Rol's super-duper power rankings
It's time to evaluate the four remaining teams. I'll skip the grade because all four teams have a good shot to win the Super Bowl and because it's obvious that the teams who host the championship games have an advantage.
1. New England Patriots
Tom Brady didn't look good under pressure and threw as many interceptions against the Texans as he did in the twelve regular season games he played combined. The good news: There isn't a defense as good as the Texans' left in the race and Brady still led the Patriots offense to 27 points despite first half struggles. The Patriots are a balanced team and have the best head coach in football. The bad news: Their defense is a bit overrated, because it didn't face many high-powered offenses this season. The three remaining possible opponents, however, all have dangerous offenses.
2. Atlanta Falcons
Statement win by the Falcons who had the game under control after Seattle had scored a TD on their opening drive. The Falcons defense is iffy, but the offense makes up for it by being able to win in shootouts. Matt Ryan is playing the best season of his career, Julio Jones is one of the best WRs in the game and the running back duo Freeman and Coleman make this a versatile and threatening unit.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
What's a bit worrying is that Roethlisberger hasn't played well in most of the recent games. The good news is that he doesn't need to, because Bell can bail him out and lead the Steelers offense to success even when the QB plays mediocre. The defense is also looking good, so this team can definitely win games in different ways.
4. Green Bay Packers
I am not putting them at the bottom because I want to sell them short or because I like the role of the underdog, but rather because no other team in this list depends so much on a single player. Aaron Rodgers has been on a hot streak for two months now, but as the first quarter in the playoff game against the Giants showed, this offense doesn't get going without him. The ground attack has been patchwork this season and is merely supplemental; the passing game has to work in order for the running game to be worth anything. The defense can hold its own in stints, but not for half of the game, let alone the entirety of it. Cornerbacks are a weak spot and all remaining possible opponents are well equipped to exploit this weakness. If Rodgers continues to play out of his mind, the Pack can win the Super Bowl.
This week you can look forward to an NFC game without defensive prowess and an AFC game that hopefully delivers what the regular season meeting between the Steelers and Patriots couldn't.