The NFL's 2013 playoff field features the usual smattering of big favorites, low seeds that are hot and teams that almost no one thinks will advance to Super Bowl XLVIII. For most of the season, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos were the overwhelming favorites to win their conferences. Both teams took an important first step, clinching their respective top seeds, but the Seahawks finished the season 2-2 after an 11-1 start and the Broncos must overcome the memories of their divisional-round ouster last season.
No one wants to play the San Francisco 49ers, who have won six consecutive games. That probably includes their wild-card opponent, the Green Bay Packers, who have quarterback Aaron Rodgers back in their lineup but have lost to the 49ers three times in the past year and a half. As well, the Packers' once-proud playoff tradition at Lambeau Field has largely dissipated; they are 3-4 in their past seven postseason games there. The San Diego Chargers have a four-game winning streak, the Philadelphia Eagles won seven of their final eight games, the Cincinnati Bengals finished 5-1 and the Indianapolis Colts have won four of their past five. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs -- who didn't lose a regular-season game until mid-November -- have dropped five of their past seven games and seem hardly to register in playoff discussions. Who will win Super Bowl XLVIII? In our final NFL Nation Says project of the season, we sought answers -- and explanations -- from players around the NFL: