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For Packers and others, rematches loom as postseason reaches latter stages

Plenty of recent familiarity amongst the teams remaining


GREEN BAY – The postseason has become rematch season in the NFC.

Not only are the divisional playoff games – 49ers at Packers and Rams at Buccaneers – rematches from Week 3 of the regular season in different stadiums, but the bracket sets up to create various potential rematches in next week's NFC title game as well.

If the Packers and Buccaneers advance, they will play with a Super Bowl berth on the line for the second straight season at Lambeau Field.

If it's Packers vs. Rams, they met in the divisional round last year, as well as Week 12 this season, in Green Bay.

If it ends up 49ers at Rams, they're division rivals in the NFC West who just played in L.A. in the regular-season finale when San Francisco had to win to earn a playoff berth.

The only possible NFC Championship Game matchup without any recent history would be 49ers vs. Buccaneers, who haven't met since Week 1 of 2019, a year before QB Tom Brady arrived in Tampa.

Some similar cases of familiarity loom with the AFC's final four, too, though not as many.

In the upcoming divisional round, the Bills and Chiefs are meeting at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City again after playing for the AFC title there last season.

If the Chiefs and Titans both advance to play next week, that'll be a rematch of the 2019 AFC Championship, though it would be in Tennessee this time with the Titans holding the top seed in that conference.

If it's Bills at Titans, those two teams met in Nashville in Week 6.

The outlier, of course, is Cincinnati, with the Bengals having won their first playoff game in 31 years last week. They're in the divisional round for the first time since 1990, when they played at the L.A. Raiders, who have changed locations twice since then.

Should the Bengals move on from here, they would make their first appearance in the AFC title game since the 1988 postseason, when they beat Buffalo to reach the franchise's second Super Bowl.