Those yearning for another look at quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots or for Peyton Manning's first playoff game since January 2011 will have to wait another week.

Just the same, NFL wild-card weekend ought to hold you over just fine.

The 49ers are idle, but they could learn their playoff opponent Saturday night. If Green Bay beats Minnesota, the Packers will be at Candlestick next Saturday. If Green Bay loses to Minnesota, the 49ers will draw the winner of the Seattle-Washington game Sunday.

Three rookie quarterbacks take the stage Sunday, including Andrew Luck, whose Indianapolis Colts go up against Baltimore in what could be the final game of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis' legendary career. Seattle's Russell Wilson and Washington's Robert Griffin III, who have carried their teams and their towns to unexpected heights, will square off in the late game.

Behind Griffin, the Redskins closed the regular season with seven straight victories, the last a 28-18 win Sunday night against Dallas with the NFC East title and playoff berth at stake.

Wilson directed the Seahawks to 11 victories this season, including an 8-0 mark at home. But Seattle will be in Washington -- not their Washington -- and their 3-5 road record included losses to Arizona, Miami, St. Louis and Detroit, all teams with losing records.

Yet, for all the quarterback talk, this game might be decided by the running backs, Marshawn Lynch of Seattle and Alfred Morris of Washington, a sixth-round draft pick out of Florida Atlantic last spring. Lynch rushed for 1,590 yards, Morris for 1,613 in providing nice complements for their rookie quarterbacks.


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Too bad Wilsonw or Griffin won't make it past this game. On the other hand, we're assured of seeing one of them again next weekend.

The Pick: It says here that Griffin, before a frenzied crowd of 82,000, adds to his legacy by outdueling Wilson in a game that will be remembered as the first of many great matchups between the two. Washington, 20-10.

Cincinnati at Houston, Saturday 1:30 p.m.

This the least intriguing matchup of the weekend. For one, we've already seen it -- the teams met in the first round last year -- and it wasn't pretty. For another thing, the Texans, once the class of the league with an 11-1 record, are stumbling, bumbling, fumbling.

Houston has lost three of its last four, and last Sunday's 28-16 loss at Indianapolis cost the Texans a first-round bye and home field in the second round. Questions are rising once more about quarterback Matt Schaub, and not just from the general public. Jerry Rice and Matt Millen joined the chorus this week, the latter saying of Schaub, "When the lights get bright, his leg gets wet."

But the Texans still have Arian Foster and JJ Watt and Andre Johnson and -- heck, for that matter -- T.J. Yates, who quarterbacked last year's playoff victory when Schaub was hurt.

The Pick: The Texans are vulnerable, but Cincinnati, devoid of a proven quarterback and a workhorse running back, is not equipped to pull the road upset. Houston 31-10, same as last year.

Minnesota at Green Bay, Saturday 5 p.m.

How sweet is the notion of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson taking his jaw-dropping act to Lambeau Field for a rematch against the Packers team he helped take down last Sunday?

Peterson averaged 204.5 yards in two games against the Packers this season, including 199 Sunday in a 37-34 overtime victory that had huge ramifications for both teams. The Vikings made the playoffs with the victory. The Packers lost their No. 2 seed, costing them a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the second round. (The Vikings' victory also cost Lovie Smith his job, as the Chicago Bears coach was fired for missing the playoffs despite a 10-6 record.)

The question is, can Saturday's game come close to matching the intensity and excitement of the game they just played? The bigger question -- for 49ers fans, at least -- is can Minnesota keep Aaron Rodgers and the Packers from coming to Candlestick next Saturday?

The Pick: It's difficult to envision the Packers getting bounced from the playoffs at home for the second straight season. Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers, aided by the return of Charles Woodson, will have a better plan to contain Peterson. Green Bay, 35-13.

Indianapolis at Baltimore, Sunday 10 a.m.

Much-maligned Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is 4-0 in first-round playoff games, but he won't be the most-talked-about quarterback in this game. Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in last spring's draft, is coming off a regular season in which he broke six NFL rookie records, including passing yards (4,374) and victories (11).

If he wins one more game, he likely goes to Denver to face Manning, the man he replaced in Indianapolis.

This game is rich in storylines. Aside from Lewis, whose potential finale also will mark his first game since an Oct. 14 injury, there is Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who made an emotional return last week after missing 12 games while undergoing treatment for leukemia. And then there's that thing about the Colts playing in the city they abandoned after the 1983 season.

The Pick: Luck has been amazing, but it will take more than him to overcome a Ravens team riding the wave of emotion generated by Lewis' return and potential departure. Baltimore, 27-21.

WILD-Card playoffs
SATURDAY
Cincinnati at Houston, 1:30 p.m., NBC
Minnesota at Green Bay, 5 p.m., NBC
SUNDAY
Indianapolis at Baltimore, 10 a.m., CBS
Seattle at Washington, 1:30 p.m., FOX