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Wild Card Round: Who the Falcons, Bears, Patriots, and Steelers Want to Win

Time to take another spin on the NFL Playoffs, this time from the perspective of the first and second seeds in each conference.

It is time to forget about the teams that are playing this weekend for a second and focus on the best teams in each conference.

These teams have earned a top-two seed in their respected conference so let’s give them a little more respect.

Time to take a different spin on these NFL playoffs and breakdown who these first and second seeds want to see win this Wild Card weekend.

Earlier I wrote about each teams easiest and hardest road to the Super Bowl, and I also provided a ranking of the most compelling Super Bowl match-ups.

Today, I will spend time focusing on who the top seeds in each conference want to face in the Divisional Round.

First, the number one seeds—Patriots and Falcons—can only play the four, five, or six seed.  If the three seed beats the six seed, they will play the winner of the four versus five game.  If the sixth seed wins, then they will play that team regardless of what happens in the other matchup.

Wild Card action kicks off Saturday at 4:30 with the New Orleans Saints traveling to Seattle to take on the Seahawks.  The day is capped off at 8:00 with the New York Jets traveling to Indianapolis to face the Colts. Both games will be televised on NBC.

On Sunday, even more Wild Card action with the Kansas City Chiefs playing host to the Baltimore Ravens at 1:00 on CBS.  Wild Card round concludes with the Green Bay Packers traveling to face the Philadelphia Eagles in a rematch of their week one game.  The game will kickoff at 4:30 and will be televised on FOX.

With that being said, who do the Falcons, Patriots, Steelers, and Bears want to face and how should they be rooting for.

NFC:

No. 1 Seed: Atlanta Falcons

Possible Opponents: No. 4 Seattle Seahawks, No. 5 New Orleans Saints, No. 6 Green Bay Packers

Ideal Scenario: No. 4 Seahawks

  • How this matchup happens: No. 3 Eagles beat No. 6 Packers; Seahawks win
  • Why Falcons want this matchup: Who doesn’t want to face a team that won seven games in the regular season with a chance to lock up a berth in the NFC Championship Game. The Falcons dominated the Seahawks in week 15 of the NFL season, but that was on the road. The Seahawks provide the best opportunity for them to advance to the next round.

Toughest Scenario: No. 6 Packers

  • How this matchup happens: No. 6 Packers beat No. 3 Eagles
  • Why Falcons don’t want this matchup: Because the Packers defense. Clay Matthews is a freak and Matt Ryan and the Falcons do not want to see him or that Packers defense in the playoffs. And then there is Aaron Rogers taking snaps for the Packers on the other side of the ball. Plain and simple, this is the team the Falcons want to avoid.

Realistic Scenario: No. 5 Saints

  • Why this matchup will happen? Because the Eagles will beat the Packers and the Saints will beat the Seahawks. This will set up an act three for these two teams. And this time, everything will be on the line. I would not be surprised at all though if the Packers beat the Eagles and the Falcons will have to play a team they beat by three points earlier in the year. Regardless of the outcomes of these games, the Falcons will play a team for the second or third time this year.

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No. 2 Seed: Chicago Bears

Possible Opponents: No. 3 Philadelphia Eagles, No. 4 Seattle Seahawks, No. 5 New Orleans Saints

Ideal Scenario: No. 4 Seahawks

  • How this matchup happens: No. 6 Packers beat No. 3 Eagles, Seahawks win
  • Why the Bears want this matchup: See Atlanta Falcons reason. They are the Seahawks. They won seven games in the regular season.

Toughest Scenario: No. 3 Eagles

  • How to get here: No. 3 Eagles beat the No. 6 Packers
  • Why Da Bears don’t want this matchup: Because healthy or not, regardless of how good your defense is. No one want to face Mike Vick in the playoffs. He can just make plays that no one else can make. The Bears are going to have to root for their arch rivals so that they can have a shot at going to the NFC Championship without playing the Eagles.

