The NFL playoff bracket 2011 set up big first round matches. Yet few expected the NFL playoff bracket 2011 to contain games like the ones this weekend. The Seahawks would have been kept out if fans had their way, yet they are still alive right now. The Jets and Ravens once again won road games, just like last season, while the Packers took Michael Vick and the Eagles out of the running. Therefore, despite how crazy the wild card round became, the NFL playoff bracket now looks even more enticing for this coming weekend.
The divisional round has the Patriots, Steelers, Falcons and Bears ready to start their Super Bowl run. However, if they paid attention on Saturday and Sunday, they’ll see that their road got a little tougher – especially in the AFC.
As it turns out, the NFL playoff bracket 2011 has two of the league’s great rivalries making up the AFC semifinals. It all starts with the most brutal rivalry in football, as the Steelers and Ravens meet in Pittsburgh, at 4:30 pm est on Saturday. This is their second postseason meeting in three years, following their 2009 AFC title game, and many other close, bloody battles.
While one great AFC rivalry starts the second round, another one will close it. At 4:30 pm est on Sunday, the Patriots will take the field against the Jets. But since the Patriots are Super Bowl favorites, and since they beat the Jets by 42 points last month, pundits don’t expect a Steelers-Ravens type of thriller.
The AFC clearly has the spotlight on the NFL playoff bracket 2011 this week. But the NFC still has two games of their own, starting with the Packers-Falcons at 8 pm est on Saturday. The Falcons have been nearly perfect at home with Matt Ryan, yet the Packers almost beat them in Atlanta weeks ago.
Now that Aaron Rodgers is healthy, and that he’s now won a postseason game, the Packers could be a popular upset pick. Despite being a six seed, Green Bay may well look like a safer bet than the other three NFC semifinalists.
The least hyped upcoming battle on the NFL playoff bracket 2011 is likely the Seahawks vs Bears, at 1 pm est on Sunday. However, after the Seahawks defeated the Saints, pundits will be a bit more reluctant to count them out this time. They have to go on the road now, yet they did beat the Bears in Soldier Field back in October.
The way the NFL playoff bracket is shaped, the Seahawks would host the Packers in the NFC title game if they both won. Although that still appears unlikely, not much seems impossible after this first round. Given that two harsh rivalries will be renewed, an 8-9 team is marching on, and two budding superstar quarterbacks are clashing in Atlanta, this coming weekend may further the madness.
NFL.com- “NFL Schedule: Playoffs”