Twelve contenders, all with issues that could make them pretenders.
To win the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather city, each team in the NFL playoffs has a flaw it must conquer. A depleted defense in Denver. A sputtering offense in Seattle.
And plenty more elsewhere.Comment on this story
The Seahawks and Broncos both went 13-3 and earned the top seeds in their conferences. Along with the Panthers and Patriots, they get an extra week off to fix their imperfections.
Those four will do well to remember that six of the last eight Super Bowl champions played on wild-card weekend.
"Everybody is 0-0 now," Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said.
New England was the last team to parlay the best regular-season record into a title back in 2003, and the last No. 1 seed that got to say, "We're No. 1!" was the 2009 New Orleans Saints.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi and AP Sports Writers Howard Ulman, Michael Marot, Joe Kay, Dave Skretta, Bernie Wilson, Tim Booth, Steve Reed, Genaro Armas, Janie McCauley and Brett Martel contributed.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org