Pre-Playoff Power Rankings Part 2

Shall we continue into the playoff section of my Power Ranking breakdown? If you want to head back to the first post, you can do so here.

 

  1. Washington Redskins

Record                                                  7-7

Playoffs!?                                            So, you’re saying there’s a chance

Biggest Win                                        Week 3 vs. Packers (31-17)

Biggest Loss                                        ¾ of their offense

Week 14 vs. Giants (40-16)

Playoff Lookout                                 I actually kind of feel bad for the Skins and their fans. This team was in a position to run away with the division before injuries attacked and overran their roster. Their QB situation has been a disaster as they lost 2 to serious leg injuries (one much worse than the other) and another to mediocrity. Josh Johnson is now their starter and he hadn’t played in a game in 5 years and hadn’t started a game in 7 years. They’re going through linemen like it’s going out of style and yet they’re still in the hunt. The Skins would be higher on this list if they weren’t so beat up.

 

  1. Carolina Panthers

Record                                                  6-8

Playoffs!?                                            So, you’re saying there’s a chance

Biggest Win                                        Week 9 vs. Bucs (42-28)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 10 @ Steelers (52-21)

Playoff Lookout                                 A true tale of two halves in Carolina. The first half of the season had this squad looking like a division contender and a potential playoff sleeper team. The second half has netted them 6 losses in 6 games, and yet, there’s still a chance that the Panthers can make the playoffs. If the Panthers can win their final 2 games to gain some momentum back, and somehow sneak into the playoffs…….. CMC, Cam and co. could make a run. They’re sneaky talented.

 

  1. Cleveland Browns

Record                                                  6-7-1

Playoffs!?                                            So, you’re really saying there’s a chance?

Biggest Win                                        Week 14 vs. Panthers (26-20)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 6 vs. Chargers (38-14)

Playoff Lookout                                 Who the hell would have thought the Browns would be contending for a possible, and I say that very lightly, playoff position in Week 16 of the season!? Oh yeah, that’s right…. I did. No fanbase in the league should be more excited than the Dawg Pound. A winless team a season ago has found their franchise QB and has cornerstone players on the defensive side of the ball in Garrett and Ward. Baker and co. have brought the Browns 6 wins including 4 out of their last 5 and things are looking as bright in Cleveland as they have in a long, long time. The playoffs this season would need a miracle, but a winning season for the Brownies would feel like a Super Bowl with how bad this team has been for so long.

 

  1. Miami Dolphins

Record                                                  7-7

Playoffs!?                                            So, you’re saying there’s a chance

Biggest Win                                        Week 14 vs. Patriots (34-33)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 4 @ Patriots (38-7)

Playoff Lookout                                 The Dolphins are one of the more underrated teams in the entire league and it was another thing I predicted before the season started. Miami has a chance to sneak into the Wild Card if things fall their way but considering their season was looking over last week before the Miami Miracle…. This team could be destined to slide into the playoffs.

 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles

Record                                                  7-7

Playoffs!?                                            So, you’re saying there’s a chance

Biggest Win                                        Week 15 @ Rams (30-23)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 11 @ Saints (48-7)

Playoff Lookout                                 The defending champs have struggled throughout the season especially when it comes to being healthy. Their secondary has been as banged up as any secondary I can remember in recent memory and Wentz has been hurt all year. And yet, the defending champs are still in a situation to defend their crown. If they can win out and get a loss from Minnesota, Philly sneaks in as the Wild Card and from there, who knows where Big Dick Nick could take them.

 

  1. Tennessee Titans

Record                                                  8-6

Playoffs!?                                            So, you’re saying there’s a chance

Biggest Win                                        Week 14 vs. Giants (30-9)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 11 @ Colts (38-10)

Playoff Lookout                                 The Titans are a tough team to list on here because I really don’t feel like they’re that good of a team but, they continue to go out and prove my opinion wrong. Their offensive line is tremendous, and their secondary remains one of the leagues best despite flying under the radar. If this team is able to slide in to the Wild Card as the 6 seed, a first round exit would be likely, but this team gets better and better each season.

 

  1. Minnesota Vikings

Record                                                  7-6-1

Playoffs!?                                            Wild Card #2

Biggest Win                                        Week 15 vs. Dolphins (41-17)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 3 vs. Bills (27-6)

Playoff Lookout                                 The firing of their Offensive Coordinator late in this season may have been a blessing in disguise for an offense that was struggling despite being supremely talented. Since the firing, their offense put up 41 against a playoff caliber opponent. The Vikings are going to get in to the playoffs and could upset a team on the road in round 1 on their way to another playoff run. I believe in Captain Kirk and the Vikings offense.

