The formula for each of the eight teams playing during the Wild Card Round this weekend is simple: Win the next four games, and the Lombardi Trophy is yours.
Back-to-back Super Bowl winners have followed that blueprint, with the Packers winning four games away from Green Bay in 2010 and the 9-7 New York Giants sweeping through the NFC playoffs before taking down New England in the title game.
However, teams have to win this weekend before any can start thinking about a Super Bowl.
In the following slides, we'll predict each of the four games that will kick off the 2012-13 NFL postseason this weekend.
A rematch of last season's AFC Wild Card Round features two teams on opposite ends of the momentum spectrum. Houston lost three of its last four games—all four coming against playoff teams—to close 2012, while the Bengals won seven of eight to get the AFC's No. 6 seed.
Winning on the road is never easy, especially in the playoffs. But as long as Andy Dalton (three interceptions in last January's 31-10 loss to Houston) takes care of the football, the Bengals should get their first playoff win since 1990.
Pick: Bengals 27, Texans 23
While the Packers couldn't tackle Adrian Peterson in either matchup during the regular season (409 rushing yards in two games against Green Bay), the winner of this Week 17 rematch likely hinges on the quarterbacks.
Christian Ponder, using a mix of bootlegs and play-action, threw for three touchdowns and zero interceptions during Sunday's win in the Metrodome. Can he repeat that performance on the road, where he has a passer rating of just 74.0 this season? Minnesota can't pull off a second upset without another turnover-free game at the quarterback position.
Pick: Packers 30, Vikings 20
At some point, the dream season for the young and inspiring Colts has to end. Baltimore represents an appropriate setting for that conclusion.
Keep in mind, Joe Flacco brings nine games of playoff experience—including five wins—to the table, and the Ravens offense has rushed for at least 180 yards in three of the last four games to close 2012. The Colts have also been vulnerable on the road this season against good teams, losing big to New England and Houston during the second half of 2012.
Andrew Luck has been terrific, but his rookie season may end with a thud in the Wild Card Round on Sunday.
Pick: Ravens 24, Colts 16
Both teams have elite running games and rare rookies at the quarterback position, but the difference in this matchup has to come on defense.
While the Redskins haven't been a pushover on that side of the ball lately, Seattle can lay claim to one of the best attacking defenses in the NFL. There's also enough team speed on Seattle's defense to contain the read-option stuff that Washington loves to use with Robert Griffin III.
While difficult to count out RG3, the Seahawks should advance in what could be the best game of the Wild Card Weekend.
Pick: Seahawks 24, Redskins 17