Eight historical postseason nuggets for the eight teams that remain alive in the NFL playoffs, with the four divisional-round games on tap Saturday and Sunday:
* Atlanta — The Falcons’ upset of the Rams on Saturday night was their 10th playoff win in the franchise’s 52-season history. But it marked the first time Atlanta has ever notched playoff victories in consecutive seasons, after last year’s failed Super Bowl trip. The Falcons have twice before played on the road in Philadelphia in the playoffs, losing by double digits in both games, in the 2002 divisional round and the 2004 NFC title game. But Atlanta is 3-1 in its past four divisional round games, and if both the Falcons and Saints win on the road this weekend, we’ll have our first intra-division conference title game since San Francisco and Seattle played a classic in the 2013 NFC title game.
* Philadelphia — The top-seeded Eagles have been made underdogs at home this Saturday against No. 6 seeded Falcons in an NFC Divisional round game, thanks to the struggles of quarterback Nick Foles. Philadelphia is working on a four-game playoff losing streak that dates from the 2008 NFC title game in Arizona, but the Eagles have never lost a divisional round game as the conference’s top seed, going 3-0 in that situation from 2002-2004.
* Tennessee — Though it may be hard to remember now, this is a franchise that went to the playoffs seven seasons in a row (1987-93) as the Houston Oilers, and then made the postseason six times in a 10-year span (1999-2008) as the Titans. But in drawing the top-seeded Patriots, fifth-seeded Tennessee will run up against its nemesis. The Titans have lost six games in a row to New England from 2003 on, getting outscored 221-97 in those games (an average margin of 37-16). Tennessee last defeated the Patriots in 2002, and haven’t won in Foxboro since 1993, when they were still the Oilers.
* New England — This will be the 12th time in the Belichick-Brady era the Patriots have played host to an AFC Divisional round game after earning a first-round bye. New England is 10-1 in that advantageous setting, losing only to the divisional rival New York Jets in 2010. The Patriots’ 10 victories have been by a gaudy margin of almost two touchdowns per game (13.2 points), and they’ve defeated eight different AFC opponents, including the Titans in 2003. So, you know, good luck, Tennessee.
* Jacksonville — The Jaguars haven’t been in the playoffs in 10 years, but they are comfortable playing in Pittsburgh, having shocked the Steelers 30-9 at Heinz Field in Week 5 this season. Jacksonville also handed Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin a defeat in his first career playoff game with the Steelers, winning 31-29 in 2007’s first round. Jacksonville is only team still alive this postseason that has never reached the Super Bowl. Four other current playoff teams remain ring-less in the Super Bowl era, but have at least played on the biggest stage: the Eagles, Vikings, Falcons and Titans.
* Pittsburgh — The Steelers enter Sunday’s game against visiting Jaguars as the No. 2 seed in the AFC. Heinz Field opened in 2001, and the Steelers have played there four times in the AFC Divisional round as a No. 1 or No. 2 seed, coming off a first-round bye. They’re 4-0 in that situation, winning as a top seed in 2001 and 2004 (before losses to New England in the AFC title game), and prevailing as the No. 2 seed in both 2008 and 2010 (with Super Bowl trips each season). Historically speaking, the No. 2 slot has been pretty good to Pittsburgh.
* New Orleans — If the No. 4-seeded Saints get past the Vikings on Sunday and go on to make the Super Bowl, they’ll be the lowest seeded NFC team to reach Super Sunday since the No. 4 New York Giants of 2011. But only once in its 51-year franchise history has New Orleans won more than one playoff game in the same postseason, that coming in its 2009 Super Bowl-title run, when they were 3-0. The Saints will have to go 3-0 this year in the playoffs just to earn a return trip to Minneapolis next month, which would be their third game in U.S. Bank Stadium this season.
* Minnesota — As is well known, the Vikings went to the Super Bowl and lost four times in the eight-year span of 1969-76, and it has been 41 years since they’ve played in the NFL’s biggest game. This is Minnesota’s 21st trip to the playoffs in those 41 years, meaning the Vikings have knocked on the door without ultimate success at least half the time during their Super Bowl drought. The Jets have gone 49 years without a Super Bowl trip, but only went to the playoffs 13 times in that period. The Chiefs haven’t made the Super Bowl in 48 years, with 16 playoff berths in that span. And to think Minnesota could end its frustration and get to play a Super Bowl at home all at the same time.