The divisional round is history and the conference title games are set. After taking care of their respective opponents this weekend, the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers are all one step closer to the Super Bowl.
Every team has plenty of reasons to be optimistic, but it ultimately comes down to those four men. They're among the best quarterbacks in NFL history, and each enters this fatal four-way with a chance to enhance his legacy.
Early Super Bowl odds from OddsShark favor Brady and the Pats, but the rest of the field will have plenty to say about that next week:
Odds to win the Super Bowl: #Patriots +140 #Falcons +275 #Packers +400 #Steelers +4002017-1-16 04:26:07
Packers at Falcons
The Packers are still running the table. With the winning streak at eight games since the now-famous remark from Rodgers, it's starting to feel like his team may have some destiny on its side.
And it looks like Rodgers can feel it.
After the Dallas Cowboys tied Sunday's divisional-round game late in the fourth quarter, Rodgers wasn't rattled, per the Philadelphia Inquirer's Zach Berman:
Zach Berman @ZBerm
What did Aaron Rodgers think when Dallas tied the game in final minute? Rodgers: "A little too much time on the clock.”2017-1-16 01:52:49
Rodgers proceeded to engineer a magical, 35-second game-winning drive punctuated by a play and scene in the huddle that are tough to imagine happening outside a Hollywood script. Robert Klemko of The MMQB shared the setup:
Robert Klemko @RobertKlemko
Cobb said the final play was not an actual playcall. Rodgers just told each receiver what to do, like a kid drawing in the dirt. Seriously.2017-1-16 02:17:07
The NFL shared the video:
FACT: It doesn't get any better than this Jared Cook sideline grab. C-L-U-T-C-H. #GoPackGo #GBvsDAL #NFLPlayoffs https://t.co/N66Ir6sctr2017-1-16 01:08:01
After the unbelievable finish, legendary receiver Jerry Rice tweeted what's undoubtedly on the minds of millions of football fans:
I'm not disrespecting anyone but would it be great seeing two of the greatest quarterbacks playing in SB Aaron Rodgers vs Tom Brady!!!!!2017-1-16 01:36:10
But Rodgers and the Packers have to win a ninth straight before that potential matchup with Brady and the Patriots. And the team in the way, Ryan's Falcons, won't just lay down in the name of Green Bay's history.
If anyone's close to as hot as Rodgers right now, it's Ryan. After Saturday's win over the Seahawks, he now has the highest postseason completion percentage in history, per Football Outsiders' Scott Kacsmar:
Scott Kacsmar @FO_ScottKacsmar
Matt Ryan now has the highest career completion percentage in NFL playoff history (66.96%) #PlayoffSSS2017-1-15 21:11:10
And his always solid and often explosive play during the regular season led NFL Network's Deion Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson to proclaim him the MVP:
NFL Network @nflnetwork
Who is the MVP of this league? PrimeTime & LT agree: "Matt Ryan." #GameDayPrime https://t.co/TRBt8Dzho92017-1-15 05:11:04
With two of the best gunslingers the NFL has to offer, the NFC title game figures to be an intense and entertaining treat.
Steelers at Patriots
On the AFC side, Roethlisberger's kicker picked him up in a game in which the Steelers failed to score a single touchdown.
Pittsburgh's Chris Boswell made an NFL-record six field goals in Kansas City, per NFL Research:
NFL Research @NFLResearch
Ben, Bell, Brown ... Boswell? @WizardOfBoz09 has now made @NFL postseason record 6 field goals today at Kansas City.2017-1-16 03:46:19
While they didn't find the end zone on Sunday, the Steelers may have the most explosive quarterback-running back-receiver trio left in the field.
Le'Veon Bell finished the divisional round with 170 rushing yards on 30 carries. Antonio Brown racked up 108 receiving yards on six catches, including a game-sealing first-down grab with less than two minutes to play.
Awaiting that attack now is Bill Belichick and the Pats, who will surely have as solid a plan as anyone for slowing it down.
But again, it might just depend on quarterback play. And New England may have the best postseason performer that position has ever produced.
According to NFL on CBS, Brady has more playoff victories than 27 teams:
Tom Brady now has more playoff wins than TWENTY-SEVEN teams. https://t.co/JwngnlMFpk2017-1-15 04:31:05
And he and his coach have been here too many times to be anxious about the Steelers. In fact, per NFL Research, the duo of Belichick and Brady has been to nearly twice as many conference title games as any other:
NFL Research @NFLResearch
Bill Belichick & Tom Brady advance to 11th conf. champ. game together. No other head coach/starting QB duo since 1970 went to more than 62017-1-15 04:32:01
Will the Steelers' star-powered offense be able to stand in the way of another trip to the Super Bowl for Brady or will the historically dominant Patriots march through another title game?
Either way, history will be on the line for two of the NFL's most storied franchises.