NFL Playoff Picture 2012: Matchups Fans Would Love to See

Chris StephensCorrespondent IIDecember 17, 2012

Peyton Manning and the Broncos could be involved in multiple games fans would love to see in the playoffs.
Peyton Manning and the Broncos could be involved in multiple games fans would love to see in the playoffs.Patrick Smith/Getty Images

With two games left in the season, the NFL playoff picture is coming into focus.

With four of the six spots taken in the AFC and three of the six spots taken in the NFC, the last two weeks should be interesting.

So, what would be the dream playoff matchups for fans?

Obviously nobody wants to see another Houston-New England game in which the Patriots dominated on both sides of the ball.

Here's a look at some matchups fans would love to see in the playoffs.



Atlanta Falcons vs. Anybody

The Falcons are likely the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the second time in three years, but that doesn't mean they're the favorites. 

No matter what the Falcons do this year, it's not enough, because fans want to see them win a playoff game. They're 0-3 under Mike Smith in the playoffs, although the losses came to two Super Bowl winners and the NFC representative in the big game.

Can Matt Ryan and the Falcons get over the hump?

If Sunday's 34-0 win over the Giants is any indication, the Falcons are primed for the playoffs.

Sure, they lost to the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers, but the fact is, the Falcons have beaten the Broncos and Giants.

Atlanta's first playoff game this year will be exciting for all fans.

Those who think the Falcons are more lucky than good, will want to see the Falcons fall flat on their faces. Then, they will point and laugh, saying "I told you so."

Then, there are the Falcons fans that are looking for a big win to shut the rest of the NFL up.

Any way you look at it, Atlanta's playoff game will be eagerly anticipated by millions.



Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots

Any time you have two of the greatest quarterbacks ever on the same field, it's something special.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, with each easily first-ballot Hall of Famers.

Brady has won nine of the 13 lifetime matchups between the two, including in Week 5 when the Patriots beat the Broncos, 31-21.

Still, it's a classic rivalry and it's must-see TV for all football fans.


New York Giants vs. Denver Broncos

While Peyton and Eli Manning have played each other before, it's never been for all the marbles.

The Giants still have a lot of work to do to get into the playoffs, while the Broncos are on their way to a first-round bye.

If the Giants could somehow make it in, then the playoffs are a different animal.

Peyton will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever, even if he doesn't win another Super Bowl. Eli will have to win another Super Bowl before he will enter the discussion.

Who better to decide Eli's fate than Peyton?

Which brings me to my next question. What would Archie do if the two teams met in the Super Bowl? Instead of a house divided, it might be a mind divided.