The NFL playoffs take place entirely in 2015 this time, with the AFC North (Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals), NFC West (Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals) and NFC North (Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions) sending multiple teams into the postseason. The Seahawks, Packers, New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos have a first round bye.
2014 Season: 11-5 in the NFC West, 2nd in the division. Are ranked 24th in total offense; Gave up only 18.7 points per game.
Recent playoff experience: First postseason under Bruce Arians. First playoffs since 2009. Reached the Super Bowl a year earlier, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rivals: The Carolina Panthers, on the road.
More: Their starting quarterback is their third stringer, Ryan Lindley. He has completed just 48.4% of his passes, throwing two touchdowns and four interceptions. He’s not why they’re going to win, if they’re going to win.
2014 Season: 10-6, 3rd in the AFC North; 12 in total offense, 6th in total defense.
Recent playoff experience: Since John Harbaugh is the head coach (2008), they’ve missed the postseason just once, last year, after going 8-8. They won the Super Bowl two years ago and always win at least won postseason game under Harbaugh.
Rivals: On the road against division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
More: Joe Flacco has a 83.7 passer rating on the road and the same in the month of December this season. His overall passer rating is 90.9.
2014 Season: 7-8-1, winning the NFC South; 16 in total offense, 21 in total defense.
Recent playoff experience: Second year in a row. Lost after a bye, at home, to the 49ers last year. Haven’t won a playoff game since 2005. First time in back-to-back playoff appearances.
Rivals: At home vs the Cardinals.
More: Cam Netwon has posted a passer rating of 104 or better in two of the last three games after not reaching 100 from week 2 to 14.
2014 Season: 10-5-1, 2nd in NFC North. They’re 15th in total offense, 12th in total defense.
Past playoff experience: Fourth consecutive playoff appearance, losing in the wild card in all three times. Haven’t won a playoff game since 1990. Under Marvin Lewis have been to the postseason five times, losing five times.
Rivals: On the road against the Indianapolis Colts.
More: In three career postseason games, Andy Dalton has just one touchdown pass and six interceptions.
2014 Season: 12-4, winning the NFC East. 7th In total offense, 15th in total defense.
Recent playoff experience: First playoff appearance under Jason Garrett, first for the franchise since 2009.
Rivals: Playing at home vs the Detroit Lions.
More: Tony Romo in December, 2014? 74.8% completion percentage, 12 touchdowns, one interception, 133.7 passer rating.
2014 Season: Won the AFC West with a 12-4 record; 4th in total offense, 3rd in total defense.
Recent playoff experience: Since the Peyton Manning trade have finished with the best record (or shared) in the conference three years in a row. Made the Super Bowl last year, lost to the Seahawks.
Rivals: Bye week.
More: Since the beginning of November, Peyton Manning has thrown 12 interceptions in nine games. He had three in the previous seven games.
2014 Season: 11-5, 2nd in the NFC North; 19th in total offense, 3rd in total defense.
Recent playoff experience: Lions have been to the playoffs just once since 1999, in 2011. Haven’t won a playoff game since 1991. Jim Caldwell made the postseason twice with the Colts, but has never won a playoff game.
Rivals: On the road vs the Cowboys.
More: Matthew Stafford has been terrible this season on the road with a 74.9 passer rating, 23 points lower than his season average.
Green Bay Packers
2014 Season: 1st in the NFC North with a 12-4 record; 6th in total offense, 15th in total defense.
Recent playoff experience: Since 2006, the Packers have made the postseason six times, winning the Super Bowl in 2010, winning four games in the process. Last year they lost in the wild card game at home to the 49ers.
Rivals: To be decided, bye week.
More: Aaron Rodgers set a new career low for him by throwing just five interceptions this season.
2014 Season: Won the AFC South with a 11-5 record. Third in total offense, 19th in total defense.
Recent playoff experience: Under Chuck Pagano have been to the postseason twice. Last year won in the Wild Card, lost to Patriots in divisional round.
Rivals: Bengals, playing at home.
More: Andrew Luck has been a turnover machine in the playoffs with seven thrown interceptions in two games last season.
New England Patriots
2014 Season: 12-4, winning the AFC East; 11th in total offense, 13th in total defense.
Recent playoff experience: Bill Belichick has been their head coach since 2000. They have missed the playoffs just three times in that span, making the Super Bowl five times, winning three (last of which after the 2004 season). Lost in the AFC Championship game the last couple of years.
Rivlas: To Be Decided. Bye week.
More: After throwing just two interceptions through the first eight weeks of the season, he threw seven through the next seven games.
2014 Season: Won the AFC North with an 11-5 record. Offense is number 2 in the league, defense is 18th.
Recent playoff experience: First time in the postseason since 2011 and haven’t won a playoff game since 2010, when they made the Super Bowl (lost to Packers). Mike Tomlin has been the head coach since 2007, winning the Super Bowl in 2008.
Rivals: At home against the Ravens.
More: Into his 11th NFL season, Ben Roethlisberger set career highs in passing yards and tied his touchdowns-in-a-season career high with 32.
2014 Season: The Seahawks won the NFC West at 12-4; 9th in total offense, 1st in total defense.
Recent playoff experience: Have made the playoffs twice under Pete Carroll, and won the Super Bowl with him last season.
Rivals: Bye week. Home field throughout the playoffs.
More: In the final six weeks of the season, playing five division games, have allowed only 6.5 points per game.