In the dying weeks of the 2012 NFL season, the online sports books could not believe how many of the top seeds from both conferences started to experience problems putting lesser teams away. The Houston Texans ended the season with a two-game losing streak, the Packers lost its last game of the season and the San Francisco 49ers got completely humbled by the Seattle Seahawks in week 16. What the heck is going on? Why are these top teams crumbling as the playoffs approach?
The biggest football betting mystery of them all is the Houston Texans. After ruling the AFC for the entire season, the Texans collapsed in the final weeks to fall all the way down to the number three seed. Should Houston fans be worried? Yes, they should. The Texans face stiff competition from the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos in the AFC playoffs, and most experts are saying that the Texans will not get out of its own conference. The Texans cannot blame injuries this season, which makes the situation even worse.
In the AFC, it just feels like a battle between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos for the AFC Championship is inevitable. The betting sites know that the Broncos ended the regular season with an 11-game winning streak, and there is enough veteran leadership on both sides of the ball in Denver to keep that kind of a streak in perspective. The Patriots remain one of the teams to beat in the AFC because it is the Patriots. As long as head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady are together in New England, that team will find a way to win.
In the NFC, it looks like the Atlanta Falcons righted its ship in time to head into the playoffs with some momentum. But the team that none of the NFC teams want to play is the Seattle Seahawks. The football betting sites have been watching the development of rookie Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and everyone is amazed at how much better Wilson gets from week to week. The season started with running back Marshawn Lynch carrying the offensive load for the Seahawks. But Wilson quickly took over and the Seahawks, along with its powerful defense, remain a contender in the NFC.
The two teams that remain unpredictable in the NFC are the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers have been watching second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick develop and it is obvious that Kaepernick will be a good NFL quarterback. But he still makes the mistakes that young quarterbacks make and that could be a problem in the playoffs.
The Green Bay Packers seem to be the steadiest of the top NFC seeds heading into these playoffs. But injuries and inconsistency in the running game could stop the Packers from realizing its Super Bowl goals.
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