It's tough at the top
Since 2004, only one No. 1 playoff seed (the 2009 New Orleans Saints) and one No. 2 playoff seed (the 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers) have won the Super Bowl. Since 2005, 13 of 28 teams seeded No. 1 or 2 in the playoffs have lost their initial playoff game in the divisional round.
Streaking to the Super Bowl
The 2012 Denver Broncos are among nine teams since 1970 that entered the playoffs with an active win streak of at least 10 games. Of the eight previous teams, four made the Super Bowl and three of those teams -- the 1972 Miami Dolphins (14 consecutive wins), the 2003 New England Patriots (12 consecutive wins) and the 1976 Oakland Raiders (10 consecutive wins) -- won the Super Bowl.
Points not made
The 2012 season was the highest-scoring regular season in NFL history with 11,651 total points scored. The 22.8 points-per-game average per team is the most in the NFL since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. With 137 points scored in the four wild-card playoff games combined (17.1 points per team), this is the fourth-lowest scoring Wild Card Weekend since the NFL expanded the wild-card round in 1990.
Scott Boehm/Associated Press
When being at home is a real advantage
The divisional round of the playofs has the most meaningful home-field advantage of any round of the postseason of four major U.S. sports (in current playoff formats).
In the last two seasons, three teams have won on the road in the divisional round, the 2011 New York Giants, 2010 Green Bay Packers and 2010 New York Jets; two of those three teams went on to win the Super Bowl (Giants in Super Bowl XLVI and Packers in Super Bowl XLV).
We meet again
Three of the four divisional games will be rematches of 2012 regular-season games: Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos (Week 15), Houston Texans at New England Patriots (Week 14), and Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (Week 1).
Non-divisional opponents have played 155 playoff rematches of regular-season games in NFL history with teams that won in the regular season going 87-68 in the playoff rematches.
Rare heights for rookie passers
The Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson is trying to become the fifth rookie quarterback to reach a conference championship game, joining Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger and Shaun King. No rookie quarterback has ever started in the Super Bowl.
Bill Nichols/Associated Press
16 years, no playoff wins
Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez has never won a playoff game in his 16-year career (0-5). Gonzalez has played 254 regular-season games without a playoff win, the most of any active players (non-kickers).
Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Manning has the edge
When Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is playing, his Ravens are 2-7 against Peyton Manning, with Manning winning each of the last seven games (including two in the playoffs). Manning has a passer rating of 96.8 in those games.
Lewis has sacked Manning only twice and has never intercepted Manning. Manning has 18 TD vs. seven interceptions against the Ravens with Lewis playing. However, Manning has fallen short of 300 yards passing in each of his last seven games against Lewis.
Associated Press/Pro Football Hall of Fame
'Automatic Otto' has company
The Baltimore Ravens' Joe Flacco is the first quarterback in NFL history to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons. The only other player to start a playoff game in each of his first five NFL seasons is the Cleveland Browns' Otto Graham (Graham previously played in the All-America Football Conference).
Pats' playoff success fading
Since the New England Patriots won their last Super Bowl, they have gone 7-6 in the playoffs -- including losing two Super Bowls (XLII and XLVI) to the New York Giants. In their first five seasons under coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots went 9-0 in the playoffs en route to three Super Bowl victories.
Listed among the legends
Bill Belichick is tied with Joe Gibbs for third in NFL history with 17 career postseason wins. Should the New England Patriots reach the Super Bowl, he would tie Don Shula. Should the Patriots win the Super Bowl, he will tie Tom Landry.
Morry Gash/Associated Press
Tide turning in rivalry?
The Green Bay Packers have defeated the San Francisco 49ers in eight of their last nine meetings -- including playoff games -- but lost in the most recent matchup. The 49ers claimed a 30-22 triumph in Week 1 at legendary Lambeau Field.
More Photo Essays:
- 2015 NFL Draft prospects with famous football fathers
- Prospects matched to pros based on measurements
- NFL Scouting Combine: Prospects with plenty to prove
- Mind-blowing stats for 2015 NFL Scouting Combine
- 11 current NFL players who weren’t invited to the combine
- Who pulled the fire alarm?
- Ranking the Super Bowls
- Top 10 fantasy Super Bowl performances
- Mind-blowing stats for Patriots vs.Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX