The road to the Super Bowl runs through Gillette Stadium and the Georgia Dome. Last season, the two teams with home-field advantage through the playoffs went to the Super Bowl for the first time in eight years.
Team (previous rank), record: comment
1. Patriots (1), 14-2: Bill Belichick jettisoned Randy Moss and played small ball to perfection.
2. Falcons (3), 13-3: More balanced than the Saints, but New Orleans will be comfortable in the Georgia Dome.
3. Steelers (6), 12-4: Troy Polamalu is back, and as long as he plays, no opposing quarterback is safe.
5. Saints (2), 11-5: The defending champs won't go away easily.
6. Colts (8), 10-6: Peyton Manning has always had success against Rex Ryan defenses.
7. Eagles (5), 10-6: Everything hinges on Michael Vick's injury.
8. Packers (9), 10-6: Like the Saints, they're playing well enough to get to Dallas.
9. Bears (7), 11-5: Now every Jay Cutler mistake will be amplified.
10. Jets (NR), 11-5: Can they make another playoff run after another late-season fade?
NR – not ranked last week.
Out of top 10: Chiefs (10), 10-6.
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