The NFL's well-rested and top-seeded bye teams join the playoffs next weekend with the NFC's No. 1 Seattle Seahawks hosting the New Orleans Saints and the AFC's No. 1 Denver Broncos playing a historically rude guest and West Division rival San Diego.

The other divisional games feature the Indianapolis Colts at New England in the AFC and the San Francisco 49ers at Carolina in the NFC.

The next round begins Saturday when the Saints visit Seattle's infamous din of inequity with a 4:35 p.m. ET kickoff followed by the Colts at the Patriots at 8:15 p.m. ET.

On Sunday, the NFC defending champion 49ers are at Carolina with a 1:05 p.m. ET kickoff, then the Chargers visit the Mile High Broncos for a 1:40 p.m. game.

These matchups were set this weekend beginning Saturday when the Colts staged a ridiculous comeback to eliminate the Kansas City Chiefs, 45-44, and the Saints stopped the Philadelphia Eagles, 26-24. On Sunday, the Chargers handled the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-10, and the 49ers managed a 23-20 win in Green Bay on a last-play field goal.

Here is a close look at next weekend's games:



4:35 p.m. ET

The Seahawks routed the Saints, 34-7, on "Monday Night Football" in Seattle on Dec. 7.

Seattle enters as the No. 1 seed in the NFC after going 13-3 during the regular season. The victory over the Saints was kick-started by an interception return for a touchdown by defensive lineman Michael Bennett, which led to CenturyLink Field re-setting a Guinness record for loudest crowd noise ever recorded in an outdoor stadium.

"It's loud, it's crazy, they've got a good thing going there," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said of the Seahawks after New Orleans won at Philadelphia on Saturday night to advance. "Obviously, they've only lost one game there in the last two years. But having been there less than a month ago, I think that serves us well, what to expect, how to prepare for it.

"But we're going to need our best game, that's for sure."

The Saints went 3-5 on the road during the regular season and must win three consecutive road games to reach the Super Bowl, but notched a victory on the first leg against the Eagles.

Seattle is coming off a bye week, has lost one home game in the past two seasons and enters with the league's top-ranked defense.

"Obviously, we did not play our best football that night," Brees said of the Dec. 2 loss to Seattle. "We got beat pretty soundly by those guys. There's a reason they're the one seed"

This is a chance at postseason redemption for the Saints, who were on the wrong side of a 41-36 playoff meeting at Seattle in January 2011. But the Seahawks present a number of challenges for Brees, including a secondary with three All-Pros -- cornerback Richard Sherman and safeties Cam Chancellor and Earl Thomas.

The rested Seahawks lost two of their final four games but clinched the top seed in the NFC by dominating the St. Louis Rams 27-9 in Week 17 to claim the NFC West title.


8:15 p.m. ET

The Colts (12-5) visit the Patriots (12-4) with Indianapolis coming off a dramatic 45-44 wild-card victory at home against the Kansas City Chiefs engineered by second-year quarterback Andrew Luck

"There's no question he's a complete football player and one of the top quarterbacks in this league already," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. "He has a great career in front of him but I think he's already established himself as a very poised and talented player that can do a lot of things to beat you and he manages his team well and plays good situational football."

The Patriots had a first-round bye for the fourth consecutive season as the No. 2 seed in the conference after winning the AFC East for the 11th straight year. The Patriots have won five of their past six games.

Indianapolis held a weight-room workout with 100 percent attendance on Sunday despite a game that played out like a 12-round heavyweight fight against the Chiefs. The Colts mounted the second-largest playoff comeback in the NFL history, rallying from a 35-10 hole in the third quarter to upend the Chiefs.

Answering the bell in Foxborough, Mass., is not a worry according to Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, but it is uncharted territory for the upstart AFC South champions. The confidence comes from a season of comebacks and two years of dealing with less-than-ideal conditions.