(From left) Ray Lewis, Robert Griffin, III, and A.J. Green will all be on the road to Super Bowl XLVII when the NFL Playoffs begin on Saturday. (Photo : Reuters)
Football fans, get ready.
After 17 long weeks of grinding, passing and battling, the best of the best on the gridiron have emerged to compete for the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy when Super Bowl XLVII comes to New Orleans.
Wild Card Weekend begins on Saturday, with explosive wide receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton lead the Cinncinati Bengals (10-6) as they take on the AFC South Champion Houston Texans (12-4) led by Andre Johnson and Pro Bowler Arian Foster at 4:30 p.m. at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.
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In the NFC, last year's league MVP Aaron Rodgers and the NFC North Champion Green Bay Packers (11-5) look to erase the sting of last season's stunning Division Round postseason exit when they take on dominating running back Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings (10-6) at 8 p.m. at historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc.
On Sunday, in the AFC Wild Card picture in Baltimore, playoff football will be historic as linebacker Ray Lewis, one of the all-time NFL greats, prepares for his final postseason march as Lewis, quarterback Joe Flacco and the AFC North Champion Baltimore Ravens (10-6) take on rookie star Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts (11-5) at 1 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.
The action continues in the NFC, when quarterback and rookie phenom Robert Griffin, III and the NFC East Champion Washington Redskins (10-6) take on "Beast Mode" Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks (11-5) at 4:30 p.m. at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
The lowest-winning AFC Wild Card seed will move on face quarterback great Peyton Manning and the AFC West Champion Denver Broncos (13-3) at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 12 at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colo.
That same day, the highest-winning NFC Wild Card team will play Alex Smith, Vernon Davis and the NFC West champs the San Francisco 49ers (11-4) at 8 p.m. at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Calif.
Then on Jan. 13, the lowest winning Wild-Card Seed will play the NFC South champion Atlanta Falcons (13-3) at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga.
Meanwhile, the highest-winning wild card team will play superstar quarterback Tom Brady and last year's AFC Champion New England Patriots (12-4) at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
The AFC and NFC Championship games will take place on Sunday, Jan. 20, the NFC game at 3 p.m. and the AFC game at 6:30 p.m.
And it all culminates at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3, when Super Bowl XLVII kicks off at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La.
For more news on the NFL Playoffs, visit the NFL's official web site.