The NFL playoffs begin Jan. 7 with two wild-card games on NBC as the Cincinnati Bengals visit the Houston Texans at 4:30pm ET in an AFC matchup, followed by the NFC game with the Detroit Lions at the New Orleans Saints. Sunday’s playoff games have the Atlanta Falcons at the New York Giants (1pm ET, FOX) and the Pittsburgh Steelers visiting the Denver Broncos (CBS, 4:30pm ET). Full schedule and releases from the NFL and NBC below:
NFL WILD CARD & DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
Commissioner ROGER GOODELL announced today the schedule of sites, dates and times for the National Football League Wild Card Playoffs of January 7-8 and Divisional Playoffs of January 14-15 (all times Eastern):
NFL WILD CARD WEEKEND
Saturday, January 7
AFC: 4:30 PM (ET)
Cincinnati at Houston (NBC)
NFC: 8:00 PM (ET)
Detroit at New Orleans (NBC)
Sunday, January 8
NFC: 1:00 PM (ET)
Atlanta at N.Y. Giants (FOX)
AFC: 4:30 PM (ET)
Pittsburgh at Denver (CBS)
NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
Saturday, January 14
NFC: 4:30 PM (ET)
New Orleans/Dallas-N.Y. Giants/Atlanta at San Francisco (FOX)
AFC: 8:00 PM (ET)
Denver/Pittsburgh/Cincinnati at New England (CBS)
Sunday, January 15
AFC: 1:00 PM (ET)
Houston/Denver/Pittsburgh at Baltimore (CBS)
NFC: 4:30 PM (ET)
N.Y. Giants/Atlanta/Detroit at Green Bay (FOX)
In the Divisional Playoffs, the division champion with the best record in each conference will host the lowest seeded Wild Card survivor. Once teams are seeded for the playoffs, positions do not change:
American Football Conference
1. New England (13-3, AFC East champion)
2. Baltimore (12-4, AFC North champion)
3. Houston (10-6, AFC South champion)
4. Denver (8-8, AFC West champion)
5. Pittsburgh (12-4)
6. Cincinnati (9-7)
National Football Conference
1. Green Bay (15-1, NFC North champion)
2. San Francisco (13-3, NFC West champion)
3. New Orleans (13-3, NFC South champion)
4. NY Giants (9-7) (NFC East champion)
5. Atlanta (10-6)
6. Detroit (10-6)
The AFC (CBS, 3:00 PM ET) and NFC (FOX, 6:30 PM ET) Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 22.
The 2012 Pro Bowl (NBC, 7:00 PM ET) will be played on Sunday, January 29 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, one week before Super Bowl XLVI takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday, February 5 (NBC, 6:30 PM ET).
NBC’S WILD CARD SATURDAY DOUBLEHEADER: BENGALS AT TEXANS AND LIONS AT SAINTS
Coverage Begins with Special Football Night in America, Saturday at 4 pm ET
NEW YORK – Jan. 1, 2012 – The National Football League announced tonight that NBC will broadcast the Cincinnati Bengals at the Houston Texans at 4:30 p.m. ET and the Detroit Lions at the New Orleans Saints at 8 p.m. ET as its Wild Card doubleheader this Saturday. NBC’s live coverage of NFL Wild Card Saturday doubleheader starts at 4 p.m. ET with a special edition of Football Night in America co-hosted by Bob Costas and Dan Patrick, who are joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com.
The Sunday Night Football broadcast team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya will call Lions-Saints while the NBC Notre Dame Football broadcast team of Tom Hammond, Mike Mayock and Alex Flanagan will call Bengals-Texans.
The Sunday Night Football production team of Fred Gaudelli (producer) and Drew Esocoff (director) will produce Lions-Saints. Sunday Night Football, the most-watched and highest-rated show on primetime television, has won the Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Series in each of the last three seasons.
NBC Notre Dame Football producer Rob Hyland, who worked as the SNF replay producer for three years under Gaudelli, will produce Bengals-Texans. Artie Kempner, who directs NFL games for NFL Network and Fox, and who directed Super Bowl XLII, will direct the game. Tommy Roy, who served as executive producer for four NBC Super Bowl broadcasts and is one of the most decorated sports producers in history, will serve as executive producer for the afternoon game.
Hammond, Mayock and Flanagan worked last year’s Saints-Seahawks Wild Card Saturday game on NBC with Roy, Hyland and Kempner.
On Sunday, the winner of the Dallas Cowboys/New York Giants hosts the Atlanta Falcons on Fox at 1 p.m. ET and the Denver Broncos host the Pittsburgh Steelers on CBS at 4:30 p.m. ET.