Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is the oldest active player in the NFL, so of course he’s the oldest quarterback to take center stage over the weekend. wild cards to start the road to the Super Bowl.

But while Brady knows all about the pressure of playoff football, many other quarterbacks are about to experience it for the first time.

Every quarterback playing on Saturday night has never seen the field in a playoff atmosphere.

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Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, December 11, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.
(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers and Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars, two of the best young signal callers in the game, will face off against each other, while the surprise third member of the San Francisco 49ers, Brock Purdy, will take on Journeyman Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks. who finally gets to rock a little playoff football.

New York Giants first-rounder Daniel Jones makes the playoffs in Year 5 while the Miami Dolphins have to go with Skylar Thompson as Tua Tagovailoa, who would have gotten his first playoff start, is still out of the game. Finally, another injury, this time to Lamar Jackson, has the Baltimore Ravens looking for Tyler Huntley to lead them in Cincinnati.

To put it in perspective, Patrick Mahomes is the AFC’s oldest quarterback in this playoff. . . at 27 years old

The next generation is here, but can they handle the veterans? Let’s take a look at each matchup this Wild Card weekend.

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San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks – Jan. 14, 4:30 p.m., FOXFox Betting Odds: 49ers (-9.5)

San Francisco started the year 3-4, and many wondered if Jimmy Garoppolo had what it took to get the 49ers back to the playoffs. And despite winning, those questions grew even stronger when he dropped for the season, and Purdy, Iowa State’s seventh-round pick, had to take his place.

Well, all those questions were put to rest as the 49ers continued their winning streak, snapping 10 straight to win the NFC West and host the Seahawks.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, California on Sunday, January 8, 2023.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, California on Sunday, January 8, 2023.
(AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Smith has been a surprise in Seattle under Pete Carroll, though the 49ers have been able to beat them twice now. The key for the Seahawks will be stopping Christian McCaffrey, who is expected to perform prominently with the rainy conditions in the Bay Area on Saturday night.

Since being traded to San Fran, McCaffrey has totaled 746 rushing yards with six touchdowns on 159 carries, while racking up 52 receptions for 464 yards with four more touchdowns.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Los Angeles Chargers – January 14, 8:15 p.m., NBCFox Betting Odds: Chargers (-2.5)

While most games have heavy favorites this weekend, this matchup is expected to be very close.

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The spotlight will be on who can beat the other quarterback, as Herbert looks to calm down the naysayers while Lawrence wants to keep his hot streak going.

Herbert has shown that he can win in this league, but he hasn’t been able to make the playoffs. A 10-7 record this season gives him a shot at the No. 5 seed, and he doesn’t want to waste the opportunity to beat a Jaguars team on the road.

Los Angeles Chargers number 10 Justin Herbert watches the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 26, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Los Angeles Chargers number 10 Justin Herbert watches the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 26, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
(Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

However, with good defense and exceptional training on the offensive end from head coach Doug Pederson, Lawrence has turned him on in recent weeks, totaling 12 touchdowns to two interceptions with 1,779 passing yards and a 103.4 passer rating in his career. last seven games. That led to a five-game winning streak to end the season and give the Jags the AFC South title.

Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins – January 15, 1:00 p.m., CBSFox Betting Odds: Bills (-13.5)

Miraculously, Damar Hamlin was released from Buffalo General Hospital after going into cardiac arrest in Cincinnati two weeks ago. That has led many to speculate about Hamlin’s presence at Highmark Stadium on Sunday in what will no doubt be an extremely emotional outing if that is the case.

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Hamlin’s injury has also added even more unity to a Bills team that has dominated its competition, ending the regular season on a seven-game winning streak. And they’re expected to do it again with Thompson, the Dolphins’ third-string quarterback, starting in a raucous Buffalo setting.

Damar Hamlin watching the Bills from her hospital bed.

Damar Hamlin watching the Bills from her hospital bed.
(Credit: @HamlinIsland / SPORTS REPORT+ /TMX)

Between Allen’s playoff pedigree and Buffalo’s tough defense, this one is expected to be a hit.

Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants – January 15, 4:30 p.m., FOXFox Betting Odds: Vikings (-3)

Kirk Cousins ​​and the Vikings pulled off eight comebacks in the fourth quarter of the regular season, tying the NFL record. No matter the score (it was literally 33-0 at halftime against the Indianapolis Colts), this team never says it’s dead.

But will his luck come up against a Giants team that only needed one season under Brian Daboll to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016? Jones and Saquon Barkley have been a ground-and-pound duo getting first downs and wearing down defenses on their way to a 9-7-1 record.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​(8) walks off the field in front of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, left, after an NFL football game, on Sunday, January 1, 2023, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​(8) walks off the field in front of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, left, after an NFL football game, on Sunday, January 1, 2023, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

However, this Vikings team saw that on Christmas Eve and won a last-second, 61-yard drive from Greg Joseph to capture one of those comeback wins.

Can Cousins ​​finally make a run for Minnesota? He’ll be in front of his home crowd where he’s 8-1 this season to start.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens – Jan. 15, 8:15 p.m., NBCFox Betting Odds: Bengals (-8.5)

No, it didn’t take a coin toss to determine this after the Bengals beat the Ravens in Week 18 to win the AFC North. But just like that, it’s a rematch with the Ravens at the No. 6 seed in the conference.

Unfortunately, a matchup between Jackson and Joe Burrow isn’t what we’ll be seeing on Sunday night. Instead, the Ravens have yet to name a starter at quarterback for Sunday as Tyler Huntley continues to deal with a right shoulder injury. Undrafted rookie Anthony Brown will leave if Huntley can’t.

Cincinnati Bengals number 9 Joe Burrow drops back to pass in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Paycor Stadium on January 8, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cincinnati Bengals number 9 Joe Burrow drops back to pass in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Paycor Stadium on January 8, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

That’s why Burrow and the red-hot Bengals are expected to handle their division rival with ease. Aside from their postponed game against the Bills in Week 17, the Bengals won eight straight to finish out the year. Burrow threw for 18 touchdowns to six interceptions with a 67.44% completion rate in that span.

With the Ravens struggling for points with Jackson out, the Bengals will want to move this up early.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys – Jan. 16, 8:15 p.m., ESPNFox Betting Odds: Cowboys (-2.5)

The finale of this wild-card round goes to Brady and his Bucs, who crept into the playoffs with an 8-9 record, and the Cowboys, a team looking to end the stigma that they can’t win when it really matters.

Dak Prescott has had a solid run in Dallas, but come playoff game time, he can’t seem to make that run, no matter how good his team is. Last season, it was the controversial quarterback draft that ran out the clock in Dallas, giving San Francisco a berth to the next round. Fans and analysts alike couldn’t believe the game call.

Dak Prescott, #4 of the Dallas Cowboys, celebrates a touchdown scored by Dalton Schultz, #86, against the Tennessee Titans during the fourth quarter of the game at Nissan Stadium on December 29, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dak Prescott, #4 of the Dallas Cowboys, celebrates a touchdown scored by Dalton Schultz, #86, against the Tennessee Titans during the fourth quarter of the game at Nissan Stadium on December 29, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Cowboys will travel to Tampa to watch Brady go for his eighth Super Bowl ring, and despite the Bucs struggling to score points, they somehow managed to get enough wins to give him a chance.

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As we’ve seen in the past, that’s all Brady usually needs.

Brady has never lost to the Cowboys in his career, and Prescott was tied for the league lead in interceptions this season, throwing eight in his last five games.

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