The NFL playoff schedule hasn’t yielded a lot of points this year, but that won’t be the case next weekend.
With some of the league’s most high-powered offenses set to take the field for the divisional round next weekend, points should be plentiful, and those games will just be primers for the Super Bowl on February 3.
While defense is said to win championships, a little offense certainly can’t hurt.
The New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons rank in the top 10 in the NFL in total offense, while the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens all rank in the top half of the league. Each team will take the field next weekend in hopes of ultimately securing a spot in the Super Bowl.
Many matchup possibilities remain, but these are the matchups that could yield the most points in New Orleans on February 3.
Green Bay Packers vs. New England Patriots
Both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady should be in the discussion for the NFL MVP race. Rodgers is having another career year, and while Tom Brady hasn’t put up the biggest numbers of his career, he’s still playing at an elite level.
Both the Packers and Patriots have featured stagnant running games in recent years, but New England seems to have found a new identity this season. The Patriots finished the regular season with the No. 7 rushing attack in the NFL.
Green Bay’s offense still revolves around Aaron Rodgers’ arm, though, and the Packers are one of the best teams in the league at airing out the football.
The average combined point total for the Super Bowl in the last 10 years is 47.5, and if Green Bay and New England meet, that average will skyrocket.
The Patriots exited the regular season No. 29 in the NFL against the pass. The Packers were No. 17 against the run. Given the offensive strengths and defensive weaknesses for both teams, this game would result in an offensive outpouring.
Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons
The new-look Broncos have been the class of the AFC this season, running the table since October 7 en route to a first-round bye and a matchup with Baltimore next weekend.
Denver’s offense features plenty of balance. The Broncos finished the season No. 4 in total offense and No. 5 in passing defense. Peyton Manning has reshaped Denver’s passing attack, and has had a season worthy of MVP consideration.
Matt Ryan enters the playoffs with a chance to remove the chip from his shoulder. Ryan hasn’t had playoff success in his young career, but this year could be a different story.
Ryan passed for 4,719 yards and 32 touchdowns this year at the helm of one of the most efficient offenses in the league. With Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez as his top targets, Ryan lit up the NFC South.
Denver was No. 3 in the NFL at stopping the run this season, but Atlanta didn’t run the ball well, and probably won’t rely on Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers to shoulder the load in the playoffs.
An Atlanta-Denver matchup in the Super Bowl would feature two of the best quarterbacks in the league, and would offer the potential for a high-powered offensive showdown.