The NFC playoff field features the usual cast of quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Now there’s also Tom Brady, who tormented the AFC field for two decades in New England.
The six-time Super Bowl champion left the Patriots for the Buccaneers last spring and led Tampa Bay to its first playoff berth since 2007.
The Bucs visit Washington in the wild-card round Saturday.
“It’s about one football game, who plays well, who executes when the pressure is on,” said Brady, who has an NFL-record 30 playoff wins but is just 4-4 with nine TDs and 10 interceptions in eight career playoff road games.
Rodgers led the league with 48 touchdown throws, including 18 to Davante Adams, and guided Green Bay (13-3) to the NFC’s top seed and its only first-round bye in the expanded playoff format that added a third wild-card team.
That puts Rodgers one win from finally playing a conference championship at Lambeau Field. He’s played four on the road, winning at Chicago on his way to bringing home the Lombardi Trophy following the 2010 season.
The NFC field features two teams with non-winning records: the Bears (8-8) and Washington (7-9), the third team to make the playoffs with a losing record under the current divisional setup. The other two -- Seattle (7-9) in 2010 and Carolina (7-8-1) in 2014 -- both beat 11-5 teams in the wild-card round.