So, who is going to New Orleans in February?
Which two teams go all the way to a Super Bowl?
As the NFL playoffs begin, you have your great records and you have your hot streaks. The teams that were given the nod to win their divisions when the season started (New England, Atlanta, San Francisco, Houston and Baltimore) are up against the teams that have made it by playing great football down the stretch (Minnesota, Seattle, Washington, Green Bay, Denver, Indianapolis and Cincinnati).
You have to be surprised - even shocked - about Minnesota, Seattle, Washington and Indianapolis. If you combine their 2011 records, you come up with a win/loss mark of 17-47 (.266). Three of these clubs, Seattle, Washington and Indianapolis, went out and found themselves new quarterbacks. This should give you a pretty fair clue about what position is most important for a playoff team. In 2012 these four teams combined to go 42-22 (.656).
You would be foolish not to rate the overall health of a team near the top of the list. A healthy Adrian Peterson has carried the Vikings on his back. Green Bay has Greg Jennings back, and they expect to field wideout-return man Randall Cobb and veteran safety Charles Woodson in the playoffs, so watch out. Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are playing football again for New England. That is just what a team that scored 557 points during the regular season needs for a playoff run.
Your offensive weapons only work if those big boys on the offensive line are pulling together. There should probably be a new rating category in football called "HOTOL" (Health of the Offensive Line). It would tell a lot about a team's chances to win.
When it comes down to the playoffs, you want a good head man calling the shots. You do not see bad coaches leading playoff teams. Scratch your most consistent playoff teams and you will find yourself a good coaching staff. New England and Green Bay rate at the top of this list right now.
So, which two teams are going all the way to New Orleans Feb. 3? Look at all the factors, rate these teams honestly (even your own favorites) and you might just put your finger on the clubs that will be fighting for the Super Bowl championship.