There’s strength at six.
Both No. 6 seeds advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs for the second year in a row, marking the first time that’s happened in consecutive seasons since the NFL instituted the current 12-team format in 1990.
First, the Tennessee Titans (10-7) sent the New England Patriots (12-5) to their earliest exit in a decade. Then, the Minnesota Vikings (11-6) knocked off the New Orleans Saints (12-5).
Last year, the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles won wild-card games as No. 6 seeds. Both teams lost in the divisional round.
Since 2013, No. 6 seeds are 10-4 in the wild-card round. But those teams were 0-12 the following week. The last time a No. 6 seed reached the conference championship was the 2010 season when the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers did it. The Packers went on to win the Super Bowl.
The Vikings and Titans aim to upset No. 1 seeds on Saturday. Minnesota visits the San Francisco 49ers (13-3) in the early game and Tennessee faces the Baltimore Ravens (14-2) in the nightcap.