This week on DICK’S Sporting Goods Jersey Report, we’re taking a look at the NFL Playoff picture. In the NFC, the Carolina Panthers earned the top seed with a 15-1 record, and also lead the conference in team jersey sales. Given the solid play of stars like Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly this season, it’s no surprise the Panthers are dominating on the field and in the sales charts. The 2 seed in the NFC is the Arizona Cardinals who, despite strong seasons from Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald (among others), rank No. 9 in jersey sales among NFC teams for the season.
The Minnesota Vikings grab the 3 seed, but similar to the Cardinals, their success on the field hasn’t translated to the jersey sales charts (No. 12 in the conference). The Vikings face off in a Wild Card game this Sunday against the 6th seeded Seattle Seahawks, whose back-to-back Super Bowl appearances have made them one of the most popular teams in the NFL. Record-wise, they aren’t as good as they’ve been in the past, but they still rank No. 3 in the NFC in team jersey sales.
The other NFC Wild Card game features the 5 versus 4 seed matchup of the Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers. Green Bay’s seed (5) matches their jersey rank, while Washington comes in at No. 8. If Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins can help his team string together a couple of playoff wins, expect to see more of his #8 jerseys in the stands.
On the AFC side, the top two seeds are the Denver Broncos (1) and New England Patriots (2), who both have buys this week. The Broncos rank No. 5 in team jersey sales, while the Patriots lead the pack at No. 1, thanks to players like Brady and Gronkowski.
The 6 versus 3 matchup features the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, who come in at No. 3 and No. 4 in the jersey ranks, respectively. Although the Bengals are the home team, many experts and fans have picked the Steelers to win. The status of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is up in the air, so don’t be surprised if you see second-year signal-caller AJ McCarron under center.
The remaining AFC matchup has the 5 seed Kansas City Chiefs taking on the 4 seed Houston Texans. The Chiefs are No. 9 in AFC team jersey sales, while the Texans come in as the lowest-ranked playoff team on the jersey charts (No. 13). Both teams are led by strong defenses, with Chiefs stars Eric Berry and Justin Houston squaring off against the Texans’ fearsome D-line led by J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.
The playoffs are the most exciting time of the year in the NFL, and it’ll be interesting to see which stars find their ways to the hearts (and closets) of the fans. Don’t forget to check the Jersey Report next week to find out how the Wild Card games impact jersey sales.