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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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 30,199,007 — Total deaths: 946,490— Total recoveries: 20,544, 967Map
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 6,675,593 — Total deaths: 197,644 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 90,710,730Map
  3. Politics: Former Pence aide says she plans to vote for Joe Biden, accusing Trump of costing lives in his coronavirus response.
  4. Health: Pew: 49% of Americans wouldn't get COVID-19 vaccine if available today Pandemic may cause cancer uptick The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine — COVID-19 racial disparities extend to health coverage losses.
  5. Business: Retail sales return to pre-coronavirus trend.
Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mike Bloomberg's anti-chaos theory

CNN's Anderson Cooper questions Joe Biden last night at a drive-in town hall in Moosic, Pa., outside Scranton. Photo: CNN

Mike Bloomberg's $100 million Florida blitz begins today and will continue "wall to wall" in all 10 TV markets through Election Day, advisers tell me.

Why it matters: Bloomberg thinks that Joe Biden putting away Florida is the most feasible way to head off the national chaos we could have if the outcome of Trump v. Biden remained uncertain long after Election Day.

Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.