The first week of NFL playoff action is now in the books and now things really start heating up. All eight teams will be in action this week as they will fight for a spot in the conference championships. Here are how the final eight teams stack up:
[Editor’s note: An initial version of this article had the AFC matchups mixed up]
The Saints got an extra week of rest before their matchup with the Eagles in the divisional round. New Orleans met the Eagles in November and crushed them 48-7. Drew Brees and the offense will hope that they can repeat the performance in the postseason.
The Rams narrowly avoided a Bears team that dominated them a few weeks ago and instead get a much weaker Cowboys squad. Their offense will still face a tough test against Dallas’ grueling defense, though.
Kansas City will face off with Andrew Luck and the red hot Colts, which may give a lot of trouble to a struggling defense.
4. Los Angeles Chargers (13-4; @ Patriots)
The Chargers defense was unstoppable against the Ravens. They bullied rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson all day and held the Ravens to under 50 yards for the majority of the game. Now they will take on a tough test as they head to Foxborough to take on Tom Brady’s Patriots
Indianapolis put the Texans away fairly early and then packed it in for next week. Now they face off against a Patrick Mahomes Chiefs in the buzzsaw that can be Arrowhead on the road.
6. New England Patriots (11-5; vs. Colts)
New England got a week off and now they will face off against a familiar foe in the Indianapolis Colts. Their weak defense will be put to the test against Andrew Luck and the Colts’ high-flying offense.
7. Dallas Cowboys (11-6; @ Rams)
Dak Prescott took over the fourth quarter as Cowboys came out victorious against the Seahawks. Now the quarterback, and the vaunted defense he has behind him, will travel to Los Angeles to take on one of the NFL’s juggernauts for a chance to return the legendary franchise to the NFC title game.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (10-7; @ Saints)
The Underdogs did it once again. Philadelphia’s front seven played a great game and a late missed field goal by Cody Parkey sealed the win for the Eagles. The Super Bowl champions will now continue their title defense against the juggernaut Saints at the Superdome.
9. Chicago Bears (12-5)
Audible dong struck again and this time it really hurt.
10. Seattle Seahawks (10-7)
The first ever victims of “Playoff Dak”.
11. Houston Texans (11-6)
The offense did not show up until the third quarter and even then, a string of failed fourth downs cost them any chance to beat the Colts.
12. Baltimore Ravens (10-7)
Turns out trying to play football with a training dummy at guard is a bad idea.