The NFL playoff bracket 2011 is set for round one. Yet the NFL playoff bracket 2011 won’t be set for the next round until this coming weekend. Thanks to the league’s postseason format, the Falcons, Patriots, Bears and Steelers must wait for all the wild card games to finish, before they know their opponent. But no matter how things turn out in the wild cards, the bye teams may have familiar foes waiting for them. Already, the NFL playoff bracket 2011 has a few rematches, with more likely to come later.
Two of the first round games pair teams that faced each other in the regular season. Another is a rematch of last year’s AFC championship game, between the Colts and Jets. After the weekend ends, the winners could face familiar enemies as a reward.
If the NFL playoff bracket 2011 holds as expected in the NFC, the Falcons and Saints could face off for the third time this year, while the Bears and Eagles would meet for the second time. Although the Falcons and Saints might be the two best teams in the conference, they may clash in the second round, instead of the championship game.
But if the Packers defeat the Eagles, the Falcons would face them first – weeks after narrowly beating them in Atlanta. In that scenario, the Bears could face the Saints, in a rematch of the 2007 NFC title game. There’s even a scenario where the Bears and Packers would meet in the NFC championship, in a huge new chapter of their rivalry.
Over in the AFC, the NFL playoff bracket 2011 has last year’s two AFC finalists meeting in the first round. The Jets are the sixth seed, but they went far last season in that same position, before the Colts stopped them. If they upset Indianapolis, New York would then have to go to New England, however – and face constant reminders of 45-3.
If the Colts win, they would travel to Pittsburgh, for their first postseason meeting with the Steelers since their 2006 upset loss. In that scenario, if the Ravens won, they would face the Patriots – 12 months after Baltimore destroyed New England on the road in round one.
Looking farther ahead, the NFL playoff bracket 2011 has a string of huge title game possibilities. The biggest one in the NFC may be an Eagles-Falcons showdown, thanks to Michael Vick. In the AFC, a Patriots-Colts showdown wouldn’t be until the title game. But except for the Chiefs, the Patriots have faced every AFC postseason team this year already, and beat them all.
For the Super Bowl, the Patriots and Falcons would meet if form holds, although fans may be dreaming up other matchups. They include the Patriots-Bears, Patriots-Eagles, Steelers-Eagles, Patriots-Saints, Falcons-Steelers, and maybe even the Colts-Saints again. But however the NFL playoff bracket ends up, the finalists are likely to go through familiar foes.
NFL.com- “NFL Schedule: Playoffs”