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January 4, 2013

NFL Playoffs ripe with excitement, unpredictability

The most exciting time of the sports year is finally upon us.

The NFL playoffs have more to offer than any other postseason in sports and that’s why football is the most popular sport in the country by a long shot. There’s so much to win and so much to lose with each game. And with the way things have been going recently, literally every one of the 12 teams still alive have a legitimate shot of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on the first weekend of February.

This year’s playoffs once again bring a high level of intrigue as every team in the field has flaws, and every team in the field has won its share of big games already this season to get to this point. Here’s a look at some of the best story lines, games and potential matchups this years playoffs have in store.

The Contenders: It’s hard to narrow down just the top contenders as the last half decade plus have showed us that any team can go all the way with five of the last six Super Bowl winners playing on Wild Card weekend. But two teams in each league stand out above the rest as the favorites to head to New Orleans.

In the AFC it’s obviously the Broncos and Patriots, the top two seeds that have been playing their best football late in the season. Both teams sport high powered offenses with future Hall of Fame quarterbacks at the helm that are former Super Bowl MVPs.

In the NFC the cream of the crop looks like the 49ers and Packers. San Francisco has the most feared defense of any playoff team with the pass rushers to go along with the run stopping linebackers. Green Bay has the best quarterback in the NFC playoffs in Aaron Rodgers, a veteran with a Super Bowl ring on his resume. Green Bay and San Francisco are on a crash course to meet in the NFC Divisional Round, and the winner is the odds on favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

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