Realistic Scenario: No. 3 Eagles

  • Why this matchup will happen? The Eagles will beat the Packers and the Bears will be forced to try and beat the Eagles for a second time this year. But it’s not like that’s going to be easy. Nothing is easy in the playoffs. One thing is for sure, is that a Bears-Eagles rematch would be a great game, and a toss-up.

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AFC:

No. 1 Seed: New England Patriots

Possible Opponents: No. 4 Kansas City Chiefs, No. 5 Baltimore Ravens, No. 6 New York Jets

Ideal Scenario: No. 4 Chiefs

  • How this matchup happens: No. 3 Colts beat No. 6 Jets; Chiefs win
  • Why the Patriots want this matchup: Although they wouldn’t mind playing the Jets, they would much rather play the Chiefs to have a chance to go to the AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs are a team that is just one or two years away from being a very good team in the AFC. They have alot of young talent, it is just not going to shine in the playoffs this year. The Patriots will most likely make the AFC Championship game and the Chiefs would provide the easiest opportunity.

Toughest Scenario: No. 5 Ravens

  • How to get here: No. 3 Colts beat the No. 6 Jets; Ravens win
  • Why the Patriots don’t want this matchup: The Ravens have played the Patriots tough already this year. There first matchup an overtime period was needed to decide the winner. The Pats would win 23-20, but if given the choice of playing the Chiefs, Ravens, or Jets, they don’t want to face Ray Lewis and the Ravens.

Realistic Scenario: No. 5 Ravens

  • Why this matchup will happen? The Colts will beat the Jets and the Ravens will go on the road and beat the Chiefs. Kansas City is a team that is a year or two away from being a serious contender in the AFC, but just not this year. A Pats-Ravens rematch would be alot closer than people will predict. I think the Patriots are still the hands down favorite in the AFC. But it’s the NFL, anything can happen. The Pats just don’t want to face this Ravens team, they would much rather play the Chiefs or Jets.

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No. 2 Seed: Pittsburgh Steelers

Possible Opponents: No. 3 Indianapolis Colts, No. 4 Kansas City Chiefs, No. 5 Baltimore Ravens

Ideal Scenario: No. 4 Chiefs

  • How this matchup happens: No. 6 Jets beat No. 3 Colts; Chiefs win
  • Why the Steelers want this matchup: Nothing against the Chiefs, but they aren’t quite on the level of the Colts or Ravens. The Ravens have already played the Steelers tough two times this year and they don’t want to face them a third. They also don’t want to face Peyton Manning in the playoffs. I don’t care if Manning has struggled, he isn’t a QB you want to see in the playoffs when he has something to prove. The Chiefs just give the Steelers the best chance to win.

Toughest Scenario: No. 5 Ravens

  • How to get here: No. 6 Jets beat No. 3 Colts; Ravens win
  • Why the Steelers don’t want this matchup:They don’t want to face their divisional rivals for the third time this year. Baltimore won game one and should have won game two. The Steelers just don’t want to play this Ravens team for the third time—they would much rather face the Colts or Chiefs. Nothing against those teams, but a Steelers-Ravens rematch would be just as good as the first two—each decided by 3 points.

Realistic Scenario: No. 3 Colts

  • Why this matchup will happen? The Colts will beat the Jets forcing the Steelers to host the Colts in the Divisional Round. This is better than having to play the Ravens—a divisional rival, but worse than facing the Jets. The Steelers will luck out by not having to play the Ravens but they will be rewarded with having to play Peyton Manning. Talk about quite a reward.


Wild Card Round Predictions

AFC: Colts 27, Jets 20; Ravens 24, Chiefs 13

NFC: Saints 34, Seahawks 16; Eagles 31, Packers 28

Divisional Round Matchups

AFC: Colts at Steelers; Ravens at Patriots

NFC: Saints at Falcons; Eagles at Bears

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons Chicago Bears New England Patriots Philadelphia Eagles

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