This year's NFL playoffs should be highly competitive because there are several teams playing in the Wild Card Round that have a strong chance to earn a trip to New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII.
The Wild Card Round features several teams playing their best football of the season, and might actually benefit from not having a bye so they can keep their momentum going.
Let's look at the three teams playing on Wild Card Weekend that have the best chance to reach the Super Bowl in February.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers finished the regular season without a 1,000-yard receiver for the first time in the Aaron Rodgers era, but his passing attack is firing on all cylinders heading into the playoffs.
Rodgers will have his full group of receivers against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday, including Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings. All three of these players have missed games this season due to injury.
With their season on the line, Rodgers and the Packers passing offense will be too much for the Vikings to handle this weekend. Expect an easy win for Green Bay.
The Packers cannot play the No. 1 seed Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round, so if they beat Minnesota, Green Bay will play the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round.
With a high-scoring offense and an improving defense, the Packers are capable of beating anyone in the NFC. A 49ers matchup would be difficult, but the Packers would be motivated to avenge their Week 1 loss to San Francisco.
Green Bay finished the regular season winning nine of its final 11 games. They are one team that nobody will want to play in the postseason because Rodgers is capable of beating any defense.
At the moment, the Packers are arguably the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Any team with a defense as good as the Seahawks has a chance to make a Super Bowl run. Not only does Seattle have an elite defense, the team has the league's third-best running game and a rookie quarterback with the poise of a veteran who rarely turns the ball over.
The Seahawks defense finished the year ranked sixth against the pass and 10th against the run and will get talented cornerback Brandon Browner back from suspension this weekend.
If Seattle defeats the Washington Redskins in the Wild Card Round, its next opponent could be either of the top two seeds in the NFC.
The Seahawks recently dominated the 49ers 42-13 in Week 16 and are fully capably of beating the overrated Atlanta Falcons.
Expect Seattle's five-game winning streak to be extended by multiple games during the playoffs.
The Bengals will be the surprise team in the AFC playoffs and could make an unexpected run to the Super Bowl.
Cincinnati will face the Houston Texans in the Wild Card Round for the second straight season and have a much better chance for success this year.
Houston comes into the playoffs after losing three of its final four regular season games. The Texans gave up an average of 27.5 points in those four games and are playing their worst football of the year right now.
The Bengals have a strong defense that rushes the quarterback very well, which gives them a strong chance to have success against one of the best passing attacks in the NFL.
To reach the Super Bowl, Cincinnati might have to defeat three of the top 11 passing games in the league, but after finishing third in the NFL in sacks, the Bengals defense has proved it can give the team a chance to beat anyone.
The Bengals offense features a 1,000-yard rusher in BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who has plenty of playoff experience, as well as an elite wide receiver in A.J. Green. If starting quarterback Andy Dalton doesn't turn the ball over, Cincinnati could beat the Texans, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots en route to New Orleans.
Cincinnati intercepted Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning twice in a 31-23 Week 9 loss, so there is no reason to fear Denver in the divisional round.
Any team that can run the football and pressure the opposing team's quarterback has a great chance to upset the Broncos and Patriots. Cincinnati will be a very tough team to knock out of the playoffs.
Nicholas Goss' Super Bowl Odds For Wild Card Round Teams
Green Bay Packers—15/2