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Expand chart
Logos: Sports-Logos.Net; Chart: Axios Visuals

It's been seven years since a wild-card weekend team won the Super Bowl.

Why it matters: The momentum being carried over from last week by teams like the Titans, the demise of home-field advantage and the lack of experienced quarterbacks in the field suggest that this could be the year of the underdog.

Vikings at 49ers
  • Kickoff: Saturday, 4:35pm ET (NBC)
  • Weather: 56°F, Partly cloudy
  • Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
  • Spread: SF -7
  • O/U: 44.5

How the underdog can win: By grabbing an early lead. Minnesota's offense is built around a power rushing attack led by Dalvin Cook and the play-action looks they get off that (Kirk Cousins excels in play-action). When they're rolling, the Vikings have one of the most efficient passing games in football, so a fast start would be huge.

Titans at Ravens
  • Kickoff: Saturday, 8:15pm ET (CBS)
  • Weather: 59°F, Overcast
  • Announcers: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn
  • Spread: BAL -10
  • O/U: 47

How the underdog can win: By feeding the rookie. Tennessee squeaked out a 20-13 win over New England despite their passing offense hitting a wall. That can't happen against the high-powered Ravens (NFL-best 33.4 ppg), so Ryan Tannehill must target rookie WR A.J. Brown early and often and hope he can beat Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey and Baltimore's excellent man coverage.

Texans at Chiefs
  • Kickoff: Sunday, 3:05pm ET (CBS)
  • Weather: 32°F, Partly cloudy
  • Announcers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely
  • Spread: KC -9
  • O/U: 51

How the underdog can win: Run it back. The Texans narrowly beat the Chiefs in Week 6 by committing to the run (Deshaun Watson, Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson combined for 192 yards) which, in turn, limited Kansas City to just 47 offensive plays (vs. 83 for Houston). Perhaps they can execute that game plan once again in a cold weather game that might demand it.

Seahawks at Packers
  • Kickoff: Sunday, 6:30pm ET (FOX)
  • Weather: 22°F, Overcast (snow expected Saturday)
  • Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers
  • Spread: GB -4.5
  • O/U: 46.5

How the underdog can win: Jadeveon Clowney. Seattle was 16th in pass rush win rate this year (D-line beat 43% of blocks), while Green Bay ranked first in pass block win rate (O-line held 72% of blocks). So the Seahawks will need their best athlete to step up and bother Aaron Rodgers, who completes 69% of non-pressured passes (vs. 45% under pressure).

Go deeper: Running the ball is back in the NFL

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
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Be smart: There will be a coronavirus vaccine for adults long before there is one for kids.

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Sen. Kelly Loeffler to return to campaign trail after 2nd negative test

Sen. Kelly Loeffler addresses supporters during a rally on Thursday. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-Ga.) campaign announced Monday that she "looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail" after testing negative for COVID-19 for a second time, following earlier conflicting results.

Why it matters: Loeffler has been campaigning at events ahead of a Jan. 5 runoff in elections that'll decide which party holds the Senate majority. Vice President Mike Pence was with her on Friday.

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Key government agency says Biden transition can formally begin

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy. Photo: Alex Edelman/CNP/Getty Images

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called "ascertainment" and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump's legal challenges played out.