While superior defenses remain a staple of the NFC's top playoff teams, the AFC was much more about offense this season. Hence names like Andrew Luck, Matt Schaub, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning all in the playoffs.
But just because these teams have bigtime passers doesn't mean they aren't just as stifling with defense. With such evenly matched offenses, defense could be the real difference in many matchups and you can't have difference making defenses without key players anchoring said units.
Here are some of those defensive difference makers in this season's AFC playoff picture: