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NFL playoff schedule 2016: Breaking down the AFC and NFC fields

Falcons not included.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

We now have a final, set playoff field, and while the Falcons didn't wind up sniffing the big dance, you know you'll tune in despite yourself. With that in mind, I wanted to quickly breakdown the brackets for both the AFC and NFC.

The AFC field is an interesting, deeply flawed one. The Broncos are relying on a shaky Brock Osweiler and/or fading Peyton Manning and an elite defense, while the Patriots are incredibly banged up and looking like shells of themselves. The Steelers swing freely from high to low, the Bengals are playoff chumps every year who may not even have Andy Dalton, and the Chiefs and Texans are two defense-first teams trying to make a big push. Personally, I like the Patriots and Bengals to make a deep push, but we'll see.

The NFC's a bit more top-heavy. The Panthers and Cardinals have legitimately been two of the great teams in the NFL this season, while everyone below them has legitimate questions. The only exception might be Seattle, which is getting Marshawn Lynch back for the playoffs and has played as well as any team in the NFL for a few weeks now. I like the Cardinals and Seahawks best in this division, though the Panthers obviously should not be taken lightly.

We'll have full schedules and open threads for these games in the week ahead. For now, check out the field.

AFC playoff bracket

1. Denver Broncos (12-4)

2. New England Patriots (12-4)

Wild Card weekend

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) vs. 3. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) Saturday, January 9, 8:15 p.m.

5. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) vs. 4. Houston Texans (9-7) Saturday, January 9, 4:35 p.m.

NFC playoff bracket

1. Carolina Panthers (15-1)

2. Arizona Cardinals (13-3)

Wild Card weekend

6. Seattle Seahawks (10-6) vs. 3. Minnesota Vikings (11-5) Sunday, January 10, 1:05 p.m.

5. Green Bay Packers (10-6) vs. 4. Washington Redskins (9-7) Sunday, January 10, 4:40 p.m.

Who are you rooting for?