WHO WILL MAKE THE NFL PLAYOFFS?

NFL PLAYOFF
 

NFL PLAYOFF


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AFC

Kansas City is the best the AFC has to offer as it currently stands. A tough matchup this Thursday night with their divisional rivals, the Chargers, will help determine if the Chiefs can clinch the division. Still, they’re already locked in as a playoff team, and if they can handle business vs. Los Angeles this week, they win a division title and a first round bye.

The Patriots suffered a heartbreaking defeat in Miami a week ago, but they are still destined for the playoffs once again. They can clinch a birth this week with a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a Dolphin loss, this week. Even if that doesn’t occur, New England finishes off the regular season with plus matchups vs. the Bills and Jets.

Even after a disappointing loss at the hands of the Colts a week ago, the Texans still hold a two game lead over anyone else in their division. Their remaining schedule should lead to the team finishing atop the AFC South. Over the next three weeks Houston faces off with the Jets, a likely Carson Wentz-less Eagles team, and the Cody Kessler-led Jaguars.

The Ravens are coming off a devastating defeat to the AFC’s best, the Kansas City Chiefs. Yet, they showed that they can compete with any team on any day. Having Baltimore making the playoffs over the Steelers may seem like a unpopular opinion, but if you dig deeper you will likely come to the same conclusion. Ravens, winners of three of their last four, finish out their final three games with two below .500 teams (Buccaneers and Browns). The Steelers, on the other hand, lost three straight and have consecutive matchups against the Patriots and the Saints, before they get a favorable matchup with the eight loss Bengals. By that time it may be too late for Pittsburgh.

The Chargers may very well end the regular season as the 1st seed in the AFC, but either way they will represent the division in the playoffs. Their 10-3 record is the second best amongst all AFC teams.

The Dolphins seemed all but dead in the water a week ago, that is until Kenyan Drake delivered what is now known as the “Miami Miracle”. That play single handedly put the Dolphins back into the playoff picture. I give the Dolphins the edge over the Colts and Steelers for one reason, and that is their remaining schedule. They face a Vikings team this week who struggled to put seven points on the board just a week ago. They then close out the season with their in-state rivals, the Jaguars, and the Buffalo Bills. 

NFC

The Rams currently sit in the second seed, but a favorable schedule to end the season will likely seat them atop the NFC rankings. Los Angeles, who has already clinched their division, will likely finish 14-2 and end up with a 1st round bye.

The Saints offense has had their struggles of late, and it could impact their seeding as they close out the regular season. The Saints have two matchups with the Panthers, and a game vs. the Steelers sandwiched in between, to wrap up the year.  They’ve already clinched the division, while Carolina will be fighting for their playoff lives.

Chicago got a huge victory on Sunday night, as they dominated the LA Rams. The Bears have put themselves in great position to clinch their division, and possibly even jump the Rams in seeding if all goes well.

The Amari Cooper trade has single handedly changed the Cowboys season. Dallas is well on their way to winning the NFC East, and their winning recipe, a heavy dose of Zeke Elliott and a dominant defense, may lead to a deep run in the playoffs for the ‘Boys.

Seattle’s defense hasn’t looked this good since the Super Bowl days. They are all but locked into the 5th seed. With the way their defense is playing, combined with Russell Wilson and their top ranked rush offense, they may be the scariest team in the NFC. 

This is where things get wacky. The Giants dug themselves a giant hole to begin the season, going 1-7 through their first eight games. Yet, since their bye week they’ve gone 4-1 and have catapulted themselves into the wildcard hunt. New York must win out, and they’ll need some help. Carolina, Philly, and Minnesota need to lose two of their next three games, while the Packers have to lose one game. It sounds like a lot, but if you look at their schedules, it’s not too far fetched. Crazier things have happened in the NFL.

 

KEYS: {x}Clinched Playoff Birth {y}Clinched Divisional Title

 

 


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