By Danny Cox
Well, that’s it. The 2012 NFL regular season is officially over, and the playoff field wasn’t completely set until the end of the final game of the season. That, my friends, is taking things down to the wire.
The Washington Redskins took on the Dallas Cowboys in the final game of the regular season, and the winner would take all. Whoever won the game would not only win the NFC East, but they’d also receive the final playoff spot for both conferences. RG3 and the Redskins persevered and knocked the boys down another peg.
Over in the AFC, all six playoff teams were already decided on before Sunday’s action even began. All that needed to be done was see who would sit where in the seeds, who got home-field advantage, and who ended up with the first-round byes.
After all was said and done, the Denver Broncos took the top seed in the AFC with a 13-3 record. That also means they have a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the entire playoffs. The New England Patriots had a 12-4 record and took the number two seed and other first-round bye.
The Houston Texans, who lost on Sunday, ended up as the number three seed and will face off with the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the playoffs. Over in the other AFC Wild Card game, the fourth seeded Baltimore Ravens will face off with the fifth seeded Indianapolis Colts.
The NFC side of things wasn’t as easy to determine before the final Sunday of the regular season started.
Sitting in the first seed are the 13-3 Atlanta Falcons, and that was something that was already known. The San Francisco 49ers ended up winning on Sunday to finish the season at 11-4-1 and taking the number two seed. Both of these teams have first-round byes, but Atlanta takes the home-field advantage.
Landing in the third seed are the Green Bay Packers, and they will take on the sixth-seeded Minnesota Vikings in a rematch of the final game of the season for both teams. The other NFC Wild Card game will see the fourth-seeded Washington Redskins take on the fifth-seeded Seattle Seahawks.
The latter will pit two rookie quarterbacks against one another in Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson.
All of the first-round action for the 2012 NFL playoffs begins on Sat. Jan. 5, 2013. On that day, there will be two later games with both of them airing on NBC. All times are US/ET.
- 4:30 p.m. – Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
- 8:00 p.m. – Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Then, there will be two more wild card games on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013:
- 1:00 p.m. – Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens on CBS
- 4:30 p.m. – Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins on FOX
From there, the lowest seeds advancing to the second round of the playoffs from the NFC and AFC will play the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos respectively. The next lowest seeds advancing from the NFC and AFC will play the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots respectively in the second round.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.