1. The New England Patriots The Patriots are 4-1 against the other AFC playoff teams with the lone loss coming in week 2. Winners of eight consecutive, finishing the season 14-2, the Patriots are the clear cut #1.
2. The Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan and Hall of Famer Dan Marino are the only two quarterbacks in the history of the game to win 33 games in their first three seasons as a starter. So it should be no surprise that Ryan has the Falcons in position with home field advantage and a bye week.
3. The Green Bay Packers Their win against Chicago last week and the Giants the week before has really got the Packers rolling. The Packer defense is getting all the hype this week and if any of these Wild Card teams are going to do it on the road, it's the Packers.
4. The New Orleans Saints They're defending champs, playing on the road against the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks. Pierre Thomas moved to the IR with fellow running back Chris Ivory, not a good sign for next week but the Saints will survive in the greater northwest this afternoon.
5. The Pittsburgh Steelers There is one glaring problem with the Steelers reaching the Super Bowl this season, the top-seeded Patriots own them. Other than that, the Steelers will be playing at home in the postseason with a defense that is always amongst the tops in the league and a quarterback with two rings on his hand.
6. The Indianapolis Colts On reputation alone, I think Peyton Manning comes out and torches the J-E-T-S, he's got something to prove. Playing at home the Colts are going to be sharp and this team is amazingly under the radar, they find a way to win.
7. The Baltimore Ravens I'm not sold on Joe Flacco and I've made no attempt to hide that. The Ravens defense is excellent, but we've known that for years. If this team is going to take the next step, it must be through that offense scoring points, you won't beat the Patriots, Colts, or Steelers by kicking field goals and playing defense.
8. The Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia was forced to rest Michael Vick because of how their offensive line has struggled at the end of the season. The Giants and Cowboys did an excellent job exposing how to attack a player who looked untouchable prior to the last fourth of the season.
9. The Chicago Bears Nooooo. I refuse to believe Jay Cutler is going to put a team on his back and reach the Super Bowl. Whoever they play next week will get a really tough defense but you won't have to worry about the Martz/Cutler project, bank that.
10. The New York Jets Stop talking. You're going into the postseason on the heels of losing 3 of their last 5 and backing into the tournament. Why talk about Brady & Manning, Rex? You can't talk about them, till you can beat them.
11. The Kansas City Chiefs K.C. looked terrible against Oakland in the final week, not a way to enter the playoffs. Playing at home is the only thing going for the Chiefs, Ray Lewis looking over at Matt Cassel isn't the way you want to start things off.
12. The Seattle Seahawks He may be nuts, but Ole' Pete Carroll is in the tournament and thats more that can be said for 20 other NFL teams. Let's be honest though, this is a team who got outscored 112-54 in the three weeks leading up to the Rams game.