But of this season’s 12 playoff teams, how many have a legitimate shot at Super Bowl glory?
Let’s assume the top two seeds in each conference — the teams that earned first-round byes — are among the real “contenders” and not “pretenders,” comparatively speaking. The group consists of the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals.
The other eight will battle on wild card weekend for a shot at the NFL powers. Each winner obviously has a chance to win its first-round playoff game and pull off an upset in the divisional round, but let’s be realistic here: Some teams simply look more dangerous than others.
This shouldn’t stop anyone from showing up or from tuning in, of course. We’ve seen plenty of craziness this season, so perhaps a dark-horse playoff team will emerge from the pack for an unforeseen Super Bowl run. There are a few teams in the AFC and NFC beyond the core four really worth watching, though.
Let’s identify the teams that the Broncos, Patriots, Panthers and Cardinals should be most concerned about as the NFL playoffs kick off Saturday.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images
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