Dallas at Carolina
2 teams thought to be in serious competition for the NFC title during this time were the Cowboys and Panthers, and this game might properly be an NFC National championship preview. The Panthers included their own sometimes-controversial WR in Keyshawn Johnson, whose last team was the Cowboys. Johnson was no question inspired to reveal to the Cowboys that they had slipped up, yet a lot more was on the line in this game.
Denver at Pittsburgh
Although every football season varies, one would certainly be stretching it to firmly insist that the Broncos didn’t have retribution on their minds when they took a trip to Pittsburgh to tackle the team that beat them in the AFC National championship in Denver in 2005. Granted, there are numerous locations much easier to get retribution compared to the home field of the world champions, however, this game might also mean a whole lot for playoff seeding, as both the Broncos and Steelers were anticipated to compete once more in 2006.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland
Not just was this an intense intra-division rivalry, several believe that the Browns could legitimately get a playoff spot. The Dawg Pound certainly barked loudly when the Steelers attempted to stake a claim on the AFC North division in this late-season fight. This was just one of those games where records didn’t matter, but there was a lot more on the line than just satisfaction here.
Tennessee at Houston
Although many didn’t anticipate either of these teams to compete for the Super Bowl, the sub-plot was that Vince Young could have developed a must-see matchup in Texas. Texans followers originally wanted Houston native Vince Young to be the leading pick in the draft, however, the team stunned everybody by drafting Mario Williams. Titans owner Bud Adams still had the team that was once the Houston Oilers, and he could have been trotting out his team with the hometown hero behind it.
It doesn’t matter what team you rooted for in 2006, it all came down to the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning winning the 2007 Super Bowl.