This article originally appeared on USA TODAY Sports+: NFL Midweek Tailgate: Super wild-card weekend edition

NFL Midweek Tailgate: Super wild-card weekend edition

Tyler Dragon Safid Deen
USA TODAY Sports+

Playoff football has arrived!

The Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers hold the No. 1 seeds and a bye this week. Who benefits more from the time off? And which team is on upset alert this weekend?

USA TODAY Sports+ takes you through the weekend and predicts the conference champions and Super Bowl winner.

Every week during the regular season, USA TODAY Sports+ NFL Insiders Tyler Dragon and Safid Deen bring you their top five stories of the week for the NFL Midweek Tailgate.

Why wait for game day to get the party going? Start the grills with the insiders' hot takes, keep your beverage-of-choice chilled with a healthy dose of reality in their thorough analysis and grab a chair because Dragon and Deen don't hold back.

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray moves the ball ahead of the Rams' Aaron Donald (99).

The NFL is known for an upset or two. After all, the phrase is, “any given Sunday.” Which road team has the best chance to pull off an upset?

Tyler Dragon: The Arizona Cardinals. No team enjoys being on the road more than the Cardinals. They led the NFL — and established a franchise single-season record — with eight road wins this year. Arizona’s only road loss, oddly enough, came against the lowly Detroit Lions.

One of Arizona’s biggest road wins of the year was in Week 4 at SoFi Stadium against the Los Angeles Rams. These two division rivals know each other well. They split the season series with one game a piece — each team winning on the other’s home turf.

The Cardinals' downward spiral late in the season does give me some reservations, but I’m hearing Arizona is excited to face its divisional foe. If the Cardinals can perform like the team that got off to a hot 7-0 start, they’ll be in a good position to win on Monday night.

WELCOME BACK:Can J.J. Watt help the Cardinals reconstruct a season that once was so promising?

Safid Deen: The San Francisco 49ers are back in the playoffs for the first time in two seasons, when they last reached the Super Bowl. They enter this postseason after winning seven of their last nine games, including a comeback victory over the Rams last week to clinch their playoff spot.

Jimmy Garoppolo is dealing with a right thumb injury, yes, but last week he may have played his best game with the 49ers. His supporting cast, featuring tight end George Kittle and receiver Deebo Samuel, is one of the strongest in the NFL. They could catch a Cowboys team that has struggled against top-tier competition down the stretch.

SPORTS BET:San Francisco 49ers' odds to win Super Bowl LVI

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs, who were in the Super Bowl last year, are the No. 2 seeds this postseason.

The Bucs and Chiefs, who were in the Super Bowl last year, are the No. 2 seeds this postseason. Which team has the tougher road back to the Super Bowl? 

Dragon: The Buccaneers lost their leading wide receiver Chris Godwin to a season-ending knee injury and had a highly publicized divorced with their third leading receiver Antonio Brown.

Tampa Bay did designate LB Lavonte David and RBs Leonard Fournette and Giovani Bernard to return from injured reserve, but those players are going to have to work themselves back into form during the postseason.

Furthermore, the Bucs will likely have to beat the Cowboys in the divisional round and then travel to Green Bay for a second-straight year to face the Packers with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

I don’t see the Packers losing two consecutive NFC Championship games at Lambeau Field to the Bucs. Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams, the NFL’s best duo, are on a mission this year.

'A bad decision that will follow him':Eric Dickerson on Antonio Brown's exit from Bucs

Deen: I think the Chiefs can make it to another Super Bowl — their third in as many seasons. While star receiver Tyreek Hill is dealing with a recent heel injury, the Chiefs’ core is more intact than Tampa Bay’s.

At some point, Tom Brady is going to wish he had receivers Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin on the field with him to convert a critical first down or score a touchdown.

'We don't have a chance':Ben Roethlisberger on Steelers' playoff game against the Chiefs

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs with teammates during practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 in Nashville, Tenn. Henry returned to practice after recovering from a foot injury he suffered earlier in the season.

Will the Titans or Packers benefits more from the bye week and home field advantage in the playoffs? 

Dragon: The obvious answer is the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee’s week off gives standout running back Derrick Henry additional time to get reacclimated and back to speed after suffering a foot injury in Week 8.