 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers

Record                                                  8-5-1

Playoffs!?                                            Lead AFC North. #4 Seed.

Biggest Win                                        Week 15 vs. Patriots (17-10)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 4 vs. Ravens (26-14)

Playoff Lookout                                 Yes, I know, the Steelers just beat the Patriots and they lead the AFC North and blah blah blah. I don’t think they’re that good. Their defense is pretty underrated but Big Ben is on an Eli level of mobility and I think the Steelers are on the downturn. They won’t win the division and might lose their way right out of the playoffs. Or, I could be wrong. Either way, my list, my rules.

 

  1. Baltimore Ravens

Record                                                  8-6

Playoffs!?                                            Wild Card #2

Biggest Win                                        Week 4 @ Steelers (26-14)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 8 @ Panthers (36-21)

Playoff Lookout                                 The Real Kings of the (AFC) North. The Ravens are going to win the AFC North and take it out of the clutches of their rival Steelers. Lamar Jackson has set the rushing attack on fire and when a team rushes the ball this effectively, they’ll dominate possession which keeps the opposing team off the field. Baltimore’s defense always manages to be terrific which has been no different this season. I don’t think the Ravens are quite set for a deep run in the playoffs, but with the youth this team possesses, especially if they are fully behind Jackson, it won’t be long before they are ready for that big playoff run.

 

  1. Dallas Cowboys

Record                                                  8-6

Playoffs!?                                            Lead the NFC East. #4 Seed.

Biggest Win                                        Week 13 vs. Saints (13-10)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 15 @ Colts (23-0)

Playoff Lookout                                 I complain enough about the Cowboys and how much stress they bring to my life so I’ll keep this one short. I genuinely believe Dallas can beat any team in football when they control possession and don’t give the opposing offense short field to work with. Pretty much, when Dallas doesn’t shoot itself in the foot, they’re a dangerous team. They’re a win away from a division title but I don’t think they’ll go much further. Maybe a first round victory before they break my heart in the divisional round.

 

  1. Indianapolis Colts

Record                                                  8-6

Playoffs!?                                            So, you’re saying there’s a chance

Biggest Win                                        Week 15 vs. Cowboys (23-0)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 13 @ Jaguars (6-0)

Playoff Lookout                                 The Colts rank higher than some of the teams above them in the standings because this Colts team is excellent. Their record doesn’t show exactly how good they are. An offensive line that was once the worst in football only a season ago, is now one of football’s best and it has helped bring Luck back to his MVP level. The Colts are going to sneak in as that second wild card team and I think could surprise a team on the road in the first round. Don’t sleep on Indy or they’ll make you pay.

 

  1. Seattle Seahawks

Record                                                  8-6

Playoffs!?                                            Wild Card #1

Biggest Win                                        Week 13 vs. 49ers (43-16)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 10 vs. Rams (36-31)

Playoff Lookout                                The Seahawks always find ways to win down the stretch of the season to make their way into the playoffs. This team may even be better than their record says. If you look at their 6 losses, 4 of them were to playoff teams and the other 2 were on the road. Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, and a three headed monster in the backfield have this Seattle team ready to shock the world.

 

  1. New England Patriots

Record                                                  9-5

Playoffs!?                                            Lead the AFC East. #3 Seed.

Biggest Win                                        Week 6 vs. Chiefs (43-40)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 2 @ Jaguars (31-20)

Playoff Lookout                                They’re not in their usual situation of playing to lock up a first round bye by now, but this Patriots team will be ready to win in the playoffs like they always are. And why? Because no team in football has a coaching staff that prepares for their opponents like the Patriots do. They always make sure their guys are ready for the game, especially in the playoffs. Sometimes they’re so prepared, you’d think they were using cheat codes.

 

  1. Los Angeles Rams

Record                                                  11-3

Playoffs!?                                            Clinched the NFC West. #2 Seed.

