Chart: NFL playoff teams

  • Updated: January 4, 2013 - 3:54 PM

NFC

No. 1 Atlanta: The Falcons post big numbers on offense. They have a zone-based defense that's predicated on making the occasional big play. And they have a reputation for owning the regular season and then falling flat in the postseason. Will this year be different?

No. 2 San Francisco: The 49ers are not razor sharp heading into the postseason, but they play a brand of football that allows them to easily shake off dullness. Defensively, they're a straightforward man-to-man, two-deep unit. Offensively, the Niners are a bruising run-first club. A week off shouldn't hurt them at all.

No. 3 Green Bay: The Packers' run offense has improved lately, but Aaron Rodgers' play at quarterback has been exceptional all year. Defensively, Green Bay benefits with the return of Charles Woodson, who can plug in anywhere in the defensive backfield.

No. 4 Washington: The Redskins have, in a way, revolutionized the read-option in the NFL with rookie QB Robert Griffin III. The Broncos and the Panthers ran it last year, but not with this kind of dimension or down-to-down effectiveness. Other teams have started to pick it up, including first-round opponent Seattle.

No. 5 Seattle: Rookie QB Russell Wilson never ran the read-option in college. As this season has gone on, it has become more integral in Seattle's offense. With a zone-blocking line and a powerful running back in Marshawn Lynch, all the pieces are in place for it to continue.

No. 6 Minnesota: Adrian Peterson is a given for the Vikings, but QB Christian Ponder can the be difference-maker both ways. He had two bad turnovers in a loss to the Packers, then turned it around in Sunday's victory. Four consecutive victories in a playoff push has the team peaking at the right time.

AFC

No. 1 Denver: The Broncos have won 11 straight. Their margin of victory has been either seven or eight in four of those games and double digits in all the others. Peyton Manning had an MVP-type season, yet Denver's defense is even better than its offense. This is the AFC favorite.

No. 2 New England: The Patriots finished with the No. 1-ranked offense even though they are thin at receiver and TEs Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski were healthy together for only five games. QB Tom Brady still made it work. An improved defense is key to playoff success.

No. 3 Houston: The Texans offense hasn't been sharp the past two weeks. QB Matt Schaub has been unsuccessful dropping back to throw on a lot of early downs, which has put the Texans in obvious passing situations, eliminating the all-important play-action element from their offense.

No. 4 Baltimore: The Ravens defense will be back together after hybrid edge man Terrell Suggs, linebacker Ray Lewis, lineman Pernell McPhee and D-backs Jimmy Smith and Bernard Pollard all missed time during the season. Success is riding on better defensive play.

No. 5 Indianapolis: Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who had a midseason battle with leukemia, will be in his seventh game on the sidelines in a game against the Ravens, for whom he was defensive coordinator last season. Rookie QB Andrew Luck, the No. 1 draft choice, has been the real deal.

No. 6 Cincinnati: The Bengals, led by defensive tackles Domata Peko and Geno Atkins, have one of the stingiest run defenses in football. Their first game is a rematch of last year's playoff game, when they lost to Houston and backup quarterback T.J. Yates.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 93 FINAL
Phoenix 99
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Vancouver 5
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
IUPUI 59 FINAL
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 34 FINAL
Arizona 57
Kent State 55 FINAL
Buffalo 80
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How should Timberwolves fans greet Kevin Love on Saturday?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close