The NFL playoffs can be an emotional time for fans.
At any point during a single postseason game, folks might experience joy, anguish, anxiety, fear, surprise, relief and more while pulling for their favorite teams in a win-or-go-home scenario.
These emotions are often accompanied by the uncontrollable urge to cheer, dance, groan, sob or shriek “HOW ‘BOUT THEM COWBOYS,” all of which can be pretty embarrassing while in the company of a bunch of randoms.
That is why it’s always good to watch these high-stake games in the company of other likeminded fans, whether at home with friends or at a sports bar where supporters of a particular team congregate on game days.
Here’s all the information you might need to enjoy this weekend’s wild-card games in such a manner. For more info on the watering holes listed below, check out the playoffs edition of our super handy SoCal NFL sports bar guide.
Where do NFL fans gather to watch playoff games in Southern California? From Packers to Patriots and Chiefs to Rams, use our guide to find your game-day spot.
(all times PST)
Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals, Saturday at 1:30 p.m. (NBC)
How they got here: Bengals (10-7) are the AFC North champions and the No. 4 seed; Raiders (10-7) are second in the AFC West and the No. 5 seed.
Head-to-head this season: Bengals won 37-13 on Nov. 21 at Las Vegas.
Where to watch with fellow Raiders fans: Melody Bar & Grill in Westchester (9132 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles); 28 West Sports Bar (28 W. Main St., Unit 28, Alhambra).
Las Vegas Raiders games are not for the children because it’s pure adult entrainment and Allegiant Stadium has a decided edge to it.
Fun fact to impress the Raiders fan sitting next to you: Quarterback Derek Carr’s dog is named Bruce Wayne.
Where to watch with fellow Bengals fans: 5 Line Tavern in Eagle Rock (2136 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles).
Fun fact to impress the Bengals fan sitting next to you: Rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase is the first Bengals player to wear jersey No. 1.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, Saturday at 5:15 p.m. (CBS)
How they got here: Bills (11-6) are the AFC East champions and the No. 3 seed; Patriots (10-7) are second in the AFC East and the No. 6 seed
Head-to-head this season: Patriots won 14-10 on Dec. 6 at Buffalo; Bills won 33-21 on Dec. 26 at New England.
Where to watch with fellow Patriots fans: The Garage on Motor in Palms (3387 Motor Ave., Los Angeles); Sonny McLean’s (2615 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles).
After a thrilling Week 18 of the NFL season, the playoffs are set. Here’s a breakdown of each first-round matchup and what to watch for next weekend.
Fun fact to impress the Patriots fan sitting next to you: Coach Bill Belichick once appeared onstage with Jon Bon Jovi, singing backup on “Wanted Dead Or Alive.”
Where to watch with fellow Bills fans: Busby’s West (3110 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica); Baja Sharkeez (52 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach).
Fun fact to impress the Bills fan sitting next to you: Quarterback Josh Allen says he can’t focus on TV or music unless the volume is set to an even number.
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday at 10 a.m. (Fox)
How they got here: Buccaneers (13-4) are the NFC South champions and the No. 2 seed; Eagles (9-8) are second in the NFC East and the No. 7 seed.
Head-to-head this season: Buccaneers won 28-22 on Oct. 14 at Philadelphia.
Where to watch with fellow Eagles fans: Greyhound Bar & Grill in Highland Park (5570 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles); Britannia Pub (318 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica).
How should first season of Chargers coach Brandon Staley be remembered? Is he the right guy for the Chargers? His controversial decisions make some wonder.
Fun fact to impress the Eagles fan sitting next to you: The lyrics of fight song “Fly, Eagles Fly” were translated to Esperanto and used as a prayer chant in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
Where to watch with fellow Buccaneers fans: Ummmmm ... help us out here, Bucs Nation. (We may or may not have a Tom Brady Creamsicle jersey that we may or may not be dying to break out — but only for the right crowd).
Fun fact to impress the Bucs fan sitting next to you: Coach Bruce Arians had 11 rushing touchdowns for Virginia Tech in 1974, a Hokies quarterback record that even withstood the Michael Vick era.
San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys, Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (CBS)
How they got here: Cowboys (12-5) are the NFC East champions and the No. 3 seed; 49ers (10-7) are third in the NFC West and the No. 6 seed.
Head-to-head this season: Did not play each other this season.
Where to watch with fellow 49ers fans: Gallagher’s Pub & Grill (2751 E. Broadway, Long Beach).
Rams running back Cam Akers’ return from a torn Achilles tendon shattered the perceived rehabilitation timeframe, and Dr. Neal ElAttrache knows why.
Fun fact to impress the 49ers fan sitting next to you: Receiver Deebo Samuel’s real first name is Tyshun. He was a toddler when his father started referring to him by the name of the bully in “Friday” because he was always taking other people’s belongings.
Where to watch with fellow Cowboys fans: Culichi’s VIP (16689 E. Foothill Blvd., Fontana); Q’s Billiard Club (11835 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles); Bludso’s Bar & Que in Fairfax (609 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles); The Parlor in Fairfax (7250 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles).
Fun fact to impress the Cowboys fan sitting next to you: Quarterback Dak Prescott (full name Rayne Dakota Prescott) is said to have been named after Dakota Dude from the obscure 1990s cartoon “Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa.”
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday at 5:15 p.m. (NBC)
How they got here: Chiefs (12-5) are the AFC West champions and the No. 2 seed; Steelers (9-7-1) are second in the AFC North and the seventh seed.
Head-to-head this season: Chiefs won 36-10 on Dec. 26 at home.
Where to watch with fellow Steelers fans: Iron City Tavern (589 W. 9th St., San Pedro); Starting Gate (5052 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos).
Gregory Eaton, Tom Henschel and Don Crisman have attended every Super Bowl and have had many close calls and interesting stories over the last 56 years.
Fun fact to impress the Steelers fan sitting next to you: Go out and buy a copy of “T.J. Watt’s Life and Career: Fun Stories About T.J. Watt, Steelers LB” and find your own fun fact.
Where to watch with fellow Chiefs fans: 1906 Inc (1231 E. 16th St., Upland); Baja Sharkeez (3600 Highland Ave., Manhattan Beach); Jalapeño Pete’s (11618 Ventura Blvd., Studio City).
Fun fact to impress the Chiefs fan sitting next to you: Rapper Post Malone has the autographs of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce tattooed on his body.
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams, Monday at 5:15 p.m. (ABC/ESPN)
How they got here: Rams (12-5) are the NFC West champions and the No. 4 seed; Cardinals are second in the NFC West and the No. 5 seed.
Head-to-head this season: Cardinals won 37-20 on Oct. 3 at SoFi Stadium; Rams won 30-23 on Dec. 13 at Arizona.
Where to watch with fellow Cardinals fans: Big Wangs in North Hollywood (5300 Lankershim Blvd. #130, Los Angeles).
The Rams’ first playoff task is to beat the slumping Arizona Cardinals, and that will require stopping the run.
Fun fact to impress the Cardinals fan sitting next to you: Quarterback Kyler Murray was a chess club champion in the fourth and fifth grades.
Where to watch with fellow Rams fans: Tom Bergin’s (840 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles); Legends Restaurant & Sports Bar (5236 E. 2nd St., Long Beach).
Fun fact to impress the Rams fan sitting next to you: Linebacker Von Miller was a poultry science major at Texas A&M. “Chickens are dope,” he once told ESPN.