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Will we see an AFC Championship Rematch?

As far as seeding goes in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots (#1) and the Steelers (#2) are still the two best teams in the conference.  Last time I checked they also still have Tom Brady and Big Ben. If we carry the 7 and divide by the least common denominator, it would seem we are headed for a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game. Remember how it ended?

Final Score: Patriots 36 Steelers 17

Yep, that seems about right. So should we expect anything different this time around?

Image from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Well, the Pittsburgh Steelers defense leads the NFL this season with 56 sacks, which also happens to be a single season record for the historic franchise. That’s one more sack than the trendy Sacksonville Jaguars! So if there were a team that could beat Tom Brady with heavy pressure, it would be the Steelers if numbers meant something.

Numbers aren’t everything, however, and the Patriots are still the team to beat. It still appears like the Steelers face an uphill battle in defeating the Patriots on the road to reach the Super Bowl. Life would be so much simpler for the Steelers if they didn’t have to play the Patriots at all. Wait, is that even possible???

Let’s talk about the Buffalo Bills for a minute. They play the Jaguars in the Wild Card round next weekend, and most people probably won’t bat an eye. Stay with me here though, because things could get interesting. The Jaguars have not been impressive the past two weeks, with back-to-back losses to the 49ers and Titans. Sacksonville still has a promising defense, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of confidence on the other side of the ball. Would it be that big of a surprise if the Bills found a way to play upset here? They weren’t expected to even make the playoffs, and yet here they are anyway.

Image from democratandchronicle.com

So, what happens if the Bills win their first playoff game in the 21st Century? Well, as fate would have it, they would travel to New England for the divisional round. Oh well, I guess they had a good run right? The Patriots own every team in their division, and the Bills are no different.

I mean, it’s bad enough having to play the Patriots twice a year, but now a third time in the playoffs! Good grief! I’m sure the last time the Patriots faced a divisional opponent in the playoffs it was a bloodbath.

Let me check here….wait what?…that can’t be right….holy deflated footballs!

Image from nydailynews.com

In the 2010 postseason, the New York Football Jets defeated the New England Patriots 28-21. Let that sink in for a moment. The Mark Sanchez led Jets beat the Patriots and advanced to the AFC Championship game. And whom might you ask did the Jets end up playing for the following matchup? That team would of course be the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Are all of these small details at all relevant to what happens in this season’s playoffs? Probably not. Should the Patriots actually fear the Bills if they win this weekend? Depends on who you ask. The city of Buffalo is located in New York after all. What a coincidence am I right!

Stranger things have certainly happened this year in the NFL. James Harrison is in a Patriot uniform, no one is currently serving a league suspension on the Steelers, and yes, the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs!

If that isn’t a sign of playoff madness to come, then wait until the “catch” rule comes into play!

Either way, I’m predicting a Steelers vs. Bills AFC Championship.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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