Now the real fun begins.
After a Wild Card round that saw the division champions from both the AFC and NFC West lose, the top two seeds in each conference enter the fray this week.
The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers enjoyed first-round byes in the AFC while the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings were the top seeds in the NFC. The Eagles, playing without injured quarterback Carson Wentz, have had a week to try to fix the offense. Philadelphia did have the NFL's fourth-ranked defense and may need a defensive score to keep pace with the Atlanta Falcons, who have won four of their last five.
The Jacksonville Jaguars won a defensive slugfest over the Buffalo Bills and the NFL's top-ranked defense picked off Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger five times on October 8. The two teams meet again in Pittsburgh, a day after the Patriots play host to the upset-minded Tennessee Titans.
In what might be a defacto NFC championship game, the Vikings play host to the Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium.
1. New England Patriots (13-3): The Patriots are rested and probably angry after having to dispute an ESPN report of turmoil within the organisation. An angry Tom Brady is usually at his best.
2. Minnesota Vikings (13-3): Minnesota's top-ranked defense will be tested right out of the gate by the high-powered Saints.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3): Antonio Brown is back, meaning the Steelers have their full complement of weapons.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (13-3): Philadelphia's defense might have to carry the load with Foles running the offense.
5. New Orleans Saints (12-5): After completing a three-game sweep of the Carolina Panthers, the Saints head north to the site of Super Bowl LII to take on the Vikings.
6. Atlanta Falcons (11-6): The Falcons need three road wins to get to the Super Bowl. They took care of business in Los Angeles and are favoured to beat the Eagles in Philadelphia.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6) : It was an ugly win against the Bills and now the Jaguars will try to repeat their dominant Week 5 win at Pittsburgh.
8. Tennessee Titans (10-7): Following a remarkable comeback in Kansas City, the Titans will need a titanic effort to upset the Patriots.
19. Januar 2018
|Dortmund still waiting on ´concrete´ offer for Aubameyang|
|Tom Brady addresses media, reveals no details of hand injury|
|Can will ´give everything´ at Liverpool despite Juventus talks|
|One Direction star trained with Mourinho´s Chelsea|
|Goretzka asks Schalke fans to not turn on him after agreeing Bayern deal|
|Youngs agrees new Leicester deal|
|Wozniacki slams ´rude´ umpire after Bertens win|
|Van Persie secures return to Feyenoord|
|Conte should replace Wenger at Arsenal, claims Carragher|
|Kimmich named Germany’s 2017 Player of the Year|
|Nadal´s best required against in-form Schwartzman|
|Moyes denies scouting Batshuayi and deals Chelsea blow with Carroll injury|
|Vunipola´s Six Nations hopes dashed as 12-week absence confirmed|
|No one like Ronaldinho until Messi - Guardiola lavishes praise on Brazil great|
|Simeone shrugs off mentality concerns at Atletico Madrid|
|Going for gold? Neymar meets Beckham in matching jackets|
|You think I change my mind that quick? – Klopp faithful to No.1 Karius|
|Conte backs Morata to overcome disciplinary concerns|
|Lloris a doubt for Southampton game, confirms Pochettino|
|Pieters edges into Abu Dhabi lead|
|Klopp doubts Alexis Sanchez tug-of-war decided by money|
|Conte admits Pedro dived|
|Valencia tie down Torres amid Real Madrid, Barcelona reports|
|Bangladesh claim record win over Sri Lanka|
|Congratulations! Guardiola offers well wishes to United-bound Sanchez|
|Pele pulls out of London event amid conflicting health reports|
|Conte would be ´happy´ for transfer help|
|Kontaveit dumps Ostapenko out, Wozniacki battles through|
|Sanchez to United not done at all, insists Mourinho|
|Rafa sails through, Kyrgios books Dimitrov showdown|
|Emery refuses to indulge Neymar-Cavani penalty debate|
|Wozniacki battles past stubborn Bertens|
|Goretzka chose Bayern over England, Spain and Italy – Heynckes|
|BBBofC ready to lift Fury suspension|
|I would reject such players – Heynckes slams ´selfish´ Aubameyang|
|Kyrgios proves cool credentials to Will Smith in Tsonga win|
|Western Sydney Wanderers 0 Melbourne Victory 3: Barbarouses extends purple patch|
|Conte likes Dzeko but Chelsea have made no offer, says agent|
|Goretzka´s Bayern move good for Bundesliga, suggests Rummenigge|
|Root guides England home as Finch century proves in vain again|
|Walcott left Arsenal with his things in bin bags|
|Nadal breezes past Dzumhur in Melbourne|
|Schalke confirm Goretzka will join Bayern|
|Sergi Roberto renews Barca deal until 2022|
|Fernandinho seals extended Manchester City contract|
|Ceballos knee knock to be assessed after Real Madrid Copa win|
|O´Sullivan says snooker is ´weighted towards numpties´ as he repeats World Championship threat|
|Hamsik has no doubts over Napoli future|
|Corchia determined to repay Montella´s faith at Sevilla|
|Arsenal or Manchester United – who wins from the Sanchez-Mkhitaryan deal?|
|Black Caps survive Pakistan comeback to claim series sweep|
|Celtics lose without Irving as Cavaliers end skid|
|I can play against anyone, says 15-year-old Kostyuk|
|I would love to coach PSG – Mancini|
|Now an All-Star, Joel Embiid ´might have to pass´ on Rihanna|
|Merson: Mkhitaryan will be a sensation at Arsenal|
|Aussie debutant Carey replaces Paine for second ODI|
|Wins over substance for Varane and Real Madrid|
|Arsenal´s Giroud the answer for Chelsea, says Parlour|
|Rahm shoots 62 to lead CareerBuilder Challenge|
|Wenger: Sanchez exit won´t hurt like Van Persie|
|LeBron, Curry named captains for NBA All-Star game|
|Zidane hopes late Leganes win is turning point for Real Madrid|
|Magic´s Afflalo handed two-game ban for fighting|
|De Gea happy to delay Man Utd contract talks|
|Celtics guard Irving misses 76ers game with shoulder injury|
18. Januar 2018
|LeBron James determined to work through ´very challenging´ Cavaliers season|
|Leganes 0 Real Madrid 1: Asensio´s late goal lifts pressure on Zidane in Copa quarter-final|
|Toulalan follows Gourvennec out of Bordeaux|
|Texans DE J.J. Watt showing positive signs with rehab|