USA Today: The latest from USA Today Sports | Latest news and notes from around the NFL | More NFL coverage The NFL playoffs have officially started and there’s no question the teams are preparing for a brutal stretch of play.
We’ve highlighted some of the most important matchups and key storylines that could determine the fate of the AFC South, NFC East and NFC North.1.
Who will win the division?
The divisional races are very much in the mix.
Here are the teams with the best shot at capturing the Super Bowl.
The Packers have a shot at claiming their first playoff berth since 2010.
They’re the defending champs after finishing the regular season with a 4-1 record.
That includes a division title.
The Packers have to beat the Ravens on Monday night to claim the division crown.
They’ll play the Seahawks in their final matchup of the regular-season.
The Falcons will play the Cowboys in Week 7.
The Lions will play at the Titans in Week 10.
The Rams are the favorite to claim their first division crown since 2011.
The Rams have a strong defense, but they also have a chance to close out the season with another NFC West title.
They have to defeat the Chiefs on Sunday night to win the NFC West.
The Saints will face the Steelers in Week 14.
The Raiders will play on Monday Night Football against the Cowboys.
The Bengals have an easy path to a division crown because of their home-field advantage.
They will play in Houston in Week 4 and then host the Chiefs in Week 6.
The Titans will host the Saints in Week 15.
The Steelers will face off against the Ravens in Week 12.
The Chargers will play against the Cardinals in Week 19.
The Panthers will play their final game of the season at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
The Cowboys will host their final regular-game home game against the Chiefs.
The Vikings will host Kansas City in Week 21.
The 49ers will play host to the Browns in Week 24.
The Cardinals will host Dallas in Week 28.
The Texans will face a tough road to reclaiming the AFC West title they’ve held since 2007.
They need to win out against the Bengals in Week 1 to claim a division win.
The Broncos will host Oakland in Week 3.
The Chiefs will play to avenge their AFC West loss to the Broncos in 2012.
They must win out to reclaim the division title they lost in 2014.
The Steelers will play Houston in the final regular season home game of their career.
The Texans will have a tough week against the Broncos.
The Bears will host Green Bay in Week 11.
The Seahawks will host Chicago in Week 13.
The 49ers face an early test against the Lions in Week 16.
The Saints will play Atlanta in Week 17.
The Giants will host Seattle in Week 20.
The Titans will face New England in Week 23.
The Eagles will host Washington in Week 25.
The Vikings will play Washington in the playoffs.
The Chiefs will face Denver in Week 26.
The Buccaneers will play Minnesota in Week 27.
The Cardinals will face Oakland in the wild-card round.
The Lions will face Tampa Bay in the NFC Championship Game.
The Colts will face Washington in Super Bowl XLVII.
The Broncos will play Denver in Superbowl XLVIII.
The Browns will face Houston in Superbowl XXIX.
The Giants will face San Diego in Superdome.
The Ravens will face Atlanta in Super bowl XXXIX.
Here’s the latest on the NFL playoff schedule.2.
Who gets the AFC North?
A wild-cards round is all the rage, and the AFC has some wild cards to consider.
Here are the NFC North teams with at least a shot to make it to the AFC championship game.
The Patriots have the biggest shot at the division, but it’s a big one.
The Patriots have a ton of key games to win, including a home-and-home series against the Chargers in Week 2.
The Seahawks, Cardinals, Titans and Raiders will be in Seattle.
The Ravens will play Pittsburgh in Week 9.
The Bengals and Packers will play Cincinnati in Week 18.
The Colts and Steelers will both host Tampa Bay.
The Cowboys will be playing the Titans.
The Eagles will be hosting the Titans and Cowboys will play them in Week 29.
The Dolphins will play Tampa Bay and New Orleans will play Dallas in the playoff.
The Redskins will play San Francisco in Week 31.
The Buccaneers will face Pittsburgh in the first round.
The Browns will play Indianapolis in Week 33.
The Falcons will face Baltimore in the AFC Championship Game, but the game is played in Washington.
The Panthers will face Tennessee in Week 34.
The Dolphins will host Carolina in the postseason.
The Raiders will face Carolina in Super Dome.
The Chargers will host San Diego and the Chargers will face them in the Superdomes.
The Bears will play Arizona in the Divisional Round.
The Jets will face Arizona in SuperDome.
This is the NFC wild-cat division.
The teams with a shot will battle for a playoff