NFL Playoff Predictions: 4 Instances Where Parity Will Show Most in 2011

Adam OdekirkContributor IIDecember 24, 2011

NFL Playoff Predictions: 4 Instances Where Parity Will Show Most in 2011

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    The NFL playoffs will boast a huge sampling of close games and potentially some not so close games.

    Luckily for NFL fans, the number of close contests will surely outweigh the few that are not. Great offenses and solid defenses will square off for the chance to advance to the next round and eventually the Super Bowl.

    Here are a few potential matchups that will clearly illustrate how close things have become in the NFL and how many teams truly have a chance to win the Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore

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    These two teams seem to have a predetermined fate that they will square off at least three times every season.

    That is good news for NFL fans because these games never fail to deliver great entertainment. A lot of that has to do with the fact that both teams have stellar defenses and impact players all over the field all the time.

Atlanta vs. Dallas

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    This potential matchup could boast a team that got in with a wild card but could have won the division that its opponent won to get home-field advantage.

    The Falcons may fall victim to the fact that the Saints are having yet another great season and miss out on the NFC South title, but that doesn't mean they are your average wild-card team.

    The Cowboys, or the Giants, could be in trouble if they face Atlanta in the first round.

New York Jets vs. Houston

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    This could be another situation where if the Jets were in the AFC South, they might be the kings of that division. They are not, and therefore if they make the playoffs they will do so on the road.

    Houston will bring a serious ground game to test the Jets defense, and Mark Sanchez will need to be up the task of taking down the new-look Texans defense under Wade Phillips.

    Both teams can have trouble scoring points, but their defense stacks up against most in the NFL.

San Francisco vs. Green Bay

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    The irresistible force that is the Packers offense against the immovable object that is the 49ers defense. 

    It's a tantalizing NFC championship matchup and one that could be the toughest test that either team faces on its way to the Super Bowl. No discredit to the AFC, but right now the road to the Lombardi Trophy seems to go through the NFC.

    Watching Aaron Rodgers try to pick apart the Jim Harbaugh-led Niners could be the highlight of the playoff season.