With the NFL’s postseason field set, here’s a look at how all 12 teams fared against playoff competition this season:
1. Denver Broncos (5-2)
The Broncos beat three of the five other AFC playoff teams, while also notching wins against the Packers and Vikings from the NFC field. Among postseason participants, only the Chiefs and Steelers were able to take down Denver during the regular season. Also notable: The Broncos were 3-1 with Peyton Manning under center, and 2-1 with Brock Osweiler.
2. New England Patriots (3-1)
New England’s only blemish against playoff teams came in overtime in Denver at the end of November. The Patriots beat the Steelers, Redskins and Texans, by a combined 45 points.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4)
Here’s an interesting tidbit on Cincinnati’s season: The Bengals beat their first three playoff opponents (Chiefs, Seahawks, Steelers) but lost their final four (Texans, Cardinals, Steelers, Broncos). That’s a troubling trend as Cincinnati approaches a first-round battle with Pittsburgh.
4. Houston Texans (1-3)
Houston lost two straight games against playoff teams to open the season, falling to the Chiefs and Panthers back-to-back. A later win over the Bengals was matched with a loss to New England.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (3-4)
The Chiefs played a brutal early schedule that featured four straight games and six out of the first seven against playoff teams. Kansas City started 1-4 against those clubs, but finished with wins over the Steelers and Broncos during the team’s 10-0 finish. The goal now is snapping an 8-game losing streak in the postseason.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-4)
The Steelers were all over the place against their playoff competition. Pittsburgh lost to New England, beat Arizona, lost to Kansas City, Cincinnati and Seattle, and beat Cincinnati and Denver.
1. Carolina Panthers (4-0)
Carolina was the only team to run the table against playoff competition. The Panthers beat the Texans, Seahawks, Packers and Redskins during a nearly perfect, 15-1 season.
2. Arizona Cardinals (4-2)
Losses to Pittsburgh and Seattle sandwiched a strong two-month stretch for the Cardinals, who beat the Seahawks, Bengals, Vikings and Packers during November and December.
3. Minnesota Vikings (2-4)
Minnesota’s two wins came against the Chiefs (last team to beat Kansas City) and Packers (in the NFC North title game). The Vikings’ four losses—to Denver, Green Bay, Seattle and Arizona—came by a combined 54 points.
4. Washington Redskins (0-2)
The Redskins played only two playoff teams (New England, Carolina) in 2015. Jay Gruden’s club lost the two games by a combined 45 points. Start at quarterback, where Kirk Cousins’ only two games with a passer rating under 100.0 over the final 10 games came against the Patriots and Panthers. Both games were also on the road. Washington hosts Green Bay in the first round.
5. Green Bay Packers (3-4)
After beating the Seahawks and Chiefs early, Green Bay finished the season winning just one of its final five games against playoff opponents. The Broncos, Panthers and Cardinals all beat up on the Packers, who also lost a winner-take-all game against the Vikings for the division title.
6. Seattle Seahawks (3-4)
After losing their first four games against playoff teams, the Seahawks rolled off three straight wins to finish the season—including Sunday’s blowout of the Cardinals. Seattle averaged 37.7 points per game over the final three wins against postseason competition.