NFL Watch: Playoff Picture Set

words // Brandon Richard

Entering the final week of the 2011 NFL regular season, only one thing was certain – all roads to the NFC Championship go through Green Bay, Wisconsin. Outside of that, seeding, playoff spots and division titles were up for grabs, making for an exciting finish to the schedule. The Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants each clinched playoff berths on the final day, though the Giants were the only team to do so with a win. Matched up with the Dallas Cowboys in a winner-takes-all game for the NFC East Championship, Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes in a convincing 31-14 win. Denver and Cincy both fell short in division rivalry games, but received help elsewhere to claim their spots.

Elsewhere, the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers joined the Green Bay Packers as teams with first round byes, all capping off the regular season with wins. The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons enter the playoffs with momentum after finishing the season with 45-point outbursts, while the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions will be looking for redemption after losing their Week 17 contests.

In the first round, the match-ups are as follows; the Denver Broncos will host the Pittsburgh Steelers; Cincinnati travels to Houston to take on the Texans; the Detroit Lions will try to find a way to slow down Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints; and the Atlanta Falcons will make their way to take on the NFC East Champion New York Giants.

Read on for a look at football cleats worn by players from all 12 playoff-bound teams, as well as a final salute to Jason Taylor, in this week’s NFL Watch.

NFL Watch: Playoff Picture Set

Matt Flynn wearing Nike Zoom Alpha Talon vs. Detroit TigersMatt Flynn (yes, Matt Flynn) thew six touchdown passes against the Detroit Lions in the Nike Zoom Alpha Talon.

Isaac Redman wearing Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3 vs. Cleveland BrownsIsaac Redman filled in for an injured Rashard Mendenhall wearing the Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3.

Von Miller wearing adidas Malice D vs. Kansas City ChiefsVon Miller stalks Dexter McCluster in the adidas Malice D.

Darren Sproles wearing adidas Scorch X Superfly Mid vs. Carolina PanthersDarren Sproles makes a cut in the adidas Scorch X Superfly Mid.

Victor Cruz wearing Nike Vapor Talon Elite Low TD vs. Dallas CowboysVictor Cruz had a leg up on the situation in the upcoming Vapor Talon Elite Low TD Nike football cleats.

Vernon Davis wearing Under Armour Nitro III vs. St. Louis RamsVernon Davis makes a grab in the Under Armour Nitro III.

Ladarius Webb wearing Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Ladarius Webb celebrates the Ravens’ win in the Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly.

Jerome Simpson wearing Nike Alpha Speed D vs. Baltimore RavensJerome Simpson avoids a tackle in the Nike Alpha Speed D.

Rob Gronkowski wearing Nike Zoom Hyperfly TD vs. Buffalo BillsRob Gronkowski celebrates another touchdown in Zoom Hyperfly TD Nike football cleats.

Roddy White wearing Reebok NFL U-Form 4Speed Mid SD4 vs. Tampa Bay BuccaneersRoddy White runs after making a catch in NFL U-Form 4Speed Mid SD4 Reebok football cleats.

Titus Young wearing adidas Malice D vs. Green Bay PackersTitus Young finds paydirt in the adidas Malice D.

Ben Tate wearing Nike Super Speed TD vs. Tennessee TitansBen Tate runs through a pile of players in the Nike Super Speed TD.

Jason Taylor wearing Jordan BCT Mid Cleat vs. New York JetsJason Taylor capped off his Hall of Fame-worthy career in BCT Mid Jordan cleats.

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