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It’s hard to believe, but we’re almost at the end of another football season. As the NFL wraps its 2022-23 season and looks ahead to the Super Bowl on February 12, we still have to determine which teams will play in TV’s biggest game. And that’s why this weekend’s NFL wildcard games are a hot ticket.
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If you want to settle in with some cold beverages, tasty snacks and a few buds this weekend, there are multiple ways to watch and stream the wildcard games from the comfort of your couch. If you’re wondering how to watch or what NFL wildcard games are on this weekend and who plays in them, read on for everything you need to know.
What Are the Wildcard Games?
For the uninitiated, this iteration of the wildcard games was a new addition to the league in 2020 (although the format itself was introduced in 1980). Essentially it’s a big weekend of play that determines which teams will progress to the playoffs and which will head to the sidelines for the rest of the season.
In total, seven teams from each conference make the postseason, and there is now one extra wild-card game (which takes place between the second and seventh-place finishers). The first-place finishers from each conference get an automatic bye into the playoffs.
In other words, these games are kind of a big deal. In theory, a seventh-place finisher could wind up Super Bowl champs if they win from here on out.
What Time Are the NFL Wildcard Games This Weekend?
If you’re looking for a weekend jam-packed with pigskin, this is your lucky day. There are six wildcard games taking place from January 14 to January 16:
Saturday, January 14
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers, 4:30 p.m. ET, Fox
Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars, 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC, Peacock
Sunday, January 15
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. ET, CBS, Paramount+
New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings, 4:30 p.m. ET, Fox
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC, Peacock
Monday, January 16
Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m ET., ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN+
How to Watch the NFL Wildcard Games Online Without Cable
As you can see, the games take place across a variety of networks, which means if you want to stream all of them online, you’ll need a service that gives you access to said networks. For that reason, we recommend cable TV alternatives like Hulu+ Live TV, Sling, or even YouTube TV.
1. Hulu + Live TV
As far as cable replacements go, Hulu + Live TV is the best of the bunch. You’ll get access to all games live on ABC, ESPN, Fox, CBS, and NBC, not to mention a wide array of Hulu originals. For a few bucks more per month, you can bundle this with Disney+ and ESPN+, which nabs you the ESPN archives.
2. YouTube TV
FOR RECORDING GAMES
Another cable alternative, YouTube TV, comes with an impressive amount of cloud DVR space that allows you to record those games you have to miss due to errands or family functions. It has all the same channels as Hulu + Live TV, so you’re set for the entire weekend with this option.
3. Sling TV
If you’re looking for a more affordable option to watch NFL wildcard games this weekend, why not give Sling TV a whirl? The service offers its Blue and Orange package for 50 bucks a month, which gives you access to Fox, NBC, and ESPN. The only thing you won’t be able to do is to watch the CBS games; however, pairing Sling with a subscription to Paramount Plus is also a viable option — especially when you consider Paramount’s 30-day free trial.
4. DirecTV Stream
If you’ve been meaning to straight-up replace cable for a while, DirecTV stream is one of the best ways to do it. During the regular NFL season, this service allows you to watch many out-of-market games, but during the Wildcard Weekend, you can catch the games in all their glory. It is the most expensive option on this list, however, so you may want to wait until the next NFL season to subscribe.
BEST FOR MULTISPORTS
If you love football but also want to catch other sporty events throughout the year, a FuboTV subscription may be the way to go. The service includes CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, and more, so you’re covered for all of this weekend’s NFL Wildcard games. Looking towards the rest of 2023, however, this service will also get you all the different sports you need through its base package and various add-ons.
In addition, you can watch some games on the following streaming apps:
Peacock Premium: Watch NBC Weekend Football games
Paramount+: Watch CBS Sunday Football games
NFL+: Watch all games live on mobile devices; watch the Super Bowl live
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