC Seed vs. Houston Texans 1 or 4 PM on CBS

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

This game will depend on the NFC game. If the Packers get the two seed in the NFC, this game will be played as the late game on CBS. If the 49ers get the bye and the second seed, this game will be the early game on CBS.

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Sunday January 20th NFC Championship Game 3:00 FOX

Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports
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Sunday January 20th AFC Championship Game 6:30 PM CBS

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This game is slated for the last game of the day this season as the winner will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. If the Texans win the weekend prior the game will be played in Houston. If the Texans lose and the Broncos win then the game will be in Denver. If both of those teams lose, then the game will be hosted by the lowest remaining AFC seeded team left.