Los Angeles, December 30, 2013 — NFL 2013 has concluded its regular season. Now comes the postseason, and the NFC playoffs are set.
1) 13-3 Seattle Seahawks
2) 12-4 Carolina Panthers
3) 10-6 Philadelphia Eagles
4) 8-7-1 Green Bay Packers
5) 12-4 San Francisco 49ers
6) 11-5 New Orleans Saints
How they got here: While none of the divisions were clinched entering the week, the top two seeds and the two wildcards all held serve and stayed in place. The Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys had one winner-take-all division showdown, while the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears had another one. The Eagles and Packers won and knocked the Cowboys and Bears out. This is the third straight year the Cowboys lost a Week 17 division showdown with the division and playoffs on the line .
Had the Arizona Cardinals defeated the 49ers and the Saints lost their game, the Cardinals would have been the six seed and the Saints would have been eliminated from the playoffs.
January 4 and 5 wildcard matchups (all times ET):
Saturday, January 4, 8 p.m on NBC: New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, January 5, 1:30 p.m. on FOX: San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
January 11 and 12 are the divisional matchups:
If New Orleans wins, they are at Seattle. If San Francisco wins, they are at Carolina. The winner of the other wildcard game would not know their opponent until this wildcard is settled.
Predictions: Nobody should be counted out from reaching the NFC Title Game on Sunday, January 19. Green Bay barely made it but now has Aaron Rodgers back. There could be upsets galore in the early rounds.
Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that a third rubber match will take place between the Seahawks and 49ers or between the Saints and Panthers.
Both wildcard games will be won by the road teams, who are simply better teams.
The 49ers match up well with the Panthers. Both teams have a nasty defense. The home field should be enough for Carolina to win despite San Francisco having the experience. The Saints could beat Seattle in New Orleans, but nobody is beating Seattle in Seattle.
The Saints may be a better team than the Panthers and the 49ers, but they have the toughest divisional matchup at the Seahawks, who blew them out once in Seattle already.
The Eagles and Packers could pull off home upsets, but all suspense ends in Seattle when the Legion of Boom defense gets it done.
Every year a top seed appears vulnerable in at least one of the two conferences, but this year Seattle is solid as the favorite.
The Seahawks will be going to the Super Bowl, and they match up very well with any team in the other conference. A Gatorade bath of Pete Carroll and the first Pacific Northwest Super Bowl victory is well within attainability.
Follow Eric Golub on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities.
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