The NFL is now closing in on the end of the season and there are only eight teams left with a chance to reach the Promised Land. Miraculously (pun intended), the Denver Broncos are one of those teams. It was a foregone conclusion that the Steelers were supposed to beat the Broncos, but instead, the legend of Tim Tebow grew to new heights. Pittsburgh came into the game with the best passing defense in the NFL, only to get torched by Tebow for 316 yards, including the now-famous game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime.
The win took Tebow to a whole other level of pop culture status. NFL.com posted a photo gallery of what Tebow's kids would look like if he married any of an array of celebrities. Conan O'Brien reenacted the final play of last week's game using peanuts (which is basically a shot-for-shot remake). ESPN dedicated an entire hour of programming on SportsCenter to Tebow. And that just adds to the list of pop culture moments Tebow has had this season, including a spoof on SNL and an awesome musical mash-up by DJ Steve Porter.
As a Patriots fan, I can't wait to see what happens this weekend and I know there are millions of fans who think the same way. Here are the Divisional Round NFL Game Power Rankings:
1. Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans
Average Ticket Price: $319.75
Now that the Steelers are out of the playoffs, the Baltimore Ravens were able to get over a playoff hurdle without even playing a snap of football this postseason. Prior to this season, the Steelers finished first in the AFC North ahead of the Ravens while also eliminating Baltimore from the playoffs in two of those three seasons. This year, the Ravens finished at the top of the AFC North and are primed to make a run at the Super Bowl. They will start this Sunday against a Texans team that features a rookie quarterback behind center.
2. San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints
Average Ticket Price: $260.53
The 49ers vs. Saints game will be a battle of two strengths. The Saints feature arguably the best offense in the NFL with Drew Brees leading the way, while the 49ers have among the best defenses in the league, allowing a league-low 14.3 points per game. The 49ers were hoping to have an extra advantage playing outdoors this Saturday, as the Saints played most of their games in domes this season and have not had to deal with weather. Unfortunately for San Francisco, that won't be an issue, with forecasts calling for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-60s.
3. New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos
Average Ticket Price: $260.25
As mentioned at the top, Tebow-mania continues to reach new heights every week. The Patriots are the one team that won't get caught up in the hype. New England has lost three straight playoff games and wants to change that trend. These two teams just met a few weeks ago in Denver, in a game in which the Patriots took advantage of three Broncos turnovers on the way to a 41-23 win. If Denver can eliminate those mistakes, this one should be a lot closer.
4. Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants
Average Ticket Price: $240.06
In Week 13, the Giants played step-for-step with the Packers, losing 38-35 on a last-second field goal. Now, the Giants have another crack at Green Bay after dismantling the Falcons last week. The G-Men are definitely not lacking confidence. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul told reporters about their game with the Packers, "We're going to win. One hundred percent we're going to win, because we're the best." Well, ok, then. Although, if they truly are the best, why did they finish 8-8?
If you are looking for tickets to any of these games or any game the rest of the season, check out our NFL Ticket Page.
Rankings are based on the average price of tickets sold on the TicketNetwork Exchange as of 1/12/2012 at 1:30 p.m. EST.