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NFC Playoffs Best and Worst: Against Playoff Teams

The Green Bay Packers went 5-1 against teams that reached this year's NFL playoffs. How about the rest of the NFC field?

GREEN BAY, Wis. – One measure of a high-quality team is how it does against other high-quality teams.

By that measure, the Green Bay Packers could be on the way to the Super Bowl.

The Packers boasted the top record in the NFC with its mark of 13-4. Against playoff teams, Green Bay went 5-1. Its lone loss came with Jordan Love starting in place of Aaron Rodgers.

Overall, Green Bay’s victories came against teams with a .480 winning percentage, second-best in the NFC playoff field. Last year, their 13 wins came against teams with a .387 winning percentage. So, they’ve earned the right to homefield advantage.

With some quality wins despite a bunch of injuries, the Packers look like a team that should be ready for whatever adversity comes their way in the postseason.

“The season and how everything plays out kind of shapes who you are going into the playoffs,” receiver Davante Adams said after clinching the No. 1 seed vs. Minnesota. “We’re battle-tested. We’ve kind of experienced everything that you can experience. We got blown out, literally to the point where we were one of the lowest on the power rankings after Week 1. We’ve kind of seen it all at this point. We’re definitely ready for this stretch. Just got to stay as healthy as possible – this bye will definitely help that – and come back in Lambeau ready to do this thing.”

Here are how the seven NFC playoff teams fared against fellow playoff teams.

No. 1: Green Bay Packers (13-4)

Record vs. playoff teams: 5-1.

Wins: 30-28 at San Francisco, 27-17 vs. Pittsburgh, 25-22 at Cincinnati, 24-21 at Arizona, 36-28 vs. L.A. Rams.

Losses: 13-7 at Kansas City.

Noteworthy: Of course, the Packers’ only loss to a playoff team came at Kansas City with Aaron Rodgers on the COVID list. Green Bay’s signature victories of the season came at the Cardinals, who were undefeated while the Packers were without their top three receivers, and at home against the Rams, who were coming off their bye.

No. 2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4)

Wins: 31-29 vs. Dallas, 19-17 at New England, 28-22 at Philadelphia, 33-27 vs. Buffalo.

Losses: 34-24 at L.A. Rams.

Noteworthy: The Buccaneers posted signature victories vs. the Cowboys and Bills. Both of those games were at home, though. Tom Brady’s career playoff record is 34-11. That’s an absurd 75.6 percent winning percentage against teams that range from good to really good.

No. 3: Dallas Cowboys (12-5)

Record vs. playoff teams: 3-4.

Wins: 41-21 vs. Philadelphia, 35-29 at New England, 51-26 at Philadelphia.

Losses: 31-29 at Tampa Bay, 19-9 at Kansas City, 36-33 vs. Las Vegas, 25-22 at Arizona.

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Noteworthy: The Cowboys look like a major threat to win the Super Bowl but didn’t fair well against top competition. Exclude two wins over a weak Philadelphia squad, and the Cowboys went just 1-4 against the other teams that reached the postseason.

No. 4: Los Angeles Rams (12-5)

Record vs. playoff teams: 2-5.

Wins: 34-24 vs. Tampa Bay, 30-23 at Arizona.

Losses: 37-20 at Arizona, 28-16 vs. Tennessee, 31-10 at San Francisco, 36-28 at Green Bay, 27-24 at San Francisco.

Noteworthy: At midseason, the Rams lost in Week 9 against Tennessee, at San Francisco in Week 10 and at Green Bay in Week 12 following their Week 11 bye. With a chance to secure the No. 2 seed on Sunday, they lost at home against the 49ers. In his 13 seasons, Matthew Stafford’s playoff record is 0-3. This will be Round 3 this season vs. Arizona.

No. 5: Arizona Cardinals (11-6)

Record vs. playoff teams: 5-2.

Wins: 38-13 at Arizona, 37-20 at L.A. Rams, 17-10 vs. San Francisco, 31-17 at San Francisco, 25-22 at Arizona.

Losses: 24-21 vs. Green Bay, 30-23 vs. L.A. Rams

Noteworthy: The Cardinals went 8-1 on the road this season, including 4-0 against teams that qualified for the playoffs. The Cardinals went 1-4 in their last five games, with the lone win being a huge win at Dallas. Arizona’s victories came against teams with a .492 winning percentage, tops in the NFC playoff field.

No. 6: San Francisco 49ers (10-7)

Record vs. playoff teams: 4-4.

Wins: 17-11 at Philadelphia, 31-10 vs. L.A. Rams, 26-23 at Cincinnati, 27-24 at L.A. Rams.

Losses: 30-28 vs. Green Bay, 17-10 at Arizona, 31-17 vs. Arizona, 20-17 at Tennessee.

Noteworthy: The 49ers closed the season by winning seven of their final nine games, including two wins over the Rams and one at Cincinnati. The Niners’ 27-24 victory over the Rams in the finale sent them to the playoffs. By strength of schedule (not strength of victory), the 49ers faced the toughest schedule in the NFC playoff field.

No. 7: Philadelphia Eagles (9-8)

Record vs. playoff teams: 0-6.

Wins: None.

Losses: 17-11 vs. San Francisco, 41-21 at Dallas, 42-30 vs. Kansas City, 28-22 vs. Tampa Bay, 33-22 at Las Vegas, 51-26 vs. Dallas.

Noteworthy: The Eagles went 9-2 against teams the didn’t reach the playoffs. The nine wins came against teams with a combined .350 winning percentage, by far the worst in the 14-team playoff field. In their two games against Dallas, they were smoked 92-47. Their playoff game against Tampa Bay will be a rematch from Week 6. The Bucs led that game 28-7 in the third quarter.