Similar to the NBA playoffs, the NFL playoffs are typically dominated by familiar names. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen are just some of the players to make multiple postseason appearances over the last few years.
This season is different, however. A wild regular season ended with several fresh faces making the playoffs for the first time in their careers, four of whom will start when the postseason kicks off during the Wild Card Round on Saturday.
NFL Wild Card Weekend
Incredibly, all four of Saturday's starting quarterbacks will be making their postseason debuts. Geno Smith and Brock Purdy will do so when the Seattle Seahawks take on the San Francisco 49ers, followed by Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence squaring off when the Los Angeles Chargers face the Jacksonville Jaguars.
All four signal-callers took very different paths to the postseason. Smith is the outlier as a 32-year-old journeyman who stepped up for Seattle as Russell Wilson's replacement this year, leading the Seahawks to the playoffs in his first season as an everyday starter since 2014. Suffice it to say nobody saw that coming.
The other three are all young gunslingers early in their careers. Herbert finally got over the hump in Year 3 after narrowly missing the playoffs last year. Lawrence took a huge leap in his second season, sparking the Jaguars to an AFC South title. And Purdy, aka "Mr. Irrelevant," propelled the 49ers to an NFC West title after Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo both went down with injuries.
Which ones will rise to the occasion on Saturday and advance their teams to the Divisional Round? FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds favor San Francisco (-9.5) and Los Angeles (-2.5). If this season has taught us anything, however, it's that anything can happen.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.