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Nobody thought the Eagles would make the playoffs, and they aren’t very good with good reason! The Eagles are physical and can run the ball, but the issue is a lack of offense, primarily through the air. The Eagles run what looks like a college offense; they will be one and done. The biggest reason they are one and done is that the Bucs are a terrible matchup for the Eagles. The Eagles have difficulty covering the tight end position, and they struggle against the run.
The Steelers are like a walker in a zombie apocalypse. They are hard to kill. T.J. Watt is scary, and Big Ben is Big Ben, but the Steelers are lucky to be here. The Steelers will match up with the Chiefs, and we saw this just a few weeks ago, and it did not go well for the Steelers.
It’s a nice story how Derek Carr and the Raiders defense rallied around interim coach Rich Bisaccia in a tumultuous second season in Las Vegas. But the Raiders are not ready for this! Derek Carr is a tough solid quarterback, but he makes throws that make you shake your head on occasion. The defense is good on the line, but the secondary is not that great, and they are headed for a matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. If you have secondary issues, Cincinnati is the last team you want to play.
Bill Belichick has done a great job getting this team to the playoffs, but they feel like they are still a year or two away from being able to do damage in the playoffs. Defensively they are outstanding, but a lack of weapons on offense limits how far this team can advance.
Yesterday, the Cardinals blew a chance to win the NFC West; they have been blowing it for the last six weeks as they have gone 2-4 to end the season. The saving grace here is they get to play a Rams team that hasn’t been playing lights out either. This is a limited team at this moment, and even when healthy, I think more than one win in these playoffs is a stretch.
The Rams have maybe the most talented roster in football, but they have not yet come together as a team. If they can, they could win the Super Bowl; if they don’t, they will be done by the divisional playoff round. Matthew Stafford has a knack for throwing pick six’s, and that has to scare the hell out of even the most die-hard Rams fan.
The 49ers have a reliable running game, a versatile passing game and an active front seven. When Jimmy G. is healthy, the 49ers are capable of beating anybody. The issue is in the secondary, and a first-round matchup with the Cowboys is not favorable for the 49ers. But don’t be surprised if the 49ers give the Cowboys all they can handle.
Every team listed from here on out can get to the Super Bowl. The Bengals have not won a playoff game in 31 years, but I think they have the perfect team to play in the Las Vegas Raiders to kill that streak. From there, remember this is a team that beat the Chiefs just two weeks ago. If the Offensive line plays average, the Bengals can win the AFC. They are ranked this low simply because of youth and inexperience.
The Chiefs are still a scary team, but questions on the defensive side of the ball have to exist after the past two weeks, and the offense is not clicking like it used to. I would not be surprised to see the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, but I would also not be surprised to see them lose in the Divisional playoff round.
The Bills are a physical hard-nosed football team that made a deep run last year. They are not playing as well as last year at the start of the playoffs, but they are a very dangerous team. They are capable of going on the road and winning, and the experience of the previous two years will be huge for this team.
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Can we trust the Cowboys in a prominent spot? Of course not, but with that being said, they play defense, they run the ball, and the passing game can be explosive. My guess is they flame out quick or go on a Super Bowl run; either is possible with this team.
The Titans survive losing Derrick Henry and still find themselves the number one seed! I forgot it looks like Henry will be back for the playoffs! The Titans are a physical hard-nosed football team, which is what wins championships. Ryan Tannehill is big-time underrated, and Mike Vrabel is a heck of a football coach.
The difference between numbers one and two? That’s the easy quarterback and Head Coach. Especially the head coach as last year Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was a huge reason the Packers lost in the NFC Championship game. Yes, Brady, in my opinion, is still better than Rodgers, and in a big game, I lean towards Brady.
Injuries have decimated the Bucs, but just like last year, they will have some essential pieces back in place for the playoffs, and Mike Evans and Gronk are still a great 1-2 punch, and as long as Tom Brady is there,e the Bucs will be a problem for anybody.
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