2012 Postseason Matchmaking: 10 Playoff Games We're Dying to See

Mike WasowskiCorrespondent IJanuary 5, 2012

2012 Postseason Matchmaking: 10 Playoff Games We're Dying to See

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    The regular season is behind us and Wild-Card weekend is upon us. The magical thing about the playoffs is that they are completely unpredictable. Just when you think its safe to call a game, 7-9 Seattle trumps the defending world champs.

    So, regardless of a team's odds of making it out of the first weekend, let's look at 10 matchups that would prove incredibly entertaining in one way or another.

10. Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints

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    The following morning after Monday Night Football where the Saints won over the Falcons, word came out that the Falcons did not like the way that Drew Brees broke Dan Marino's record.

    Regardless of how you feel about the sportsmanship, or lack thereof, that the Saints displayed, the Falcons felt wronged. There could come a scenario where Atlanta would be poised to knock the Saints out of the postseason, and history tells us that it's pretty hard to beat a team three times in one season.

    With the Falcons' extra motivation and the fact that this rivalry seems to be getting nasty, a Falcons-Saints re-rematch would be must-see television.

9. Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

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    Baltimore and New England would be quite a matchup—Tom Brady and the Pats' high-powered offense against Ray Lewis and the stalwart Ravens defense.

    Would the Ravens have enough offense to take advantage of the Pats' porous secondary?

    The skill levels of these two units would be enough to tune in, but it's a well-known fact that Brady and certain members of the Ravens defense do not particularly care for each other. From exchanging verbal barbs to an emotional overtime victory in favor of the Pats the last time these two teams played, New England and Baltimore would put on a show in this potential AFC Title game.

8. New York Giants @ San Francisco 49ers

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    The Giants and Niners have an interesting postseason history. Perhaps the most famous meeting between the two teams was in 2003, when Jeff Garcia and the Niners came back from a 24-point deficit.

    This year, the teams stack up well against each other. These two teams faced off in the regular season, in which San Fran won by the skin of their teeth. A rematch between these two would likely come down to the wire yet again, and I believe that New York is a stronger team now than they were in that game. In fact, the more I think about it, the more these Giants remind me of the 2007 championship team.

7. Houston Texans @ New England Patriots

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    The Houston Texans once looked like the best team in the AFC. Unfortunately, they lost Matt Schaub in a freak injury, but Matt Leinart came in and the Texans offense didn't miss a beat. Then Leinart went down with a broken collarbone in his first start after throwing two TDs (I believe) and in comes T.J. Yates.

    Yates is a relative unknown from the University of North Carolina, a school who had never boasted of an NFL starter until then. The rookie saw flashes of brilliance, and some struggle too, but performed remarkably better than people expected.

    It kind of reminds you of a certain other QB's humble beginnings in this league. How fitting would it then be if T.J. Yates gets his chance to spark his own legendary career against the man who took his own opportunity and subsequently became one of the best to ever play the game? Not to mention, it'd be interesting to see how Houston's defense stacked up against the juggernaut that is the Pats offense. 

6. Saints/Packers vs. San Francisco

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    I lump the Saints and Packers as one because it really wouldn't matter which team you threw against the Niners. Both sport MVP-caliber quarterbacks, elite receiving corps and terrible defenses.

    So in this season where offense has absolutely dominated defense, how crazy would it be to see Harbaugh West's team knock off one or both of these teams en route to a Super Bowl appearance? If any team has the defense to slow down either of these teams, it's the Niners. 

5. New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers

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    Apart from, you know, actually losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, the G-men played Green Bay the closest out of every other team.

    Eli Manning is good enough to take advantage of the Pack's secondary, and if he can rally his team to knock off Green Bay it the frozen tundra, then many people, myself included, will probably elevate Eli to Eli-te status. 

4. Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens

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    Last week, this game would not have made the list, but with the recent comments from T-Sizzle, this has suddenly become must-see TV if the cards played out.

    Assuming Denver defeats Pittsburgh, it would mean Tebow and company got back to playing turnover-free football.

    Denver has a stout defense that is capable of limiting the Ravens offense, and we all know what Tebow and company are able to do in close games. This game would be incredibly entertaining, especially watching "Ball So Hard" U's most famous alumni interact with Tebow as he goes into priest mode.

3. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Detroit Lions in Super Bowl XLVI

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    I don't care how unlikely it is, how awesome would it be to know that for once there would actually be a new Super Bowl champion?

    These two franchises have been bottom feeders throughout much of their history, and to see them in the Super Bowl would be nothing short of spectacular. This matchup would feature two premium, young gunslingers, two incredibly talented young receivers and the chance of redemption. Tell me you wouldn't want to see this game.

2. New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers

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    I don't really have to explain this one. A rematch of one of the most exciting games of the season, a matchup that features nearly identical teams.

    One of these men will be the league MVP, and that I can say with 100 percent certainty. This game will just solidify it if the right decision was made. 

Honorable Mention: Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots

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    A rematch of the Week 15 matchup would make for a great playoff game. Before you start shouting blowout, I'd like to remind you that Denver led the game 17-7 in the first quarter before shooting themselves in the foot with three turnovers that resulted in 17 points, in a game which they lost by 18.

    It would make for a great chapter in the Broncos' fairytale story if they went into Foxborough and had a chance to redeem themselves. 

1. New England Patriots vs. New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI

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    You know the Patriots would relish the opportunity to avenge their loss in Super Bowl XLII. Eli would love the opportunity to show he can beat the Patriots yet again on the world's biggest stage.

    To tune in to this rematch would be a treat, and it almost seems as if both of these teams are looking like their 2007 counterparts as of late. You can bet that they would probably put on just as exciting a game as the last time they met for a chance to win it all.