Wild Card teams all make history, so now what?

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'Just get in' is the mantra of NFL teams as they chase playoff berths. Wild-card weekend displayed why that philosophy works.

Now, can the Packers, Seahawks, Steelers and Chiefs carry it further?

All four took to the road and won, the first time that's happened since the current playoff format was adopted in 1990. It was anything but easy for Seattle and Pittsburgh, slightly less challenging for Green Bay, and a romp for Kansas City.

Still, they swept, and Aaron Rodgers suspects for the same main reason.

"We've got a great home-field advantage, but when you go on the road, you galvanize together," he said after a 35-18 win at Washington. "It's you and your loyal fans there against the entire stadium.

"We came together (Sunday). We played for each other. There was a time there, down 11-0, where people could have started to have that doubt creep in. But it didn't happen today."

The doubt could have crept in even more so for the Steelers, who needed some bone headedness by the Bengals - did someone say Bungles? - to advance. And for the Seahawks, who stood frozen on the sideline and watched Minnesota's Blair Walsh miss a chip-shot field goal at game's end.

"I think we were fortunate that we got the win," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after the third-coldest NFL game on record. "A lot of those times, guys make those kicks. There's a high percentage that they make them, but you've still got to do it."

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Wild Card teams all make history, so now what?
during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane (20) tackles Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) calls a play during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs the ball against Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan (9) lands after jumping over Minnesota Vikings linebacker Casey Matthews (59) as he runs the ball during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) hands off the ball to running back Christine Michael (32) during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) runs the ball during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll looks at the scoreboard during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) runs the ball against Minnesota Vikings strong safety Andrew Sendejo (34) during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) runs the ball after intercepting a pass during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Minnesota Vikings players celebrate after cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepted a pass during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) makes a touchdown reception during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws a pass to Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll celebrate a touchdown with wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael (32) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (24) during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) tackles Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) as Wilson throws during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) chases a loose ball during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cassius Marsh (91) and defensive players react to a play during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh (3) misses a field goal during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. The Seahawks won 10-9. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Vikings fans react after an NFL wild-card football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. The Seahawks won 10-9. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll celebrates with wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) after an NFL wild-card football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. The Seahawks won 10-9. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) walks off the field after an NFL wild-card football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. The Seahawks won 10-9. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Fans watch during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. The Seahawks won 10-9. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael (32) celebrates after an NFL wild-card football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. The Seahawks won 10-9. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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What the Seahawks (11-6) now have to do is win at Carolina (15-1), which had the NFL's best record, including a win at Seattle. The Packers (11-6) also have an unenviable task, heading to Arizona (13-3), which routed them 38-8 in Week 16.

The Chiefs (12-5), winners of 11 in a row, earned a trip to New England (12-4), and might head there without star receiver Jeremy Maclin. A battered Pittsburgh (11-6) goes to Denver (12-4), which it beat 34-27 in Week 15 at Heinz Field.

Formidable challenges, for sure - particularly for the Steelers if three key offensive players are sidelined. All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown suffered a concussion at Cincinnati, QB Ben Roethlisberger hurt his right shoulder, and running back DeAngelo Williams (foot) didn't even suit up on the weekend.

But all four wild cards should be brimming with confidence, even if unlike in the opening round, they aren't favored by the oddsmakers.

"They didn't really care where we play, they wanted to know who we were going to play, and let's go," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.

"They put everything in it. That's how playoff games are, you just exhaust yourself and get ready for the next one, and exhaust yourself for that one, and that's kind of how that thing rolls. I didn't sense anything different from them. That's just kind of how they've been. We'll do our thing, and do it again."

All four wild-card winners have done relatively well away from home. Kansas City, Seattle and Green Bay were 5-3, Pittsburgh was 4-4 during the regular season. The upcoming hosts were 7-1 (New England, Carolina and Arizona) or 6-2 (Denver).

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NFL Wild Card weekend best photos
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Wild Card teams all make history, so now what?
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09: Frankie Hammond #85 of the Kansas City Chiefs makes a catch against the Houston Texans during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware (32) scores in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans during the AFC Wild Card game on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, at NRG Stadium in Houston. The Chiefs won, 30-0. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09: The Kansas City Chiefs huddle in the first quarter against the Houston Texans during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09: Cairo Santos #5 of the Kansas City Chiefs makes an extra point in the third quarter against the Houston Texans during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09: Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled by Kevin Johnson #30 of the Houston Texans in the second quarter during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals' Vontaze Burfict (55) during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 09: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is unable to catch a pass as he is defended by Chris Lewis-Harris #37 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth quarter during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers' Martavis Bryant (10) makes a 10-yard touchdown reception against Cincinnati Bengals' Dre Kirkpatrick (27) during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 09: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is unable to catch a pass as he is defended by Leon Hall #29 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth quarter during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) waits for a play during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Seattle Seahawks-, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 10: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts after being sacked in the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at TCFBank Stadium on January 10, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 10: A general view of fans during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks at TCFBank Stadium on January 10, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 10: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings fumbles the ball in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at TCFBank Stadium on January 10, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 10: Blair Walsh #3 of the Minnesota Vikings misses a 27-yard field goal in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at TCFBank Stadium on January 10, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Seattle Seahawks defeat the Minnesota Vikings with a score of 10 to 9. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 10: Wide receiver James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers is tackled by cornerback Quinton Dunbar #47 of the Washington Redskins in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at FedExField on January 10, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed (86) leaps over Green Bay Packers cornerback LaDarius Gunter (36) during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Landover, Md., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. The Packers won 35-18. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 10: Inside linebacker Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers in action against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on January 10, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD- JANUARY 10: Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) is sacked by Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Mike Neal (96) for a 16 yard loss on fourth down with just under three minutes left tin the fourth quarter of the NFC Wild Card playoff game between the Washington Redskins and the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field on Sunday, January 10, 2016. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/ The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 10: Jeff Janis #83 of the Green Bay Packers is tackled by Tanard Jackson #36 of the Washington Redskins during a kick-off return in the first quarter during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at FedExField on January 10, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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The Chiefs can't rely on Tom Brady and the Patriots to turn over the ball the way Brian Hoyer and the Texans did. Pittsburgh knows the Broncos won't beat themselves as the Bengals did.

Green Bay fully understands the defense it will face in Arizona is far superior to Washington's. Seattle, probably still giving thanks for Walsh's wayward kick, knows that scoring in only one quarter - and only 10 points - won't be enough against Carolina.

But to dismiss any of them in this unusual NFL season would be folly.

Rodgers has shown time and again his propensity for producing in the spotlight, and the Packers already own a Super Bowl ring as a wild card. So do the Steelers, whose resolve can never be questioned.

Kansas City simply is the hottest team in pro football. And the Seahawks didn't make the Super Bowl the past two years, winning once and barely failing the second time, by chance.

"I said this week that it just takes one," Rodgers said. "It just takes one performance to get us going back in the right direction and believing that we can make a run."

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