For fan bases of 12 teams, it's exciting times, as their favorite NFL squad gears up to make Super Bowl dreams a reality.
For those who cheer the other 20, the itinerary consists of hiring new coaches (maybe), free agency, and the NFL Draft.
For the teams knocked out of the playoffs, they will, one by one, soul-search as to what they were missing, and where they went wrong.
Fans of teams already eliminated have a pretty good head start on that.
Over the past month or so, I've written 20 separate articles that examine the problems, perils, and pitfalls of each of those doomed franchises. I had written them under the guise of 'autopsies' (which provided a terrible coincidence, as the Chiefs one was published two days prior to the Jovan Belcher incident), and I played coroner, examining the 'corpse' in search of answers.
Here they are, all in one place, listed in their 2013 Draft order. Fans looking forward to next season, or those who wish to create their own mock drafts, have this fodder to work with.
If you click on the team name, you'll be taken to an in-depth analysis of where each also-ran went wrong in 2012.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14)
Romeo Crennel is out, and Andy Reid is in. Whether he restricts the carries of Jamaal Charles in favor of his brand of West Coast Offense remains to be seen, but pass blockers are a necessity.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)
Maurice Jones-Drew injuring his foot was one spike on the woeful jousting mace that was the Jaguars' season, as Mike Mularkey didn't deliver his innovative offensive style in year one.
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12)
Dennis Allen could have stuck around in Denver and perhaps gotten his second Super Bowl ring this year. Instead, he has a defense to fix (his specialty), and a resigned fanbase to reassure.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12)
Michael Vick got splattered, and the highly-paid defensive stars (Jason Babin, Nnamdi Asomugha) presided over constantly heartless efforts. Hope for their sake Manti Te'o is still available here.
5. Detroit Lions (4-12)
Calvin Johnson did his part, and Matthew Stafford threw and threw to the limits on reconstructed shoulders, but the defense (and Jim Schwartz's mistakes) undid all of their good.
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11)
A new ownership/office/coach regime will work to paint over a 28-year-old rookie quarterback, and build the futile franchise back up to something resembling its contender form of the 1980s.
7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11)
If they're not working on trading their pick, their 2014 pick, and something with Conrad Dobler's teethmarks up to ensure their drafting of Luke Joeckel, they're doing it wrong.
8. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
C.J. Spiller shone brightly against the backdrop of too much money doled out to Ryan Fitzpatrick and Mario Williams. Buffalo's a decent team marred by inconsistency.
9. New York Jets (6-10)
Tebowmania's nadir to Revis Island's shutdown, Butt Fumble to Rex's tattoo. 2012 for the Jets was sheer turmoil, but for non-fans, there was no better mock fodder than the news coming out of there.
10. Tennessee Titans (6-10)
A C-grade quarterback controversy and a woefully indept defense, and yet this team still somehow won six games. At least Chris Johnson looks like Chris Johnson again.
11. San Diego Chargers (7-9)
Finally, the Norv Turner/AJ Smith nightmare has ended. Chargers fans surely know how those liberated Chilean miners felt. There's still time to salvage Philip Rivers' prime, but the new regime must work quick.
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9)
The Dolphins may have been cursed ever since Dan Marino retired, but there's signs of life in the current crop. Their defense is top-flight, and a number of close losses indicates competitiveness.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9)
Greg Schiano presided over a promising display (Josh Freeman's great year, Doug Martin's emergence, stellar run stopping), but late-game foul-ups and bad pass defense leave room for improvement.
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9)
A late flurry of wins may save Ron Rivera after all, as Cam Newton gradually improved through the season. They took it to Atlanta hard twice, winning once, so why not keep the administation in tact?
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9)
Bountygate is over, Drew Brees is still Drew Brees, and Sean Payton's back with more money. Imagine gifting Steve Spagnuolo with Jadeveon Clowney, and letting him run wild.
16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1)
Jeff Fisher oversaw one hell of a turnaround in his first year as coach. But while the defense is a veritable wrecking machine, the offense needs a facelift, including red zone targets.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
Can't really recall seeing the Steelers' running game look so weak and ineffective. Even the defense was more bendable than we're used to seeing under Dick LeBeau. Could big changes be coming?
18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
Two straight last-day washouts has led to a prickly Jerry Jones declaring major changes ahead. Jason Garrett's safe, so one wonders what the boss will target. Is Tony Romo's time short?
19. New York Giants (9-7)
Champs turned to chumps, mostly thanks to a second-half fizzle, and many issues on defense. Eli Manning had a rather disappointing season statistically, so him bouncing back is key.
20. Chicago Bears (10-6)
Firing Lovie Smith may have been extreme, given the team was 10-6 in a competitive conference. Whoever comes in next, make sure the offensive line is made of something a bit sturdier.