Henry is a game-changer for the Titans. He nearly rushed for 1,000 yards in just eight games. With Henry in the backfield, the Titans might just be the most dangerous team in the playoffs. Tennessee will go as far as Henry will take him. They desperately need their workhorse running back to be healthy if they want to play in Super Bowl LVI.

What we know:Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry's return from injury

'I feel like I never lost it':Has Tennessee Titans' Ryan Tannehill finally found his mojo?

Deen: In theory, the Packers should benefit more from home-field advantage, but even they lost to the Buccaneers in the NFC title game last season at home. But with reports out of Green Bay that Aaron Rodgers’ toe injury should be healed by time the Packers play next week, I think the bye benefits Green Bay the most.

Look, I know Henry also has an extra week to prepare in his potential return this postseason, but I just don’t like the idea of Henry returning too early. He could potentially cost himself and the Titans more than a playoff loss this postseason.

Back Healthy:Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers says toe should be 100% by next week

Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Micah Parsons has had a standout year and looks to continue that success in the postseason.

Which playoff matchup would you love to see next week? 

Dragon: Cowboys vs. Bucs. These two teams met in Week 1 with Tampa Bay narrowly getting the win. Both are much different in January after battling through adversity.

If the Cowboys and Bucs survive the wild-card round, this potential matchup might be the signature game of the divisional round. The Bucs will be on upset alert versus Dallas, but the last time the Cowboys made the NFC Championship was in 1995. That was the same season they won the Super Bowl. The Cowboys have won just four playoff games since their last Super Bowl title. They have historically fallen short in the postseason.  

Despite recent history, the Cowboys are a very talented team. As mentioned above, Tampa Bay’s path to a second-straight Super Bowl is daunting.

More:What DeMarcus Ware told Dallas Cowboys star Micah Parsons over pre-NFL playoff lunch

Deen: The playoff winners will be reseeded after the Wild Card weekend, so there could be some potential for a Bucs-Rams matchup (if the 49ers beat the Cowboys) or even Chiefs-Bengals matchup (if the Patriots beat the Bills). I think! But if the higher seeds take care of business this weekend, I would love to see the Chiefs and Bills meet again. An AFC title game rematch in the second round? Sign me up.

Sports Bet:Kansas City Chiefs' odds to win Super Bowl LVI

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich looks on in the second half of a December game against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium.

A quarter of the league will have a new coach in 2022. Which job is the most appealing, and who is a good fit? 

Dragon: Outside of football, it’s definitively Miami. South Beach isn’t a tough sell. However, football wise, I think the Chicago Bears opening is attractive.

People tend to forget, but the Bears aren’t too far removed from being a playoff team. Chicago made the postseason in 2020. The Bears have a young promising quarterback in Justin Fields and will get back star outside linebacker Khalil Mack, whose year was cut short due to a season-ending foot injury.

The Bears had the No. 6 ranked defense in the NFL, and they played without Mack for a majority of the season. Chicago needs to upgrade their skills positions on offense and bolster its offensive line through free agency and the draft. The Bears, who finished 6-11, aren’t too far away from being a playoff contender again.

Coaches' Odds:A Bears' homecoming for Jim Harbaugh or Brian Flores? It depends on the hour

Deen: So far, we’ve got seven openings: Bears, Broncos, Jaguars, Dolphins, Vikings, Raiders and Giants. I think the job with the most potential could be the Jaguars.

You know what the other jobs don’t have? A No. 1 pick at quarterback. Trevor Lawrence is the most appealing starting piece to any coach who knows having NFL success comes down to having that position settled. Jacksonville drafted well in recent years, too. They also have the No. 1 pick in the draft this year. If Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich can put a staff together, he should go home to Jacksonville.

More:Which NFL division-winning team is most at risk of upset in wild-card round of playoffs?

Rapid fire bonus question: conference title game and Super Bowl predictions? 

Dragon: Buccaneers vs. Packers in the NFC Championship Game. Chiefs vs. Titans in the AFC Championship Game.

I have the Packers and Chiefs advancing to Super Bowl LVI in what will be a Super Bowl I rematch. And as I say on “It’s a Football Podcast!", I’m picking the Chiefs again!

Deen: My AFC title game pick is the Chiefs and Bengals. In the NFC, Packers and Bucs. And in the Super Bowl, I have the Chiefs over the Packers.