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2024 NFL Playoffs: What to watch for in the NFC bracket

The matchups for the 2024 NFL Playoffs are locked in the NFC, and now the road to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas begins in earnest. With Super Wild Card Weekend on the horizon, we now look at the matchups and what to watch for on the NFC side of this year's NFL Playoffs.

(2) Dallas Cowboys vs. (7) Green Bay Packers

Jordan Love, the Packers' young signal-caller, has been one of the many surprises of the season as he led the Pack to the NFL Playoffs with a 9-8 record. In his first full season under center, Love finds himself going into Dallas for a Wild Card showdown against Dak Prescott and the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys - a team that limited the opposition to 18.5 points per game, good enough for the 5th-ranked defense in the league.

Meanwhile, the Packers come into their Wild Card matchup with the 12th-ranked offense in the league, scoring just under 23 points per game while touting a defense in the Top 10 in the NFL, holding opponents to under 21 points per game.

Expect this game to be a fairly even contest on the defensive side of the ball. It could be the first team to 21 points wins.

(3) Detroit Lions vs. (6) Los Angeles Rams

The late game in the Sunday NFL Playoff slate pits the surprise NFC North champion Detroit Lions against a dark horse squad out of the NFC West the Los Angeles Rams. Detroit will be welcoming an old friend, Matthew Stafford, back to Ford Field for this Wild Card matchup. Stafford spent his first 12 seasons from 2009-2020 in Detroit, where he made the playoffs three times but never got to play a home game in the NFL Playoffs. Now, he comes in again as the visitor against the team that drafted him.

This is another matchup of high-powered offenses - Lions come in ranked fifth, scoring just over 27 points per game, while the Rams are ranked eighth in the league, putting up just under 24 points per game. But this game could be decided on the defensive side of the ball.

Both teams come into this Wild Card matchup Sunday, allowing just about 23 points per game on the defensive side of the ball. This should be a fairly balanced matchup on both ends of the ball. This one might just go to overtime, and if it does, perhaps the Lions will be able to out-grind the Rams if they get a few lucky bounces.

(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. (5) Philadelphia Eagles

The last game of Super Wild Card Weekend brings us to Tampa for Monday Night Football and a matchup of past Super Bowl champions as the Buccaneers - champions of Super Bowl LV over Mahomes and the Chiefs, face the Philadelphia Eagles - Super Bowl LII champions over the now-retired Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Philadelphia stumbled their way into the NFL Playoffs after spending most of the season looking like the team to beat in the NFC. Up until the last month, it looked like they were to repeat as NFC East division champions. But after going the entire month of December without a win, losses to Dallas and the New York Giants locked up the NFC East and the two-seed on the NFC side of the NFL Playoffs for Dallas, relegating the Eagles to the five-seed.

However, if the Eagles can take some encouragement from this season into their upcoming matchup, they stomped the Bucs 25-11 in Week 3, also at Raymond James Stadium. So, if the Eagles want any chance at revenge against the Cowboys for swiping the NFC East away from them, they need history to repeat itself against Tampa Bay on Monday night.

That's what to watch for on Super Wild Card Weekend in the NFC! Good luck to all teams on the road to the Super Bowl!