Along with great play, naturally. Here's an interesting thought or two...
"For the Steelers, you could say their season turned on a single play in Week 12: this drop by Bills receiver Stevie Johnson, wide open in the end zone in overtime. If he just cradles the ball, the Bills win. Now, it’s problematic to project the future from there, but let’s assume that the Steelers would have ended up 11-5 instead of 12-4. That would have made them the sixth seed in the A.F.C.! Does that mean they wouldn’t be in the Super Bowl? Of course not. But their path would have been tougher; they might have had to go to Indianapolis, and then, assuming they won there, to New England before playing the conference championship game on the road."
"As for the Packers, it’s fair to say they were fortunate even to make the playoffs. Remember: they won the sixth seed based on the strength-of-victory tie breaker over the Giants and the Buccaneers. But if Tampa Bay hadn’t lost to Detroit in overtime in Week 15, the Packers might very well have been heading home for January.
Tampa took the lead late. Detroit tied it at the end of regulation, then won the overtime coin toss. The Lions drove down the field and kicked a field goal to win, an extremely rare road victory for Detroit.What if the Bucs had won the coin toss? They might have done the same thing as Detroit and won the game. A Tampa Bay win there could have then translated to an 11-5 record and the N.F.C.’s sixth seed… a spot the Packers rode to the Super Bowl."