With teams trying to compete for the first seed, many believe that the road to the Superbowl will go through the first seed’s house, which is not true because in 2011 the AFC first seed lost to the lonely Jets. As teams have shown throughout the years, you don’t need to host a playoff game in order to reach the biggest game of the year, but it helps. But if you are hosting a game against teams that are playing well all-around the field, then you probably don’t have that home-field advantage you were looking for.
The New England Patriots drew a massive setback with that loss to the 49ers, but that wont change their plans in the playoff. Yes, they most likely have lost the chance for a first round bye and yes, they almost had the first seed on lockdown with that win against Houston, but that doesn’t matter. These Patriots are the highest scoring team in the NFL and if their defense is able to play consistently, than this team will no doubt be able to beat Houston in Houston, or Denver in Denver (probably not, but you never know). This offense is also very balanced which makes Tom Brady even more dangerous because with more defenders in the box to stop the run, Brady will see a lot of man-to-man coverage.
The Green Bay Packers are the Patriots in the NFC, or the Pats are the AFC Packers, whichever one you decide they both are very good teams. With Aaron Rodgers under helm, this team has the possibility to score 30 points every game, but the offensive line is what diminishes the offensive potential this team has. This defense is young an underrated as they are much improved from last year’s worst ranked defense. If the defense can keep it close and let Aaron Rodgers do what he does best, I see this team winning in Atlanta, again, or in San Francisco. This offense can be dangerous especially after the running game has been picking up as of lately.
Russell Wilson has been everything short of remarkable this season. He’s leading all rookies in passing touchdowns and showed he can also use his legs with that great performance against Buffalo. He has a very good running back in the backfield in Beast Mode and a very good defense with arguably the two best cornerback tandems in the league (Both Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner will be back for the postseason). This team is incredibly talented and showed it can win games on the road with a bug win in Chicago, albeit one of the worst defensive play by the Seahawks in that last second Brandon Marshall catch to let them tie it up.
For the record, I don’t think any of the AFC wildcard teams have a chance to advance to the next round, Andrew Luck doesn’t perform as well on the road especially against quality teams. The Bengals are a different story because their defense has been the main reason for their success this season with racking up the most sacks this year so far at 43. I do not see Andy Dalton taking that next step in winning a playoff game but his defense may save him in the wildcard round.
Phew!!! Can’t wait for this years playoffs, a lot to prove from a Denver fan’s standpoint.