Biggest Win                                        Week 11 vs. Chiefs (54-51)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 15 vs. Eagles (30-23)

Playoff Lookout                                I know, I know. They have this insanely high-powered offense and their defense is filled with all-star level players but hear me out. If Todd Gurley isn’t fully healthy, which appears to be clear, this Rams offense is not the same. And their ‘amazing’ corners have been burnt like toast in the games they’ve lost. What happens in the playoffs when they come up against those top-tier receivers without their high-powered offense? Don’t get me wrong, they’re exceptionally good, but Super Bowl contender and best team in the NFC like they’re said to be? I think not.

 

  1. Houston Texans

Record                                                  10-4

Playoffs!?                                            Lead the AFC South. #2 Seed.

Biggest Win                                        Week 8 vs. Dolphins (42-23)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 14 vs. Colts (24-21)

Playoff Lookout                                My preseason pick to win the Super Bowl find themselves in a position to do so. The Texans offense is as good as any, with the combination of Watson and Hopkins. Throw in Lamar Miller and D-Thomas and they’re very good. The defense could very well be what would bring this team a championship though. People are sleeping on the Texans like they have all season, but don’t do it. I’m sticking with my preseason pick, Houston wins it down in Atlanta.

 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs

Record                                                  11-3

Playoffs!?                                            Lead the AFC West. #1 Seed.

Biggest Win                                        Week 2 @ Steelers (42-37)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 15 vs. Chargers (29-28)

Playoff Lookout                                Kansas City’s offense is as fast paced and high-scoring as the league has seen in a long time. BUT, who have they beat? 8 of their 11 wins this season came against non-playoff teams. The bigger problem for them come playoffs? The Chiefs defense has allowed the 5th most points in football. Of the top 10 most scored on defenses, only the Dolphins are in contention for the playoffs. Every other team will be picking early in the draft. They say defense wins championships and eventually, that defense will come back to bite them. The return of Eric Berry (oh, there goes that horse coach), can make a difference for their defense, but not enough of one.

 

  1. New Orleans Saints

Record                                                  12-2

Playoffs!?                                            Clinched the NFC South and 1st Round Bye. #1 Seed.

Biggest Win                                        Week 9 vs. Rams (45-35)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 13 @ Cowboys (13-10)

Playoff Lookout                                They’re the holders of the best record in football at the moment but they’re not the best team in football. The last 3 weeks, the Saints have looked vulnerable to say the least. The Cowboys and Panthers defense were able to shut down the offense to the tune of 10 and 12 points respectively and the Bucs had a season sweep in sight until the 4th quarter. I have no doubt that Brees, “Can’t Guard” Mike, and the backfield duo of Kamara and Ingram make this team dangerous against any team. But, if that defense can’t keep the opposing offense off the field, that foursome gets minimal chance to do damage. Nonetheless, the NFC most likely runs through NOLA, which is one of the toughest places in sports to play.

 

  1. Los Angeles Chargers

Record                                                  11-5

Playoffs!?                                            Wild Card #1

Biggest Win                                        Week 15 @ Chiefs (29-28)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 11 vs. Broncos (23-22)

Playoff Lookout                                I debated in my own head about these guys being this high the entire time I wrote this which is the duration of a few days. But, facts are facts. I don’t think there’s a better team in the AFC at this moment than the Chargers. They just beat the Chiefs on the road and are exceptionally good on both sides of the ball. Their defense has been one of the best, without their best player for most of the season. And now, Bosa is back and will make an immediate impact which will make that young secondary, anchored by Derwin James, even better. Philip Rivers is one of the best QB’s of this generation and one of the most underrated of all time, but he won’t gain true recognition until he wins a ring. This could be the year for Rivers and the Chargers.

 

  1. Chicago Bears

Record                                                  10-4

Playoffs!?                                            Clinched the NFC North. #3 Seed.

Biggest Win                                        Week 14 vs. Rams (15-6)

Biggest Loss                                        Week 7 vs. Patriots (38-31)

Playoff Lookout                                And then there was one. There is no better team in football right now than the Chicago Bears. In a league that is looking more open going into the playoffs than it has in years, a team with this good of a defense becomes an immediate favorite. Especially a team that has been able to shut down some of the leagues’ best offenses. Their offense beats you with the perfect combination of speed and power but don’t fool yourselves. This teams’ defense is its bread and butter. I think it’s possible that somewhere down the line in an important playoff game, Trubisky’s inexperience could be the downfall of this team. Then again, I’ve doubted Trubisky since he came out of North Carolina so what do I know? Trubisky or a half-blind orangutan (I hope I have readers that get this reference) at QB, the Bears are the team to beat in the NFL right now.

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